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Longstanding mini golf reopens



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Becky Plunkett and her son, Brian Weger, get the Walk in the Woods mini golf course ready for reopening. Photos by Megan Collier (click for larger version)
May 26, 2010 - A miniature golf course that's been delighting Lake Orion youth for three decades took a couple years of vacation. But starting June 5, it'll be back in action.

The course, Walk in the Woods, was Willow Creek Golf and Sports Center's very first course, built in 1979 by Becky Plunkett and her family. Now, Plunkett and her son, Brian Weger, have whipped the course back into shape for its grand reopening, June 5. Willow Creek is open from 9 a.m. until dusk.

"We had it closed for a few years and we lost a lot of the ash trees so it wasn't safe in there," said Plunkett, noting the course was hit by ash-borer beetles when the insects swept through Michigan.

Plunkett added, "This year we've renovated it and put in new walkways, new decking, new carpet. Some people were disappointed to see this one closed because that's their favorite. It's nicer in the summer, too, because it's cooler in there."

But while Walk in the Woods has been an Orion favorite for 30 years, Plunkett says many people don't know about their other features, like the natural-grass driving range and adjustable softball/baseball batting cages.

She says everyday new customers come in, exclaiming they've always seen the place but never stopped in.

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Dylan Mihacsi, of Lake Orion, looks for a hole-in-one at his cousinís birthday party. (click for larger version)
"People don't know what it's like in here. They don't realize how large it is. What golfers come for is the grass tees. Our guys do a great job of maintaining that and keeping grass growing," said Plunkett, adding, "The nice thing about the [batting] cages is they're newer machines where you can choose softball or baseball, the speed you want to go Ė 40, 50, 60, 70 Ė and it's got an adjustment to bump the pitching height up or down."

Willow Creek also has a PGA golf professional, Jeff Sobczak, who gives lessons.

All in all, Plunkett says Willow Creek, locally and family owned since it was built, is "just a friendly, fun place for family. It's not really pressured, it's a relaxed place."

Willow Creek is located at 3120 S. Lapper Road, just south of Waldon Road on the west side. If you're planning to go swing a club or a bat, be sure to bring cash or a check. Willow Creek does not accept credit cards.

Reporter, Lake Orion Review
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