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Plymouth area’s newest golf course, The Cardinal, will be worth the wait

 Plymouth area’s newest golf course, The Cardinal, will be worth the wait

A view of the under-construction The Cardinal championship golf course in Plymouth Township.

Like a work of art nearing its completion, Plymouth Township’s The Cardinal at Saint John’s Resort 18-hole championship-caliber golf course is steadily taking shape on the undulating hills of the sprawling property that unfolds southeast of the Sheldon and Five Mile roads intersection.

Under construction since early-2022, the 7,000-yard (from the back tees) layout is expected to be open fully for public play no later than spring of 2024 — a few months later than the original opening-day forecast of autumn 2023.

But the course — and a complementary seven-hole, family-friendly par-3 layout and 18-hole putting course — promises to be worth the wait.

Designed by renowned golf course architect Raymond Hearn, The Cardinal wraps around the classic former Archdiocese of Detroit seminary building that now serves as an upscale hotel and banquet facility, which — like the golf course — is under renovation.

Hearn’s firm has renovated and restored more than 150 courses throughout the United States over the past two decades. One noted national golf writer described him as: “Part artist, part engineer.”

Nothing but the best

Formerly a 27-hole layout, southeastern Michigan’s newest public course will include state-of-the-art amenities, including a $2 million irrigation system, improved sight lines and new grass and sand,  and expanded ponds.

“The official opening of the course to the public has been moved back to spring of 2024 because we want to make sure everything is perfect,” said Fadi Sibani, director of sales and marketing for Saint John’s Resort. “The plan is to let selected foursomes play the course on a limited basis this coming fall. The official opening has been moved back to the following spring, but we promise it will be worth the wait.”

The Cardinal is steadily taking shape.
The Cardinal is steadily taking shape

The name of the course pays homage to Catholic Cardinal Adam Maida, the former director of the Archdiocese of Detroit, who worked with The Pulte Group, Inc. founder William Pulte to develop the former St. John’s Seminary into a hotel and conference center in 2000. The currently under-renovation (but still open) hotel opened its doors in 2006.

Sibani said everything about the new golf facility will be top shelf.

Warms golf lovers’ hearts

Even though it is clearly still a work in progress, the course is a sight for sore eyes during this current string of cold, gray, mid-January days, with its taking-shape fairways and greens visible due to the unusual absence of snowfall this winter.

Construction vehicles populate the perimeter of the property, waiting for warmer temperatures so the transformation from a nice 27-hole layout into an 18-hole spectacular facility can be completed in the coming months.

Golf lovers should rejoice — and feel a sense of relief — at the property’s transformation, given several courses like the one that formerly graced the land around the majestic former seminary are being developed into residential properties.


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Ed Wright

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