RedRock Grille offers guests fine dining and world-class golf
By Don VanderVeen | Photos RedWater Group
Just a short drive —or maybe even a 3-wood — from downtown Grand Rapids, golfers can be granted access to some of the world’s great golf destinations.
Pebble Beach in California? Yes.
Cross the “Big Pond” to the birthplace of golf at St. Andrews in Scotland? For sure.
A Ryder Cup experience at Hazeltine National or Whistling Straits? Certainly.
All are accessible to play at four RedWater Group locations through state-of-the-art PGA technology.
Two different Lakeshore-area country club locations — RedRock Grille at the Macatawa Legends Golf & Country Club in Holland and the newly opened Lake Bluff Grille at Muskegon Country Club — feature four simulators apiece that can be played by one or more for a single hourly rate.
Red’s at Thousand Oaks in Grand Rapids also has four simulators in play, while The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe has five bays for use on those rainy, cold or snowy days.
Through the wonders of technology, golfers are provided access to some of the courses they have only previously dreamed of playing. Or — if they have had the opportunity to travel, stay and play — they can play them again in optimal conditions without being hung out on waiting lists to book tee times, flights and hotel reservations months in advance.
The four simulators at RedRock Grille allow patrons to play some of the world’s most renowned courses, such as Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass and St. Andrews, among others.
“Pebble Beach is one of the most popular courses,” RedWater membership director Tom Holmes said. “People can also play the Old Course at St. Andrews, or Bay Harbor, which is one of Michigan’s finest courses.
“The nice thing about it is that golfers can continue playing throughout the year and during the winter here in Michigan. It is a great way to keep your game sharp.”
Golfers can rent the simulators by the hour and play by themselves, with a partner or with a foursome. A foursome can probably take up to three hours to play 18 holes, if that is desired. Or, they can play nine holes, or customize the simulators to play the same hole over and over.
All one needs to do is bring along some clubs and an appetite for a multifaceted sensory experience of indoor golf, sizzling food and ice-cold drinks. Golf balls with embedded computer chips that enhance the experience are provided on site.
The simulators can be altered for a variety of handicaps, or skill levels. Additional games — such as putt-putt golf or cornhole — also can be set up for reality-like experiences with state-of-the-art technology.
One customized golf experience, for instance, was playing the par-3, No. 17 hole at TPC Sawgrass located in Ponte Vedra, Florida, over and over and over again with computer-aided mulligans and automatic two-putts, and then “traveling” cross country and doing the same thing at the par-3, No. 7 hole at Pebble Beach, which is beautifully nestled overlooking the Pacific Ocean on California’s Monterey Peninsula.
Water is the centerpiece that represents both the beauty and the beast when it comes to playing those two iconic par-3 holes, but the simulators make it easy to stay dry while “retrieving” wayward shots that might end up in the drink.
“It’s easy to find lost balls, and there is no poison ivy in the trees,” said Holmes. “It is definitely suited for all skill levels.”
The golf simulators at RedRock Grille are nicely complemented by great grill food — including steaks and Italian specialties — and stone-fired entrees and appetizers that keep food sizzling hot for stretches of play or practice, thanks to the 500-degree rocks they are served on.
“The combination is great,” said Leanne Stoll, RedWater marketing director. “The simulators are known by the golfers and by the diners, and more and more families are coming through and enjoying the experience.
“The awesome thing about simulators is that you can get a full menu of food from RedRock Grille — which is amazing food — and enjoy swinging the sticks between bites or sips, which makes for a multifaceted dining experience. We sear our food to get it started, and finish cooking it on the rocks at the table.
“It is super flavorful and cooked to the desired temperature of each individual customer. The sizzle on the rocks is so fun.”
The RedRock Grille and its four accompanying golf simulators are accepting reservations from the public.
Costs to rent the golf simulators range from $30 to $35 per hour, per group, depending on the day. Lunchtime, Game Day and senior specials are available.
Reservations for golf can be made in advance and online through LiveGolf Studios at livegolfstudios.com. After that, golfers can be granted tee times on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“You can practice or play a full round of golf, and anywhere from a half an hour to several hours,” Stoll said. “People are having fun using the simulators for happy hour, or even business events.”
The RedWater Group is comprised of multiple venues and businesses that focus on golf, special events, restaurants and fitness. The RedWater collection of restaurants — including RedRock Grille, Lake Bluff Grille, Boatwerks in Holland, The Butler in Saugatuck, Vintage, Cork Wine and Grille and Gravity Taphouse and Grille in Grand Rapids, FireRock Grille in Caledonia, Rush Creek Bistro in Grandville and Red’s at Thousand Oaks in Grand Rapids — feature a corporate chef and separate teams handling food and beverage amenities with an executive chef at each restaurant.
The menus at each restaurant feature house specialties for appetizers, entrees and drinks.
“Each restaurant has its own niche,” Stoll said. “We have a good variety of sandwiches, salads, entrees and steak and chicken dinners.
“We have teams that focus solely on beverages and food offerings. It’s a great experience from both the golf side and the restaurant side.
“The special events is another piece that has been recently added and is a natural fit, because we have a beautiful event menu at each club. We’re all about serving amazing food and providing an outstanding menu of choices for all of our patrons.”
The golf simulators allow patrons to remotely play through, and eat, drink and compete at some of the world’s most famous courses, no matter what the weather is like outside. Rain or shine. Night or day. Even in the middle of a snowstorm.
“It seems to be more popular during the winter, but we’re open year-round, which makes it great for those rainy or hot and muggy days in the summer,” Stoll said.