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Bucks Run Golf Run

Getting To Know: Bucks Run Golf Club

An Insightful Interview With Jon Conklin, General Manager

By Brian Weis

Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Jon Conklin who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.

Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Before being refashioned into an acclaimed golf club, Michigan's Bucks Run Golf Club was a quarry for sand, gravel, and rock. The Fisher Family, a local entrepreneurial magnate, had owned the 290-acre property since the early 1950s, along with other local businesses: Central Concrete, Central Asphalt, Fisher Sand and Gravel, Fisher Contracting, Fisher Transportation, Bay Aggregate, Midland Engine, and more. The land sat unused for nearly 10 years after mining operations ceased in the 1990s.

Construction for the new course began in 1999, with designs by famed course architect Jerry Matthews. The course was open for play about a year later, on July 1, 2000. Matthews' designs transformed what had once been the central mining quarry into Lake Fisher. Nearly two miles of Chippewa River frontage and two additional small lakes highlight several holes on the course. Bucks Run Golf Club has received numerous accolades since its opening-Golf Digest's Places to Play gave the course 4 ½ out of 5 stars. The course also ranked in the top 50 for service, course condition, and pace of play. We have hosted a variety of Junior Tour events, including the Powerbilt Junior Tour, Callaway/Meijer Junior Tour and PGA Junior Tour events and three United States Amateur qualifiers.

Bucks Run Golf Club is located in Mt. Pleasant, MI making it a perfect location for players from the surrounding cities of Detroit, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and Lansing to meet and compete. When looking for a great golf club, Michigan enthusiasts and non-local players alike are welcome on our turf.

If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Bucks Run Golf Club is one of Jerry Matthew's greatest designs. The course scenery is relaxing and beautiful - winding around Lake Fisher, the Chippewa River, and several natural wetlands. Our greens are fast and healthy, and we pay attention to even the slightest details in maintaining the look and condition of the course.

We also pride ourselves in customer service. You can be guaranteed when you first arrive at our course, you will be greeted by a member of our friendly staff, who will be eager to help you with your clubs and get you ready for your round. Also, our close proximity to the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, and other local hotels, make our course the perfect place to set-up a play and stay weekend.

What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
For the average male player, teeing it up from our White tee box I would say you do not need to hit driver everywhere. This tee box measures out to just over 6,300 yards. While hitting driver is fun and gives you an opportunity to hit a scoring club on your approach shot, I have seen this club work against people. We have a course with lots of trees and water.

Any recent changes to the golf course of note? Or any upcoming changes?
A few years back we added just over 300 yards to the black tee box. This addition was possible by making new tee boxes and renovating older tee boxes. By doing this it gave us the ability to add 2 new split tee options so you can play from a yardage that is best for yourself.

Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
We have received numerous awards at Bucks Run. From Golf Digest to GolfWorld's Peoples Choice award. But what we are most proud of is the product we put out each and every day. From the time of arrival till the time you leave, we have done the necessary steps to ensure you will have a wonderful golfing and dinning experience. This feat is not done by one person but by the entire team. Our team shares the same vision and when that happens, great things happen for our customers.

What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
We do not have a signature hole at Bucks Run. I feel that this is because we have so many memorable holes. If I was to pinpoint one hole it would be #18. Standing on the tee box your sitting about 50 feet above Lake Fisher with the log style clubhouse in the background. From here your choice is how much of the lake are you going to cut off. The more you cut off the lake, the closer you will be on the second shot.

Your work is not done after the tee shot. Depending on the distance you have into the green you may have to lay up short right of the green due to the lake that comes into play about 15 yards in front of the green. Some will layup short and right of the green. If you have the distance to get there, I recommend not bailing out right due to the bunker waiting for you. Lastly, one of our larger greens awaits with some severe contour.

Overall, a fantastic finishing hole not only for course but I would put it up against most others.

What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
My personal favorite hole would be #5. The hole slightly doglegs to the left with a fairway bunker on the right side of the dogleg and trees on the left side. The tee shot requires a player who hits the ball from left to right to typically lay back a little therefore leaving a slightly longer shot into this guarded green. For those that can turn the ball over from right to left, feel free to swing away. When you approach the green there is a grass bunker on the right and a few small bunkers on your left.

Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
The great thing about the Quarry Grill is there is not just one dish that a person should try but multiple options. Starting with our lunch menu, a home run is our Chef Ben's Chicken Sandwich. On this sandwich we have fresh jalapenos, pork belly and pepper jack cheese. Following that option, we have a fantastic Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl with a ton of fresh ingredients that will satisfy your taste buds.

Moving into dinner, a home run every Friday and Saturday is our Prime Rib and Shrimp or Scallop option. We start by smoking the prime rib and finish it off in the kitchen and has been a hit for 15 years. Our culinary team does a superb job with all of our choice steak options, I suggest the herb butter topper to your steak. The menu is catered to every palate and appetite.

As for the drink, I would recommend the McCarthy Manhattan, which is a family recipe from a good friend of our owners.

For the traveling golfer, do you provide lodging if so please share your accommodations or do you partner with any local lodging establishments.
Bucks Run runs a play and stay program that partners with local lodging establishments and golf courses. We have a partnership with 6 lodging providers and 10 golf courses. When booking your play and stay package with Bucks Run, you're spreading the wealth in our community. This is unlike the larger resorts you may visit. Where they own the lodging, golf courses and all amenities you will enjoy during your stay, we all prosper in the Mt. Pleasant area.

Back Tee Stats
Par: 72
Yardage: 6914
Slope: 146
Rating: 73.5

More Information
Bucks Run Golf Club
1559 S. Chippewa Road
Mount Pleasant, Michigan, 48858

Revised: 02/15/2020 - Article Viewed 33,251 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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