When it comes to golf, Metro Detroit and Southeast Michigan has had a long history in the game with hosting major championships and a PGA Tour event for decades. Classic venues like Oakland Hills, which has hosted six U.S. Opens, three PGA Championships, a Ryder Cup, and two U.S. Amateurs on its famed South Course, as well as Detroit Golf Club, Country Club of Detroit, or Warwick Hills always come to mind.
But, for public golfers and travelers visiting the Motor City who can’t get access to these historic private venues, the area is stock full of great daily fee courses and plenty of options no matter what level of player you are. Below are 10 of the best courses around the Metro Detroit region.
Shepherd’s Hollow, a 27-hole Auburn Hills design located on dramatically rolling and wooded land 40 miles north of Detroit, has grown to become one of Detroit’s top public golf facilities. Built in on a 420-acre parcel of land owned by the Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus – commonly known as the Jesuits – Shepherd’s Hollow features thick spruce and pine trees, oaks, maples, cedars and white pines.
The Orchards Golf Club is the cornerstone of a 525-acre residential and golf community. The golf course, with its classic looks and style of play, is an eighteen-hole championship course, designed by internationally acclaimed golf course architect, Robert Trent Jones Jr. The course features a private club feel featuring 93 bunkers, plenty of trees and wetlands.
Pine Trace Golf Club, designed by Arthur Hills, offers 18 of fun and challenging holes that meanders over 190 acres. The course features a beautiful combination of scenic views, pine trees bordering all its fairways, and 60 acres of natural wetlands throughout the course. An abundance of natural features helps give Pine Trace a Northern Michigan flavor.
Designed by Michigan legend, Jerry Matthews, The Majestic at Lake Walden is 27 unique holes spread out across 1,400 acres of forests, meadows, and wetlands making it one of the more scenic and beautiful courses in southern Michigan. The course is best known for its ferry boat ride across the 150-acre lake to hole No. 10 and its secluded, northern-Michigan type atmosphere.
PGA Tour legend Lanny Wadkins and Detroit developer Mike Bylen designed a challenging and naturally beautiful golf course featuring rolling terrain with a variety of oak, ash, and cherry trees. The facility also includes the one of the largest golf practice facilities. Metro Detroiters and Hour Magazine voted Cherry Creek “Best Public Golf Course” in Detroit.
Northville Hills Golf Club, designed by Arnold Palmer, is one of just two designs by the King in the Metro-Detroit area. The golf course is the centerpiece of a massive housing and business development spread over 926-acres featuring expansive, untouched wetlands, nature areas and its golden brown, knee-high heather grass. Water comes significantly into play on 14 holes.
Blackheath was inspired by the great heathland courses of Scotland. Unlike the Links courses by the sea, heathland courses are built from farmland and lies inland from the sea. A fun test of golf, and not long, the par 71 layout includes strategic bunkering and undulating greens and tall fescue lined fairways that make for a true but fair round of golf.
Twin Lakes Golf Club, designed by Ray Hearn, is a golf course that can be played by all levels. It features some of the widest fairways with very few trees. The links style feel also features massive contoured greens, some as large as 12,000 square feet, will be a fun test with a putter. Scenic wetlands and challenging water hazards will also challenge golfers.
Today’s family-owned 63-hole daily fee golf and banquet facility had its beginnings in 1927 as a private country club. Wilfried Reid, a well-known golf course architect was said to have designed the original 18-hole course then known as the Plymouth Country Club for $50 and a bottle of spirits; a pretty hefty fee during the Prohibition days. The original log cabin clubhouse is still preserved today and offers guests at the Fox Classic clubhouse a peek into its history. Golden Fox opened in 1989 along with an outstanding driving range. Designed by Arthur Hills, the world-class golf-course architect, the Golden Fox immediately impressed golfers with its sporty design. Golf Digest described the Golden Fox as a” design with a Scottish flair, undulating greens and steep bunkers.
Boulder Pointe Golf Club brings together three 9-hole courses, The Peaks, The Dunes and The Bluffs, each with their own distinct feel and challenges. The 27-scenic holes are routed in and around a re-claimed gravel mine with several lakes and features beautiful elevation changes as high as 80-feet.