7 Best Golf Courses in the Traverse City Area

Northern Michigan is an excellent place for golf in general, and in the Traverse City area, you’ll find plenty of places to enjoy a round of golf. Of all of them, these are the seven best — each offering something special for the region. You’ll find high-value golf courses, incredibly challenging courses, pristine courses with stunning views, and everything in between.

Arcadia Bluffs

To put it simply, Arcadia Bluffs is renowned — rated the 83rd best golf club in the country by Golf Digest. The club has two courses, each catering to a different style. The Bluffs Course is designed after traditional seaside links golfing and provide the traditional Scottish experience. The South Course caters to an almost forgotten style of golf from an older era. Each course is in top shape and sure to present a fun but challenging time. Anyone who can consistently break 100 will feel at home.

Bay Harbor

Bay Harbor is located in Petoskey, which is about an hour’s drive from Tamarack Lodge. In total, golfers will find 27 different holes right on the shores of Lake Michigan. With large greens and plenty of great views, these courses are ideal for a leisurely round of golf and a few hours enjoying the best of Michigan.

The Bear

The Bear is a course for dedicated golfers. While anyone can appreciate the grounds as a spectator, this course is aptly named for the challenge it provides even the most seasoned golfers. Jack Nicklaus designed the course in 1985, and he wasn’t looking to make a pushover course. This might be the most challenging round of 18 you can find in all of Michigan.  


If you want dramatic scenery from on high, Lochenheath will provide. It’s located on the bluffs that overlook East Bay. As you can imagine, there are plenty of good views to find while playing through this course. The course is crafted in the traditional Scottish links-style, and it is another Michigan course that has appeared in Golf Digest. If taking in the scenery means something to you, this will need to be one of your top picks to play.

Champion Hill

It will take you about 35 minutes to get to Champion Hill from Traverse City. Upon arrival, you’ll find a golfing escape. The course is wide and open, allowing you to enjoy the hilly countryside with good views. It offers a fair challenge, but it won’t prove insurmountable to golfers with a handicap above 20.


When you are looking for a fun and affordable experience, Timberwolf is the course to choose. The club accommodates a wide range of skill levels, and overall, the atmosphere is relaxed and enjoyable. When it comes to getting the most value for what you spend on a round of golf, this will prove a contender.

The Crown

The Crown is one of the closest courses you will find when staying in Traverse City. Just outside of walking distance, it’s a well-rounded course that offers a mix of challenges at a reasonable price. This is one of the most modern courses you will find in the area, and it’s great for visitors who don’t want to be tied to a club membership. Be sure to watch out for that last hole.