Today, I played The Loop course at Forest Dunes with my buddy Jere. Hands down the funnest course I’ve ever played.
The Loop is a one of a kind because the 18 greens can be played in two different directions. One day the course is played clockwise, referred to as the Black version, and the next day it reverses as the Red, which is what we played. It switches back and forth every day all season. The course won Golf Digest’s best new public course for 2016. In GD’s rankings for 2017-18 it’s rated as #8 in Michigan.
The Red routing plays counter-clockwise around The Loop, starting to the right of the 18th green and playing toward the red flag in the distance. There are red flags on the front nine and white flags on the back, but if you’re ever unsure of which way to go, keep right except to pass!
The Red is a more traditional design, in the sense that the starting holes give you a bit of time to loosen up. There are a couple of hard holes going out, but the challenge really turns up a notch from the 8th through 11th holes, and the short par-4 12th can produce a six as easily as a 4, for those who get too greedy. The last four holes are a difficult finish.