15 Beautiful Golf Courses To Play In Michigan

Arcadia Bluffs | © Rachel Kramer/Flickr
Arcadia Bluffs | © Rachel Kramer/Flickr
Photo of Tim Marklew
4 August 2017

Michigan is one of the most famous golf hubs in the US, with a large number of highly-rated and celebrated courses taking advantage of the diverse terrain and topography. While the design and difficulty varies between them, the scenery at all these beautiful Michigan courses is undeniably spectacular.

Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club, Arcadia

Founded in 1999, Arcadia Bluffs is without doubt a world-class public golf course with spectacular scenery to match the first-rate golf experience. On 245 acres overlooking Lake Michigan, it has been compared to British courses, and requires a complete game to master it. Golf Digest has named Arcadia as one of the Top 10 Public Courses you can play in the US.

Arcadia Bluffs | © Rachel Kramer/Flickr

Arcadia Bluffs | © Rachel Kramer/Flickr

Crystal Downs Country Club, Frankfort

The highest-ranked Michigan golf course on Golf Digest‘s list of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses of 2017-18, the private Crystal Downs Country Club in Frankfort was named the 12th best in the country. Designed by British golf-course architect Alister Mackenzie (who also designed Augusta) back in 1929, it features a series of challenging and unconventional but spectacular holes.

Forest Dunes Golf Club, Roscommon

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Located within the Huron National Forest, the public Forest Dunes Golf Club promises “one of the country’s most peaceful and exciting golf experiences”. Being in a forest, the course unsurprisingly features challenges navigating around red and jack pines, but there are also wide meadows, sand dunes and beautiful lakes. It opened in 2002, and was designed by British Open Champion Tom Weiskopf.

South Course at Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills

The private Oakland Hills Country Club dates back to 1916. The South Course, also known as “The Monster”, has played host to 16 major championships, including six U.S. Opens, the 35th Ryder Cup in 2004 and three PGA Championships. The stretch from the seventh hole through the 11th hole is particularly celebrated.

3951 W Maple Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301, USA, +1 248 644 2500

Timberstone, Iron Mountain

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Part of the Pine Mountain Golf & Ski Resort on the border with Wisconsin in the Upper Peninsula, the public Timberstone course has been awarded five stars by Golf Digest on two occasions. The course offers amazing natural beauty and spectacular views, challenging holes that incorporate elevation changes and old sky slopes, and great value.

Tullymore Golf Course, Stanwood

One of two courses at the Tullymore Golf Resort, the public Tullymore Golf Course was named the number one new upscale public course in America by Golf Digest when it opened in 2002. Embracing the raw landscape of the Michigan wilds, Tullymore is a par-72 set in 800 acres of woods, meadows, and wetlands.

Kingsley Club, Kingsley

The private Kingsley Club is located in a remote spot south of Traverse City, and was opened in 2001. It has quickly achieved modern classic status, being included in Golf Digest’s list of America’s Second 100 Greatest Courses. For those who like to prepare thoroughly, there is a detailed course tour with descriptions, photos and maps of every hole.

600 Niblick Trl, Kingsley, MI 49649, USA, +1 231 263 3000

Frosty morning at the Kingsley Club. #golf #frostdelay #northernmichigan #cold

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Eagle Eye Golf Course, Bath

One of several public courses at Lansing’s Hawk Hollow, Eagle Eye was ranked the fifth best course in the nation by Golf Advisor raters in 2017, and it’s been consistently considered among Michigan’s best public courses. Hole 17 is the signature hole, with an “island green” to challenge even the best players.

15500 Chandler Rd, Bath Twp, MI 48808, USA, +1 517 641 4570

Bay Harbor G.C. (Links/Quarry), Bay Harbor

At the public Bay Harbor Golf Club, three very different courses can be combined into one great 18-hole experience. Golf Digest recommends pairing the Links nine with the Quarry nine, a combination it included among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. The Quarry course takes you in and out of a lakefront stone quarry.

Lost Dunes Golf Club, Bridgman

Coming in at 141 on Golf Digest’s list, Lost Dunes is a private 18-hole golf course that opened in 1999. The par-71 course is located in west Michigan not far from the lake, set in the contours of a reclaimed sand quarry. However, unless you join as a member, the opportunities to play it are few and far between.

Greywalls at Marquette Golf Club, Marquette

With two full 18-hole courses, the public Marquette Golf Club is Upper Michigan’s only 36-hole facility. Opened in 1926, its highly rated Greywalls course didn’t open until 2005, but it soon became nationally recognised for its rugged and diverse terrain. Designed by golf course architect Mike DeVries (also the man behind the Kingsley Club), his design fully enhances the impressive setting.

This place is unreal. #yooper @upcelebritygolf

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The Loop At Forest Dunes, Roscommon

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The second public course on our list at Forest Dunes, The Loop is noteworthy in that it can be played in two different orders. The Loop Red course is a more traditional design, with the holes getting more challenging as you go around. However, if you prefer things a little different, The Loop Black course reverses that pattern, starting difficult and gradually getting easier.

The Bear at the Grand Traverse Resort And Spa, Acme

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Another Michigan course on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses is The Bear, named for its designer, golf legend Jack “the Golden Bear” Nicklaus. It’s been ranked as one of the toughest 18 holes in Michigan ever since it opened in 1985, with 12 intimidating water hazards, tiered greens and plenty of moguls.

True North Golf Club, Harbor Springs

In northwest Michigan, the private True North Golf Club has been carved out of the region’s north woods, with many of the fairways flanked by tall and unforgiving trees. The land’s topography does provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape, but a number of ponds and the course’s 7,027-yard length will ensure you can’t enjoy the view too much.

2500 True N Dr, Harbor Springs, MI 49740, USA, +1 231 526 3300

LochenHeath Golf Club, Williamsburg

On the coastline of the Grand Traverse Bay, the private LochenHeath’s Scottish name is reflected in its Scottish links style. Offering both a challenge and beautiful scenery among a former cherry orchard, it’s a great course for testing yourself through a number of tricky holes. Breathtaking views of the Bay will make any bad game worthwhile though. Limited outside play is offered.

7951 Turnberry Cir, Williamsburg, MI 49690, USA, +1 231 938 9800

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