Ranking Michigan's top 20 public golf courses for 2024

Michigan's top public golf courses mostly remain unchanged from 2023 to 2024.

Golfweek, part of the USA TODAY Network, on Monday revealed its exhaustive state-by-state rankings for public-access golf courses, and Michigan once again had its top 20 courses ranked.

Arcadia Bluffs' Bluffs Course retains the honor of Michigan's best public golf course, with its refreshing firm and fast turf accompanied by unmatched views of Lake Michigan. The Bluffs is a consensus top-50 public track in America, celebrating its 25-year anniversary this season after it opened in 1999, with a design by Warren Henderson and Rick Smith.

Its clubhouse is also renowned: Arcadia Bluffs was listed a few summers ago among the top 10 "19th holes" in the U.S. Its handsome clubhouse and hotel, and staple white Adirondack chairs — which sit above the 18th green — offer unrestrained views of 3,100 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline and a perfect view of the day's sunset.

The unique and acclaimed Greywalls in Marquette once again came in No. 2, and is one of four Upper Peninsula tracks to make Golfweek's top 20.

Forest Dunes in Roscommon has its two courses (The Loop and Forest Dunes) ranked back-to-back once again, Arcadia Bluffs' South Course — the youngest course on the list, dating back to 2018 — rounds out the top five, and Belvedere in Charlevoix, perhaps the most underrated course in the state, remains No. 6.

Eagle Eye, which sits just outside Lansing and is the closest of the top 10 courses to Detroit (about a 90-minute drive), is No. 8.

One newcomer made its way onto Golfweek's top 20 this year: Out goes the Smith Signature course at Treetops Resort in Gaylord, replaced at No. 17 by Tullymore at the Tullymore Golf Resort in Stanwood, 15 miles south of Big Rapids.

The biggest jump came from Sage Run in Bark River in the U.P., which moved up seven spots to a tie for No. 12 this year. It is operated by the Island Resort and Casino in Harris, with its sister course, Sweetgrass, also in the top 10.

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Golfweek uses hundreds of vetted course raters to analyze 10 different criteria on a scale of 1-10 at each place to produce an average course rating. Those categories include routing, conditioning, greens, and memorability and variety of golf holes. Raters also file a single, overall rating on each course, which are averaged to produce all of 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's creative director and travel editor Jason Lusk says.

Here is Golfweek's full top 20 ranking for Michigan in 2024:

(For the best courses around metro Detroit, the Free Press curated its ranking of the top 10 publics.)

Golfweek's best Michigan public golf courses for 2024

*Indicates location in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

1. Arcadia Bluffs (Bluffs), Arcadia (last year's rank: 1)

2. *Marquette GC (Greywalls), Marquette (2)

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

4. Forest Dunes, Roscommon (4)

5. Arcadia Bluffs (South), Arcadia (5)

6. Belvedere, Charlevoix (6)

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

8. Eagle Eye, Bath (9)

T9. *Island Resort and Casino (Sweetgrass), Harris (t10)

T9. Gull Lake View Resort (Stoatin Brae), Augusta (8)

11. Pilgrim’s Run, Pierson (t10)

T12. *Sage Run, Bark River (19)

T12. Harbor Shores, Benton Harbor (12)

14. American Dunes, Grand Haven (13)

15. University of Michigan GC, Ann Arbor (14)

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16. Boyne Highlands (Arthur Hills), Harbor Springs (16)

T17. Tullymore Golf Resort (Tullymore), Stanwood (not listed)

T17. Hidden River Golf & Casting Club, Brutus (15)

19. Diamond Springs, Hamilton (18)

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

Find the rest of Golfweek's state-by-state rankings, and check back for more rankings in June.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan's top 20 public golf course rankings for 2024 season