Detroit Golf Club

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Coordinates: 42°25′35″N 83°07′35″W / 42.42639°N 83.12639°W / 42.42639; -83.12639

Detroit Golf Club
Club information
LocationDetroit, Wayne County, Michigan
Total holes36
South Course
Designed byDonald Ross[2]
Length5,967 yards[3]
Course rating68.7[3]
North Course
Designed byDonald Ross[4]
Length6,936 yards[4]
Course rating73.6[4]

The Detroit Golf Club (abbreviated to DGC) is a private golf club located in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan in the middle of a neighborhood area on north side of the city near the University of Detroit Mercy and Palmer Woods Historic District. Bert Way[5] designed the original 6-hole course, then it gradually improved to 9 holes, and finally Donald Ross built the current 36-hole course. The club grounds crew maintains two courses. The North and the South Course. The head pro is Jon Gates.[6] Detroit Golf Club will host the Rocket Mortgage Classic, a new annual PGA Tour event, starting in 2019.


The Detroit Golf Club was founded in 1899 by William R. Farrand and several of his friends. Originally the Club was limited to 100 members. A 45-acre (180,000 m2) plot of farmland was rented at 6 Mile and Woodward, and a 6-hole course layout was created. In 1900 the course added 3 holes making it a 9-hole course. The membership number was raised to 200 in 1902. At that time 135 acres (0.55 km2) of land were purchased at 6 Mile and Hamilton, and an 18-hole course was developed. In 1906 the Club was formally opened, and membership fees were raised to $250. In 1913 additional property was bought, and Donald Ross was asked to survey the property. Ross determined that two courses of 18 holes could be built on the land. Horace Rackham paid $100,000 for the 36 hole course to be built to the DGC at a cost. In 1916 Albert Kahn started construction on a new clubhouse, which was completed in 1918. The brother of Donald Ross, Alec Ross, became Club Professional, which he held until 1945, a total of 31 years. In 1922 club membership was increased to 650 and the decision was made to keep the club open year-round. In 1929 the Fred Wardell Caddy House was built, and the cost was around $40,000. During World War II Club activities were limited due to gas rationing, and in 1945, Alex Ross retired as Club Professional. From there golf star Horton Smith was hired as the Club Pro, and in 1959 was elected into the Professional Golfers Association Hall of Fame. In 1963 Horton Smith died, and Walter Burkemo was hired. New changes came to the club. Tennis courts, a cart garage, and a crystal dining room were added, and Walter Burkemo was replaced by George Bayer. The current club pro is Jon Gates. The club also contains a pool for the members, and for the swim team.


The Club is located on the North side of Detroit, near many landmarks such as Palmer Park and the University of Detroit Mercy. It is separated from the adjacent Palmer Park Golf Course by Pontchartrain Blvd. on the East, and Fairway Drive on the West. It shares a small border with 7 Mile on the North, and a large border with McNichols (6 Mile) on the South.

Major tournaments[edit]

Club Tournaments[edit]


  • Men's Golf League
  • Men's Ringer Board
  • Men's Golf Fund
  • Men's Opening Day
  • Men's Old Pal
  • President's Cup
  • Horton Smith Tournament
  • Men's Spring Medal Play
  • The Whistler
  • The Hummer
  • Men's Club Championship
  • Men's Senior Club Championship
  • Men's Member-Member
  • Men's Closing Day


  • Women's Corkscrew Opener
  • Women's 18-Hole League
  • Girls Night Out
  • Women's Detroit Metro League
  • Four Girl Team
  • Ladies' Cup
  • Women's Medal Play
  • Women's Texas Scramble I & II
  • Sundancer Invitational
  • Grandmother-Senior Event
  • Women's Club Championship
  • Women's Member-Member
  • Women's Ryder Cup
  • Women's Closing Day- 2Tall/2Small


  • Nine and Dine
  • Couple's Golf League
  • Memorial Day Scramble
  • DGC Caddie Scholarship Event
  • Patriot Day
  • Labor Day Scramble
  • Husband-Wife Championship

Family Golf Events

  • Mother's Day Tournament
  • Father's Day Tournament
  • Junior Golf

Possible PGA Event On October 11, 2010, the Detroit Golf Club announced that it will be bidding for a potential PGA Tour event as early as September of next year.[7] If the Club is chosen, the event will probably be held on the North Course. Some of the holes will be lengthened by moving the tee boxes back, and certain holes will have their par increased by a stroke. Hotels in the area will provide lodging for players and staff. Parking will most likely be held by adjacent Palmer Park and the surrounding area, with the University of Detroit Mercy and the Michigan State Fairgrounds serving as other possible parking locations.

  • On June 17, 2011, the Detroit News reported that the club will not have an event until 2013, if a spot opens on the 43-event PGA Tour schedule.[8]
  • As of May 1, 2014, the club has lengthened numerous holes on the North Course by extending the tee boxes. Trees around the greens and tee boxes have also been removed.


Both courses have a snack shack next to a combined tee. The 13th for the South and the 14th for the North. Water hazards can be found on the North and South. Both courses are also bordered by beautiful houses that belong to many notable residents such as Jerome Bettis, Aretha Franklin, John Conyers. and many more.

North Course[edit]

The North Course is longer than the South by 870 yards. According to the original Donald Ross design, the 8th tee should be the 1st tee, and the 7th tee should be the 9th. Distinctive features include the bent tree between the 7th and 8th hole. As a sapling, Native Americans bent the tree to serve as a marker for the original Indian Trail between Detroit and Pontiac. The original clubhouse was situated where the 12th green is today, pipes can still be seen a distance behind the green.[9]

South Course[edit]

The South Course has two combined tees. The 3rd and 9th, and the 5th and the 8th. The 10th tee is the most elevated at the DGC. In the early 1980s, the 13th tee was combined with the 14th tee on the North in front of the shack.[10]


  • The Club has a free membership for the Mayor of Detroit.
  • Many Detroit stars such as Justin Verlander, Gerald Laird, Jim Leyland, Jerome Bettis, Jim Schwartz, and many others have or still do play there.
  • The Club has tennis courts and a pool, for the tennis and swimming teams, respectively.
  • The Club has a caddie program that participates in The Evans Scholars Foundation
  • The Club became racially integrated in 1986.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About the Club". Detroit Golf Club. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  2. ^ "Golf Courses". Detroit Golf Club. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  3. ^ a b "Detroit Golf Club, South". Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  4. ^ a b c Cook, Chuck. "Detroit Golf Club | North Golf Course". Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  5. ^ "Firestone Country Club (South)". Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Meet the Golf Professionals". Detroit Golf Club. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  7. ^ "PGA Tour could come to Detroit in fall 2011". Retrieved 2013-11-02.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Detroit Golf Club still waiting for PGA shot". Retrieved 2013-11-02.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Course Tour". Detroit Golf Club. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  10. ^ "Course Tour". Detroit Golf Club. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  11. ^ Chambers, Marcia (August 2000). "The Changing Face Of Private Clubs". Golf Digest. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  12. ^ Coates, Ta-Nehisi (2012-08-29). "The Myth of an Affirmative-Action President". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2012-08-29.

External links[edit]