Forest Dunes

This course may present the best representation of what it means to play “up north” golf in Michigan. The design is varied and interesting, but the course stands out against other inland MI golf properties due to it’s conditioning and presentation. The green’s are firm, fast, and in much better condition than most resort courses. This allows the strategic elements of Weiskopf’s design to shine. It is important to identify the best approach angle into the firm and tiered greens as you cannot expect all of your approach shots to sit down quickly. Slopes matter here and thought is required to navigate this course. While much is made about the two distinct 9’s (the “Forest” front 9 followed by the “Dunes” back), those differences speak more to the surrounding aesthetics of the playing corridors as the course itself presents a congruent challenge. The quality of the entire 18 holes is the main reason why this course stands up so well when compared with other MI golf resort courses. With that being said, there are a few individual holes worth highlighting. The 2nd hole presents a stern test early in the round as this long dogleg left par 4 requires accuracy off the tee. The preferred placement in the fairway depends on the pin location as the back left pin location rewards tee shots that test the tree’s on the right side of the fairway. The 6th hole is the first opportunity to play the type of strategic short par 4 that Weiskopf is famous for as golfers must decide whether to challenge the cross bunkers off the tee in order to avoid a blind second shot. The 8th hole is a brute of a dogleg right par 4 as golfers begin to track back to the wonderful amphitheater surrounding the clubhouse. The approach angle is critical here as shots into a back right pin location are extremely difficult from the right side of the fairway or the fairway bunkers that hug the inside corner of the dogleg. Highlights on the back 9 include the 10th hole, a split-fairway par 4 with a horseshoe green that hugs a lionsmouth bunker. The midlength par 4 13th hole will remind many of Pinehurst as they navigate a short iron approach into a firm turtle-backed green. The par 4 17th is probably the most discussed hole on the course. This well bunkered drivable par 4 presents strategic challenges as you near the end of your round. The 17th comes in the middle of a very strong four hole finish as holes 15-18 are all great and all present varied challenges that can easily swing a tight match. The icing on the cake is the very fun 19th hole, a 100 yard shot to a doughnut green directly in front of the clubhouse and outdoor bar. This is a great place to settle any outstanding bets, potentially in front of a crowd as people enjoy a post-round beverage at the wonderful outdoor bar/restaurant. Forest Dunes is a top notch resort, worthy of it’s increasingly high regard nationally.