For six months of the year, in between its time as a frozen tundra, Wild Pines is an undistinguished nine-hole course tucked off a country road in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Down the gravel drive, marked only by a small white sign, and past the blue port-o-john, sits a dusty shack of a clubhouse with the words “Pay Here” carved into the wall for those who would like to play the 2,387-yard layout. Play once (please leave $10), twice ($18) or all day ($24).
The greens are small with longer fairway turf often patched together with shorter grass around the hole. Don’t expect perfect lies if you hit the hardscrabble fairways. Worse if you miss them.
This is where Hunter Eichhorn, one of the country's most intriguing college golfers, learned to play the game alongside his grandfather, Steve. The two of them often squeezed in as many holes as they could before the summer sun went down.
Eichhorn’s home course is perfectly symbolic of his golf career. He’s never had a lesson or a swing instructor. Even as his talent developed an...
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