Arcadia (Bluffs)

For the last 20 years, Michigan’s crown jewel of ”Up North” public golf has been Arcadia Bluffs located on Lake Michigan. The clubhouse has definite Wow Factor perched way on top of the property with great dining offered, porch with lake views, and even upstairs lodging. Even if you don’t golf, locals and tourists enjoy visiting for the big lake views and a nice meal. The place has a definite vibe about it, great service and the course is always a treat to play even at the 200+ rack rate. No matter how many times you experience the course your camera is coming out to snap photos. The course really has some big views from hilltops, canyons and along of course Lake Michigan which makes the course so popular. The greens are big, the fairways are wide on this link style course and there are several big bunkers where sideways is the only way out. The wind is the primary defense of the course. When its up, you are in for a brutal test and you can add as many as 3 clubs to your distances. When its down, the course is very gettable if you brought your approach game with you. Greens are massive and have a decent speed to them. You can hole putts but sometimes lagging for score is not easy to do and Johnny 3 putt shows his face. The highest point of the course is the tee shot on #3 and where golfers get the first taste of the lake on the horizon and what they are in for. #3 is just a great 3 shot par 5 that requires some cross-bunker carry in the fairways and a very precise approach to an elevated green. I always enjoy driving the golf ball from up high and Arcadia Bluffs has plenty of that throughout the course. The short par 4 4th is fun with a fun green sloped back to front and the risk reward strategy on the dogleg Par5 5th take you down to the Lake Michigan before turning back towards the clubhouse. This stretch is second to the Stretch of 10-13 on the back nine which everyone talks about and takes photos of the canyon and lake views. I won’t review every hole but, you will have “fun” playing the variety this course has to offer. There are better courses and routings in Michigan but Arcadia does provide all golfers a classy resort experience and a true destination. The cons to the course is its a 5 hour + round The tee sheet is packed full of all types of golfers taking their sweet time enjoying the course and taking a lot of swings so don’t come expecting anything else unless your 1st tee in the morning ( I recommend). Its pricey and really a once a year type play. Lots of folks play twilight to save on a reduced rate and to hear the bagpipes being played as the sun goes down. The course is generally in great condition but it does get a lot of play and sometimes the divots and greens can reflect it.