Arcadia Bluffs, on the shores of Lake Michigan near Arcadia, is home to two of the top-rated golf courses in Michigan and offers some of the best clubhouse views found at any resort in the world.
The resort’s Bluffs course is the top-rated course in the state on Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play list for public-access layouts and No. 53 among all Golfweek’s Best Modern Courses in the U.S. Simply put, the Bluffs course sits on a ridiculous site for golf, the kind of ground that inspires architects’ dreams: rolling and sandy duneland, varied terrain, forever views across Lake Michigan from almost every hole on the course. Warren Henderson worked with Rick Smith to design a jaw-dropping experience that leaves golfers panting for more golf after the hike back up the hill on No. 18.
Two miles southeast of the Bluffs sits the newer South course, a Dana Fry layout that pays tribute to Golden Era architects C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor and that ranks No. 6 among Michigan’s public-access layouts. Tees, greens and bunkers frequently feature geometric shapes such as squared-off corners, designed with Macdonald and Raynor’s exemplary and private Chicago Golf Club in mind. In concert with the firm and bouncy turf, the South’s greens present excellent strategic challenges with internal swales and bumps that extract a toll on shots played along poorly considered vectors. It’s incredibly tight, fast and fun.
The two courses present very different experiences – the Bluffs to knock your socks off visually, the South to make you think. Mixed with a range of lodge and cottage accommodations, the resort presents an easy trip with great golf, impressive dining and views to savor. Enjoy the photos below.
- For a more detailed look at Arcadia Bluffs and many more of the top layouts in Michigan, check out this report from an 11-day, 15-course spin across the state.