Crystal Mountain Resort - Mountain Ridge: #16Mountain Ridge Course at Crystal Mountain Resort

Mountain Ridge Course at Crystal Mountain Resort
12500 Crystal Mountain Dr
Thompsonville, Michigan 49683
Benzie County

Phone(s): (844) 254-0011, (231) 378-2911
Fax: (231) 378-4757

Crystal Mountain is one of northern Michigan's premier golfing destinations, offering two scenic championship golf courses that play across wooded hills. The Mountain Ridge and Betsie Valley Courses share the same scenic landscape but they offer two completely unique layouts. Mountain Ridge was carefully carved from densely forested highlands that climb to a peak of 200 feet. The challenging design incorporates tree-lined fairways and expansive waste bunkers. The 13th is the most difficult hole on the golf course and it is also the longest par 4. A narrow driving area is framed with a bunker to the left and a large beech tree on the right but then golfers are also faced with a challenging green that is protected by a bunker on the left and falls off to the right. Although it is a formidable test, four sets of tees make it more approachable.

Mountain Ridge Course at Crystal Mountain Resort
4 stars out of 5 (based on 3 reviews)
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Aerial view of the 16th green at Mountain Ridge - Crystal Mountain Resort.Aerial view from Crystal Mountain Resort.View from the 15th fairway at Mountain Ridge - Crystal Mountain Resort.View from the 5th green at Mountain Ridge - Crystal Mountain Resort.

Golf course details

  • Holes: 18
  • Designed by: Bill Newcomb
  • Public/Private: Resort
  • Year opened: 1998
  • Golf Season: Open: 4/15 Closed: 10/15
  • Guest Policy: Open
  • Tee times welcomed: Yes
  • Fairways: Blue Grass
  • Greens: Bent Grass


  • Pro in house: Yes
  • Driving range: Yes
  • Rental clubs: Yes
  • Rental carts: Yes - included in green fees

Green fees price ranges

Course policies

  • Metal spikes allowed: No
  • Dress code: Appropriate golf attire
  • Credit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Discover Welcomed

Length, slope and rating for each tee

Tee Par Yardage Slope Rating
Back 72 6258 129 69.8
Forward 72 4956 123 69.4
Member 72 5700 122 67.6
Championship 72 7007 135 73.5

Reader Ratings / Reviews

  • Mountain Ridge Course at Crystal Mountain Resort
    4.5 stars out of 5
    by The Golfin' Guy
    on January 11th, 2024 09:30
    Depending on your perspective – or favorite season – Crystal Mountain is either a ski resort with 59
    well-groomed downhill runs or a golf resort with 36 holes of championship golf. Yet, regardless of the
    season, it’s one of Northern Michigan’s best resorts.

    Crystal Mountain has the most unique history of any resort I have ever written about. It began as a
    school project when a geography teacher at Benzonia High School tasked his students to find the best
    place in Benzie County, MI to start a ski area. After much research and debate the class determined the
    Buck Hills Range offered the best combination of terrain and snowfall.

    The Buck Hills Ski Area became a reality in 1956 with a rope tow powered by an old pick-up truck engine
    and a warming hut built with donated lumber. In 1960, Buck Hills became Crystal Mountain Resort when
    it was purchased by a group of 96 shareholders, many of whom had homes nearby. The new owners
    made many substantial upgrades including a new lodge with dining and 21 rooms for overnight guests.

    By 1966, ownership had dwindled to a small handful of owners who realized that the best way for the
    resort to be profitable was to make it a year-round destination. Fast forward to 1981 and sole ownership
    of Crystal Mountain came down to the flip of a coin between George Petritz and Robert Meyer. Crystal
    Mountain has been owned by the Petritz family ever since.

    Golf entered the equation at Crystal Mountain in 1977 with the opening of the Betsie Valley golf course.
    Mountain Ridge followed in 1995. Both Betsie Valley and Mountain Ridge have received the prestigious
    4-star rating from Golf Digest Magazine and are members of America's Summer Golf Capital, a collection of resort properties that feature 26 golf courses across northern Michigan. Both courses play out of the same clubhouse, which features a well-stocked pro shop, The Thistle restaurant and bar, and an outdoor patio complete with a bar, grill, and often times live music.

    Before your round, be sure to visit Crystal Mountain’s 10-acre learning center and practice facility. You’ll
    find a targeted grass range, along with a short game area featuring chipping and putting greens
    complete with sand bunkers for practicing. Everything you need for a quick tune-up before heading to
    the first tee! The Learning Center is also home to Crystal Mountain Golf School, which has been
    recognized as one of the best golf schools by Golf Digest. They feature a variety of single or multi-day
    lesson options including private, group, women-only, and juniors.

    The Mountain Ridge course was carved from the mountainside, so it offers both a challenge and some
    terrific views. The golf course covers a range of elevation changes from subtle to spectacular; in all,
    you’ll ascend over 200’ during your round. Mountain Ridge is situated among huge Northern Michigan
    pine trees that frame many of the fairways and greens. Water is a predominant factor on the first four
    holes, guarding the left side of both #1 and #2 greens, and then off the tee on Numbers 3 and 4. You
    won’t see the wet stuff again until the 9th hole. After that, you only see it on Numbers 10 and 12.
    Bunkers and sandy waste areas are more prevalent on Mountain Ridge than on Betsie Valley and usually
    factor into play. This course emphasizes brains over brawn, and having a sound strategy for each hole is

    Like its sister course, Betsie Valley, Mountain Ridge is very playable and offers the same four sets of tees and combo yardage with distances ranging from 6,973 to 5,018 yards. I found the White Tees again to be a fitting challenge.

    With a course this beautiful there are many memorable holes but what I remember most are the par 3s;
    they were scenic, challenging, and fun to play. The second hole plays 143 yards, slightly downhill into an
    hourglass-shaped green with bunkers on either side as well as water on the left. The green is deeper
    than it is wide, so distance control is important.

    The 183-yard, 5th hole plays slightly downhill and sometimes one club less than usual. With one
    large bunker front left and three more surrounding the back of the green, playing to the front right
    portion may not be a bad idea, regardless of where the pin is. Be sure to take in the views before you
    tee off.

    Number 12 may be the toughest of these four. It plays 177 yards and the deep-faced grass bunker in
    front of the green gives it the feeling of a much shorter hole. Don’t be fooled though; as you will want to
    hit one extra club to carry your ball onto the green avoiding the grass bunker in front. Anything hit short
    right will likely find the waste area or bunker.

    Mountain Ridge hole number 17 is the course’s signature par three, playing 169 yards straight downhill.
    The green slopes front to back, which makes it harder to stop the ball on the putting surface.

    When it comes to accommodations, Crystal Mountain has the widest variety of any golf or ski
    resort—everything from hotel-style rooms that sleep two or four guests to mountainside homes that
    sleep up to 14. There are bungalows and cottages to choose from; all are equipped with everything
    you’ll need during your visit and, if you need something, just ask. They have the politest staff I have ever
    met. Visit the website for a complete rundown of everything they offer, including a long list of
    houseguest perks.

    Crystal Mountain offers several dining alternatives from pizza and subs at Betsie River Pizza to casual
    fine dining at The Thistle. As its name implies, this Scottish-themed venue has something for everyone.
    It’s best described as come-as-you-are fine dining. The menu is eclectic with everything from burgers
    and fries to Cornish hen and rack of lamb. Breakfast is served daily at the Wild Tomato with just about
    any breakfast food you can think of. They also serve lunch and dinner. During the winter, Wild Tomato
    adds several “igloos” to their property where you can enjoy a cocktail and shareables outside under the
    twinkling lights of the Michigan sky.

    A golf vacation to Northern Michigan just isn’t complete without a visit to Crystal Mountain.
  • Mountain Ridge Course at Crystal Mountain Resort
    3.5 stars out of 5
    by David
    on September 04th, 2017 15:11
    Course was in great shape. Very challenging but fair.

    Pro shop staff was extremely courteous, helpful, and polite.

    We were a little disappointed with the bag drop staff, though. There were quite a few young men and women available and not busy, yet no one offered to help remove our clubs from our vehicle, When we finished, there was no offer to clean clubs or help in moving them to the bag rack. Just a lack of interest - kind of unusual for a venue that bills itself as a golf resort.
  • Mountain Ridge Course at Crystal Mountain Resort
    4.5 stars out of 5
    by jeremy
    on July 07th, 2015 10:47
    Played 90 holes in 2 days 3 rounds at mountain 2 at betsie. Greens were AWESOME!!! Mountain a little more playable and no gimmicks. Great fun!! Betsie very good just a little tricked up. but greens were WONDERFUL:)))
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