The tribe at has spoken: Metro Detroit's top 10 public golf courses

By Jason Scott Deegan, Senior Staff Writer

DETROIT -- Over the years, I've ranked the top golf courses in metro Detroit for various publications, and it seems the order shifts every time. I fall in love with one layout for a while, then that crush fades.

Coyote Preserve Golf Club - hole 16 raters tab Coyote Preserve Golf Club as the no. 3 course in metro Detroit.
Coyote Preserve Golf Club - hole 16Eagle Crest Golf Club
If you go

Turns out, I'm not alone in my mixed feelings. The ratings and reviews submitted by golfers show a deep roster of quality public courses spread throughout the region.

The competition was fierce to make the Top 10 generated by its users. I don't agree with every selection made, but it's definitely a good guide to follow when shopping for your next round. raters' Top 10 public golf courses in metro Detroit

1. Boulder Pointe Golf Club and Banquet Center: Boulder Pointe's 80-foot elevation changes and 15 lakes, located 10 miles north of the Palace of Auburn Hills, are ideal for golf. The vistas were much more sweeping and scenic right after the 27-hole routing opened in 2000 before all the housing sprouted up. My favorite combo is the Dunes and Bluffs loop. I always enjoy playing here, even though it tends to beat me up. It's the site of my only loss in an annual grudge match against my best buddy.

2. Moose Ridge Golf Course: I love the backwoods vibe -- it's almost northern Michigan-esque -- of this Ray Hearn design and its log-cabin clubhouse. Like Boulder Pointe, the 6,892-yard par 71 opened in 2000. Moose Ridge is not exactly near anything, tucked away in a rural pocket near the Livingston County-Oakland County border, but it's definitely worth finding.

3. Coyote Preserve Golf Club: The 6,921-yard, par-71 course, which opened in 2001 in Livingston County north of Hartland, might be my top choice. It remains the second-best of the five Arnold Palmer designs in Michigan (Shanty Creek Resorts' The Legend would be my no. 1). Coyote Preserve offers a slice of northern Michigan much closer to home, though. Its five par 3s might be the best collection in the Midwest outside of the Threetops golf course at Treetops Resort in Gaylord. The last three holes -- a watery par 3 sandwiched by two par 5s -- are so tough that they've been nicknamed the "Coyote Trap" by employees.

4. Eagle Crest Golf Club: I learned the game playing Eagle Crest while in college at Eastern Michigan University, so this place tugs on my heartstrings a bit. It's a keeper that I'd probably move up a hair. Like my golf game, Eagle Crest in Ypsilanti has had its ups and downs, but it appears to be on track these days. Dozens of trees have recently been cleared along Ford Lake, opening up water views and making the course more playable. There are no better risk-reward, par-5 holes in the state than the two on the back nine. Most golfers cut the corner of the par-5 10th hole, hitting over the corner of the parking lot of the Marriott hotel. The 16th hole along the lake demands two hazard-hopping shots to reach a peninsula green.

5. The Majestic at Lake Walden: The Majestic, a 27-hole course designed by Jerry Matthews near Hartland, set the standard for great public golf in the Motor City way back in 1994. Its reign continues thanks to plenty of wetlands and peaceful holes surrounded by trees. Golfers who tee off on no. 10 sometimes hop on a boat ride across the 150-acre lake to reach their starting point. I loved it when I experienced it years ago, but some golfers ruin everything by showing up late. Don't be that guy.

The rest of the Top 10

6. Timber Trace Golf Club
7. Heather Hills Golf Club
8. Holly Meadows Golf Club
9. Golden Hawk Golf Club & Banquet Center
10. Tanglewood Golf Club & Restaurant

Detroit's Top 10 snubs

Two of my favorites to join this list -- Greystone Golf Club near Romeo and Fieldstone Golf Club in Auburn Hills -- were simply victims of the numbers crunching. Fieldstone, a solid Arthur Hills course, did not gather enough votes to make the Top 10, although it was rated high enough. Greystone, featuring several holes cut from an old rock quarry, ended up lumped among the courses next in line in the ratings, joining Dunham Hills Golf Club, The Jackal Golf Club at Mt. Brighton, Huntmore Golf Club and Westwynd. All are worthy of your time.

Jason Scott DeeganJason Scott Deegan, Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Golf Art

    Kenneth Hershenson wrote on: Feb 22, 2018

    My name is Kenneth Hershenson. I just now saw this article on the Top 10 Detroit area golf courses. I am a Detroit area fine artist. I recently won a national award from the National Oil & Acrylic Painters' Society for my acrylic painting Jack of Clubs. I'm looking for a golf club that might be interested in having a print of my painting to display on their property where I can have a wall tag directing people to my website if they want to buy one. Or if the person buys the one on display, I would give a commission to the establishment and replace it with another. Does anyone out there know of a golf club who might be interested? Please let me know via email:


  • Courses

    matthew lange wrote on: Aug 13, 2017

    People voted to make up this list?
    Missing, The Orchards, Lyon Oaks. Two courses that stand well above any on that list.
    Timber Trace? Top Ten?


  • RE: keep in mind

    Brandon Tucker wrote on: Jul 23, 2015

    This particular looked at the Top-rated GolfNow courses but there are many articles on this site that discuss non-GolfNow courses.


  • no shepherds

    jeremy wrote on: May 30, 2015

    I am looking to golf in metro area next week.. was thinking orchards or boulder. cant give this list any credit seeing how I have played shepherds hollow and not on the list!!!


  • Missing few good one

    David wrote on: Feb 25, 2015

    such as Shepherd's Hollow, UM course, Northvill Hills, and both Oakland Univ. courses are much better than Tanglewood


    • RE: Missing few good one

      Sean wrote on: Apr 11, 2015

      Totally agree! Shepard's Hallow should not only be on the list but at the top. It's ranked 11th of top 50 MI courses.


  • Detroit Courses

    Ben wrote on: Aug 20, 2013

    Ratings are a silly business, but this list goes beyond that. No room for Rackham, the great city course adjacent to the Detroit Zoo? Or a place like Salem Hills? There are dozens of fine public courses in Detroit's metro area that are completely ignored by this list.


    • RE: Detroit Courses

      Tony wrote on: Apr 15, 2014

      Are you serious with Rackham? It's a below average course at best. This top 10 list is pretty solid. I haven't played Boulder Pointe or Eagle Crest, but Moose Ridge, the Preserve and the Majestic are all great courses. Any mention of Rackham in comparison to these courses brings them down.


    • RE: Detroit Courses

      Jason Deegan wrote on: Aug 20, 2013

      Hi Ben,
      That's exactly what the lede to the story says. There are so many quality courses in metro Detroit that it's difficult to put together any sort of top 10 list. Only courses that have tee times available at were considered here, so some top courses were not included. But the point of these lists are to provide you with a "guide" of which courses are strong enough to be worth a look. It's not necessary an end-all, be-all list of the top 10. Rackham and Salem Hills are both solid as well.


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