Golf, as in every state, is big business in Michigan. Having so many beautiful panoramic views to choose from, designers have wisely incorporated those vistas into the golf courses. The golf boom of the 1990’s produced beautiful and challenging golf courses all over the country and Michigan is truly blessed with over 1,000 outstanding golf courses all over the state to choose from.
Ratings and rankings for golf courses vary greatly depending upon which golf association you are affiliated with or which golf magazine you are reading. What makes a truly unique and great golf course? The aesthetics of the course are important but undoubtedly they are subjective. Value can also be a factor in determining the best golf course. So to understand any ranking, one must realize that personal choices in the setting, cost, terrain and layouts often play a major role in specialized ranking.
Pure Michigan Golf Vignette
Top 10 List
Complied from the ‘best of’ lists provided from various golf associations and magazines, the following list is not ranked in any particular order.
These golf courses were picked to represent the best of Michigan Golf because they continue to rate high in each of the pros books. So, I’ve highlighted 10 of the most outstanding golf courses in Michigan.
Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club, located in Arcadia, Michigan, features acres of beautiful scenery including 3,100 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline. Listed as a world class links golf course, Arcadia Bluffs strives to fulfill their mission to operate the finest daily fee golfing in the United States
Every aspect of the entire facility is designed to foster enjoyment for all guests no matter the ability of the golfer. The well-planned layout offers the best in golfing. According to Golf Digest, Arcadia Bluffs is one of the Top 10 Public Courses in the United States. Arcadia Bluffs is open to the public from the middle of April until the middle of November, weather permitting and is a daily-fee golf club with no private memberships.
Timberstone Golf Course
Timberstone Golf Course at the Pine Mountain Resort in Iron Mountain, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is listed by Golf Digest as one of the top 24 golf courses in North America. The course itself measures 6,937 yards from the longest tees, featuring 4 sets of tees for varying skill levels.
Timberstone Golf Course is a public golf course, open from May 1st through October 31st, weather dependent. Offering spectacular views, elevation changes and a unique layout, Timberstone is a challenging course for the skilled golfer while staying enjoyable for the average player.
Bay Harbor Golf Club
Golf Week Magazine calls Bay Harbor Golf Club, in Bay Harbor, one of the most picturesque golf sites in the country. Open May through October, the course is open to the public, at least until membership is filled.
The Bay Harbor Golf course was built 12 years ago over a limestone quarry and cement factory. Utilizing the rugged rock formations and shoreline bluffs, Bay Harbor Golf Club offers fantastic golf and spectacular views. The 27-hole course is comprised of three 9-hole courses, each over 3,000 yards of distinctive character sharing the connecting thread of golf.
- The Links – Overlooking Little Traverse Bay, in the tradition of the great seaside courses in Ireland, the Links stretches across rocky coastlines with 140 foot cliffs.
- The Quarry – This unique course features a natural waterfall and stunning stone cliffs with 40 foot gorges.
- The Preserve – The incredible arrangement of the woods, wildflowers and wetlands combine to make this a truly memorable course.
Tullymore Golf Club
Golf World rates Tullymore Golf Resort as the #1 Michigan golf course. Senior writer Brandon Tucker states that Tullymore is ‘the best course in America you’ve never heard of.’
Located in the palm of Michigan, Tullymore is open to the public from mid April to mid October. It features 7,146 yards of golfing pleasure. Set on 800 acres of wooded wetlands, the natural settings enhance the undefined parallel holes.
This championship course surprises you with elevation changes and strategic design elements. It is a challenging 18-hole golf venue. Every hole looks painted to perfection with innovative green complexes.
Eagle Eye Golf
Eagle Eye Golf Club is located in Bath, just north of Lansing and is part of the Hawk Hollow Resort. Eagle Eye is one of four complete golf courses that Hawk Hollow offers. Featuring 7,318 yards of golf, the course is open from the end of April to the beginning of October.
Golf World rates Eagle Eye the 4th in the state of Michigan and 27th for best public course in the country last year. Designed with a rolling links style course, Eagle Eye offers a dramatic game with magnificent shot values on every hole. This is a challenging course and the signature “Island Green’ #17 is simply not to be missed.
Each tee is immaculate as are the fairways, bunkers and the greens. The sweeping landscapes add a touch of beauty to the experience. Catering to excellence, Eagle Eye is a must.
Rated in the top 100 golf courses in America every year since 2005, Black Lake Golf Club is a most enjoyable course to play.
Black Lake Golf Club is located on 300 acres in Onaway, up in the northern country of the Lower Peninsula and is truly one of the finest courses in Michigan.
Each hole is a picture perfect and worth playing again and again. Each time you play the course; you’ll find it reveals something different. Although this is a UAW member’s golf course, it is open to the public from mid-April until the end of October.
While featuring a classic design, Black Lake runs through and around the wetlands in the middle of a Michigan hardwood and pine forest. With the actual lake as the backdrop, the setting is Pure Michigan.
Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club is a small piece of heaven in Clarkston, just north of Detroit. Rolling fairways and complex greens blend together to set Shepherd’s Hollow above the rest. Tall pines and four different types of oak trees line the 27-hole course.
With more than 350 rolling acres, at one of the highest elevations in Oakland County, Shepherd’s hollow resembles a northern Michigan course. The natural wooded setting provides a sense of tranquility.
Rated the 42nd best public golf course by Gold Digest, the layout of the course requires a variety of shots and a good imagination. Shepherd’s Hollow offers a most unique golfing experience. No two holes are alike and all are perfectly set into the environment of the grounds.
Forest Dunes Golf Club was
awarded the #1 Readers’ Choice Award in America in 2009. They have many other
accolades to show what a remarkable golf course they are. Open from May 1st through October,
this course offers a perfected game of golf. Forest Dunes is a semi-private
club until membership rolls are filled.
Nothing is contrived; the natural surroundings lend themselves beautifully to the design of this golf course. The purity of the layouts mixes the sand dunes, pine forests and grasslands to create an oasis in the middle of the Huron National Forest in Roscommon, Michigan.
Much of the front nine is wooded while the back nine plays through dunes. The terrain is unpredictable, keeping the game challenging for the skilled, yet friendly for the beginner.
Greywalls Golf Course is part of the Marquette Golf Club. The course is laid out in the rugged terrain of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. With spectacular panoramic views of Lake Superior, your golfing experience at Greywalls will be unforgettable.
The Course is open to the public from mid-May to mid-October, depending on the weather and is the only 36-hole course in Upper Michigan. GolfWeek has named Greywalls the #2 golf course in Michigan.
The entire course is a natural wonder with dramatic elevation changes and boldly contoured slopes that shape the fairways, utilizing granite rock formations and forest trees. The setting provides the stage that is hard to match in the state, surely a golf destination worth the trip.
The latest golf course at Otsego Club & Resort, Tribute weaves 18-holes of golf over a thousand acres of ski country. Open to the public, May through October Otsego Club & Resort in Gaylord, aims to please. Nestled in the Sturgeon River Valley, the grandeur of the countryside offers stunning vistas.
The course is very playable for all skill levels. Few flat spots and ever changing elevations keep golfers coming back. The undulating greens are spectacularly designed. Golf Digest lists Tribute in the top 10 golf courses in Michigan. The unusual layout is designed perfectly fitting in with surroundings and the scenic holes are meticulously placed and quite challenging.
The Top 10 Golf Courses in Michigan
For More Information on Michigan Golf
I hope you enjoyed your brief visit to Michigan's Top 10 Golf Courses
The Michigan Series
JBGemmete on July 01, 2016:
I have played quite a few courses up North and I would have to say
Arcadia Bluffs and Forest Dunes are two of the most challenging I have played and Beautiful.
Ethan on May 01, 2016:
I mean the first picture*
Ethan on May 01, 2016:
The second black lake picture is Arcadia Bluffs hole 11 not Black Lake.
MattGolf on September 09, 2015:
I would add Little Traverse Bay in place of either Tullymore or Shepard's Hollow. Great List though, played them all! I might also put Elk Ridge on the list!
Robert Loescher from Michigan on July 17, 2013:
Michigan is a great state to live in for Golf and Golf Courses. Thanks for the great list and the beautiful pictures.
jeremy on August 20, 2012:
I have played all of them except Timberstone and Greywalls. They are all fantastic golf courses. You can not go wrong with any of them. Why St. Ives gets no credit anymore now that Tullymore is there is beside me. It is also a must play. Great list though, it is hard to only pick 10. Michigan is blessed by the golf Gods:)))
Joni Douglas (author) on February 05, 2012:
Thanks for stopping by Adam and for you kind words. To answer your question, no, I afraid I have to admit that I have not played all these courses. My game isn't that great. Enjoy yourself, they are great courses.
Adam on January 20, 2012:
Great articles on each course. This will be helpful for me this summer. I have knocked out a few on the list but plan on playing a few more this summer. Just wondered if u have played all these courses?
Joni Douglas (author) on September 26, 2010:
Why thank you expikins. Glad you like it. It isn't hard to show beautiful pictures of beautiful places.
Andrew Buchen from Texas on September 26, 2010:
Fantastic Article. The pictures are great and really show off the beauty of those courses. Nicely put together article.
Joni Douglas (author) on July 01, 2010:
Thanks Robert, you made me smile this morning. My guess is, there are a more than a few Happy Gilmores out there. Thanks for the compliment on my hub!
RobertAllenSavage from Buffalo, WYOMING on July 01, 2010:
yeah and if I wasn't Happy Gilmore I would use this article as a blueprint for fun, unfortunately, I miss the ball more than I hit it, and I need a censor on the course at all times. GREAT ARTICLE!
Joni Douglas (author) on June 29, 2010:
Hello bayoulady, you're welcome to come to Michigan anytime. There is much more to do than golf here.
Thank you for visiting and for your nice words.
bayoulady from Northern Louisiana,USA on June 29, 2010:
Great hub information for golfers, and beautiful pictures as well. IF I was a golfer, I would certainly want to head to Michigan!
Joni Douglas (author) on June 29, 2010:
Thank you Carolina muscle. I'm glad that you dropped by and always appreciate the compliments.
carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on June 28, 2010:
You've really done a nice job with the various courses.
Joni Douglas (author) on June 25, 2010:
Hello Tom. We don't even want to talk scores...lol.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
tom hellert from home on June 25, 2010:
They look cool if only i golfed-I have swung a club and pretended to golf- but my scores were closer to the average temperature in arizona in junenice hub
Joni Douglas (author) on June 24, 2010:
Thank you Sara, we'd love to have you visit.
To tell you the truth, I'm not so good at golf either.
The courses are beautiful and the designers keep getting better at incorporating the natural surroundings into the new course layouts. Thank you for visiting and for your comments. I sure appreciate it.
HARRIS from Phoenix, Ariz on June 24, 2010:
I am really bad at golf and only thing that keeps me golfing is golf cars. Where i see it golf courses are most beautiful natural attraction in any area. The grass is always perfect its not always crowdy. So i just go there to enjoy the sun. Thanks Joni for sharing these places i would surly love to visit them.
Joni Douglas (author) on June 24, 2010:
Thank you Tina, for being my first guest and for writing such a nice comment. We do have a beautiful state and I hope that through this series of hubs highlighting Michigan, I am able to prove that I'm not just boasting.
TinaMarieTad from Michigan on June 24, 2010:
Wow~ Joni...love your Michigan Hubs and I love our beautiful state! Bay Harbor I have seen,only half hour away, and it is gorgeous! I remember the cement factory when it was there..lol.. Thanks for another great Hub!