Voted top public golf course in a Golf Digest reader's choice survey, Forest Dunes Golf Club's pristine 18-hole course, designed by Tom Weiskopf, spreads majestically across pine forests, birch groves, grasslands, and sand dunes. Spend a full day away from the tedium of work, chores, and meteorite attacks by navigating the lush landscapes of the par 72 course, steering a golf cart through multiterrain fairways and swinging your way through well-manicured grounds. Links lovers can practice their subtle strokes on the putting green and blast dimpled spheres at the practice range, perfecting swings and diffusing anger acquired after learning Pinocchio is a work of fiction. Although it's not included in this Groupon, golfers can grab a bite or slurp a drink in the clubhouse after a hard day of leisure.
Inspired by extreme sports, the Muck Ruck is a 2-, 4-, or 7-mile race through mud-slicked terrain designed to rouse beginners and the physical elite alike. The filthy obstacles vary based on terrain, but typically include 12–20 natural and manmade challenges that send participants climbing ropes, sloshing through chest-deep muddy water, and bobbing for leeches. Xtreme Muck Ruck stresses safety with each event, as all obstacles are designed to test your endurance and strength while still being fun. Those seeking to further put their bodies to the test can keep splashing and complete all three courses to join the Xtreme Club 247.
The staffers at Wet Mitten Surf Shop know their trade. Not only do they keep the shop stocked with an impressive array of boards—proffering standup paddleboards, surfboard, kiteboards, and longboards alike—they also lead lessons to get surfing rookies on their feet. During standup-paddleboarding or kiteboarding lessons, instructors introduce newcomers to Michigan’s surfing scene, or allow them to test the waters themselves with a board rental—the cost of which can be used toward the later purchase of a board.
Black Bear Golf Club accommodates golfers of all levels with a lush, 19-hole spread. Golf outings equip green-wanderers with a golf cart to whisk them across the tree-lined course. Black Bear’s extra hole means a free par 3 warm-up shot that’s perfect for attempting Arnold Palmer’s famous victory prance. A choice of cold beer or a soft drink ensures carbonated comfort across the remaining 18 holes, which are set on a diverse terrain of rolling foliage and Scottish links–style holes. Linksters can choose an item from the Black Bear Grill's menu, and a large bucket of range balls warm up frosty games.
West Michigan Kiteboarding helps riders conquer Lake Michigan, change their lifestyle, and get in shape with kiteboarding lessons. Using the power of the wind, riders can enjoy being peacefully propelled across the order, or more experienced riders can leap into the air or flip over the waves as the kite holds you aloft.
The 18 holes of Marsh Ridge Golf Course are notched into a densely wooded expanse of north country acreage alongside Otsego Lake. Play begins with a flat, straightaway, tree-lined fairway at the first hole. However, nearly every hole hereafter features some change in elevation, some degree of dogleg, or both, making club selection and distance assessment as important as not sneezing during one's own backswing. The elevation swings are particularly stark on the par 3s, whose yardages require some mental tinkering before settling on the correct combination of iron number and swing strength. Play comes to a close with the last of the back nine's three par 5s—a relatively short hole that gives players a final shot at birdie and their only chance to do a somersault for onlookers gathered on the clubhouse deck.
Course at a Glance: