by Bill Winters
Michigan is a great place to golf, with plenty of courses to choose from. If you're looking for the best public golf courses in Michigan, you've come to the right place. We've put together a list of some of the best public golf courses in the state, so you can get out and tee off! Whether you're a beginner or a pro, there's something for everyone here. So pack your bag and get ready to experience some of the best golfing in Michigan!
If you're looking for a great place to enjoy a round of golf, look no further than Michigan's public golf courses. These top-rated courses offer something for everyone, from beginner to pro. So grab your clubs and head out to one of these amazing golf destinations!
The Seven Lakes Golf Course opened in 1956 and is a public 9-hole course located at 4102 N. Lakewood Blvd. in Holland, MI 49424. For more information about green fees and seasons visit www.sevenlakesgc.com
GPS: Latitude - 42.806743, Longitude - -86.859187
Amenities: The course has a driving range, clubhouse/pro-shop, restrooms, and an outdoor practice green located at the first tee. There are no carts available for rent but pulling one can be a good way to work your arms between shots. Fees: $7 for all players under th age of 18. $13 otherwise
This course was designed by Greg Moore and opened in 1956, so it's nothing too fancy or over the top. The front nine is a little bit more open and larger than the back nine and has some water hazards on half of the hole. The back nine are smaller, have trees lining most side of each fairway. Even though this course doesn't have some of the more interesting layouts, it's good for beginners because only three holes are over 200 yards long.
This course is very well kept even considering how old it is. It has a great driving range with a lot of targets, the pro shop is open almost anytime to fit your needs and it has a restaurant/bar inside that will be sure to fit your cravings. There are a few ponds on the course, one that can come into play if you're not careful. The course also has a great scenery with trees lining every hole and it's a great place for pictures.
This is a fun course to play but it can definitely get boring if you're looking for crazy challenging hills or crazy water hazards, so I would suggest not playing here as your first course. This course is good enough though to spend an entire day on.
The back nine holes don't have too much luck to them but if you're not careful about your footing, the water hazard on the seventh hole will come into play. The course also has quite a few trees lining it so hitting straight shots can be challenging but aside from that, there is nothing special to note.
The first hole is relatively short and open for how the rest of the course play. It also has a water hazard that can be avoided if you're careful.
The second hole is longest on the course, at 266 yards it will require you to get up and down or have very little room for error. The fairway is slanted away from the tee box so aim slightly right to get the best shot.
One of the more challenging holes on the course, the fourth hole has a large tree that blocks most shots coming in from around 270 yards out. If it's not there, you can easily hit your ball to within 20 feet of the flagstick. The fairway is pretty narrow too so take whatever shot you can get and hope for the best.
Another hole with a water hazard and one of the shortest on the course at just 165 yards, it will be nearly impossible to reach this green without hitting it into the water. Use an accurate tee shot or you'll run your ball right into the pond.
Splendid is the only way to describe the Hawk Hollow Golf Club in Bath, MI. The course opened for play in 1994 and is owned and operated by a private club. However, they do offer an annual membership that allows you and your family to experience this masterpiece throughout all four seasons of the year.
Their website states that the course is a "traditional British links-style golf course with rolling terrain, vast fairways and chipping areas surrounded by expansive bunkers with grasses typical of the great tees of Scotland. Hawk Hollow offers plenty of challenges including two par 3's over 200 yards, six par 5's and three par 4's over 400 yards."
The course is on a rolling hills and is well-bunkered, allowing for many interesting tee shots. A few of the signature holes are on this course include #3, which is a long par 3 that puts you in position to make eagle if you hit your tee shot over 250 yards; #5, a short par 4 that has a number of bunkers and water run-off to the right of the fairway; and #8, which is a medium length par 4 that can play as long as 455 yards from the blue tees.
The course also offers two practice putting greens, chipping areas, and driving range.
The Hawk Hollow Golf Club is part of the "Michigan Big Three" group, consisting of Crystal Downs Country Club (Frankenmuth), Treetops Resort (Harbor Springs) and Hawk Hollow Golf Course.
As if this course wasn't enough to make your jaw drop, it also offers two conference rooms that can accommodate up to 100 guests with full catering options, a practice range with target greens and a short-game area that includes 2 putting greens, chipping area and driving range.
Hawk Hollow Golf Club is located at 3915 West Bristol Road in Bath, MI 48808. For more information on the course call (517) 641-1031.
Located on 245 acres with views of Lake Michigan and 3,100 feet of shoreline, they are a true seaside links course. This course is a par 72 (36-36) course that measures 7,404 yards from the championship tees and 6,535 yards from the middle tees. The course is a real test for most players from the championship tees. The forward tees are playable for a total of 5,529 yards. they are a daily-fee golf club that is open to the public 7 days a week from the middle of April to the middle of November each year, weather depending.
It is not necessary to have a private membership, and every aspect of the facility's design is geared toward making guests of all golfing abilities happy. Additionally, guests can take advantage of a full practice range and a separate short-game facility in addition to the premier layout. You can rent GPS-equipped golf cars, or you can take advantage of the caddy program, which is available.
Forest Dunes offers two championship golf courses for serious players to knock off their bucket lists. In the latest edition of Golf Digest, the Tom Weiskopf-designed Forest Dunes course is rated No. 23 in the US among public courses. This par 72 course is 7,104 yards from the tips and has five sets of tees to challenge players of all skill levels. Using the same 18 green complexes on both sides of the course, the Loop is a totally reversible course that offers two distinct itineraries. The Loop, designed by famous architect Tom Doak, alternates daily between the Red Course (which follows a counterclockwise routing) and the White Course (which follows a clockwise routing). Forest Dunes Golf Club provides a tranquil golfing experience due to the fact that the property is bordered by 400,000 acres of undeveloped Huron National Forest. The dunes, wild grasses, hillocks, and knolls on the courses seem to have sprung spontaneously from their natural surroundings, with no apparent strategy for their placement. The Lake Au Sable Lodge, villas, and luxury cottages are some of the options for housing in our area.
Forest Dunes Golf Club, located on 1,300 acres of densely forested property inside the Huron National Forest, has quickly established itself as one of the country's best golf destinations. Taking use of the natural beauty of the site, 1973 Open Champion Tom Weiskopf created one of his best layouts, complete with rocky native dunes, scruffy sand patches, and water features.
The Greywalls course first opened its doors in 2005 after a lot of positive reviews. The whole course, which was designed by Mike DeVries, is a natural marvel and a testimony to the rough grandeur of the Marquette, Michigan region. There is a lot of variation in the environment, but it all flows together nicely: tumbling fairways, aggressively sculpted slopes, dramatic elevation changes, undulating and bunkered links ground, and spectacular panoramic vistas of Lake Superior are all part of the experience. It is a genuinely one-of-a-kind golf experience that has captured the interest of the whole golfing community. GolfWeek ranked it as the second best course in Michigan to play, and it was featured in the Top Ten Best New Course lists of all major golf magazines when it first opened. Greywalls Golf Club should be at the top of your list if you're seeking for a genuinely inspirational and memorable golf experience.
The Loop contains two separate layouts that use the same 18 greens but are played in opposite directions one day (Black routing) then in the same direction the following day (White routing) (Red). Considering the fact that St. Andrews was designed to be played in two separate orientations, the notion isn't entirely new. However, classic holes like as the Road Hole (No. 17) and the par-3 11th were considered "must plays," and the alternative routing was eventually phased away.
What Doak has accomplished with The Loop is to develop two tracks that are as amazing in their own right, utilizing a rare piece of land to the west of Forest Dunes' present circuit. In addition to Forest Dunes' top 25 nationally rated public course, the relatively flat sand-based ground is an ideal setting for this concept, providing owner Lew Thompson with an entirely new and unique golf experience.
With caddy service available, the Loop and its fescue fairways will be accessible only by foot or bicycle. In order to ensure that only Forest Dunes overnight visitors get the chance to play the course during the preview period this year, the total number of daily rounds will be restricted.
The golf courses in the Traverse City area are world-renowned for their quality. LochenHeath is a true original among the many options available in the surrounding area. Since its commencement in 2001, this coastline golf club, located only eight miles from the heart of historic downtown Traverse City, has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both golfers and the golf media. LochenHeath has been knowned to the Golf Digest "Best in State" list for the 2019-2020 season. LochenHeath is nestled within a 300 acre cherry orchard and borders Grand Traverse Bay, providing panoramic views of the bay's deep blue waters and surrounding mountains. It is one of only a handful of courses in Northern Michigan that have been designed in the Scottish links style of golf. This 7,280-yard course features wide-open fairways, rolling terrain, and strategically placed bunkers, all of which combine to provide an invigorating challenge for golfers looking to put their shot-making skills to the test. A Forecaddie and Caddie Program has been implemented at LochenHeath in order to ensure better playing experience.
A growing membership has resulted in the transformation of LochenHeath Golf Club into a private club with a focus on world-class golf, fine dining, and exemplary service, in a luxurious setting. Members come from all over the country, and are divided into three categories: resident, seasonal, and national. Their goal is to restore the Steve Smyers' quality signature bunkers to their former glory. They have also taken the opportunity to ensure that the course plays firm and fast, which is consistent with the overall links style design of the course along the coastline.
LochenHeath Golf Club opened its doors in 2001 and quickly established itself as one of Michigan's premier golf destinations. LochenHeath is a resort community on the beaches of Grand Traverse Bay, about a mile north of the Grand Traverse Resort and Golf Course. LochenHeath is an 18-hole championship golf course with lake vistas on sixteen of the course's holes. It is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Aside from excellent conditions, LochenHeath also has a fantastic restaurant and café, as well as a full service lake view terrace. The award-winning design of this course incorporates breathtaking vistas as part of its overall appeal.
LochenHeath, a one-of-a-kind golf course with outstanding restaurants, provides the ideal setting for a memorable encounter.
It's like a little piece of heaven in the heart of Michigan. Tullymore is ranked 14th in Golf Digest's list of the top 100 best public courses in the United States. Picture yourself living in a gracious community surrounded by the scenic beauty of one of America's greatest golf courses. Consider the possibility that a highly recognized chef is preparing your food at the restaurant. Consider the concept of a day spa complete with all of the amenities. Consider the sensation of being in the North, but so much closer to home. This is the perception of the Villages at Tullymore. The Tullymore villages are less than an hour's drive from Grand Rapids, Michigan's largest city. In addition, it is a short distance from our sister course, St. Ives. The Tullymore course has been ranked No. 83 on Golf Digest's list of "America's Greatest Golf Courses" for 2007-08. The No. 1 New Upscale Public Course in the United States Golf Digest published this article in 2002.
Tullymore's distinctive design has been characterized as having an Art Deco flavor by renowned golf critic Ron Whitten of Golf Digest, who points to the course's exact and parallel zigzag greens and fairways, as well as its aesthetically formed bunkers and symmetrically repeating mounding. During your tour, you will be captivated by more than just the architectural artistry you will see.
With its spectacular setting on the cliffs above Lake Michigan, Bay Harbor's three 9-hole courses, all designed by Arthur Hills, challenge golfers to reach new heights. Each of the Bay Harbor courses has its own unique personality, flowing fluidly over sweeping coastline cliffs, jagged rock formations, natural dunes, and lush woods, among other things.
It doesn't matter whether golfers choose to play The Links and The Quarry (which was named by GolfWeek as one of Michigan's Best Courses to Play), The Quarry and the Preserve, The Preserve and The Links, or Arthur's 27 challenge of; the experience promises to test and reward every player, regardless of skill level or ability.
The Links, which takes its inspiration from the spectacular courses that border Ireland's North Atlantic coastline, is located on the gorgeous Lake Michigan beach, with miles of unbroken vistas up and down the lakefront. With its windblown dunes and towering bluffs, this 9-hole course exemplifies the best of Arthur Hills' design, integrating the course's distinctive terrain with the surrounding environment to realize golf's fullest potential as a sport and as a way of life.
A unique capacity to exploit existing terrain in the building of something different and stunning exemplifies Arthur Hills' ability to create the Quarry. This one-of-a-kind course, which is set inside and around the ruins of a gigantic shale quarry, has some of the most stunning elements in golf, including 40-foot gorges and stone cliffs, natural ponds, and a moderate cascade. In addition to its beautiful surroundings, the Quarry offers golf at its best, rewarding strategic tee shots and approaches that find their targets.
The Preserve, hidden in the hardwood forest along the Lake Michigan coastline, is a member favorite and a nature lover's paradise. The Arthur Hills-designed course winds through a classic northern Michigan landscape, lush grass, wildflowers, and ponds teeming with wildlife. The sound of breaking waves can be heard throughout the course, which ends with a beautiful par 3 on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Golfers will enjoy the ultimate golfing experience at Bay Harbor Golf Club (BHBC), which has 27 holes including the Links, Quarry, & Preserve and stretches along 2.5 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. The LINK has six holes that are directly on the water, and on the last 19 holes, players get a glimpse of Lake Michigan. The QUARRY'S 9-holes were cut from of hardwoods to create the structure.
Golfers in Michigan have plenty of options when it comes to public golf courses. You can find a course that suits your skill level and the time you want to dedicate to playing, as well as finding one close by or far away from home. Check out our list for some tips on where to play this year!
About Bill Winters
Those who have not yet tried the sport just can’t imagine what is driving these golfers to brave the sun’s heat and go around a course bigger than several football fields combined. It seems like an awful lot of work considering that the ball is quite small that is must be hard to hit, the ground of the course is not flat and, most annoying of all, there are sand traps lying around seemingly bent on preventing a player from finishing the course.
The game of golf may seem like an awful lot to take on when one considers that the ball is quite small, must be hard to hit and carry through windy conditions with little chance for error. The ground course has hillsides which make it challenging enough without adding sand traps who seem bent on preventing players from completing their round!