Golf DestinationsGolf Tripbest golf courses in Michigan

With 800+ fantastic golf courses, it can be a real challenge to find the next item on your list of courses to play in Michigan. The Great Lake State is home to many of the country’s best public and private courses and if you save this article for future reference, you’re sure to fill your list in no time. 

Golf CourseGree FeesBook Tee Time
The Bluffs Course, Arcadia Bluffs$100-$250Book
The South Course, Arcadia Bluffs$50-$170Book
The Crystal Downs Course$110Book
South Course, Oakland Hills$175Book
Kingsley Club$200Book
The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, Harbor Shores$100-$195Book
The Links/Quarry, Bay Harbor Golf  $99-$199Book
The Quarry/Preserve, Bay Harbor Golf$99-$199Book
Franklin Hills Country Club$135Book
Tullymore Golf Course, Tullymore Golf$55-$175Book
Greywalls Course, Marquette Golf$56Book
Black Lake Golf$55-$85Book
The Jewel Golf Course, The Jewel Golf $105-$185Book
The Bear Course, Grand Traverse Resort$40-$170Book
Riverwood Golf, Riverwood Resort$15-$48Book

1. The Bluffs Course, Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club, Arcadia

The Bluffs Course, Arcadia Bluffs
Credit: Arcadia Bluffs

Access: Open to the public
Site: arcadiabluffs.com
Green fee: $100-$250
Stay-and-play package: There are no ready-to-book stay-and-play packages. However, you can add a round of golf to your booking when you reserve a stay at one of their accommodation options.

Arcadia Bluffs is home to not one, but two world-class golf courses. However, The Bluffs Course takes the number one spot on our list. The Bluffs is a links course that features a gorgeous panoramic view of Lake Michigan. The course was designed by Warren Henderson and it is open every day from April to November. 

However, it isn’t the view that makes this course so legendary. It could be the wind-swept native grasses combined with the spacious greens and sod-wall bunkers. Or perhaps it’s the artfully crafted holes that each provide a unique challenge. Nevertheless, it’s a definite must for your bucket list. 

Arcadia Bluffs features in our list of the best golf resorts in Michigan. Check it out!

2. The South Course, Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club, Arcadia

The South Course, Arcadia Bluffs
Credit: Arcadia Bluffs

Access: Open to the public
Site: arcadiabluffs.com
Green fee: $50-$170
Stay-and-play package: There are no ready-to-book stay-and-play packages. However, you can add a round of golf to your booking when you reserve a stay at one of their accommodation options.

The second course at the popular Arcadia Bluffs is known as The South course. This course was designed to challenge even the most experienced golfer and it does just that! To add to the level of challenge, the entire course is completely unsheltered. It has a significant lack of trees, which leaves you exposed to all of nature’s many elements. 

What’s more, the South Course features rectangular tees with 90° corners and swales and ridges that separate the large greens into different sections. The course is divided into 2 nine-hole loops and you can walk from the first hole to the last, testing out the firm and fast conditioning. 

3. The Crystal Downs Course, Crystal Downs Country Club, Frankfort

The Crystal Downs Course, Crystal Downs Country Club
Credit: Crystal Downs Golf

Access: Private, members-only
Site: crystaldowns.org
Green fee: $110
Stay-and-play package: Crystal Downs Country Club doesn’t offer stay-and-play packages because there are no accommodation options on-site. 

The Crystal Downs Course is a completely unaltered course designed by Alister MacKenzie. The course fully incorporates all aspects of the natural land it is built on, including the hilly terrain, making it both challenging and very enjoyable. The country club is very prestigious, which is why only members are allowed to come and play at the course. 

However, becoming a member is worth it because Golf Magazine has added the course in their list of the Top 100 Courses in the World. This is very impressive, especially if you consider the fact that the course took the #14 spot. Golf Digest also included the course in their Top 100 U.S. Courses list, in which it took the #11 spot.

4. South Course, Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills

Credit: Oakland Golf

Access: Private, members-only
Site: oaklandhillscc.com
Green fee: $175
Stay-and-play package: Oakland Hills Country Club doesn’t have on-site accommodations, which means that they don’t offer any stay-and-play packages.

The South Course at Oakland Hills has a rich golfing history. It was founded by Joseph Mack and Norval Hawkins back in 1916 and it formally opened as a golf course in 1918. Since then, a total of 17 Major Championships have been hosted on the course, including the PGA Championship, U.S Open, and Ryder Cup. 

The list of big names that have walked the Bentgrass fairways is very long, including the likes of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus. The course is frequently referred to as ‘The Monster’ but we won’t tell you why just yet, we’ll leave you to find out for yourself. 

5. Kingsley Club, Kingsley

Credit: Kingsley Golf

Access: Private, members and their guests only
Site: kingsleyclub.com
Green fee: $200
Stay-and-play package: There are no stay-and-play packages available at Kingsley Club because there are no accommodation options on-site. 

Kingsley Club, designed by Michael DeVries, is known as Northern Michigan’s premier golf course. The course takes advantage of the mountainous landforms and it is meant to be played firm and fast. One of the main features of the course is the Scottish and Irish style Fescue grass, which can only be found on two other golf courses in the US. 

6. The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, Harbor Shores Resort, St Joseph

Harbor Shores Resort
Credit: Harbor Shores Resort

Access: Open to the public 
Site: harborshoresresort.com
Green fee: $100-$195
Stay-and-play package: The resort offers midweek stay-and-play packages that can be customized according to your needs. 

The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course was designed by the legend’s design firm, Nicklaus Design. The course features glorious views of Lake Michigan, with groups of holes located in different natural settings. This brings on the feeling of being in brand new locations as you move through the course to the 18th hole. 

The first 6 holes are in the Inland terrain, while the Dunes terrain is home to the next three holes. You’ll find holes 10-13 in the Woodlands terrain, which is as majestic as it sounds. Lastly, holes 14-18 are located in the River terrain, which borders Paw Paw River and Ox Creek. 

7. The Links/Quarry, Bay Harbor Golf Club, Bay Harbor

The Links/Quarry, Bay Harbor Golf Club
Credit: Bay Harbor Golf

Access: Open to the public 
Site: bayharborgolf.com
Green fee: $99-$199
Stay-and-play package: The Inn at Harbor Bay offers an all-inclusive stay-and-play package that includes golf at the three Bay Harbor golf courses. 

With three of Michigan’s greatest golf courses in one place, Bay Harbor makes for the perfect golf trip. The three courses, The Links, The Quarry, and The Preserve can be combined to create the ultimate game. The designer, Arthur Hills, played a large role in the development of the courses, with 27 of the holes sprouting from his designs. 

Regardless of the fact that the best game at Bay Harbor is made by playing 9 holes on two different courses, we have chosen The Links/Quarry combination to be the best of the best. The course sits on the Lake Michigan shore, so you can probably imagine the views. The course is home to some of golf’s most dramatic features, like 40-foot gorges and a gentle waterfall. 

8. The Quarry/Preserve, Bay Harbor Golf Club, Bay Harbor

The Quarry/Preserve, Bay Harbor Golf Club
Credit: Bay Harbor Golf

Access: Open to the public 
Site: bayharborgolf.com
Green fee: $99-$199
Stay-and-play package: The Inn at Harbor Bay offers an all-inclusive stay-and-play package that includes golf at the three Bay Harbor golf courses.

Our second combination choice at Bay Harbor is Quarry/Preserve. The Quarry provides the exceptional views of the shore with dramatic features with hints of a challenge. The Preserve comes in at the right time with its hardwood forest and northern Michigan landscape. Then, just when you think you’ve experienced everything that this combination has to offer, you end the game with a dramatic par-3 on the shoreline.  

9. Franklin Hills Country Club, Franklin

Franklin Hills Country Club
Credit: Franklin Hills Golf

Access: Private, members and their guests only
Site: franklinhills.com
Green fee: $135
Stay-and-play package: There are no stay-and-play packages available at Franklin Hills and they don’t offer on-site lodging.

Franklin Hills’ par 71 course, designed by Donald J. Ross, features a whopping 6,923 yards of pure bliss. The course was opened in 1927, with a course rating of 73.7 and a slope rating of 134. You’d need an invitation from an existing member of the country club if you want to join the club and play this magnificent course, which certainly adds to the prestige. 

10. Tullymore Golf Course, Tullymore Golf Resort, Stanwood

Tullymore Golf Course, Tullymore Golf Resort
Credit: Tullymore Golf Resort

Access: Open to the public
Site: tullymoregolf.com
Green fee: $55-$175
Stay-and-play package: Tullymore offers a fully customizable stay-and-play package that includes golf at their two courses.

Tullymore is home to two world-class courses, known as the Tullymore Golf Club and the St. Ives Golf Club. Both of these par 72 courses have distinct features as they were designed by different people but Tullymore GC is our favorite. The course was designed by Jim Engh and it features a combination of woods, wetlands, and meadows. It also has a total of five par 3 and five par 5 holes.  

11. Greywalls Course, Marquette Golf Club, Marquette

Greywalls Course, Marquette Golf Club
Credit: Golf Greywalls

Access: Open to the public
Site: golfgreywalls.com
Green fee: $56
Stay-and-play package: Marquette offers completely customizable stay-and-play packages in partnership with surrounding local hotels. 

Marquette is home to the Mike DeVries-designed Greywalls Course, which features a magnificent view of Lake Superior. The club is also home to the Heritage course, designed by a trio consisting of William B. Langford, Theodore J. Moreau, and David Gill. Both of these courses are surrounded by Michigan’s gorgeous natural landscape. 

12. Black Lake Golf Club, Onaway

Black Lake Golf Club
Credit: Black Lake Golf

Access: Open to the public
Site: blacklakegolf.com
Green fee: $55-$85
Stay-and-play package: There are two different stay-and-play to choose from when booking at Black Lake Golf Club. 

Black Lake’s Rees Jones-designed course is all-natural, with little to no hint of anything artificial. The course makes use of the natural terrain, incorporating all hills and slopes into each hole. The course is designed to challenge your average player and it features 5+ sets of tee markers on every hole. Plus, the club is also home to The Little Course, which is a short nine-hole course for young players and veterans. 

13. The Jewel Golf Course, The Jewel Golf Club, Lake City

The Jewel Golf Course, The Jewel Golf Club
Credit: Grand Hotel

Access: Open to the public
Site: grandhotel.com
Green fee: $105-$185
Stay-and-play package: There are various stay-and-play packages available.  

Nestled in the heart of Lake City, you’ll find this jewel of a golf course, The Jewel Golf Course. It’s home to two Jerry Matthews-designed 9-hole courses that are played together to make up one legendary 18-hole course. You’ll be surprised to find that horse-drawn carriages will be your transport between the Grand Nine and the Woods Nine. Fancy, right?

14. The Bear Course, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, Acme

The Bear Course, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa
Credit: Grand Traverse Resort

Access: Open to the public
Site: grandtraverseresort.com
Green fee: $40-$170
Stay-and-play package: Grand Traverse Resort offers many packages that can be used to play at The Bear. 

Back in 1985, Jack Nicklaus unleashed the beastly course known as The Bear. According to Golf Digest, the course is one of the toughest in America. As a matter of fact, there are only 17 courses that are considered tougher in the entire country. With its Scottish terraced fairways, deep pot bunkers, deep grassy roughs and rolling lands, you’re sure to find out why it’s known as The Bear. 

15. Riverwood Golf, Riverwood Resort, Mt. Pleasant

Riverwood Golf, Riverwood Resort
Credit: Riverwood Resort

Access: Open to the public
Site: riverwoodresort.com
Green fee: $15-$48
Stay-and-play package: Riverwood Resort offers various all-inclusive stay-and-play packages. 

Riverwood Resort is home to many great facilities, but we’re here to talk about the 18-hole championship course designed by Bruce Mathews III. Riverwood is divided into two 9-hole courses, known as the Red and White courses. The front nine, or the White course, is a par 36 that plays 3,191 yards. The back nine, or the Red course, is a par 36 that plays 3,355 yards. 

Closing Words

Prefer to have everything ready for you? For stay-and-play package options in Michigan, have a look at our list of the best stay-and-play packages in Michigan. We also have a list of recommended golf packages in Northern Michigan. Check them out! 

Michigan is one of the top golf states in the Midwest, but there are other great options as well. Read on our list of the best golf courses in the Midwest to find out.

FAQ

When is the best time to play golf in Michigan?

Michigan experiences some harsh winters, with very cold days. Therefore, you’d struggle to find open golf courses during winter months as they use these months for maintenance purposes. However, if you are willing to endure the cold, you may find a couple of courses that choose to stay open.

This being said the best time for golf in Michigan would be between late spring and late fall. If you schedule your golfing season carefully, you may miss the occasional cold and rainy days. The summer months bring lovely temperatures between 70-80°F (21-26°C) and the days are nice and long. 

What is the golf law in Michigan?

Michigan has a particular law that prohibits golf during certain hours. This includes golf courses, miniature golf courses, practice courses, putting greens, and driving ranges. The law states that these establishments aren’t allowed to operate between 1:00 am and 6:00 am on any given day. 

How many golf courses are there in Michigan?

Michigan is one of the richest US states when it comes to golf courses. The state is home to a total of 873 golf courses, which include more than 650 public courses.

What activity to do if I’m traveling with family members?

If you’re traveling with family members, there are some great mini golf courses in Michigan for fun activities. Check them out!

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