Best Golf Courses - The Awesome Mitten
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Michigan’s Best Golf Courses

2013 marks the 25th Anniversary for the West Michigan Golf Show. If past years are any indication, golf enthusiasts will pack DeVos Place in Downtown Grand Rapids from Friday-Sunday, Feb. 8-10. Golf has become an incredibly popular sport, and The Mitten has a lot to offer golfers from beginners to veterans.

Best Golf Courses - The Awesome Mitten
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Michigan has more 4 and 5 star golf courses than any other state and has also been ranked as the 4th best golf state by Golf Digest. While there are many quality golf courses throughout the state, here are four unique options for you to find what you’re looking for:

Shopping for a Bargain:

The Highlands
2715 Leonard St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

While Michigan has many public golf courses that garner 4 and 5 star ratings, they can be quite pricey. One of my favorite public golf courses to play and practice is a great value. The Highlands in Grand Rapids is a well-kept, challenging course at a reasonable price. Squeeze in a quick nine on Mondays-Fridays for only $15.

Designed by the acclaimed Donald Ross, The Highlands celebrated its centennial in 2008. In its over 100 years of operation, The Highlands has hosted multiple PGA Tour events. You can play the same fairways and greens that Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Ben Hogan, and Byron Nelson have played.

Northern Michigan near Metro Detroit:

Shepherd’s Hollow
9085 Big Lake Rd
Clarkston, MI 48348

While Northern Michigan has arguably the best public golf courses in The Mitten, Shepherd’s Hollow promises the Northern Michigan golfing experience within close proximity of Metro Detroit. With wide fairways surrounded by rows and rows of trees, I imagine you will feel as if you are no longer in Southeast Michigan.

Once rated as the 42nd best public golf course in the country, and designed by University of Michigan Alum Arthur Hills, Shepherd’s Hollow will certainly challenge beginner to veteran golfers. The scenic views, beautiful clubhouse and peaceful tranquility on the fairways are all great reasons to visit a little piece of Northern Michigan in the Metro Detroit Area.

Family Friendly:

Thoroughbred Golf Club
5900 S Water Rd
New Era, MI 49446

The Thoroughbred Golf Club is located at the Double JJ Ranch and is one of the most family friendly golf destinations in Michigan. The Double JJ offers many other activities besides golf such as a family friendly indoor water park, horseback riding, a petting farm, an arcade and rodeos during the summer.

The Thoroughbred Golf Club offers a challenging layout and expansive water hazards. Holes 2 and 18 gave me particular trouble as I attempted to navigate the fairways around large ponds and creeks. Designed by Arthur Hills, who received his bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan, The Thoroughbred Golf Club is truly a Michigan family golf getaway!

Best Golf Courses - The Awesome Mitten
Arcadia Bluffs #15 by Patrick Drickey

The Best The Mitten has to Offer:

Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
14710 Northwood Highway
Arcadia, MI 49613

The best for last. Michigan offers a wide variety of golf course styles, but the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club is unique to the state. Golf Digest recently rated Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club as the 13th best public golf course in the country, no doubt due in part to its resemblance to a seaside links course with rolling hills and wide open course concept.

Built on the bluffs above 3,100 feet of Lake Michigan shorelines, Arcadia Bluffs sits on approximately 245 acres. In addition to breathtaking views above Lake Michigan, Arcadia Bluffs features a Nantucket coastal estate-style clubhouse and lodgings. Founded in 1999, Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club has quickly become one of the best public golf courses in the country.

With so many great golfing options in Michigan, I have invariably left many off of my list. What are some of your favorite golf courses in The Mitten?

Leave your favorites in the comment section for your chance to win 18 holes of golf for two (cart included) at The Thoroughbred Golf Club at the Double JJ Ranch. The Awesome Mitten will choose one winner at random on February 10th, 2013. Thanks to the Double JJ Ranch for graciously donating a great prize.

Renato Delos Reyes, Contributing Writer

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  1. Haven’t played these yet, but planning a trip to Arcadia possibly next May. my current favorite is Bucks Run in Mt. pleasant.

    1. Congratulations Tony! You have won a round of golf for two at the Thoroughbred Golf Club! Contact me for details: renato [at]

      Thanks for commenting!!

  2. I want to play Dumaglaus. Can’t go wrong at Grand Traverse Resort. A favorite is the no longer open, High Pointe outside of Traverse.

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