Five Michigan Golf Course are among Golf Magazine’s Top 100 You Can Play:
Forest Dunes (#21)
Arcadia Bluffs (#36)
Bay Harbor (#87)
The latest Top 100 rankings can be found in the September 2016 issue of GOLF Magazine. The biennial list, put together by the magazine’s editors and its panel of golf industry insiders, highlights the top public golf courses across the United States, as well as the best in each state. With its five courses selected, Michigan was the leader among Midwestern states and ranked 6th overall in the nation. The national golf publication also included a list of the Top 20 “Best Courses Near You” in Michigan.
I honestly don’t know how the magazine is able to narrow it all down. All I can do is recognize a group of courses that are “in the conversation” for the best courses in Michigan. There are also a few courses that I think are glaringly missing from that list. Every time I try to nail it down, I get into an endless loop of “but X is just as good as Y.”
Here’s my own list of the best courses in Michigan as of 2015. I haven’t revised it to reflect courses I played in 2016, but I’d have to fit Boyne Highlands’ The Heather on that list somewhere.
“Michigan has long been recognized as one of the premier golf destinations in the country, attracting golfers from all over the U.S. and offering the best summer golf conditions in the nation,” said Dave Lorenz, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Having five courses being recognized in one of the leading consumer golf publications is a testament to the great golf our state has to offer golfers of all skill level.”
Golf Magazine’s Top 20 In Michigan follows. The links are to the GolfBlogger.Com reviews. I obviously have a couple more to play to complete the list.
1. Forest Dunes – Roscommon, MI
2. Arcadia Bluffs – Arcadia, MI
3. Marquette (Greywalls) – Marquette, MI
4. Tullymore – Stanwood, MI
5. Bay Harbor – Petoskey, MI
6. Black Lake Golf Club – Onaway, MI
7. Belvedere – Charlevoix, MI
8. Treetops (Signature) – Gaylord, MI
9. Cedar River at Shanty Creek – Bellaire, MI
10. Eagle Eye at Hawk Hollow – East Lansing, MI
11. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI
12. Lakewood Shores (Gailes) – Oscoda, MI
13. Harbor Shores – Benton Harbor, MI
14. Boyne Highlands (Heather) – Harbor Springs, MI
15. Sweetgrass – Escanaba, MI
16. Black Forest at Wilderness Valley – Gaylord, MI
17. Grand Traverse Resort (The Bear) – Traverse City, MI
18. Shepherds Hollow (2nd-3rd Nines) – Clarkston, MI
19. Legend at Shanty Creek – Bellaire, MI
20. Elk Ridge – Atlanta, MI
Michigan, with its sandy base soil and beautiful glacial topography, has long been an extremely popular place to design and build golf courses. Most of golf’s major architects – Alister Mackenzie, Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones Sr., Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Fazio, Tom Doak, Rees Jones, Arthur Hills, and Rick Smith – have designed courses in the Great Lakes state.