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Joe Jordan

Scottish Style Links Course in Michigan or Around the Midwest?

8 posts in this topic

I've been playing for three years now or so. I started playing at a small links course down in Alabama. I've been playing a bunch of muni courses and I've been looking around for a good Links course ( Traditional style not really the American Links style). Does anyone have any favourite courses in or around the state of Michigan which would fall into what I'm looking to play? Any advice would be helpful! Thanks.

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Not sure what you actually want as true Links style courses are extremely rare in the US. However, The Gailes course at Lakewood Shores Resort in Oscoda near Lake Huron is far and away the best course approximating this type in Michigan.

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Originally Posted by MSchott

Not sure what you actually want as true Links style courses are extremely rare in the US. However, The Gailes course at Lakewood Shores Resort in Oscoda near Lake Huron is far and away the best course approximating this type in Michigan.

Thanks for the advice. I'll look into playing a round at the Gailes. For a traditional links course, I'm looking for something with limited to no trees, rolling hills, generally around a lake with holes that play near or over the water. Basically, I guess I want to try something difficult and extremely beautiful. A friend of mine recommended Arcardia Bluffs, are you familiar with the course?

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http://www.michigangolfmagazine.com/features/Landlink.html

You might investigate the courses listed in the above online article.  "The Gailes" and "Arcadia Bluffs" are on opposite sides of the state so you are going to be driving quite a bit if you try to play both.  Arcadia is on everyone's "Top 100" list and you will pay for the privilege of playing there.  It is pretty far from any significant size city so plan in advance on where to stay and how to get there.  For a once in a decade-type experience it is worth the $$.

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+1 for Arcadia Bluffs.

I played this course on Father's Day and it's amazing. Definitely on my list to play again in the future and an 8 hour drive that I would not think twice about doing again. Although, we were on vacation in Traverse City for a week and it was only 1 hour away from the house we stayed in, but it was really nice.

The rates are steep at $180.00 for 18, but you can get a 9 hole twilight deal for around $50.00 and tee off at 6:00 PM. The whole experience is just "money" from the concierge that escorts you to your first tee, GPS with hole-by-hole introduction videos played on the in-cart LCDs, complimentary Callway range balls, ceremonial Scottish bagpiper at opening and closing times, etc.

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Originally Posted by Joe Jordan

Thanks for the advice. I'll look into playing a round at the Gailes. For a traditional links course, I'm looking for something with limited to no trees, rolling hills, generally around a lake with holes that play near or over the water. Basically, I guess I want to try something difficult and extremely beautiful. A friend of mine recommended Arcardia Bluffs, are you familiar with the course?


Please excuse my compulsiveness but a "true links course" is a course that is on a certain type of land, with sandy, firm soil. If you watched the British Open last weekend you know what I mean. The term "firm and fast" applies. The Gailes best represents this type of course as you can sometimes play a ground game, there are pot bunkers and double greens and tradition Links style holes. It's a bit too lush to fully emulate a links course.

Forgetting that, I have not played Arcadia but I've heard that its beautiful and difficult and of course it's on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. You may also want to look at Bay Harbor near Petoskey and nearby, Little Traverse Bay Golf Course.

One more course but not up north is Hawkshead in South Haven south of Holland, MI. Definitely has a links look. Not on the water though.

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Originally Posted by MSchott

Please excuse my compulsiveness but a "true links course" is a course that is on a certain type of land, with sandy, firm soil. If you watched the British Open last weekend you know what I mean. The term "firm and fast" applies. The Gailes best represents this type of course as you can sometimes play a ground game, there are pot bunkers and double greens and tradition Links style holes. It's a bit too lush to fully emulate a links course.

Forgetting that, I have not played Arcadia but I've heard that its beautiful and difficult and of course it's on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. You may also want to look at Bay Harbor near Petoskey and nearby, Little Traverse Bay Golf Course.

One more course but not up north is Hawkshead in South Haven south of Holland, MI. Definitely has a links look. Not on the water though.

I did watch the open last week, it was a wonderful tournament ( nice to see Phil finally win the open). That's the primary reason I would like to play a true links course (not the American definition, which is essentially means wide open fairway and limited trees). I'll check out The Gailes and the others. Arcadia Bluffs looks beautiful.

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Originally Posted by Joe Jordan

I did watch the open last week, it was a wonderful tournament ( nice to see Phil finally win the open). That's the primary reason I would like to play a true links course (not the American definition, which is essentially means wide open fairway and limited trees). I'll check out The Gailes and the others. Arcadia Bluffs looks beautiful.

If you can, definitely play Arcadia Bluffs. The sand that the course sits on is unlike anything I've played on. Though most of northern Michigan is all sand.

I actually had one of my best rounds of the year on that course, considering the difficulty, and shot a 39 on the front and 43 on the back. Several of the Par 3s are sitting up and are typically 170-210 yards with pot bunkers in front. I nearly holed one and caught a few "OH!"s from the group in front of me when they heard/saw my ball hit on.. I believe hole 6 which is 195 yards with a clover shaped, 5 foot bunker in front. If firm, sandy, windy and fast is what you are looking for, you won't be disappointed. Though, they do go overboard with the maintenance. The place was freaking pristine.

If you're sticking around the Traverse City area, check out Shanty Creek - Cedar River designed by Tom Weiskopf as well. Not a links-inspired course, but extremely difficult and very nice.

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