A Perfect 18 in Pure Michigan

Golfers often think about playing their favorite 18 holes, but those 18 are not necessarily on a single course. James Mason recently played 14 courses in 12 days in Michigan, and designed an 18-hole course from his favorites on the trip.

Harbor Shores

Harbor Shores

After a lot of email exchanges with golf expert Tim Hygh, I was on my way to the Motor City to play 14 courses in 12 days! We could have included some fishing, for there is plenty to be had, or even a spa visit. But for me, a perfect trip includes golf, golf and more golf! I was very happy with that itinerary.


I played links-inspired courses, parkland courses and Heath land courses. Courses where the land was donated from the Dodge family, land that was donated by the Jesuits, courses built over working gas fields and reclaimed wasteland. Every course has a story and many of the people who work there would be happy to tell you the tale of how their course was born.

If you haven’t decided where to go this year on your annual golf trip, then I would strongly recommend you take a look at what Michigan has to offer. If you have already booked your trip, then make this one of your must-play destinations in the future. When you’re sitting at the bar with that well-deserved cold drink in your hand, looking out over the 18th green to the Great Lakes at Arcadia Bluffs, you will be happy you did.

Arcadia Bluffs

Arcadia Bluffs, #11

I have decided to become golf legends Dr. Alister MacKenzie, Harry Colt and Donald Ross for the day; but rather than design 18 holes of golf, here is a composite 18 holes from the courses I played in those two weeks. It was tough to choose the holes I have, and leave out some other great holes.  I could have probably named all the holes at Arcadia Bluffs, Point O’Woods, Ravines and Kingsley, but that would be unfair to some of the other great holes I got to play on this tour.

This is your typical par 72, which includes four par 5s, four par 3s and ten par 4s. If you play from the second tee, the total yardage is 6,599 yards.

  • Hole one: 11th, Arcadia Bluffs, 594 yards, Par 5
  • Hole two: 10th, Hawkshead, 360 yards, Par 4
  • Hole three: 7th, The Orchards, Par 4
  • Hole four: 10th, Point O’Woods, 163 yards, Par 3
  • Hole five: 14th, Ravines, 604 yards, Par 4
  • Hole six: 5th, Sharf, 356 yards, Par 4
  • Hole seven: 1st, Shepherd’s Hollow, 460 yards, par 4
  • Hole eight: 18th, Eagle Eye, 569 yards, Par 5
  • Hole nine: 14th, Cedar River, 144 yards, Par 3
  • Hole ten: 5th, Kingsley, 385 Yards, Par 4
  • Hole eleven: 8th, Harbor Shores, 364 yards, Par 4
  • Hole twelve: 13th, Golden Fox, 343 yards, Par 4
  • Hole thirteen: 9th, Lochenheath, 358 yards, Par 4
  • Hole fourteen: 3rd, The Legend, 412 yards, Par 4
  • Hole fifteen: 2nd, Habor Shores, 142 yards, Par 3
  • Hole sixteen: 7th, Kingsley, 512 Yards, Par 5
  • Hole seventeen: 12th, Arcadia Bluffs, 431 yards, Par 4
  • Hole eighteen: 18th, Point O’Woods, 402 yards, Par 4

Guest Blogger James Mason is a contributing writer for Golf Monthly.

 

  • freddw1

    Im a bit dissapointed that there were no holes listed from Ledge Meadows GC near Grand Ledge. Its a small outfit but a great course that gets better every year. unpretentious where everyone is treated like family!. Its not the fanciest outfit around but one of my very favorite Michigan courses.

  • Larry Roberts

    What? Boyne has 9 championship golf courses designed by Arthur Hills, Donald Ross, etc…including at least 3 of the top ten in MI. Not one hole out of all of these made it? C’mon.

  • http://mifarmmarket.com/ Scotty

    Definitely should have been at least one from Boyne.

  • Miles

    Good to see Shanty Creek on the list. Twice. Cedar River is definitely a top ten Michigan course.

  • Chuck

    No Treetops, Boyne, or Forest Dunes on this course? No Black Lake, Elk Ridge, Red Hawk, ……… could go on for ever. Having played everything but the private courses on this list, I will admit there are some good holes on here. However, I think this list could be a LOT better.

  • John

    Tom Weiskopf has really got it going, Cedar River at Shanty Creek Resort and Forrest Dunes could have been 50% of the list, what great courses. Makes you wonder if he played Forrest Dunes.

  • James Mason

    Lads if you read the copy it says I made up the 18 holes up from the courses I PLAYED.

    Which means I did’t get to play the courses you all mention. Hopefully I will get to play the ones you all mentions next time I come over.