Metro Detroit offers golf courses for every budget
Metro Detroit is already one of the most value-oriented golf destinations in the country associated with a big city.
The competition is so fierce in southeast Michigan that bargains are found in every community. There are under-appreciated Donald Ross gems, fine municipal facilities and upscale semiprivate joints all vying for your dollar. There's golf for every taste and budget.
The most expensive public course, Shepherd's Hollow Golf Club in Clarkston, costs $85 on holidays and $80 on weekends, but it can be played for as low as $45 during the weekday. Its high weekend fee is, by far, an exception to the rule. Most good courses in the region cost between $45-$55. Here's the guide to finding the courses most comfortable for your wallet.
Detroit golf on an unlimited budget
The 27-hole Shepherd's Hollow, designed by Arthur Hills, reigns as the best game in town. Its rolling land gives players a taste of northern Michigan without the long drive.
The TPC Michigan, a private club in Dearborn that hosted the Ford Senior Players Championship, a Champions Tour major, can be had with a stay at the Dearborn Hyatt Regency or the MGM Grand Detroit.
Oakland County, one of ritziest addresses in the country, tends to overprice its golf a bit, but The WestWynd in Rochester Hills can be worth every penny.
East siders gravitate toward The Orchards Golf Club, a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design that has hosted the Michigan Open and the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Near the Orchards in Macomb County is Greystone Golf Club, where the final three holes wrap around an old rock quarry. They're good for a scenic and demanding finish.
Coyote Preserve Golf Club, one of just five Arnold Palmer designs in Michigan, would cost even more if it wasn't so far away from civilization in northern Livingston County. It's a shot-maker's test set on a gorgeous piece of property that has avoided development thus far.
Not too far away is The Majestic at Lake Walden near Hartland, a fine 27-hole track that mixes woods and wetlands.
Detroit golf on a mid-range budget
All the courses in this mid-range category are worthy of top-10 status in the region.
West siders head toward the spoils of Moose Ridge Golf Course near South Lyon and Tanglewood Golf Course in Lyon Township. Moose Ridge boasts better terrain, but Tanglewood tends to be in better shape more consistently.
Like Eastern Michigan University, the Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti remains underrated and overlooked. The club recently cleared trees and underbrush to open up better sightlines along Ford Lake.
Homes surround the Boulder Pointe Golf Club & Banquet Center in Oxford, yet it's still very natural and open. Aqua-phobic golfers won't like all the ponds and lakes.
Cherry Creek Golf Club in Shelby Township offers all-around excellence. The course is strong and the clubhouse is one of the best around, public or private.
Value-priced Detroit golf
The strength and versatility of metro Detroit shines through in this category. There are endless options.
Three great municipal options are Pierce Lake Golf Course in Chelsea; Rackham Golf Course in Huntington Woods, a Donald Ross classic that is so beloved by the community it was saved from redevelopment; and Leslie Park Golf Course in Ann Arbor, which always ranks among the best munis in the country, thanks to a fun, hilly layout.
June 19, 2012