8 Best Golf Courses in Michigan

8 Best Golf Courses in Michigan (2023 Ranks)

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A big part of guaranteeing you have a great game of golf involves picking a fantastic course – like those they have in Michigan! While it’s true that golfers enjoy different course features and challenges, those features themselves never change, so we’ll look at the best golf courses in Michigan

We’ll look at greens, bunkers, size & par, slope rating, and the nature of their holes to find one that catches your eye! This is an excellent opportunity to find that next course if you’ve been itching for something new and exciting!

Here are the eight best public and private golf courses in Michigan…

1. Arcadia Bluffs (Bluffs), Arcadia

Arcadia Bluffs (Bluffs), Arcadia
Source: golf digest.com

Arcadia Bluffs is a public golf course created by the brilliant minds of Warren Henderson and Rick Smith in 1999. It sits atop the bluffs above the shore of Lake Michigan on 245 acres (99 ha) and drops 225 ft. (69 m) from its peak.

The course mimics coastal Irish links with rolling terrain and beautiful fescues plants that decorate the landscape. 

This course starts you off steadily with the front nine holes but ramps up in difficulty for the remaining nine. It’s somewhat forgiving off the tee, but expect a different courtesy around the green!  

The combination of elevation changes and greens gives this course an ever-changing nature that will have you reaching for all the clubs in your bag. You’ll run into short and long-par 3’s, 4’s and 5’s that will keep you on your toes and offer a lot of replayability that keeps things exciting. 

Here are some facts about Arcadia Bluffs (Bluffs):

  • 7104 yards (6495 m) 
  • A par of 72 
  • 18 holes
  • 132 slope rating
  • Season: 1 April – 14 November

2. Forest Dunes, Roscommon

Forest Dunes, Roscommon
Source: Forest Dunes Golf.com

Forest Dunes is a public golf course designed by Tom Weiskopf and ranks nationally among the top 25 best courses. Cutting through a forest and traversing rolling sand, every hole has a scenic feature that you can appreciate, and they come with unique challenges! 

The par four 12th is particularly interesting; it’s a simple hole with an o open fairway and a dogleg left into a green partially protected by a waterfront – accessible and pleasing! 

This course is almost perfectly manicured from tee to green, with greens rolling nicely good speed, although it’s never punishing. The sand is light and deep enough to get great shots with normal swings.  

The course design provides a diverse range of challenges and opportunities for players. You’ll appreciate the varied use of angles, bunkering, and the option to take on different levels of risk for strategic advantage. You can quickly recover your ball even if your shot execution does not go as intended.  

  • 7412 yards (6777 m) 
  • A par of 72 
  • 18 holes
  • 146 slope rating
  • Season: May – October

3. The Links/Quarry, Bay Harbor

The LinksQuarry, Bay Harbor
Source: golf digest.com

The Links/Quarry is a public golf course designed by Arthur Hills and Stephen Kircher. The two created the course with several exciting holes and blind spots that start in the forest until the par three 9th hole that plays along the bay. 

The course layout offers intrigue thanks to several elevation changes and a pleasant mix of wide-open fairways and some holes that require accurate shots.

The Links nine at Bay Harbor Golf Club starts with a challenging par four that hugs the bay and doglegs right. The par-5 7th hole is a standout and a fan favorite among golfers who appreciate the course’s natural beauty and design.

This course runs along Lake Michigan and offers eye-opening views and lakeside holes for most of the nine. It’s easy to get distracted by the stunning summer homes, but fortunately, the course does not require overly-complicated approaches, and you will frequently need to carry water or marsh to reach the green.  

  • 6845 yards (6495 m) 
  • A par of 70 
  • 18 holes
  • 125 slope rating
  • Season: 5 May – 15 October

4. The Loop (Black), Roscommon

The Loop (Black), Roscommon
Source: forest dunes golf.com

This phenomenal public golf course is thanks to course architects Tom Doak and Eric Iverson. This course is all about bringing your ground game! It consists of tricky fast fairways and greens that can be difficult to hold, especially when the wind picks up.  

The course has no water, and the majority of the landscape is flat, yet the greens will require some practice to get the ball where you want it! 

Most of the forested areas off the wide & open fairways make it easy to find your balls, but be on alert for the fairway bunkers. The native greenery within them and rough contours make them tricky to get leave.

The course has a captivating style that allows players to attempt shots that may not be available on other courses. The course is in excellent condition, with well-maintained greens that roll smoothly. 

Those who prefer a more straightforward course or are not comfortable with a ground game may find less enjoyment in this course due to its firm and fast conditions.

  • 6704 yards (5960 m) 
  • A par of 72 
  • 18 holes
  • 146 slope rating
  • Season: May – October
  • 1991 U.S. Senior Amateur

5. Crystal Downs, Frankfort

Crystal Downs, Frankfort
Source: Golf Pass.com

Crystal Downs is a prestigious private golf course designed by Alister MacKenzie and Perry Maxwell. It’s in immaculate condition with broad and open fairways that are forgiving and feels rewarding, and there is little typical rough. The fairways bled with the heather, which is playable if the lie is good. 

You can expect some of the most amazing green sites, like the boomerang green on hole 7, the hidden 5th green, the multi-tiered 1st green, the crazy 11th green, and the 18th

The greens at this course are breathtaking, with features such as the boomerang-shaped green on hole 7, the multi-tiered 1st green, the distinctive 11th green, the hidden 5th green, and the dramatic 18th green. 

The surroundings of this location are stunning, with views of Crystal Lake and occasional glimpses of Lake Michigan. Additionally, the architecture of the course is captivating and worth taking in at every opportunity.

These are just a few aesthetic examples of the stunning green sites you can expect to see while playing here. There are only a few flat flies, even in the center of the fairways. 

  • 6518 yards (6130 m) 
  • A par of 70
  • 18 holes
  • 138 slope rating
  • Season: May – October

6. True North, Harbor Springs

True North, Harbor Springs
Source: golf digest.com

True North in Harbor Springs is a private course created by Jim Engh in 2004. Its fairways add to immersion thanks to its dense woodland appearance that overlooks the shores nearby Little Traverse Bay. 

This fantastic course offers various forms of enjoyment for every level of golfer, thanks to the elevation changes and strategically-placed holes that each come with a different challenge. 

The course has several exciting features, such as the consecutive par five holes at 7 and 8 (with the latter being rated stroke index 1). Regarding the back nine, the short par four holes at 15 and 18 also stand out. The 18th hole has a split fairway, offering players multiple options for approach shots to the green.

The fairways switch between narrow and wide unexpectedly, and the greens come in various shapes and sizes and roll true. 

  • 7040 yards (6437 m) 
  • A par of 72
  • 18 holes
  • 146 slope rating
  • Season: May – October

7. Kingsley Club, Kingsley

Kingsley Club, Kingsley
Source: Top100 Golf Courses.com

This golf course got its fantastic design from Mike DeVries in 2001. It starts with a bang, a downhill Par-5 with a frighteningly intriguing bunker! 

This great course was constructed with minimal earth movement yet boasts impressive changes in elevation and undulating terrain that contribute to its distinctive character. The bunkering, uniquely shaped greens, and expertly designed routing add to the course’s appeal.

The succinct route takes you through exciting terrain and offers numerous opportunities that create diverse green complexes – expect sublime Par-3 variety and thrilling Par 5’s! When it comes to the greens, they’re smooth and quick but enough that you feel like you have control. 

Many golfers thoroughly enjoy the short Par-3 2nd and the long downhill Par-5 17th – It has some of the most spectacular views from atop the hill! 

You’ll want to play your shots along the grown on windy days, although the course allows for several ways to approach par – though birdies are uncommon!

This course is one of the purest golfing experiences available in Michigan, thanks to DeVries, who sculpted a truly uncanny golf course – even if it doesn’t have water!

  • 6956 yards (6360 m) 
  • A par of 71
  • 18 holes
  • 141 slope rating
  • Season: 15 April – 31 October

8. Oakland Hills (South), Bloomfield Hills

 Oakland Hills (South), Bloomfield Hills
Source: oaklandhillscc.com

Oakland Hills South is an exceptionally unique private course that results from several skilled architects, starting with Donald Ross in 1918 and ending with Gil Hanse in 2015. The course is significantly different from before its latest renovation, now having more accommodating fairway widths, and some willows are no longer present. It also has a fantastic range and practice facility, and the chipping range has the perfect length!

You can expect many captivating holes, like the 11th, which boasts an infamous false front due to its front pin position! The 7th hole can also be tricky, thanks to its diagonal creek and intense bunkering! The greens are more extensive than before, allowing players to have up to 7 pin positions rather than the previous 3 – 4. 

The course is enjoyable due to its beautiful scenery, strategic bunkering, and wide open fairways with fescue grass and pot bunkers. 

The rough is dense, and the greens have significant undulation, with some featuring four tiers. The fast, smooth greens allow for quick shots that roll easily, as there are not many obstacles to stop them.

The Oakland Hills (South) golf course is one of the most prestigious courses out there:

  • 7445 yards (6807 m) 
  • A par of 72
  • 18 holes
  • 145 slope rating
  • Season: March – October 
  • 2004 Ryder Cup
  • 11 USGA championships
  • six U.S. Opens
  • two U.S. Senior Opens
  • two U.S. Amateurs 
  • U.S. Women’s Amateur
  • three PGA Championships

Conclusion: Best Michigan Golf Courses

Conclusion Best Golf Courses In Michigan 
Source: top100 golf courses.com

Michigan is full of spectacular golf courses with aesthetic beauty and challenge-ready greens, bunkers, holes, and environments for any golfer!

If you’re looking for a great public course, consider Arcadia Bluffs in Arcadia, or if you’re looking for something more tailored and prestigious, Oakland Hills (South)  will be a perfect choice!