GAYLORD, Mich. -- Pinehurst and Donald Ross. Monterey Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean. Northern Michigan and the tee box with the long, unspoiled view. It's a key ingredient into what put this destination on the global golf map. Consider Treetops Resort: In the 1980s, Robert Trent Jones Sr. found a tremendous view from the top of a hill that would become what is perhaps the signature hole of golf in Michigan, the par-3 6th of the Masterpiece.
Since Jones, other big-name resorts, along with the game's top names in golf course design, have upped the ante. They were hardly pioneers. Alister Mackenzie was 'round these parts in the 1920s laying out fabled Crystal Downs, and Belvedere Golf Club by Scotsman Willie Watson. Because northern Michigan isn't so much a "mountain" golf destination as it is one with rolling hills (though large enough to double as ski resorts in the winter), many courses managed to build holes on some of the area's most severe terrain. Arthur Hills was able to create a long, winding cart path up the mountain at Boyne Highlands to deliver a mighty tee shot. And when Treetops expanded with their Treetops North facility in the 1990s, Both the Fazio and Smith openers are severely downhill, while there are numerous other opportunities on each throughout the round.
Not to be outdone are two of the top luxury golf experiences in the state. Bay Harbor and Arcadia Bluffs make the most of their lakefront locations with a collection of remarkable holes, many of which feature elevated tees equipped with inspiring lake views that feel like standing on the edge of the Pacific on a calm morning.
But there are lesser known courses like Dunmaglas and Manitou Passage that serve up the eye candy too. I've compiled a collection of some of my favorite drives, but there are scores to choose from. Let us know which holes are your favorite tee boxes to let 'er rip in Michigan.