by Scott Yeomans
The Candlestone Golf and Resort was built in the early 1970’s, in the middle of an apple orchard, with just a restaurant and hotel. In 1978 the golf course, which is considered to be one of Jerry Mathews’ best designs, was built. Since taking over the Resort in 2008 the new owners (Steve Leach of Rockford, John Durkee of Cedar Springs and Cathy Farr of Rockford) have invested over $1,000,000 into upgrading the facility and you can see it everywhere you look. I recently had the opportunity to play this great course.
One of the first things you notice is all of the new tee boxes, 28 in all. The focus on the tee boxes is to accomplish a couple of goals. The main goal is to make the course fun and challenging for all levels of play. The addition of the black tees offer a challenge to the most skilled golfers and comes in at over 7,016 yards. The new red tee boxes will be at a distance of 4,940 yards.
The course was in really good shape especially considering all of the changes. Even though the course plays fairly straight it is a true test of golf. The course is surrounded with rolling pines and wetlands. The greens are in great shape, have good size and the ball rolls with a nice pace. The bunkers were a little hard but they will all be getting new sand this year.
There is a brand new putting green going in and a very nice driving range. They also will be adding a training facility to help out on that slice.
The club house, restaurant, menu, deck and banquet facility have all been totally remodeled. When you return from your round of golf, you can enjoy a cold beverage and a bite to eat on the beautiful new deck or in the modern new Water Tower Grill. I’ve been there several times lately, and the food did not let me down.
There are still plans in the works for adding on to the parking lot, updating the look of the outside of the building and more. Leach lives in the Rockford area and was surprised at how close he is to the Candlestone. It is just a 15 minute drive from Rockford and 25 min. from Grand Rapids so it you have never played this course or haven’t seen the changes, it is time to visit the Candlestone. It is once again, a great place to be. The Candlestone Golf and Resort is located at 8100 Storey Rd. in Belding. More information can be found online at www.candlestone.com.