Find bliss at any of MichiganGolf.com's top courses in metro Detroit
Sorry, Copper Hills Golf & Country Club. My apologies, WestWynd. Don't feel bad, Tanglewood Golf Course. I think you're all great.
But when pressed with a gun to my head (okay, just a deadline from my boss), they did not make the list of my favorite public places to play in metro Detroit accessible through MichiganGolf.com.
The competition was fierce. I put them in alphabetical order, because any sort of ranking would be splitting hairs as to which course is best. Just know that when you book a tee time at any of these 10 courses, you're in for a treat.
Boulder Pointe Golf Club & Banquet Center in Oxford
The land cut through this large real estate development seemed destined for golf with 80-foot elevation changes and 15 lakes scattered throughout its 1,600 acres. Since opening in 2000, the 27 scenic holes -- with nines named The Peaks, The Dunes and The Bluffs -- and global positions systems in the carts help keep Boulder Pointe Golf Club a memorable stop.
Cherry Creek Golf Club in Macomb Township
As good as the 6,784-yard course is, Cherry Creek Golf Club, which opened in 1995, might boast even better amenities. Its 19,000-square-foot clubhouse is considered the best among Detroit's public courses. It is accompanied by a huge practice facility. Former Ryder Cup captain Lanny Wadkins and Mike Bylen collaborated on the layout, which requires some Herculean tee shots to clear several demanding wetlands.
Coyote Preserve Golf Club in Fenton
The 6,921-yard, par-71 Coyote Preserve Golf Club, which opened in 2001, just might be the best of the five Arnold Palmer designs in Michigan (although Shanty Creek's The Legend currently lays claim to that distinction). There are virtually no homes in sight in this natural environment, just thousands of trees and pools of ball-sucking wetlands. It's a slice of northern Michigan within an hour's drive of metro Detroit. Its collection of five par 3s is the best in the region.
Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti
Ford Lake has always been the star of Eagle Crest Golf Club, but only within the past year has its true potential come to light. Course management wisely cleared dozens of trees along the shore, opening up water views and making the course more playable. There are no better risk-reward par 5s in the state than the two on the back nine. Most golfers cut the corner of the par-5 10th, hitting over the corner of the hotel and its parking lot, just like St. Andrews' famous Road Hole. The 16th hole along the lake demands two hazard-hopping shots to reach a peninsula green.
Fieldstone Golf Club in Auburn Hills
This municipal layout by Arthur Hills is wicked fun, playing as target golf among the wetlands. Some of the toughest holes in metro Detroit can be found at Fieldstone Golf Club, so bring your 'A' game or plenty of balls. The mostly flat terrain and surrounding subdivisions take away some of the charm of the place, but shot for shot, it's among the toughest tests around.
The Golden Fox at Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center in Plymouth
Many Arthur Hills courses are pretty straightforward, but he showed a playful side when designing The Golden Fox, the gem of this 63-hole facility. There's a hump in front of the 15th green. It reminds me of a mini-Dell hole, the most famous par 3 on the Old Course at Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland. Good conditioning is virtually a guarantee.
Greystone Golf Club in Washington Township
Greystone Golf Club remains known for its brutal finish, where three holes wrap around an old rock quarry. The scenic 16th is the best of the bunch, a par 3 that falls to a narrow green guarded by water both in front and back. It's hard deciphering the par-4 17th and 18th holes for the first time. Water up the right side pinches both fairways tight in the landing zones. The approach to the 18th must fly more water to a green well below the fairway. A par-par-par finish wins the bet every time.
The Majestic at Lake Walden in Hartland
This 27-hole Jerry Matthews facility, opened in 1994, is best known for its ferryboat ride across the 150-acre Lake Walden to hole No. 10. Many locals are thankful that the course and clubhouse only suffered minimal damage when a tornado ripped through the property in 2002. One strategically placed "majestic" tree on No. 10 was lost in the storm, but thankfully, it made the tee shot much more manageable at The Majestic at Lake Walden.
Moose Ridge Golf Club in South Lyon
Ray Hearn sculpted a fine piece of land into a fine test in 2000. The 6,892-yard, par-71 Moose Ridge Golf Club dives deep into the backwoods of Livingston County near Silver Lake. The 515-yard 18th hole could be the best finishing hole in the county. A cozy log-cabin clubhouse is a popular wedding spot.
The Orchards Golf Club in Washington Township
With 93 bunkers, plenty of trees and wetlands, this Robert Trent Jones Jr. masterpiece challenged the nation's best amateurs at the U.S. Public Links Championship in 2002 and the state's best pros in two recent Michigan Opens. The Orchards Golf Club, a 7,036-yard layout, opened in 1992 as one of the founding fathers of the public golf boom in southeast Michigan.