We often look to the “experts” when reviewing and searching for the best golf courses, so it’s refreshing to cull data from “the people” to see what they think.
After more than 315,000 reviews in 2022 on GolfPass.com, reviewers have spoken and two Michigan courses were among the top 10 public sites in the U.S. golfers loved the most, and six others made the top 50.
No. 8 was Stonegate Golf Club in Twin Lake, with one reviewer writing driving an hour “was worth the trip.”
GolfPass has more on the course: “This tree-lined 2004 design just northeast of Muskegon has graced past Golfers’ Choice lists of the top-rated courses in Michigan, as well as the Friendliest Golf Courses in the U.S. In 2022, it really hit its stride, garnering dozens of glowing reviews from visiting golfers.”
Green fees at Stonegate cost about $72, according to GolfPass.
FREEP SAYS:This serene Top 10 public golf course lets you play ‘Up North’ just 45 minutes from Detroit
BEST OF:Michigan has some of the best resort golf courses in America
In order to be eligible for this list, a golf course must be publicly accessible, and receive at least 10 reviews in the previous year. Reviews include six factors to make up the overall rating score: value, conditions, layout, pace of play, staff friendliness, and amenities off the course.
No. 9 is a course you may be more familiar with: Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, host of five previous Senior PGA Championships and designed by Jack Nicklaus’ firm. (The course was also one of three courses from The Mitten named to Golfweek’s top 200 residential courses).
“Pieced together from more than 140 different land purchases as part of a huge industrial remediation effort … this is a prime example of how golf can help turn around the prospects of a struggling community,” GolfPass wrote.
“The course layout was amazing,” one review said. “Most holes were dramatic and could be signature holes for the course. Great experience.”
GolfPass says green fees at Harbor Shores cost around $195.
READ MORE:Ranking metro Detroit’s Top 10 Public Golf Courses: Here’s who made the list and why
Mauna Lani Resort’s South Course on a coastal cove in Waimea, Hawaii claimed the No. 1 spot. It’s apparently well worth the $268 price tag and tough to beat the ocean views.
St. Ives Golf Club at Tullymore Golf Resort in Stanwood came in No. 14, with cost per round roughly $130.
“St. Ives offers a unique experience with a course carved through the Michigan woods, trees lining nearly all the first 13 holes,” one user wrote. “Then a bit of marshland golf for variety. Greens are elevated but reasonably flat, so putting is not too difficult. … Deer will join your view over the driving range and putting green.”
Perhaps the best steal on the entire list is No. 16 Old Channel Trail Golf Course in Montague, with the cost per round at $44. This is a nine-hole, par-35 layout at 3,222 yards.
“The course was in great shape,” a user wrote. “Completed the round in 3.5 hours. Highly recommend Old Channel!” Old Channel Trail has 4.7 stars out of five based on 34 reviews on GolfPass, with 25 5-stars reviews.
TOP DOG:No. 1 public golf course in metro Detroit brings some of The Masters to Michigan
Black Lake Golf Club in Onaway came in 26th. Owned by the United Auto Workers, the Detroit-based labor union, the facility opened in 2000 and has been well received.
“Course is in great condition, friendly staff all the way around,” one review said. “Would highly recommend playing here if your (sic) in the area.”
Cost for a round is $85, GolfPass says. Of course, visitors should be aware they only allow American and Canadian union-made vehicles on-site. All others must use a parking facility outside the entrance.
Three other Michigan courses made the top 50:
No. 41: Stonehedge South Course at Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort in Augusta ($60). (We’ve previously written about the resort’s newest edition, Stoatin Brae, from renowned Michigan-based architect Tom Doak.)
No. 46: Heritage Glen Golf Club in Paw Paw ($73).
No. 50: Gladstone Golf Course in Gladstone ($49).
Check out Nos. 10-1, Golfers’ Choice 2023: Top 10 U.S. Golf Courses.
CLOSE 2nd:Famous architect’s only Michigan golf course is a subtle masterpiece, No. 2 on our Top 10
GolfPass also published the top 25 courses in Michigan, where 330 courses were reviewed in 2022 with 6,519 total reviews. We’ve already touched on the top eight, but see if you recognize Nos. 9-25.
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