9 of the Best Golf Destinations for Leaf Peeping in Pure Michigan

Soon, Michigan will transform itself into one of the best fall golf destinations in the country, blending immaculate courses with brilliant fall color. What better time to hit the links than with a view of scarlet, rust, gold and orange?

The Great Lakes state boasts fantastic fall views, and golf destinations, in every region. Read more on a few of our favorites and visit michigan.org/golf for ideas and packages.

1. The Hills Course at Boyne HighlandsHarbor Springs, MI

Boyne Highlands has plenty of options for fall golf, but nothing tops the view from the 13th tee on the Hills course, which is one of the best sights looking out over 40-miles of northern hardwoods. In addition to the immaculate golf scene, the resort offers deluxe hotel rooms, condos, and cottages perfect for a weekend getaway meaning you’ll have more time to play and explore the many acres surrounding the area.

Boyne Falls, Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

2. The Legend at Shanty Creek ResortBellaire, MI

Named one of the top four resort courses in the United States by Golf Magazine readers, this Arnold Palmer-designed beauty was built with all levels of golfers in mind. “If you’re a 12 in Detroit, you shouldn’t be a 20 here,” Arnie stressed. Located at Shanty Creek Resort, this course offers unbeatable views from the 3rd tee and 4th green overlooking beautiful Lake Bellaire. Golf Digest gives The Legend an enviable four-stars, and a trip in the fall allows for more flexible tee times.

3. Greywalls at Marquette Golf ClubMarquette, MI

If you’re aching to see fall colors, make your escape to Greywalls soon. This spectacular course, located high above Lake Superior, offers some of the best fall color and lake views from the 1st and 7th tee boxes and the 9th green. This dramatic course had a banner year in 2005 (the same year it opened!), as it collected several highly acclaimed national awards from publications such as Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, and most recently, Travel + Leisure Golf and Golfweek. With the course being located in Marquette, the fall colors will begin to change during the first week of October.

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

4. Jones Masterpiece at TreetopsGaylord, MI

The Masterpiece course offers several spectacular views that stretch for 40-miles overlooking the Pigeon River Forest. The 6th hole, from which Treetops was named, and the 15th tee, offer great backdrops for tee-shots. With numerous courses in the area receiving national rankings and hotels and resorts offering spectacular packages, Gaylord is known as America’s Summer Golf Mecca – and it only gets better in the fall.

5. Shepherds Hollow Golf ClubClarkston, MI

Located just north of bustling Detroit, this Art Hills course, on its massive rolling land, looks like it could be set in northern Michigan. With 27 tour-caliber holes to challenge you and 350 rolling acres to inspire you, Shepherd’s Hollow golf course is truly a thing of beauty during the autumn season. Designed by Arthur Hills, this course has full practice bunkers, full service locker room with showers, and dining facility.

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

6. Elk Ridge Golf Club – Atlanta, MI

Located just east of Atlanta, Elk Ridge offers stunning views throughout the tree-lined course. The best spots are on the 10th tee with its spectacular view in the distance and along the 16th hole as the fall foliage wraps around the short risk reward par 4. Elk Ridge was selected by Golf Digest as “one of America’s top 75 upscale public courses” and selected as the 2nd best public course opening in 1991

 7. Stone Hedge Courses at Gull LakeAugusta, MI

Located between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, both the north and south Stone Hedge courses at Gull Lake offers a variety of great fall color views. The new Stoatin Brae course also offers several spectacular views. These courses, situated near the coast of Lake Michigan, make for perfect autumn days as crisp fall temperatures keep you feeling refreshed while on the greens.

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

 8. Thoroughbred Golf Club at Double JJ ResortRothbury, MI

This Art Hills designed course meanders in and out of wetland and bog areas with spectacular color spots, such as the 2nd tee, as well as some great sports on the back nine along holes 15 and 18. Here, four sets of forward tees (forward tee at 4,851 yards) allow you to choose the test that best suits your game. This quiet west Michigan region is perfect for a relaxing weekend as you take in the brilliant scenes around you.

9. Pinecroft Golf CourseBenzonia, MI

Pinecroft might not get the attention some of the bigger courses do in the region, but it is a fun golf course with views that rival any place in northern Michigan overlooking Crystal Lake. An 18-hole championship course situated just 30 miles southwest of Traverse City, Pinecroft is nestled in the gently rolling hills perfect for an interesting game of golf.

Check out michigan.org/golf for more ideas, locations and packages.

 Why do you love to play golf? Let us know in the comments!

Play These 5 Pure Michigan Courses from GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 List

For years, Michigan has been considered one of the leading golf destinations in the country and an extremely popular place to design and build golf courses. Most of golf’s major architects – Alister Mackenzie, Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones Sr., Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Fazio, Tom Doak, Rees Jones, Arthur Hills, and Rick Smith – have designed courses in the Great Lakes state.

GOLF Magazine recently recognized five Michigan courses among its “Top 100 You Can Play”.  The biennial list, put together by the magazine’s editors and its panel of golf industry insiders, highlights the top public courses across the United States, as well as the best in each state.  Michigan ranked sixth among the states with courses on the list and was the leader among Midwestern states.

While summer is a popular time to hit the links, there is still time to hit the links in Michigan where the fall season brings more flexible tee times and golf packages.

Learn more about these courses below to inspire you for a day on the links.

1. Forest Dunes

Leading the way for Michigan was Forest Dunes (No. 21), the nationally acclaimed Tom Weiskopf course located in the heart of northern Michigan. At 7,104 yards, this par 72 features five sets of tees to challenge golfers of any level. ‘The Loop’, a Tom Doak-designed reverse course, offers two different routings using the same 18 green complexes. Forest Dunes offers a serene golf experience as the property is surrounded by 400,000 untamed acres of the Huron National Forest, giving golfers a perfect view of popping fall color.

Forest Dunes, designed by Tom Doak, is truly fantastic

Forest Dunes, Photo Courtesy of Brian Walters Photography

2. Arcadia Bluffs

Arcadia Bluffs (No. 36), designed by Rick Smith/Warren Henderson, sits on one of the most spectacular golfing sites in the country on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, with all 18-holes offering views of the lake. This pristine course is a par 72 and is open to the public from mid-April to mid-November each year, offering ideal stay and play packages that allow you to relax and take in the picturesque landscapes as you while working on your game. If you’re looking to play one of Michigan’s most iconic courses, Arcadia Bluffs should top your list.

Arcadia Bluffs, Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

Arcadia Bluffs, Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

 3. Greywalls at Marquette Golf Club

The Marquette Country Club (No. 80) in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, designed by Mike Devries, has been a staple in the U.P. since 1926. The Greywalls course, opened in 2005, is considered a banner course in the area, receiving national awards from Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, and most recently, Travel + Leisure Golf and Golfweek, which honored the layout as one of the best in Michigan.

Greywalls at Marquette Golf Club, Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

Greywalls at Marquette Golf Club, Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

4. Tullymore

Tullymore (No.83), designed by Jim Engh, features a variety of par 5s, short par 4s and unique par 3 holes that flow through wetland and forested areas. Imagine a gracious community nestled among the scenic beauty of one of America’s finest golf courses. Located only one hour from Grand Rapids on the west side of Michigan, Tullymore and sister course St. Ives offer a spectacular golf opportunity for both beginners and experts.

Tullymore is a beautiful course as any in Michigan

Tullymore, Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

 5. Bay Harbor Golf Club

Rounding out the list in Michigan is Bay Harbor Golf Club (No. 87), which is one of the most unique golf courses in the country. Designed by Art Hills, the Links/Quarry features a spectacular combination of holes that skirt the bluffs over-looking Little Traverse Bay, and holes that meander in and out of a rock quarry. This course runs along the coastline of Lake Michigan and presents fun challenges to those who take the greens. While in the area, take advantage of a beer or wine tour to complete a perfect getaway weekend.

Bay Harbor, Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

Bay Harbor, Photo Courtesy of Kevin Frisch

Want to learn more about Michigan’s expansive golf scene? Visit michigan.org/golf!

End the Summer with a Splash at Shanty Creek Resorts

As the dog days of summer blend seamlessly into fall’s color season, the promises of Pure Michigan are abundant in Antrim County, home of Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire. And like all good getaways, a trip to Northern Michigan is balanced nicely when relaxation and recreation co-exist. Here you can accomplish that with boating, biking, and golf, which are plentiful and world-class. 

Read more on three ideal ways to end the summer when visiting Shanty Creek Resorts.

1. Make a splash in the lake

Famous for northern Michigan’s chain of lakes, Antrim County exemplifies Pure Michigan’s #LakeEffect with a seemingly endless set of inland lakes connected by rivers and waterways including Torch Lake, Elk Lake, Lake Bellaire, Intermediate Lake, and more. Here, a long day on the water means boating, fishing, water skiing, or simply splashing on the sandbar—so a little family fun in the sun is equally easy, always nearby, and camera-ready beautiful.

Explore the many waterways near Shanty Creek via boat or kayak

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek Resorts

2. Bicyclists, rejoice!

The roads of Antrim County provide long, rolling climbs and descents while the single tracks within Glacial Hills Pathways offer 32+ miles of exquisitely designed trails. Racers can test their mettle on August 21 as FunPromotions brings its race series to town with the Glacial Hills Challenge. And for those intimidated by the terrain of Antrim County, SCR has a fleet of e-bikes available for rent (electric motor-assisted pedaling!) that make riding a bike even easier.

Take a ride on the Glacial Hills Pathway for an exhilarating biking adventure

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek Resorts

3. Fore!

The four golf courses of Shanty Creek provide options for bucket list golfers and beginners alike. For aficionados, choose from the highly touted Tom Weiskopf masterpiece, Cedar River GC, or The Legend by Arnold Palmer; for beginners and families, play The Summit with its PGA 2.0 initiatives designed to Grow the Game–par three tees and big cups on every hole, plus FootGolf on the back nine. And for those looking for a little something extra, ditch the cart and play the Schuss Mtn course on a GolfBoard.

The golf scene is immaculate at Shanty Creek

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek Resorts

August in Bellaire is not without its share of traditions: the 29th annual Rubber Ducky Festival takes place on Saturday, Aug 20. Then one week later, Aug 26-28, a newer tradition takes flight as Balloons Over Bellaire showcases hot air balloons taking off throughout the weekend from atop Summit Mountain, one of Shanty’s two ski areas.

Check out Balloons over Bellaire for a colorful sight

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek Resorts

There’s still plenty to see and do before the kids head back to school. But if you can’t fit a quick trip in now, don’t forget our majestic fall colors will be in-bloom soon.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting Shanty Creek Resorts? Share with us by commenting below!