Pros: Great fun to play, true British Links style course
Cons: Very difficult
The Lakewood Shores resort is a small resort with few amenities in Oscoda, MI which is on Lake Huron about 3 hours north of Detroit. The resort is not fancy but it's worth the trip to play the wonderful Gailes course. There are two other courses at the resort but The Gailes is the cream of the crop. It's also an easily walkable course at a friendly rate.
Kevin Aldridge whose family owns the well known Indianwood Country Club north of Detroit designed this course. He is a huge fan of British links courses and The Gailes is designed to play in this style. It's technically not a true links course as it's not directly on a sea nor built on dunes land but the fairways are firm, you can run shots up to the greens, there is abundant fescue in the rough and the feel is of a windswept linksland course. There are a few nicely designed double greens as well. Aldridge visited the great links courses of the British Isles before building this course.
It's been a few years since I've played it but here is a brief outline of some of the holes:
Number One: A relatively short par 4 with OB to the right. It's a straight hole with a fairly wide fairway. Stay away from the fairway bunker on the right.
Number two: A wonderful medium range par 3 to an elevated green from an elevated tee. The double green is huge requiring an accurate tee shot to fend off a long putt. Stay away from the long grass around the green.
The next 4 holes are all into the prevailing wind and include 2 long par 4's and a long par 3. There is also a small creek that meanders through this part of the course. It's the most difficult stretch of the entire course.
Number Ten: A lovely short par 4 requiring a well placed to tee shot to avoid an approach over the hidden right part of the green.
Number 12. Reminiscent of the Postage Stamp at Troon. Only 117 from the middle tees, if you miss the green, getting up and down will be a chore. Missing short is better than missing right or left. A wonderful little hole.
Number 13: An absolute bear of a hole. 429 from the white, 476 from the blues and 489 from the gold tees. This hole requires a well struck and well placed tee shot. The creek (burn) runs to the left then across the fairway and is in play on the drive. The green is tucked in the back of the property and is guarded by deep bunkers to the right and left.
Number 18: A huge wide fairway narrowed by bunkers on the left and retention pond on the right.The green is massive so note the pin position on your approach.
In summary, The Gailes is one of my favorite courses in Michigan. It's great fun to play, gives you many options on your approach shots and lets you feel like you are in Scotland.