Forest Dunes Golf Course

We stayed the night and played Forest Dunes Golf Course this morning, which is ranked #5 in Michigan by Golf Digest for 2017-18. It’s a great course, but after having so much fun on the Loop, we think our expectations may have been too high. After the round, we struggled to think of more than one hole (#9) that was really memorable. The course was similar to a lot of other places in the state, only a lot more expensive. Don’t get me wrong, the course was in excellent condition and I loved putting on their greens, but if we were to go back, we both said we’d rather play the Loop twice so we could play both directions.

Exactly how my round went
Jere teeing off on #9

Nestled on 500 acres of heavily wooded land within the Huron National Forest, Forest Dunes has become one of the country’s most peaceful and exciting golf experiences.

In this pristine setting, British Open Champion Tom Weiskopf designed a parkland-style classic with modern enhancements.

“Forest Dunes replicates classic style and emulates a risk/reward involvement on most every hole,” Weiskopf said. “I consider this golf course to be in the top three which I have ever been involved in the United States.”

Forest Dunes features a number of intriguing challenges including wide open meadows, hardwoods, century-old red and jack pines, rugged native dunes, scruffy sand areas and water features. The front nine at Forest Dunes highlights parkland-style holes meandering through corridors of red and jack pines, with elaborate bunkering and sandy waste areas on the sidelines.

The Loop – Red

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.

Teeing off on a par 3
Putting from way off the green