The “MacKenzie-Dye Experience” will now allow golfers not affiliated with the school to play the Alister MacKenzie-designed “stadium” or “blue” course as well as Radrick Farms GC, Pete Dye’s first 18-hole design. The program is expected to have “bucket list” appeal, especially for those who want to play the courses as part of a football weekend.
The University of Michigan (UM) has introduced a program, the Detroit Free Press reported, that now allows access for golfers who are not affiliated with the school to play its renowned “stadium” or “blue” golf course designed by Alister MacKenzie.
The UM course has been difficult to access for golfers who are not affiliated with the school, the Free Press reported. But this year, UM’s package for its two courses, called the “MacKenzie-Dye Experience,” allows anyone to play the stadium course or UM’s Radrick Farms Golf Course, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of architect Pete Dye beginning his first 18-hole design.
But gaining the access is not cheap, the Free Press noted. To play either course costs $110 Monday through Thursday and $140 Friday through Sunday. The price includes a logoed cap or towel and a modest lunch voucher. Some savings can be realized if both courses are played on consecutive days, with the total cost coming down to $200 for weekdays and $250 on weekends.
Those rates compare with fees, including cart, for guests of affiliated members at the stadium course of $68 on weekdays and $78 on weekends, the Free Press reported.
“A lot of it, honestly, is just trying to be good stewards of the resources we have, and they’re primarily for the U-M community,” Corbin Todd, Director of the UM golf courses, told the Free Press. “But [the two courses are] pretty cool, so if we can let the public — like they do when they come to [Michigan football] games — experience them, too, it works out for everybody.
“If they’re willing to pay a little more and we can keep a cheap student pass, like we have over at the UM course, it helps with the whole mix and just gets invested back into the property,” Todd added. “People on a ‘bucket list’ trip are used to paying that kind of money for an experience at a course like that.”
It would be understandable why golfing enthusiasts would want to give the stadium course, which opened in 1931, bucket-list priority, the Free Press noted, because most of MacKenzie’s courses, including Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club and Cypress Point Club in California, are private.
In 2010, the Free Press Reported, Golf Digest cited Michigan’s stadium course as one of the most significant of the 1930s because it was the brainchild of the Wolverines’ legendary football coach, Fielding Yost, whose vision was to construct the country’s best college course and make it accessible to students for a $15 annual membership.
“I think people are just thrilled to be on a MacKenzie,” Todd told the Free Press. “I mean, how many people even pay attention to the golf course architect these days? But the real golfers, the people that are on the bucket list (trip), are gonna, right?
“So when they know that this is the Cypress Point and the Augusta guy and they can see some of that, that’s what we hear,” Todd added. “They love the greens complexes, the conditions. But the really cool thing is it’s in the shadow of the ‘Big House’ [Michigan Stadium, which seats over 100,000 for Wolverine football games].”