Northern Michigan golf: Five more great par 5s to conquer
TravelGolf.com's Mike Bailey selected five great northern Michigan par 5s from a recent trip. But there are scores of others worthy of elite status in the golf-rich region.
With a few dozen northern Michigan golf courses under my belt, I've played a lot of worthy par 5s, from pure three-shotters to the shorter risk-reward holes. I've narrowed it down to five of my own personal favorite par 5s. Be sure to include these in your northern Michigan golf trip:
Arthur Hills course at Boyne Highlands, No. 13
It's a common theme in northern Michigan: Step on the golf-cart accelerator after leaving a green to head up, up and up some more. On the other side awaits an exhilarating, elevated tee shot with long views and, hopefully, a wide fairway.
The Arthur Hills course at Boyne Highlands Resort does this as well as any venue, affording a tremendous view for miles beyond the 13th hole itself. The fairway is a pretty sight, too, and plenty wide in the landing zone. But you'll need to hit a big one to reach this long par 5 in two shots.
Black Lake Golf Club, No. 6
The sixth hole at Rees Jones' Black Lake Golf Club feels a bit like two different holes entirely. It begins from a shaded, elevated tee set in thick woods and plays downhill through a narrow chute of trees before doglegging left on flat land to a green guarded by wetlands on three sides.
You'll need a draw off the tee and lots of length to think about reaching this 515-yard beauty in two.
Manitou Passage Golf Club, No. 8
Formerly named King's Challenge, this hole at Manitou Passage Golf Club is even better in 2010. Thank an enhanced tee location that affords views all the way out to lake Michigan's Manitou Passage. It also features a widened landing zone and renovated bunkers.
The tee shot plays downhill to a fairway that demands a carry to the crest of the hill. The second shot is no cakewalk either, as you'll likely play from a downhill lie toward the green guarded by water in front. You'll face the choice of going for the green from a tough position -- or leaving yourself a delicate wedge shot over water on the third.
Treetops Resort Smith, No. 15
The Treetops Resort's four championship golf courses are loaded with downhill holes, but an uphill test ranks as its most unique.
At just 485 yards, the 15th hole on Treetops Resort's Smith Signature golf course isn't as easy as you'd think. Blame it on one of the area's most unique green settings. The extremely narrow, long green sits elevated from the fairway, saddled within a steep bowl, and five bunkers swallow mishits on each side.
Try the approach with a long iron and the results could be disastrous -- or you may get a fortuitous bounce and make eagle.
The Kingsley Club, No. 1
Some golf courses open with a tame hole. Not The Kingsley Club, where the opening tee shot is one of the most dramatic. It's a 610-yard par 5 that plays to a fairway split by a smattering of bunkers to create upper and lower areas. If you successfully drive the higher right side, the hole becomes a bit easier. But the amphitheater green, heavily guarded by four deep, scruffy edged bunkers, is an intimidating sight no matter your vantage point.
September 10, 2010