An unbiased review of The Emerald Golf Course in Clinton County, Michigan by an average golfer using the Michigan Golf Matrix Scoring System.
All public Michigan Golf Courses will be considered for review.

Address: 2300 West Maple Rapids Rd., St. Johns, MI 48879

Front 9: Par 36

Back 9: Par 36

Overall Course: (all 18) Par 72

Yardage: Ruby tees – 4,824; Gold tees – 5,404; Silver tees – 5,605: Diamond tees – 6,106; Emerald tees – 6,619
Stimp meter: 12.6

The Emerald Golf Course Clubhouse

Clubhouse and Amenities – Rating 7.27

The Emerald Golf Course has a well above average clubhouse and pro shop. You can grab a quick snack bar and a drink or enjoy a sit-down meal from a decent menu at Mulligan’s Tavern. The area is spacious, and the service is very good throughout. They normally have a drink cart operating on the course. There is a driving range and a undulating practice green to warm up on. The apparel selection is good with many items adorned with The Emerald name. It is limited to mostly golf balls, gloves, tees, divot tools, etc. for equipment. Parking is good with cart access to the lot. Carts paths may need an upgrade in places but the carts themselves are in great shape with GPS monitors which include an interactive scorecard.

The Emerald Golf Course Front Nine

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 1

Hole 1 – Par 4 – Rating 6.57

Ruby: 320 yds
Gold: 325 yds
Silver: 325 yds
Diamond: 378 yds
Emerald: 395 yds

Begin your round on large and level tee boxes. The flat fairway runs straight out with out of bounds to the left. The rough is medium length and there is a water hazard cutting across the fairway. After the water hazard, the fairway runs uphill to a medium sized, hard, rolling green that has real sand bunkers and a maintained fringe. The green is very fast.

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 2

Hole 2 – Par 4 – Rating 7.14

Ruby: 310 yds
Gold: 342 yds
Silver: 342 yds
Diamond: 363 yds
Emerald: 383 yds

Level and medium size tees start this dogleg left Par 4. The fairway is flat with medium length rough. Trees are to both sides with right being a better option if you need to bail out. There is a pond water hazard right of the green, real sand bunkers, and a maintained fringe. The green itself is large, receptive, and quite rolling with an irregular shape. Get used to the fast-putting speeds.

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 3

Hole 3 – Par 5 – Rating 7.14

Ruby: 435 yds
Gold: 440 yds
Silver: 440 yds
Diamond: 503 yds
Emerald: 542 yds

The first par 5 has large and level tee blocks. A flat fairway with medium rough is your desired landing spot, with forest left so the bail out is to the right. A pond water hazard is in play on the right side on your second shot. Real sand bunkers and a maintained fringe guard this large, deep green with a receptive rolling surface that runs at a fast pace. The green is sloped back to front.

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 4

Hole 4 – Par 3 – Rating 7.33

Ruby: 144 yds
Gold: 149 yds
Silver: 149 yds
Diamond: 207 yds
Emerald: 223 yds

We consider the first par 3 to be the most challenging hole. From large and level tees, aim your shot to the green which is a good distance from the back tee block. Rough is medium length with a pond water hazard right and a farm field OB left. The large green is guarded by large real sand bunkers. A maintained fringe is around this green with tiered and rolling surface that is hard to hold due to it being elevated slightly, the distance involved, and it being wider than deep. Expect another very fast putting feel.

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 5

Hole 5 – Par 4 – Rating 7.33

Ruby: 253 yds
Gold: 288 yds
Silver: 313 yds
Diamond: 313 yds
Emerald: 332 yds

Large and level tees give you a good view of this hole. The fairway is flat early, then rolling as you near the green. The rough is medium length and there is OB with a farm field to the left. The bunkers are real sand and the fringe is maintained. The green may not look it, but its speed (fast) makes it hard to hold. Although it looks sloped back to front, everything runs left. It is still fairly receptive but runs out quite a bit. No going long here and immediately past the green it drops off severely on the back and right side.

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 6

Hole 6 – Par 4 – Rating 7.33

Ruby: 266 yds
Gold: 370 yds
Silver: 370 yds
Diamond: 417 yds
Emerald: 433 yds

Tee off from large, level, elevated tees. The rolling fairway runs both uphill and downhill and plays longer than it seems it should. Rough is medium length and the bunkers are real sand. A maintained fringe surrounds this medium size green that putts at a fast pace. It is also tiered, rolling and decently receptive.

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 7

Hole 7 – Par 5 – Rating 7.33

Ruby: 434 yds
Gold: 439 yds
Silver: 439 yds
Diamond: 512 yds
Emerald: 547 yds

Large and level tees start your 2nd par 5 on the front 9. This dogleg right between mature trees has a flat fairway with medium length rough. Real sand bunkers and a maintained fringe are at the large, fast putting green. The green is also receptive and rolling. 

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 8

Hole 8 – Par 3 – Rating 6.40

Ruby: 102 yds
Gold: 118 yds
Silver: 129 yds
Diamond: 129 yds
Emerald: 150 yds

The second par 3 on the front nine is a short, downhill par 3. Tees are large and level. The hole has a bit of everything with trees and a hill right of the green, with the left side dropping off into a no man’s land of trees and water. The bunkers are real sand, the fringe maintained. The surface of the green is sloped back to front, so it is receptive. But it is also real fast in speed and a rolling green.

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 9

Hole 9 – Par 4 – Rating 7.14

Ruby: 283 yds
Gold: 338 yds
Silver: 338 yds
Diamond: 358 yds
Emerald: 403 yds

Unless you are deadly accurate with your driver, sit it down here. The tee blocks are large and level. The fairway, while flat, makes a turn around a willow doglegging right. Anything left or long off the tee gets wet due to the large water hazard. Rough is medium in length, bunkers are real sand, and fringe is maintained. The green is large, receptive, rolling, and everything runs to the back right collection area to take your shot off the green. It slopes left to right and the speed it runs that way is frighteningly fast.

Average Rating Holes 1-9: 7.08

The Emerald Golf Course Back Nine

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 10

Hole 10 – Par 4 – Rating 7.71

Ruby: 251 yds
Gold: 289 yds
Silver: 299 yds
Diamond: 299 yds
Emerald: 317 yds

From large and level tee blocks, you start your back nine with a drivable par 4. The fairway is rolling with real sand bunkers placed in the worst spots. The rough is medium length and there is a grass hill left to make your ball go missing if entered so right is the bail out. The water hazard is right in front of the tee and should not come into play. The medium size green is very fast of pace, has a maintained fringe, and is rolling and receptive. 

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 11

Hole 11 – Par 4 – Rating 7.71

Ruby: 221 yds
Gold: 276 yds
Silver: 299 yds
Diamond: 299 yds
Emerald: 345 yds

This par 4 starts on level, medium size tees and you may again not need a driver in hand. The flat fairway doglegs right sharply around trees with medium rough. Again, you have a water hazard right in front of the tees. There are real sand bunkers and a maintained fringe. The green is medium size, tiered side to side, sloped back to front, rolling, receptive and very fast.

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 12

Hole 12 – Par 3 – Rating 7.00

Ruby: 105 yds
Gold: 154 yds
Silver: 154 yds
Diamond: 163 yds
Emerald: 187 yds

Your first par 3 on the back nine changes the tone. Large and level, elevated tee boxes give you a good look to the green, which sits up on a hill with a stream water hazard at the bottom of the valley. Bunkers are real sand and the fringe well maintained. This fast-putting green is medium in size but oddly shaped with a small narrow front then a wider back as it rises on a tier. It is rolling and receptive so a longer iron in can hold. 

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 13

Hole 13 – Par 4 – Rating 7.67

Ruby: 306 yds
Gold: 311 yds
Silver: 311 yds
Diamond: 363 yds
Emerald: 384 yds

Medium size, level tees start this challenging hole. The fairway is rolling and doglegs left with medium length rough. Trees to the left can be a major problem and forest right is a reason for a lost golf ball. The hole has real sand bunkers and a maintained fringe. This large and very fast green is rolling, receptive, tiered left to right with the tier ridge near middle. 

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 14

Hole 14 – Par 4 – Rating 7.33

Ruby: 205 yds
Gold: 318 yds
Silver: 318 yds
Diamond: 365 yds
Emerald: 444 yds

The tees here are large, level, and elevated. The rolling fairway rises uphill and plays longer than it looks. The rough is medium length with real sand bunkers and a maintained fringe. The large, tiered green runs quite fast, and is receptive and rolling.

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 15

Hole 15 – Par 5 – Rating 7.67

Ruby: 383 yds
Gold: 388 yds
Silver: 463 yds
Diamond: 463 yds
Emerald: 511 yds

We reach your first par 5 on the back with a hole that “mirrors” a par 5 on the front. Tees are level and medium size. Fairway is flat and doglegs right with medium length rough. The bunkers have real sand and the fringe is maintained. This green is sloped back to front with a rolling and receptive surface. It is medium in size and fast in speed.

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 16

Hole 16- Par 3 – Rating 7.00

Ruby: 120 yds
Gold: 125 yds
Silver: 182 yds
Diamond: 182 yds
Emerald: 210 yds

The last par 3 on the course is a challenge. From level, medium size tees this hole is all carry as the medium size green sits up on a hill with more hill rising behind it like an amphitheater. A stream water hazard runs through at the bottom of the valley and the bunkers are real sand. The green itself is triangle shaped – point more to the back with a wide front. It is receptive, rolling, tiered, and can be blazing fast putting downhill.

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 17

Hole 17 – Par 5 – Rating 7.33

Ruby: 390 yds
Gold: 395 yds
Silver: 395 yds
Diamond: 443 yds
Emerald: 451 yds

The final par 5 features level, medium size tees, a flat fairway that runs downhill and back uphill to the green, OB left with tress and a water hazard at the bottom of the hill to the left and right. The rough is medium length, and the fringe maintained. Note it’s the only hole with no bunkers. The green is only medium in size due to it being narrow and deep, with a very fast rolling and receptive surface.

The Emerald Golf Course Hole 18

Hole 18 – Par 4 – Rating 7.14

Ruby: 296 yds
Gold: 339 yds
Silver: 339 yds
Diamond: 349 yds
Emerald: 362 yds

Your final hole has level, medium size tees and a flat fairway with medium length rough. The are bunkers behind the green and right with a pond in front and right giving only a left side sliver to make the green without carrying the water on your second shot. This green is medium size, rolling, receptive, and deceptively fast.

Average Rating Holes 10-18: 7.40

Overall Course Rating: 7.24

SUMMARY:

The Emerald Golf Course is a public golf course in the St. Johns area of Michigan that sports a Jerry Matthews design. The course can accommodate any golf outing or event and provide a golf experience for golfers of all ages and different skill levels. The 18-hole course features sand, water hazards, multiple sets of tees, the occasional elevation change and plays at 6,619 yards for the longest tees. Not to mention the lightning-fast greens that ran a 12.6 on the stimp meter making the greens here some of the most challenging. Director of Golf Operations and Event Planning, Katie Eccleton is always ready to help you with your outing, group, or any needed information. Even in this era of climbing cost for golf, The Emerald gives very good value. We consider it a recommended play in the Mid-Michigan area. See our video of The Emerald Golf Course.

The greens rate the highest at a consistent 8.44.

Pricing: Refer to www.emeraldgolfcourse.com or call (989) 224-6287 for tee times and pricing

Value Rating: +3.25

See reviews on other Jerry Matthews designed courses

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