A Tom Bendelow designed course on beautiful rolling land that was recently renovated by Bruce Hepner. Birmingham is on very heavy wetlands soil, which means it might not have been able to be built in today’s age. There is a nice stream called the Rouge river that cuts through the course. Natural features are in abundance at Birmingham. Birmingham’s front 9 is routed on the inner portion of the property, while the back 9 is routed on the outer portion of the property. It’s my speculation that the founders picked a clubhouse site on the center of the property on top of a ridgeline, thus handicapping Bendelow with more possible routing options. IMO, a few really great holes were lost due to the clubhouse location. I would have preferred it to have been on the Southeast portion of the property which is much flatter, leaving the best land for golf holes. Clubhouses 100 years ago and today for certain pedigree clubs are key to their targeted market. The club removed over 1,000 trees during Hepner’s renovation. The opening hole is a nice short par 5, with a gentle handshake to get things started. The 2nd hole integrates the creek nicely and is a solid challenging par 4. The par 3’s are good as a group 3, 7, 11, 15 with 11 being the weakest imo. The greens have very cool fin like bumps on the edges of them. Very unique for the area. The standout holes are 4, 9, and 14-16. The 4th is a nice slight leg to the left to a well-protected green that still can be accessed by the ground. It’s a semi-blind tee shot, which are a favorite of mine to encounter. The 9th is an impressive par 4, the tee and green are elevated, while the fairway sits down in the valley. A beautiful ridge line is on your left for the majority of the hole. The 2nd shot requires a solid shot, with a green that slopes back to front. One needs to watch the spin put on their 2nd and also make sure they don’t get past the pin. The 14th is one of the best half par 5’s one can play. Most can reach in two, with longer players having an iron in. The 2nd shot is played slightly downhill with the green giving the player an infinity pool like look. As the property drops off behind the green. The following hole is a ball buster par 3. The left side of the green is protected by bunkers short. Hitting it on the button is paramount. The 16th is a hard leg to the right or upside-down L shaped hole. The green sits up and demands a short iron with very good distance control. Birmingham is a fun course to play that also provides challenge for the better player. All around really good members’ course. I often wonder how much different and better it could be with a different clubhouse location. Always a treat to play regardless.