Getting In Some Northern Michigan Golf: LochenHeath, Wild Bluff, Mackinaw
This week I got back to play some Northern Michigan golf and to add a few more courses to my “collection.” I recently completed my 200th Michigan Golf Course Review with a review of the Arthur Hills Golf Course at Boyne Highlands. (Read all of GolfBlogger’s Michigan Golf Course Reviews at the link)
This week, I played LochenHeath, near Traverse City; Wild Bluff in Brimley in the Upper Peninsula; and The Mackinaw Golf Club in Mackinaw City.
LochenHeath is a Steve Smyers design built on a former cherry orchard (what else?) on the coast of Grand Traverse Bay. It’s a relatively open design, and quite hilly. A bogey golfer won’t miss a lot of fairways here, but the greens complexes are killer. They are for me reminiscent of a Donald Ross design, with raised greens that slope savagely off to collection areas. Miss a green and you are in a collection area. Putt a little too fast, and you’re in a collection area. Very challenging.
The views are terrific.
Wild Bluff is at the Bay Mills Resort and Casino in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It’s very much a resort course that — aside from the holes with elevation changes — reminds me a bit of a Myrtle Beach or Florida Course. It’s a fun and friendly round.
The Mackinaw Golf Club, which opened in 1997, is a Jerry Matthew design. The topography of the coures is very flat, which is not surprising considering its use at one point as a landing strip for B-25s that were using a nearby island for bombing run practice.
Matthews makes the most of it, however. Field, marsh and woods are combined to create a pleasant Northern Michigan golf experience. Conditions weren’t great, but it has been an unusual summer for weather, and I played on an afternoon after several days of torrential rains.
I’ll have full reviews of all of these Northern Michigan golf courses in the future.