Dunmaglas Golf Course
Teachers’ Comments: Put it on your must-play list.
Dunmaglas Golf Course
Dunmaglas is a stellar example of the kind of quality golf offered in “up North” Michigan. Unfortunately, it is a bit off the beaten track (though not so much as Forest Dunes) and thus does not get the annual accolades of more accessible resort areas.
With a challenging layout, top notch conditioning and terrific vistas, Dunmaglas should be on every Michigan golfer’s must-play list.
The most striking thing about the course are the elevation changes. The first hole sets the tone. From a high bluff, you must drive over an area of scrub down into a hollow, all the while keeping the ball away from a creek. The second requires a reflecting uphill shot.
Indeed, Dunmaglas has as many elevation changes as you are likely to find in Michigan. Thanks to clever routing (and the generous use of land, these are for the most part downhill shots. That doesn’t really make it much easier, though. Blowing over a green because you misjudged distance is often more disastrous than falling short.
Another striking feature of Dunmaglas is its shift from wood to meadow and back again. Holes one through five are cut through forests, with narrow, tree lined fairways. Hole six starts in a stand of trees, but then opens to a hilltop links style finish with spectacular views of Lake Charlevoix. The links style continues to ten, which then turns back to the forests for the remaining holes.
From the back tees, Dunmaglas is an extraordinarily difficult course: at 6,901 yards, it has a slope of 139 and a rating of 75. From the white tees, it’s a 70/126 coming in at 6,204. Thoughtfully, the designer provided six sets of tees. This means that the course can range from 5,175 to 6,901 yards.
A note: this course is absolutely unwalkable (but I’d like to try).
On the day I visited Dunmaglas in high summer, conditions were terrific. This is a resort level course without the course.
Resort courses come with resort prices. You can play a lot of top quality golf in Michigan for less than $40 a round. At Dunmaglas, peak midweek is $89, and weekend, $99. Wait until after 2 pm, though, and you can play for $55. That’s terrific, because Up North in high summer, it’ll stay light enough to play until at least 9 pm.
More photos follow: