Forest Dunes Golf Club

Forest Dunes Golf Club – Played May 2017

  • Rankings: Golf Magazine #72, Golf Digest Public #23, Golf Magazine Public #33
  • Location: 6376 Forest Dunes Drive, Roscommon, Michigan
  • Year: 2002
  • Architects: Tom Weiskopf
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • I: 7,116 yards, Par 72, 75.2 Rating/146 Slope
  • II: 6,550 yards, Par 72, 72.4 Rating/139 Slope
  • Combo II/III: 6,330 yards, Par 72, 71.3 Rating/135 Slope
  • III: 5,888 yards, Par 72, 69.2 Rating/127 Slope (Men’s), 74.8 Rating/143 Slope (Women’s)
  • IV: 4,993 yards, Par 72, 69.6 Rating/136 Slope

The last stop on my Michigan golf itinerary was the well-respected Forest Dunes.  The drive in was quite interesting.  I had vaguely remembered reading about the way your GPS would take you in and that there was an alternate route.  In my early morning mindset I forgot this information.  Which lead me to this…

About six miles out from the course the paved roads stopped.  The dirt road was solid and very wide and looked like it was set up for logging trucks or something similar.  I kept on going as my tee time was approaching.  A few turns the GPS recommended were a little sketchy and I passed.  Eventually I made it back to paved road and the course.  So let that be a lesson to anyone headed to Forest Dunes, give the shop a call if you want to stay on the asphalt.

I do have some history to share about the course.  The course was built on glacial deposits within the Huron National Forest.  It was originally completed in 1999, but the lenders ended up foreclosing on it before it ever opened.  Two years passed until one of the original investors, The Detroit Carpenters Pension Trust Fund, stepped in to save it.  There was plenty of work to do as the course was overgrown after all that time.  Eventually the restoration was finished and the course opened with 56 members.  It has been described as a combination of Augusta National and Pine Valley.

There are also other activities at the resort along with wonderful accommodations.  I recommend checking out all the details at forestdunesgolf.com.  Let’s get into the tour.

Continue reading “Forest Dunes Golf Club”

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Grand Traverse Resort & Spa (The Bear)

Grand Traverse Resort & Spa (The Bear) – Played May 2017

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #72
  • Location: 100 Grand Traverse Village Boulevard, Acme, Michigan
  • Year: 1984
  • Architect: Jack Nicklaus
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,078 yards, Par 72, 76.1 Rating/150 Slope
  • Blue: 6,601 yards, Par 72, 73.3 Rating/147 Slope
  • Blue/White: 6,347 yards, Par 72, 72.0 Rating/144 Slope
  • White: 6,122 yards, Par 72, 71.1 Rating/139 Slope
  • White/Yellow: 5,688 yards, Par 72, 66.2 Rating/134 Slope
  • Yellow: 5,281 yards, Par 72, 67.0 Rating/128 Slope

This was the sixth round of the trip and it was at this point that I was realizing I needed to get in better shape!  I was feeling it a little bit.  The weather was supposed to be bad, but I was the first one out and played in just about 3 hours to beat it.  Those are the best days!

Alright, a little bit of background.  Per the website the resort  is owned by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.  It opened in 1980 and features almost 600 rooms, suites, and condos.  It has ample meeting space dining options, shopping, and a spa.  I encourage you to check out the website for the resort to check out all the options.

The facility has three golf courses highlighted by The Bear.  It also has a golf academy on site featuring a Dave Pelz Short Game School.  The Bear is an apt name for the course because it is very difficult.  It is ranked on the toughest courses list for a reason.  I got a good chunk of the back nine in a stiff wind.  Believe me, it was no joke.  That is probably why the course hosted the Michigan Open for 28 years as well as a Champions Tour event in 1990. Continue reading “Grand Traverse Resort & Spa (The Bear)”

Black Lake Golf Club

Black Lake Golf Club – Played May 2017

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #69
  • Location: 2800 Maxon Road, Onaway, Michigan
  • Year: 1999
  • Architect: Rees Jones
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Gold: 7,035 yards, Par 72, 74.8 Rating/143 Slope
  • Blue: 6,736 yards, Par 72, 73.4 Rating/140 Slope
  • White: 6,391 yards, Par 72, 71.9 Rating/137 Slope
  • Silver: 5,823 yards, Par 72, 69.0 Rating/126 Slope
  • Green: 5,049 yards, Par 72, 70.2 Rating/131 Slope

I couldn’t find much on this course’s website, but it did make clear that the course is owned by the UAW.  That makes sense since Michigan is the home of American auto manufacturing.  The Black Lake Conference Center is also nearby and I think I accidentally drove up to the gate.  I asked for the golf course and was told I was in the wrong spot.  They were very nice, but I was wondering what they were keeping back there!  It is a little eerie because the site is in the middle of nowhere and it is very quiet.

The course was about an hour from Bay Harbor.  I was able to get out first and I played super fast.  You can’t ask for better than a Top 100 course and no one in front of you. Continue reading “Black Lake Golf Club”

Bay Harbor Golf Club (Links/Quarry)

Bay Harbor Golf Club (Links/Quarry) – Played May 2017

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #65, Golf Magazine Public #49
  • Location: 5800 Coastal Ridge Drive, Petoskey, Michigan
  • Year: 1996
  • Architect: Arthur Hills
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 6,827 yards, Par 72, 73.0 Rating/145 Slope
  • Blue: 6,414 yards, Par 72, 71.2 Rating/141 Slope
  • Gold: 5,936 yards, Par 72, 69.8 Rating/132 Slope
  • White: 5,175 yards, Par 72, 66.2 Rating/119 Slope
  • Red: 4,319 yards, Par 72, 65.1 Rating/116 Slope

Next up on the trip was the course associated with our hotel.  It was a short drive, which was much appreciated from some of the earlier driving.  The facility has 27 holes that all have their own flair, but fit together well.  I was playing the Links/Quarry combination that makes the lists. Continue reading “Bay Harbor Golf Club (Links/Quarry)”

Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club

Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club – Played May 2017

  • Rankings: Golf Digest #57, Golf Digest Public #13, Golf Magazine Public #28
  • Location: 14710 Northwood Highway, Arcadia, Michigan
  • Year: 2000
  • Architects: Warren Henderson & Rick Smith
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Championship: 7,300 yards, Par 72, 75.4 Rating/147 Slope
  • Black: 6,702 yards, Par 72, 72.8 Rating/137 Slope
  • White: 6,244 yards, Par 72, 70.3 Rating/129 Slope
  • Red: 5,107 yards, Par 72, 70.1 Rating/121 Slope

The second round of the trip was highly anticipated for me personally.  I have seen the pictures of this course like many of you.  The setting on the bluffs above Lake Michigan is simply stunning.

Our day certainly didn’t disappoint.  It was chilly, but clear.  On the back nine we were treated to some of the wind that really gives the course its bite.  We were pretty beat by the end of the day, but it was great experience with some truly world class scenery.

The course is built on 240 acres that used to be apple and cherry orchards and wooded areas.  Many of the mounds and native areas were molded during the routing to give it the scale it has today.  Since it opened many of the greens have been modified to help with pace of play.  This would also mark my first encounter with these two architects.  I am always interested to see new course designers.

The course features multiple guest rooms on site as well as cottages.  Once the second course is completed it will be a true destination.  It is remote, but the golf is awesome.  I played the white tees and all yardages reflect that. Continue reading “Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club”

Tullymore Golf Club

Tullymore Golf Club – Played May 2017

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #45, Golf Magazine Public #83
  • Location: 11969 Tullymore Drive, Stanwood, Michigan
  • Year: 2001
  • Architect: Jim Engh
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Silver: 7,250 yards, Par 72, 76.4 Rating/150 Slope
  • Black: 6,547 yards, Par 72, 72.9 Rating/146 Slope
  • Blue: 6,210 yards, Par 72, 71.2 Rating/141 Slope
  • Blue/White: 5,897 yards, Par 72, 69.6 Rating/136 Slope
  • White: 5,550 yards, Par 72, 67.9 Rating/127 Slope
  • White/Gold: 5,168 yards, Par 72, 66.6 Rating/120 Slope
  • Gold: 4,668 yards, Par 72, 68.2 Rating/120 Slope

This course represents a duo of firsts for me.  It is the first course I have played in Michigan and the first Jim Engh course I’ve encountered.  I can say that after playing it the introduction to Michigan golf was a good one.  I found my first Engh course to be quirky, but ultimately playable.  It’s always good to see a new perspective of architecture.

Tullymore is part of a resort with accommodations ranging from hotels, condos, and cottages to rental homes.  It also has a sister course called St. Ives.  I didn’t have time to play this one so I can’t comment on it.

That is all I really found on the history of the course so let’s get into it.  I played with a good friend from the area and the wife riding along taking pictures.  The weather was perfect and I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Continue reading “Tullymore Golf Club”

The Highland Course at Primland

The Highland Course at Primland – Played November 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #21, Golf Magazine Public #36
  • Location: 2000 Busted Rock Road, Meadows of Dan, Virginia
  • Year: 2006
  • Architect: Martin Ebert & Donald Steel
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,053 yards, Par 72, 75.1 Rating/150 Slope
  • Black/Red: 6,771 yards, Par 72, 73.9 Rating/147 Slope
  • Red: 6,450 yards, Par 72, 72.5 Rating/143 Slope
  • Blue: 6,002 yards, Par 72, 70.7 Rating/139 Slope (Men’s), 75.7 Rating/142 Slope (Women’s)
  • Green: 5,140 yards, Par 72, 70.9 Rating/131 Slope

I needed something to do on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I thought the best use of my time was to play a Top 100 golf course!  Can you blame me?  So I hopped in the car and made the trip up to Primland.  Check out the scorecard below. Continue reading “The Highland Course at Primland”