I got into a discussion with some friends about which courses are on my Michigan “bucket list.” I’ve thought about it, and and as it turns out, the entire list consists of tony private clubs. There are lots of other top quality courses in Michigan, but I really don’t have any fear of not being able to play them in the next couple of years. So many of Michigan’s best courses are open to the public. I’ve played Arcadia Bluffs, Tullymore, Forest Dunes, Bay Harbor, Treetops and many others on perennial top ten lists. The private courses are another matter. The reality is that I probably won’t get to play these. I just don’t have country club access—I don’t run in those circles.
That’s what makes it a bucket list … something to really strive and hope for.
So here’s the GolfBlogger’s Michigan golf course bucket list.
1. Crystal Downs, Frankfort, Michigan: A private Alister MacKenzie/Perry Maxwell creation. Absolutely tops on my list. It’s sort of the Pine Valley of Michigan.
2. Oakland Hills South, Bloomfield Township, Michigan: An historic Donald Ross design, known for hosting six US Opens and three PGA Championships.
3. Barton Hills, Ann Arbor, Michigan: Another Donald Ross course.
4. Detroit Golf Club North, Detroit, Michigan: There’s so much history here. Donald Ross, Albert Kahn, Horace Rackham, Horton Smith ….
5. Plum Hollow Country Club, Southfield, Michigan: I hear lots of terrific things about this one.
6. The Kingsley Club, Kingsley, Michigan
7. True North, Harbor Springs, Michigan
Of the remainder, I think I’ve got the best chance of playing Oakland Hills … if I can ever scrape together the cash to buy into one of the many charity golf outings they hold there.
Now, of the ones left on my public access Top Courses in Michigan I’ve Yet To Play list:
Greywalls, Marquette, Michigan
Timberstone, Iron Mountain, Michigan
Pilgrim’s Run, Pierson, Michigan
Elk Ridge, Atlanta, Michigan
Treetops, Rick Smith Signature, Gaylord, Michigan
Thousand Oaks, Grand Rapids
Harbor Shores, Benton Harbor
I’m going to leave both lists at seven. It’s a lucky number.