These 6 public golf courses in Michigan are among the best in the country

These 6 public golf courses in Michigan are among the best in the country

Golfweek, part of the USA TODAY Network, released its rankings of the Top 100 public-access golf courses across the US on Wednesday.

Six Michigan courses made Golfweek’s list, which was comprised by hundreds of golf critics across the country. The critics evaluated the courses on a one-to-10-point scale and the overall ratings from each member were averaged to create the final rankings.

Each course on the list is open to the public, mostly by paying green fees.

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No. 94: Arcadia Bluffs’ South Course, Arcadia

Coming in a six-way tie for the 94th spot was Arcadia Bluffs’ South Course in Arcadia. Golfweek’s members gave the course a rating of 6.53 out of 10.

Approximately 250 miles northwest of Detroit, Arcadia’s South Course was designed by Dana Fry and Jason Straka. With the sights of Lake Michigan in view, the course was established in 2018 as a tribute to the design of older golf courses.

The South Course covers 311 acres and offers a mixture of north, south, east and west facing holes to keep golfers on their toes. The course also features a distinct lack of trees to allow for long-range views, large greens and wide fairways.

No. 85: Eagle Eye, Bath

Located roughly 15 minutes north of East Lansing, Bath’s Eagle Eye golf course landed in a three-way tie for No. 85 in Golfweek’s list with a rating of 6.58.

The course opened in 2003 and was designed by Chris Lutzke. It features railroad ties, pot bunkers and a Sawgrass-inspired par-3 17th-hole with an island green. Lutzke’s design of the course was heavily influenced by Pete Dye, who Lutzke studied the craft under.

Eagle Eye’s other par-3 holes offer other formidable challenges, helping build the course’s tough reputation.

No. 60: Forest Dunes, Roscommon

Located in almost the dead center of the state, Roscommon’s Forest Dunes course entered Golfweek’s list at No. 60 with a 6.73 rating. The course was designed by 1973 British Open champion Tom Weiskopf and added a par-3 course in 2020 later titled “The Bootlegger.”

Forest Dunes is considered one of the best public courses in the country by critics, often listed in top 25 selections by major golf publications. With three different courses to choose from, Forest Dunes offers players plenty of challenges spanning from rugged dunes, tough sandy areas to water features.

Open since 2002, Forest Dunes was ranked No. 4 among Michigan’s best public-access courses in 2021 by Golfweek.

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No. 43: Forest Dunes’ The Loop (Red & Black), Roscommon

Forest Dunes’ The Loop course allowed Roscommon to crack Golfweek’s top 100 rankings again, this time with a three-way tie for the 43rd spot and a rating of 6.92. 

Opening in 2016, The Loop was designed by Tom Doak and offers a reversible golf course. The 18-hole course changes direction based on the day, with the Red Course taking effect on even numbered days and the Black Course on odd numbered days. 

Additionally, The Loop’s greens and bouncy turf are complex enough to test the skills of any golfer. The course was No. 3 among Michigan’s best public-access courses in 2021 by Golfweek.

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No. 34: Greywalls at Marquette Golf Club, Marquette

The first of two Michigan golf course to rank inside Golfweek’s top 50, the Greywalls Golf Course at Marquette Golf Club tied for No. 34 with a rating of 7.07.

The course opened in 2005 and was designed by Mike DeVries. It measures at a total of 6,828 yards and sits beside Lake Superior in northern Michigan. Greywalls takes players through a variety of terrain types, from tumbling fairways to extreme elevation changes.

During its opening year, Greywalls was included in the Top 10 Best New Course listings by all major golf publications. Since then, it has regularly appeared in Golfweek’s top Michigan courses.

No. 26: Arcadia Bluffs’ Bluffs Course, Arcadia

Ranking the best out of any Michigan course was Arcadia Bluffs original course, which came in tied at No. 26 with a rating of 7.24.  

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Whereas Arcadia’s South Course resembles older courses, its Bluffs course capitalizes on its location next to Lake Michigan, offering breathtaking seaside views to players. The course opened in 1999 and was designed by Warren Henderson.

Open to the public seven days a week from April to November each year, the Bluffs course also offers sod-walled bunkers, wind-swept native grasses, wide fairways and spacious greens. It was ranked No. 1 among Michigan’s public courses by Golfweek in 2021. 

Contact Chandler Engelbrecht: Follow him on Twitter @ctengelbrecht.