Robert Falconer and his Irish Doodle, Duchess, patrol the grounds of The Loop, Michigan’s reversible golf course. In our minds, this makes him a reversible superintendent. You have questions? We have answers. A reversible golf course is one that can play in two distinct directions. The original reversible is The Old Course at St. Andrews. Scottish golfers customarily played the auld links both counterclockwise and clockwise, depending on the day. In modern times, the counterclockwise routing is the one utilized on a daily basis. The left-hand routing, as many call it, can be played a few days in early April each season. That’s a life goal, if ever there was one.
In 2018, Tom Doak’s Loop opened in Roscommon, Michigan. It joined the original Forest Dunes course at the eponymous resort. Falconer had been the assistant super at the original course for 7 years, and is now the head superintendent of the new course … courses? The Loop Red plays to the right, and is followed by the left-side Black course on alternate days. Golfers typically play from the previous day’s tee deck when reversing, but architect Doak at times needed to advance the teeing grounds a bit, to achieve desired goals. As for the greens, well, sometimes you come at them 180 degrees opposite the other routing, while other instances call for a 90 degree shift. All in all, it’s a unique golfing ground, and is worth a journey north from anywhere you find yourself.
Robert Falconer is just about the only golf course groundsman in the world with this responsibility. His daily routine demands that he not only assess what he sees in front of him, but what is behind (or to the side) as well. We figured that an interview with Robert Falconer was worth its weight in gold. He acquiesced, and here you go. Photos are his, with the exception of our shot of him and reversible dog (Doodle Irish?) Duchess.
Rob Falconer Head golf course superintendent on The Loop. Was an assistant for 7 years on the Forest Dunes course and have worked at Egypt Valley and Lincoln Hills in the past.
2. Forest Dunes opened for play in 2002. Tell us about this well-thought of golf course, designed by Tom Weiskopf (and Jay Morrish?)
F.D. is a wonderful American parkland style course. Has great shot value, and is a lot of fun. Usually use every club in your bag by the end of your round.
I think all of them have the potential to depending on the guest, but if I had to guess I would say Red 12 & Black 4.