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Michigan's top 20 public golf course rankings for 2023

Aug 21, 2023

The ultimate list of best public golf courses in Michigan has been released for 2023.

Golfweek has published its exhaustive state-by-state rankings for public-access courses, and Michigan once again gets a list of the top 20 most highly rated spots.

The leader remains no surprise, as Arcadia Bluffs' Bluffs Course gets the honor of No. 1 once again. The Bluffs Course, a consensus top 50 public course in America, is a nice refresher in style from most of Michigan's soft turf and woodlands golf, both because it sits along Lake Michigan and because it's built through sand dunes with firm turf.

Arcadia Bluffs is a throwback to the origins of the sport in Scotland, and you feel this on the course with the wind off the lake unencumbered by trees, tall grass, deep sod-wall bunkers and short, colorful flag pins.

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Arcadia Bluffs last June was named among the top 10 19th holes in the U.S., its patio and Adirondack chairs offering unlimited views of 3,100 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline.

Michigan's top four remains unchanged from last year, but Arcadia Bluffs' South Course crept up one spot to No. 5.

A few courses in the Upper Peninsula made the cut. The acclaimed Greywalls, a Mike DeVries-designed special in Marquette cut through one-of-a-kind rock outcroppings, once again came in No. 2.

Belvedere, perhaps the most underrated course in the state and an old-school classic, slid up two spots to No. 6.

One new course entered this year's top 20: Out goes last year's No. 17, The Orchards in Washington Township, one of the top courses in metro Detroit, and in comes Boyne Highlands' Arthur Hills course in Harbor Springs at No. 16. The Hills features one of the most spectacular and fun holes in the state, the par-5 13th, which plays down the mountain and offers awesome views of the forest below.

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Golfweek's vetted course-ratings panel of hundreds nationwide "continually evaluate courses and rate them on 10 criteria on a points basis of 1 through 10. They also file a single, overall rating on each course. Those overall ratings are averaged to produce all our Golfweek's Best course rankings." To qualify, a course must allow public play in some fashion. "If there's a will, there's a tee time — no membership required," Golfweek quips.

Now, onto the top 20 rankings for 2023.

If you're looking for the best courses in and around metro Detroit, the Free Press curated its ranking of the top 10 publics, with insight on each.

1. Arcadia Bluffs (Bluffs), Arcadia

2. Marquette GC (Greywalls), Marquette

3. Forest Dunes (The Loop Red & Black), Roscommon

4. Forest Dunes (Weiskopf), Roscommon

5. Arcadia Bluffs (South), Arcadia

6. Belvedere, Charlevoix

A CLASSIC:This might be Michigan's most underrated golf course

7. Boyne Bay Harbor (Links/Quarry), Bay Harbor

8. Gull Lake View Resort (Stoatin Brae), Augusta

9. Eagle Eye, Bath

T10. Pilgrim's Run, Pierson

T10. Island Resort and Casino (Sweetgrass), Harris

12. Harbor Shores, Benton Harbor

13. American Dunes, Grand Haven

READ MORE:Why American Dunes Golf Club feels like a Fourth of July party while honoring fallen soldiers

14. University of Michigan GC, Ann Arbor

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15. Hidden River Golf & Casting Club, Brutus

16. Boyne Highlands (Arthur Hills), Harbor Springs

17. Treetops (Signature), Gaylord

18. Diamond Springs, Hamilton

19. Sage Run, Bark River

20. Pine Mountain Resort (Timber Stone), Iron Mountain

For more, find the rest of Golfweek's state-by-state rankings.

FREEP'S TOP 10:Ranking metro Detroit's Top 10 Public Golf Courses: Here's who made the list and why

GOLFWEEK'S BEST: Where to play incredible golf in Michigan

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READ MORE: FORE: 1. Arcadia Bluffs (Bluffs) 2. Marquette GC (Greywalls) 3. Forest Dunes (The Loop Red & Black) 4. Forest Dunes (Weiskopf) 5. Arcadia Bluffs (South) 6. Belvedere A CLASSIC: 7. Boyne Bay Harbor (Links/Quarry) 8. Gull Lake View Resort (Stoatin Brae) 9. Eagle Eye T10. Pilgrim's Run T10. Island Resort and Casino (Sweetgrass) 12. Harbor Shores 13. American Dunes READ MORE: 14. University of Michigan GC READ MORE: 15. Hidden River Golf & Casting Club 16. Boyne Highlands (Arthur Hills) 17. Treetops (Signature) 18. Diamond Springs 19. Sage Run 20. Pine Mountain Resort (Timber Stone) FREEP'S TOP 10: GOLFWEEK'S BEST: