Comments on a Northern Mich trip

 stringbean502001 ·  
stringbean502001stringbean502001 Members  127WRX Points: 78Posts: 127 Fairways
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So a group of 4 with HC indexes between 6-11, planning to play in June for 4-5 rounds. We are old dudes and usually play just 18/day. We have all played Arcadia Bluffs , Kingsley, and FD (old course) several times and will look to other great options up there on this trip.

Will fly into TC and one option, with max driving, we considered was---

Arcadia South


Bay Harbor

True North

FD Loop

Other options would reduce driving and cut out True North and Bay Harbor

Any comments really welcome, including courses to sub for True North and Bay Harbor if we focus closer to Traverse City




  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23355WRX Points: 7,326Posts: 23,355 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Dec 24, 2019 #2

    True North is a gem, but I thought it was private. No? If you can get on do so. It's worth the trip. I played it the year it opened.

    Can't go wrong with Bay Harbor. Treetops Signature would also be on my list.

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  • stringbean502001stringbean502001 Members  127WRX Points: 78Posts: 127 Fairways
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    Thanks! We have a contact to get on True North, and I was wondering if it was worth the drive--sounds like it is! We are really looking forward to it

  • cassel191919cassel191919 Members  208WRX Points: 64Posts: 208 Fairways
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    Don't cut True North or Bay harbor, the trip will be fantastic and worth the drive.

  • VNutzVNutz Members  6651WRX Points: 608Posts: 6,651 Titanium Tees
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    With the courses you've played already, it's going to be hard to improve from there. I've heard great things about Lockenheath should you decide to stay in TC. I've played Bay Harbor, and it was great but you'll likely find mixed opinions around here from my experience. The views might have been better than the course at times, but to me some of the views were on par with Arcadia, and you see the bay for more holes than Arcadia; admittedly that round was on a weather day better than anything I've ever seen at Arcadia, so that might skew my opinion. We played the Harbor and Quarry 9s, which is generally the preferred route. True North looks amazing and it was once on my long term MI list of courses to play before it went private; I've not heard much negative talk about it.

    FD Loop and Arcadia South are going to be hard and fast courses, just to warn you. If you don't enjoy or appreciate the links style game it might not be for you. Not to warn you away from them, just my .02 if you're not familiar and since you're making a big trip of it. I have friends that have each played one of the two, and while they found it fun they were frustrated in how linksy the courses were. The Loop is that way by design, South a bit as well but moreso because it hadn't fully grown in yet. If your group likes that you might love it, but for the average golfer used to hitting shots into greens that land and stop instead of running the ball along the ground and seeing where it ends up, it can be a challenge. My buddy took a caddie at the Loop and he said he couldn't recommend it any other way, as there was too much local knowledge of the ground and contours as to how to play a shot that he'd never have known otherwise, those types of shots.

    In the area Treetops as mentioned is a good play as well. I loved the atmosphere and feel there, not sure if the courses I played were their best or not. Some were great, some were a tad lacking, but you get that true up north in the woods Michigan golf feel.

    Best of luck, enjoy your trip.

  • TherealpatgilesTherealpatgiles Members  662WRX Points: 221Handicap: 13Posts: 662 Golden Tee
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    I'd play dunes over the loop. If you get a windy day on the loop, it's a **** of a time.

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  • 1puttTUT1puttTUT Lefty with occasional game Members  3560WRX Points: 242Handicap: 3.8Posts: 3,560 Titanium Tees
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    Manitou passage is a little NW of Traverse City, but a pretty nice option. It's a difficult Arnold Palmer design routed through the woods for the most part and has GPS on the carts, which helps alot there. It's probably 30 min from downtown Traverse City.

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  • 3_Jack_Par3_Jack_Par Winter is stupid Members, ClubWRX  6304WRX Points: 339Posts: 6,304 ClubWRX
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    The Loop was an interesting idea but poorly executed, in my opinion (note: I've only played it in one direction). I don't buy the opinion that if you don't care for the Loop, you're a simpleton who doesn't appreciate firm/fast, width & angles, "links-style" golf. My favorite courses that I've ever played include Royal Dornoch, the Old Course, and the courses at Bandon Dunes, so that doesn't hold water for me. The firm/fast conditions on the Loop are great, but I don't find that the holes themselves are particularly interesting, and there are a few green complexes that are really tricked up, possibly because of the whole reversible nature of the course and attempting to do something that makes sense in one direction, not so much in the other direction.

    Back to the OP, I agree that you shouldn't skip True North and Bay Harbor (I missed out on playing True North when it was public, but I've heard just about universally great things). The place to cut the drive time is by skipping the trip to Forest Dunes (assuming you're not playing the original course). Bay Harbor (Links/Quarry) is also worth the trip. The Links has the great views, but the Quarry is the more interesting set of holes, IMO. If you do that and you're not playing 36 in a day,, stay in Petoskey for the night between rounds -- it's a very cool town. If it's a nice day, head over to the Back Lot Beer Garden for for some good food (Happy's Taco Shop, especially) and drinks, or Beard's Brewery if the weather isn't as good.

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  • klebs01klebs01 Members  491WRX Points: 137Handicap: 3.2Posts: 491 Greens
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    Did a buddies trip in 2018 and thought the loop was one of the most fun courses I have ever played. The three of us banged driver on a 330 yard hole and when we got to our balls we just started laughing. We had no idea how to get the ball within 20 ft of the pin from 30 yards off the green. It's all about angles and the ground game. Such a blast and change from normal soft conditions where you just blast down the fairway and fire at pins.

    We also drove into Arcadia South and it looked in credible. Too bad it opened the next week.


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