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Michigan State University's Forest Akers Golf Courses offers two 18-hole championship layouts, a state of the art practice facility referred to as the Golf Center, two full-service Golf shops, and a full compliment of services.
Forest Akers Golf Courses are recognized as two of the best public golf courses in Michigan.
Located on the picturesque campus of Michigan State University, Forest Akers West Golf Course is one of the premier golf courses in the region and ranks as one of the best collegiate facilities in the country. With its unique setting as an arboretum and challenging layout, the West Course earned a four-star rating from Golf Digest in 1999. In addition, The Detroit News selected Forest Akers as the No. 6 spot in the rankings of public golf courses in the state of Michigan and the past two years, the Lansing State Journal selected it as the "Best of the Best."
The land for the par-72 (36-36) course was donated by Michigan State alumnus Forest Akers of Detroit, with the provision that the course also serves as an arboretum. Most of Michigan's native trees and a wide variety of shrubs are grown throughout the course and are arranged to create a unique setting for the game of golf. Forest Akers may be the only course in the country recognized as an arboretum. Grand Rapids architect W. Bruce Matthews designed the original layout for Forest Akers West Course. The course underwent a $1-million renovation in 1992 by former Spartan golfer Arthur Hills of Arthur Hills and Associates.
Forest Akers West has hosted the 1998 and 2008 Big Ten Men's Golf Championship, the 2002 NCAA Women's Central Regional, the 1994 NCAA Women's East Regional, and the 1997 and 2007 Women's Big Ten Championships. As home to the annual Bruce Fossum/Spartan Invitational in the spring and the Mary Fossum Invitational in the fall, Forest Akers West provides a first-class environment for college golf. Owned and operated solely by Michigan State University, Forest Akers West and its sister course, Forest Akers East, offer the finest facilities for the collegiate golfer.
The East Course was redesigned in 1997 in changing from par 71 to par 72. Numerous trees and bunkers were also added. The most extensive improvement was the addition of the new Golf Center.
The Michigan State men's and women's cross country teams host the annual Spartan Invitational every September on the East Course.
The MSU Golf Center, located at Forest Akers East Course, is mid-Michigan's premier golf practice facility. The $1.2 million state-of-the-art facility opened in May 1997 to rave reviews and steady crowds.
The center includes a three-acre bent grass practice tee, a separate teaching tee, practice bunkers, target greens and a 20,000-square-foot putting green.
MSU's Golf Center, combined with Forest Akers East and West Courses, offer dynamic and diversified golf instruction for all ability levels. The facility also features color-coded yardage markers indicating the distance from your tee to each of the six target greens on the range.
The center is a great benefit for the Spartan men's and women's golf teams, and serves as a major attraction in recruiting top high school golfers to the MSU program. Perhaps the nation's premier collegiate golf practice facility, there is also a tee area set aside exclusively for the use of the Spartan men's and women's golf teams.
"No one in the Big Ten, and maybe no school in the country, has a facility like ours now," Forest Akers course manager Ken Horvath said. "The short game area adds a great deal to our varsity programs. This is a big asset to the program, and to the community."
The facility was rated as one of the top 10 new ranges in 1997 and among the top 100 in the nation.