Since 1968, Woodside Meadows Golf Course has tucked away plenty of opportunities for low scores among the lush bluegrass that covers it from first tee box to 18th green. A relatively short undertaking at 5,774 yards from the furthest of two tees, the layout pulls players into confrontations with four large ponds and two small ones during their round, allowing ample opportunity for a refreshing midround cannonball. Before teeing off, players can warm up on the driving range, and an onsite eatery offers snacks such as hot dogs to help players refuel.
Course at a Glance:
The Polo Fields Golf and Country Clubs encompasses two locations—one in Ann Arbor and one in Ypsilanti—each with its own 18-hole course and refined clubhouse. Designed by renowned architect William Newcomb, the par 72 Ann Arbor course channels the blustery hillocks and grass-eating bagpipes of courses in the United Kingdom with a 6,828-yard layout featuring broad, links-inspired fairways and deviously slick greens. A community fixture for nearly a century, the Washtenaw course takes clubbers on a verdant voyage among native oaks and cedars, burbling streams, and tranquil ponds. Both sites house fully stocked pro shops, where guests can peruse the latest in on-course duds, clubs, hats, and remote-controlled golf balls from brands such as TaylorMade, Adidas, FootJoy, and Titleist.
Guests can bask in views of the splendid links while enjoying regionally inspired American fare and frothy drinks at the clubs’ two dining facilities, both of which feature settings for a variety of occasions. Swimmers can stroke through the outdoor lap pool at the Washtenaw location, and sunbathers can lounge by the colossal, resort-style pool in Ann Arbor. Within the Ann Arbor fitness center, hearts race on elliptical machines, muscles pump free weights, and calories melt during group fitness classes, before muscles soak in the warm, golf-ball-free waters of the hot tub.
Ann Arbor Course at a Glance:
Washtenaw Course at a Glance:
Designed in 1989 by architect Harley Hodges, Pine View Golf Course sends golfers weaving through forests of towering Michigan pines, attempting a variety of shots using most of the clubs in their bags. Players choose from five sets of tees, varying the Championship course from as short as 4,101 yards from the green tees up to 6,490 from the blues. Golfers first traverse wide fairways that forgive slight errors in the front nine, then take on the back nine—known as "Rolling Pines" because of the large tree trunks that regularly roll across the course at incredible speed. Difficulty intensifies noticeably after the turn, as players must flex their par 5 prowess on the 10th and 18th holes.
Though only one body of water rests on the front nine of the Championship course, Pine View's third nine, known as "Little Pines," features water much more prominently. This relatively short par 30 test makes for a great introduction to the game, as players lob shots over ponds and streams or fit golf balls with goggles and send them to explore the depths.
Course at a Glance:
Putterz wraps three 18-hole miniature golf courses, four batting cages, and game room packed with arcade cabinets into a single fun center for all ages to play together. Players putt golf balls around colorful obstacles, such as bathing elephants, spinning windmills, and tumbling waterfalls, in hopes of hearing the unmistakable sound of the ball rattling in the cup and a whispered approval from the ghost of their Scottish nanny. Each of the batting cages can be adjusted for fast pitch baseball or slow pitch softball, and a large game room challenges visitors and birthday partiers to compete for tickets and high scores.
Carved through the rolling parkland of Ypsilanti, the 18-hole Green Oaks Golf Course challenges golfers with 6,787 yards of weaving fairways and greens flanked by water hazards, sand traps, and trees. The course offers five tee options to cater to players of all abilities, and the pro shop provides rental clubs for golfers who sold their golf clubs for ice cream sundaes. A practice green helps players warm up their putting stroke before rounds, and a hitting cage also caters to full-swing practice sessions.
The course at Lake Forest Golf Club keeps golfers of all abilities on their toes with two unique nines that wind through 176 acres of natural terrain, which helped earn it a spot as host of LPGA Futures Tour events for five years in a row. The links-style front nine lets big hitters pummel their drives without fear of getting permanently stuck in dense forestation or hearing the unsettling scream of a falling tree. Bookended by par 5s on holes one and nine, the front nine rewards long drives but requires that golfers remain nimble, as the second and eighth holes are both treacherous par 3s that punish improper club selection. Between the 9th and 10th tees, golfers see a rapid transformation from links-style to a back nine more reminiscent of northern Michigan, with tree-lined fairways, wetlands, and areas dotted with wildflowers. Here, course-management capabilities become starkly apparent, as golfers must repeatedly make the choice whether to lay up short of water, muscle shots over water onto the green, or wait for the next drought.
In addition to plenty of opportunities to take strokes that count, Lake Forest Golf Club encourages game improvement through risk-free practice strokes at its 5-acre practice facility. Players work on their entire games from long bombs off the tee on a three-tier driving range to short-game dexterity on two large putting greens, two sand bunkers, and a chipping area. Headed up by LPGA teaching professional Debbie Williams-Hoak, the facility also teaches the game through individual and group lessons with male and female instructors.
Course at a Glance: