An independent, unbiased review of Forest Akers, West Course in Ingham County, Michigan using the Michigan Golf Matrix Scoring System.
All public Michigan Golf Courses are considered for review.

Address: 3535 Forest Rd., East Lansing, MI 48910

Front 9: Par 36

Back 9: Par 36

Overall Course: (all 18) Par 72

Yardage: Gold tees – 4,997; White tees – 5,694; Green tees – 6,402: Black tees – 6,990
Stimp meter: 9.7

Forest Akers, West Course Clubhouse

Clubhouse and Amenities – Rating 6.93

The clubhouse at Forest Akers West Golf Course in East Lansing, Michigan, offers golfers a small and well-appointed space to check in before a round. This modern facility features a full-service pro shop stocked with the latest golf equipment, apparel, accessories and the best quality MSU merchandise, all at average pricing. Knowledgeable staff are on hand to assist.
The clubhouse has a comfortable lounge area, and limited dining options with mostly sandwiches, chips, candy and some fresh fruit available, making it a convenient hub for both socializing and preparing for a day on the course. There is a full bar and often a drink cart on the course. With a state-of-the-art practice facility, shared with its sister course of Forest Akers East, available are a large driving range, practice bunkers, practice range and putting greens. Enjoy a friendly atmosphere to hone your game before a day on the links. A yardage book is available.

Forest Akers, West Course Front Nine

Forest Akers West Hole 1

Hole 1 – Par 4 – Rating 7.00

Gold: 310 yds
White: 340 yds
Green: 381 yds
Black: 432 yds

Starting your round on level, elevated, medium size tees your tee shot will run downhill of this slightly rolling fairway with a slight dogleg left. There is denser, medium length rough edging the fairway and real sand bunkers with multiple rakes available. The fringe is maintained around the medium size, fast-putting green. The green surface is receptive, rolling and sloped back to front.

Hole 2 – Par 5 – Rating 6.00

Gold: 406 yds
White: 472 yds
Green: 562 yds
Black: 592 yds

Level medium size tees give you a good chance to find the uphill, rolling fairway, which is important as this is a hard hole to reach in two for even long hitters and the second shot placement is critical. Denser, medium length rough, well maintained, real sand bunkers and a maintained fringe all come into play. This receptive and rolling green slopes front to back, medium size and fast in speed.

Forest Akers West Hole 3

Hole 3 – Par 4 – Rating 6.00

Gold: 322 yds
White: 372 yds
Green: 389 yds
Black: 426 yds

From level, medium size tee boxes this tree-lined fairway doglegs slightly right and runs downhill edged with medium length, thick, rough. Tee over the small wetlands to find the fairway. Bunkers are real sand with multiple rakes available and the fringe is maintained. This fast-paced green is medium in size with a receptive and rolling feel as it slopes back to front.

Forest Akers West Hole 4

Hole 4 – Par 4 – Rating 8.00

Gold: 270 yds
White: 279 yds
Green: 294 yds
Black: 322 yds

This hole fades left from level, medium size tees. The tree-lined fairway plays uphill and has medium length, dense rough. Bunkers contain real sand . Well-maintained fringe surrounds the medium sized putting surface. The green runs fast and slopes back to front with a rolling and receptive surface.

Forest Akers West Hole 5

Hole 5 – Par 4 – Rating 6.00

Gold: 252 yds
White: 276 yds
Green: 316 yds
Black: 338 yds

From elevated, level, medium size tees this hole has a fairway that doglegs severely left and runs downhill. This tree-lined fairway has dense, medium rough and the real sand bunkers have multiple rakes. A maintained fringe surrounds the medium size green which slopes back to front, is rolling and receptive with a putting speed that is fast.

Forest Akers West Hole 6

Hole 6 – Par 4 – Rating 6.50

Gold: 290 yds
White: 344 yds
Green: 394 yds
Black: 436 yds

Starting on level, medium size tee boxes, the fairway is fairly flat and runs uphill. Lined with trees, the fairway has dense, medium length rough. All bunkers are real sand and have multiple rakes available. Maintained fringe wraps around this medium size green that is rolling, receptive and sloped back to front. It putts at a fast speed.

Forest Akers West Hole 7

Hole 7 – Par 3 – Rating 7.25

Gold: 112 yds
White: 145 yds
Green: 174 yds
Black: 202 yds

This par 3 is a great hole for college courses. From level, medium size tees it is all carry with the approach rising to an elevated green guarded by real sand bunkering and medium length, dense rough. Short, long, left or right put you off the green. There is a maintained fringe, and it plays slightly uphill and has a rolling, receptive surface that slopes front to back and therefore, is tough to stop on. The speed on the green is fast.

Forest Akers West Hole 8

Hole 8 – Par 5 – Rating 7.00

Gold: 420 yds
White: 451 yds
Green: 495 yds
Black: 546 yds

From level, medium size tee blocks, finding the rolling fairway is of great benefit. You will need position for the next shot. The tree-lined hole has medium length, thicker rough and real sand bunkers with multiple rakes. The fast-putting surface slopes back to front, is receptive and rolling on this medium size green with a maintained fringe.

Forest Akers West Hole 9

Hole 9 – Par 3 – Rating 7.43

Gold: 114 yds
White: 138 yds
Green: 163 yds
Black: 184 yds

You finish the front nine on Forest Akers West Course number 9 which has level, medium size tees and is a par 3 playing uphill and longer that it seems. The approach is rolling with medium length rough and real sand bunkers with multiple rakes available. The elevated, medium size green slopes back to front. It’s rolling and receptive with a maintained fringe. The speed of tis green is fast.

Average Rating Holes 1-9: 6.80

Forest Akers, West Course Back Nine

Forest Akers West Hole 10

Hole 10 – Par 3 – Rating 6.00

Gold: 140 yds
White: 154 yds
Green: 165 yds
Black: 214 yds

A unique feature is finishing the front on a par 3 and starting the back nine on a par 3. From medium size, level tee blocks, shoot to a receptive and rolling green that slopes back to front. The approach is flat but the hole still plays slightly uphill. The fast-putting, medium size green has a maintained fringe. Guarding the green are real sand bunkers and medium length, dense rough.

Forest Akers West Hole 11

Hole 11 – Par 4 – Rating 8.00

Gold: 258 yds
White: 346 yds
Green: 384 yds
Black: 414 yds

From level, medium size tees, you get a good look at this pretty par 4 with a rolling fairway that runs downhill and is tree-lined with medium length rough. The bunkers are real sand and the fringe is maintained. The receptive and rolling green slopes back to front, is medium in size and fast in speed.

Forest Akers West Hole 12

Hole 12 – Par 3 – Rating 6.50

Gold: 153 yds
White: 182 yds
Green: 213 yds
Black: 227 yds

Your final par 3 comes early on the back nine from level, medium size tees. The rolling approach takes you to the medium size green with a false front and guarded by medium length, thick rough and real sand bunkers with multiple rakes. A maintained fringe surrounds the medium size, receptive and rolling green that slopes back to front. It runs at a fast speed.

Forest Akers West Hole 13

Hole 13 – Par 5 – Rating 7.00

Gold: 404 yds
White: 431 yds
Green: 460 yds
Black: 494 yds

The first of 2-par 5’s on the back has medium size, level tee boxes. The tree-lined fairway is mostly flat, and it doglegs slightly right with thick, medium length rough. All bunkers are real sand and the fairway bunkers in great shape. A maintained fringe edges the medium size, fast-paced green with a surface sloped back to front that is rolling and receptive.

Forest Akers West Hole 14

Hole 14 – Par 4 – Rating 6.50

Gold: 317 yds
White: 356 yds
Green: 385 yds
Black: 415 yds

Level, medium size tees begin this slight dogleg left. The tree-lined fairway is fairly flat with medium length, thick rough, fairway bunkers and greenside bunkers, all in great condition. The medium size green has a maintained fringe, is receptive, rolling and sloped back to front, along with putting at a fast speed.

Forest Akers West Hole 15

Hole 15 – Par 4 – Rating 6.50

Gold: 295 yds
White: 334 yds
Green: 366 yds
Black: 394 yds

This tree-lined par 4 starts on level, medium size tees. The rolling fairway doglegs right slightly and runs uphill with medium length rough and real sand bunkers in very good condition. The green slopes back to front with a maintained fringe. It is receptive, rolling, medium in size and runs at a fast speed.

Forest Akers West Hole 16

Hole 16 – Par 4 – Rating 7.00

Gold: 294 yds
White: 304 yds
Green: 399 yds
Black: 427 yds

Hole 16 is straight-away from level, medium size tee boxes. The tight, tree-lined fairway is rolling, runs downhill slightly and has medium length rough that is thicker. There are no hazards on this hole. A maintained fringe skirts the medium size green. The surface is a fast-putting, with a rolling and receptive feel that slopes from front to back.

Forest Akers West Hole 17

Hole 17 – Par 5 – Rating 7.50

Gold: 371 yds
White: 428 yds
Green: 477 yds
Black: 514 yds

Your final par 5 starts on medium size, level tee blocks. The rolling, treelined fairway here doglegs slightly left and rises uphill. The bunkers are real sand with multiple rakes and maintained fringe surrounds the green. Another medium size, fast running green awaits you with a rolling and receptive surface that slopes front to back. 

Forest Akers West Hole 18

Hole 18 – Par 4 – Rating 8.00

Gold: 269 yds
White: 342 yds
Green: 385 yds
Black: 422 yds

Finish your round from level, medium size tees on this par 4. Expect a rolling fairway that doglegs slightly left and runs downhill has medium length, dense rough and fairway/greenside bunkers of real sand in great shape. There is a pond/marsh wetlands hazard left and short of the green as you approach. The fringe is maintained around the medium size green. This green runs fast of speed with a rolling, receptive surface that slopes back to front.

Average Rating Holes 10-18: 7.00

Overall Course Rating: 6.90

SUMMARY:

The Forest Akers West Golf Course, located on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, opened in 1958. Renowned for its exceptional quality, the course caters to both casual players and avid golfers and is the home course of the Michigan State men and women’s golf teams. The West Course, redesigned by MSU alumnus and esteemed golf architect Arthur Hills, is known for its challenging layout. Forest Akers West features an original layout crafted by W. Bruce Matthews. Unique among golf courses, Forest Akers also serves as an arboretum, showcasing a diverse array of Michigan’s native plant life—a stipulation from alumnus Forest Akers, whose land donation made these courses possible.

Receiving a four-star rating by Golf Digest in 1999, the course boasts excellent practice facilities and has hosted prestigious events, including NCAA regionals, Big Ten Championships, and the Western Junior Championships. It is also home to the MSU Golf Center. As one of the best collegiate facilities in the State of Michigan, it provides target greens, mature trees, elevation changes, and deep greenside traps. Although considered one of the top collegiate 18-hole championship layouts, it still serves as one of the outstanding public courses in the Lansing area. We feel Forest Akers West Golf Course is a recommended play for fun and historical reasons. See our video of Forest Akers West Golf Course.

Pricing: Refer to www.golfmsu.edu or call (517) 355-1635 for tee times and pricing

Value Rating: +1.91

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