Charlie LeDuff golfs the length of Detroit - New York News

Charlie LeDuff golfs the length of Detroit

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I Heart the D Golf Invitational

FOX 2's Charlie LeDuff takes on an epic challenge of golfing his way from 8 Mile Road to Belle Isle... literally. It's a par 3,168, 18-mile, single hole course. The 46-year-old Pulitzer Prize winning writer carries only four clubs in his bag while facing extraordinary hazards that took years to form. He strokes his way through grassy fields, abandoned houses and crumbling landmarks. The half-way houses on this course are real. On the loop, Charlie interacts with the gallery, capturing the spirit of the people of Detroit. No Mulligans here, you play it as it lies.

Why golf the length of the city?  Play the video to find out, but here are a few clues to offer you a better handicap. Think: Why are we still here? Who still cares? How can we be better? What do people need?  Has anybody asked them?  And - what other city in America allows the room  to take a full swing with a golf club?

If you're curious about the track, expand the photo to see the "I Heart the D Golf Invitational" course map.

A few places to point out:

Charlie tees off at the old Michigan State Fairgrounds. He hacked his way south, going though where the Halloween Party commune "Theater of the Bizarre" used to rage, before it was shut down.

He chops through the rough near Woodward, past the old Dutch Girl Doughnut Shop, then east through the neighborhoods of Robinwood, then 6 Mile and Nevada. He swings through Dequindre and Minnesota. 

He gets a lesson in city golf course etiquette from Deadline Detroit columnist Bill McGraw, who tells Charlie about the 289.6 acre I-94 Industrial Project. This is an area of land that used to be comprised of neighborhoods until the city bought the land to re-purpose it into a place for new industries to build. Instead the area has returned to nature.  

Next, the famous abandoned Packard Plant adds several strokes to Charlie's scorecard.  If Augusta has "Amen Corner," this course offers the 'Wailing Wall' to where industry used to thrive. Charlie spends more time with the gallery in neighborhoods around the plant, and then it's off to Belle Isle to make a putt.

He croquet's the Detroit River on the famous MacArthur Bridge, perhaps less famous than Hogan's, but a lot more people have crossed it. Finally, he sinks his putt at the Belle Isle Golf Club, a 9-hole course which you can still play. For tee times, click here.

For the record, Charlie shot 2,525 in the first ever "I Heart the D Invitational."

Charlie did not have a caddie, but he had one hell of a crew to the play course with:
Photographers Bob Schedlbower, Chris Sherban and Matt Phillips.
Edited by Matt Phillips.

Thanks to
sportscaster Dan "The Man" Miller, on the course reporter Ryan Ermanni and wise-weatherman Rich Luuuuuuterman.


E-mail Charlie: charlie.leduff@foxtv.com and add your comments to the story below.

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