4 Helpful / 1 Not
Krusty says "Hay-o!"
Beautiful hand-crafted wooden signage which include length, par and overhead outlines of the hole design. There are ample next hole signs, and a cool little archway announcing the entrance to the course. Although simply designed, these signs are not only effective, but they help give a full, friendly character to the course.
Set across the road from the main camp in a nature preserve-like setting, so there is zero non-DG traffic. Although there are a lot of pine trees, there isn't the generic plantation pine feel.
Excellent mix of woods and field holes, which alternate frequently. The design of the next hole is always measurably different from the hole preceding, eliminating any chance for monotony.
In addition to a very balanced blend of straight and dogleg left/right fairways, many tees have no view of the basket.
This is not a hilly area, but some hole designs are deceptively challenging with the elevation they chose to use.
The design of the course starts you with flatter holes with few elements of interference, and really ratchets up the level of intensity and challenge as the round progresses. The last few holes are some of the most memorable and challenging of the course, giving a great climactic feeling to the round.
This course is closed to the public the entire summer. In the spring, all of the rain and melting snow can make the low-lying front 9 a bit of a bog, so the fall is probably the best way to experience it.
No water hazards, nor any mandos or OB challenges.
Only one set of tees. While there are a couple of holes where many players cannot reasonably expect to card a 3, a little more distance, especially on the more vanilla holes, would be welcome. In this regard, they could have made a little better use of the land, because there is certainly more around than is used for the course.
Although it is located a few miles off a major state highway, it isn't around anything else. Compounded with the restricted dates of availability, even if you live in the area, you are kind of forced to make a special trip just to play the course.
One of the two private courses in the Greater Grand Traverse area, Hayo-Went-Ha is a real treat to play. As you cannot play in the summer, bugs aren't much of an issue here, and the pristinely maintained area always guarantees a trash and hassle-free round.
I would be very frustrated if I lived around this course, as it would be considered my local, but I couldn't play it half of the year. I even hate driving by this stretch in the summer, as I feel I'm somehow being cheated, even if I have no intention to play that day.
The course is the best designed "curriculum course" that I have seen, and my complaints are largely niggles. Taken as a whole, this is a course where the positives outweigh the negatives by the country miles which surround it.
Hayo-Went-Ha is a great-o time-ha.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
The Last Couple are KILLERS!!!
Pros: This course is set in a fairly remote and scenic area on a beautiful YMCA camp property. The cleanliness of the camp and course was impeccable and the fairways are obvious and well tended. Tee signage is creative, colorful, and very representative of hole lay out. Directional signage is present and obvious when needed and course flow is generally good. The course doubling back in on itself at the mid-point makes a quick 9 an easy option.
Hole design is quite nice with varied fairway sizes, lots of tucked-away and hidden baskets, plenty of left and right shots, a very nice mix of wooded, partially wooded, and wide open holes, and plenty of variations in distance. Ending up in the rough here is very rarely a total disaster.
The complexity of most of the holes on the back 9 is exceptional! The wide open, slightly uphill #13 seems to go on forever and winds can make this hole a bear! The open, gently curving, slightly downhill blind right to #14 compliments #13 nicely. The sharp right on #15 gives the player a couple of options requiring serious consideration of risk/reward trade-offs; choose the up and over route and risk getting blown off-course due to wind aloft, or play an easy anny/flick to lay-up for deuce or par. The hill climb to the elevated (and currently unmarked) #17 tee is well worn-in but not well marked. Once on the cement tee pad, you'll have multiple options on a good route to the pin. Again, the risk/reward quotient is high on this one! Pick the narrow "thru" channel, or go up and over to lay up mid-fairway. The incredibly frustrating, long #18 with multiple changes of direction, 3 bottle necks, and gobs of overhanging trees and brush, may be best managed by the average player at the marked par (5) using lay-up putter shots rather than shooting for 3 using fancy directional changes with drivers.
Cons: Holes #3-5 got a little monotonous as all are straight with tree-lined fairways and very similar distances. Laying-up on #17 leaves you right behind the basket for #16, making injury to other players a very real possibility.
As with most natural tee boxes in this area, loose sand makes footing treacherous on several holes.
Other Thoughts: Park in front of and check in/pay at the office then cross the street and follow the signs to the first tee.
Everyone we encountered on the course was incredibly friendly. The cleanliness of the area, course layout, hole variety, changes in distances, and course signage makes this course a real standout from other mostly flat courses.
As an aside, the address of the camp didn't register as valid on my Magellan.....just FYI.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun, small CC atmosphere
Pros: -small benches on nearly every hole
-very nice, detailed, hand-carved wooden signs
-accurate distances on signs
-nicely and consistently mowed fairways showing exactly where the basket is
-nice directional signs to keep players on track their first time here & without a map
-quality layout, very fun
Cons: -hole 18 kinda finishes in the middle of nowhere so there is a long walk back to your car
-some holes get repetitive and look similar
-the fairways are manicured and mowed very well, but the trees need trimming badly. many lanes that should be there are not because of overgrown limbs and no trimming
Other Thoughts: This course surprised me a little bit. It was very well taken care of and because of how the fairways were mowed felt like a little country club in the woods. The Camp HayoWentHa staff was really friendly, and most of the counselors are just high school students. But all in all, it was a really fun course that actually had some challenging holes, but some aceable ones as well. Worth a stop if you're headed up or down US-31.
Park at the main office, then walk back out and across East Torch Lake Rd, across the wooden bridge by the HayoWentHa sign, and down the trail to the course. The signs are easy to follow after that.
A sign at the course says that the course is closed to the public on weekdays during camp (June-August) except on weekends, between 7am&10pm, so plan to go on a weekend and you'll have the course to yourself.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great variety of holes lefts,rights,long short this course has everything but elevation,well maintained with mowed fairways,easy to navigate,awesome handmade signs,
Cons: majority of course is flat,course was a little difficult to find due to main office empty (it was a sunday),
Other Thoughts: course is located across the street from the camps main office, follow little bridge next to large YMCA sign, overall this course was a lot of fun and I would recommend checking it out
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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