Top 10 Public Golf Courses in Metro Detroit: Our Ranking
Debating with friends on the best golf courses in Michigan?
Or are you trying to decide which public golf courses in Metro Detroit to play?
We have answers for you.
The Free Press has published its full countdown of Metro Detroit’s 10 best public golf courses for 2022, curated by sports columnist Carlos Monarrez, and we’ve compiled the full list in one place below. For a detailed breakdown of each course, take advantage of the “learn more” links to each story.
Our ranking is based on criteria that take into account the general attributes of a course, such as challenge, playability, versatility, condition and beauty. We didn’t consider price – there are too many variables involved in estimating value. Only courses in southeast Michigan were considered.
Let us know which courses you played in the Free Press Top 10 and share your Top 10 in the comments section or on social media.
No. 10: Coyote
Address: 28700 Milford Road, New Hudson.
Phone number: (248) 486-1228.
Course Architect: Scott Thacker.
What do you want to know: The 2023 season could be Coyote’s last, with a developer offering a 310-unit unit. The route winds through woods, ponds and marshes, the course opening onto the back nine with a demanding home stretch. The par-5 18th hole requires two different shots with forced carry, including an approach over a pond to a wide, slippery green that slopes from back to front.
#9: Moose Ridge
Address: 11801 Doane Rd, Lyon South.
Phone number: (248) 446-9030.
Course Architect: Ray Hearn.
What do you want to know: Beautiful secluded property nestled in the woods on an old raspberry farm and paintball battlefield. The rare Detroit Metro route that can truly claim an “Up North” feel. A challenging course that will get you paid off if you smash the ball, but eminently playable if you hit it correctly. Set the driver aside from the plethora of shorter par-4s. The fourth par-5 is one of the longest holes in the area.
No. 8: Stonebridge
Address: 1825 Clubhouse Drive, Ann Arbor.
Phone number: (734) 429-8383.
Course Architect: Arthur Hills.
What do you want to know: Good conditions, swans and diligent owners are some of the reasons Stonebridge makes our ranking. One on three Arthur’s Hills Quirky designs to make our list, Stonebridge presents a certain challenge but mostly serves as a straightforward test that never frustrates a player and always keeps the traffic moving. It’s probably no coincidence that half of the holes that aren’t par-3s are dogleg straight, completing the trajectory of most amateur tee shots.
No. 7: Oaks of Lyon
Address: 52251 Pontiac Trail, Wixom.
Phone number: (248) 437-1488.
Course Architect: Arthur Hills.
What do you want to know: Lyon Oaks is owned and operated by Oakland County, making it the only municipal course on our list. The words “muni golf” usually conjure up thoughts of cheap on an unchallenging course with sub-par conditions and low rates. But nothing could be further from the truth in Lyon Oaks. The course and facilities are top notch. The star of the show is the development set on 230 acres of hardwood forests and wetlands. The consistent design cues of the fairways carefully cut into the terrain and the clean lines formed by the beveled edges of the ponds provide a sense of familiarity without the feeling of redundancy.
Address: 4161 Adams Rd, Oakland Charter Township.
Phone number: (248) 608-7820.
Course Architect: Craig Schreiner.
What do you want to know: The last three holes are laid out in a funky way, but that makes WestWynd unique and wonderful. The 16th and 18th share a double green, but are equally intimidating and beautiful, and essentially give you two finishing holes that mirror around a large pond. The course has no driving range, yes, but has an upscale feel, thanks to brick-paved cart paths and the course groomed and groomed to an impeccable degree. There are streams and elevations, well-placed hazards, and soft sand in the rugged-edged bunkers.
No. 5: Eagle Crest
Address: Golf Club, 1201 S Huron St, Ypsilanti.
Phone number: (734) 487-2441.
Course Architect: Karl Litten.
What do you want to know: Eagle Crest achieves the rare feat of hosting a Division I program and also a resort course. Eastern Michigan calls it home and a Marriott sits on the property. Located along beautiful Ford Lake, Eagle Crest offers a mix of elevation and great views, with some of the fastest publicly accessible greens in Metro Detroit and one of the coolest beaches, sloping down to the lake. Several holes line its banks, but no hole makes better use of its spectacular view than the signature 16th hole, a 531-yard par-5 that’s as alluring as it is beastly.
No. 4: Gray Stone
Address: 67500 Mound Road, Washington.
Phone number: (586) 752-7030.
Course Architect: Jerry Matthews.
What do you want to know: The layout makes excellent use of an old quarry, which the final three holes – one par-3 and two par-4s – surround for a tough but exciting end to your round and one of the best closing stretches in the whole world. Michigan. It’s as tough a finish as you’ll find, but just as gorgeous, making the holes just as enticing, fearsome, and frustrating. They wrap around a water-filled quarry that has become a 35-acre lake. The shimmering presence of that water comes into play on every hole, starting with the 209-yard par-3 16th, which plays downhill to an island green.
No. 3: Shepherd’s Hollow
Address: 9085 Big Lake Road, Clarkston.
Phone number: (248) 922-0300.
Course Architect: Arthur Hills.
What do you want to know: Nestled in rolling, wooded terrain shared by a park-like retreat for Jesuit priests, Shepherd’s Hollow takes full advantage of its serene and secluded setting. Even driving the long way through the pine forest to the beautiful clubhouse presents a sense of occasion and anticipation – much like driving down Augusta National’s Magnolia Lane. Three distinct nines make up 27 holes on 350 acres along the second highest point in Oakland County. Yet the ambitious nature of the entire establishment sets it apart.
No. 2: The Orchards
Address: 62900 Campground Road, Washington.
Phone number: (586) 786-7200.
Course Architect: Robert Trent Jones Jr.
What do you want to know: Built on 525 acres of an apple orchard, the unique layout, variety and playability mean you’ll never get tired of playing it. It’s neither too difficult nor too easy and offers the perfect mix of challenge and fun. Senior amateurs can enjoy this course which features few forced carries to the greens, but also offers plenty of scoring difficulty for PGA Tour pros as the site of the Rocket Mortgage Classic Monday Qualifying Tournament. Stick to the first tee on a clear day and you can see – even 35 miles away in this northern suburb – the Detroit skyline and appreciate the history of a 300-year-old city that continues to remake itself.
No. 1: University of Michigan
Address: 500 E Stadium Boulevard, Ann Arbor.
Phone number: (734) 615-4653.
Course Architect: Alister MacKenzie; renovated by Arthur Hills in the early 1990s.
What do you want to know: One of only two designs in the state by one of golf’s foremost architects, surprising elevation and tactics on the UM golf course bring a little taste of the Masters to Michigan. MacKenzie’s military camouflage techniques have inspired his designs, and that’s true here. Truly, no hole is alike, and the rare boomerang greens on the par-4 sixth and par-3 14 offer a glimpse into time and demand thoughtful strategy. The 18th offers views of Ann Arbor and plays downhill to a large pond guarding the green – it’s one of the best closing holes in the state.
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