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3.9
34 Reviews (34)
5 Stars
15
4 Stars
10
3 Stars
5
2 Stars
2
1 Stars
2
Conditions
4.1
Value
3.6
Layout
4.4
Friendliness
4.8
Pace
4.1
Amenities
4.7
84.9%
Recommend this course
29 out of 34 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
3.5
8 Reviews (8)
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
4
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.1
Value
3.3
Layout
4.4
Pace
3.9
Amenities
4.9
StaffFriendliness
4.9
87.5%
Recommend this course
7 out of 8 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
3.5
8 Reviews (8)
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
4
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.1
Value
3.3
Layout
4.4
Pace
3.9
Amenities
4.9
StaffFriendliness
4.9
87.5%
Recommend this course
7 out of 8 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Public
Par 70
Length 6704 yards
Slope 125
Rating 71.7

Course Details

Year Built 2016
Fairways Forest Dunes Fescue Mix of Seabreeze Creeping Red, Navigator II Creeping Red, Radar Chewings & Chariot Hard
Greens Dominant X-Treme 7 Bentgrass
Golf Season Year round
Architect Tom Doak (2016)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes - included in green fees
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Bunker Yes
Caddies Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Dress code No denim allowed; collared shirt required.

Available Facilities

Clubhouse, Banquet Facilities, Spa, Internet Access

Available Sports

Fitness

Reviews

3.9
34 Reviews (34)

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Patio Dining 9
Dinner 8
Drinks 8
Course Challenges Include:
Undulating Greens 9
Bunkers 8
This course/club is great for:
Walkers 9
A Weekend Splurge 8
Group Getaways 8
This Course's Location is:
Worth the Drive 7

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

Reviewer Photos

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 12
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

One of a Kind Experience

Making my second trip back to the Loop made me remember just how much I love this golf course. The unique style of the course is fascinating; it gives players the opportunity to play shots that they would likely never have to play anywhere else. The condition of the course was excellent, the greens barely had a ball mark on them and they rolled fast and true. Golfers who cannot embrace the firm and fast conditions of the course and the ground game required for many shots will likely not enjoy their round. But for those that due, the course is an awesome and fun experience. The wide open fairways also facilitate a very good pace of play. On a packed Saturday, our foursome got around the course in just over four hours and waited on only a handful of holes. Our foursome consisted of handicaps between 0 and 14, and all of us ranked this course as our first or second favorite on a trip that included 6 courses, 3 of which are in the Golf Digest Top 100 Public. The wide open nature of the course also makes it a great buddies trip stop as the course is very accommodating to higher handicappers who will probably enjoy never losing a ball. Embrace the idea of how you're supposed to play this course and its unique challenge and you'll have an amazing experience!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 16
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Play the Loop

FOREST DUNES THE LOOP (RED & BLACK)
This is one of the most interesting golf courses I’ve ever played. The golf course is very well maintained. The greens were slightly fast and putting them was a pleasure. The ever changing tee pads were very unique and the routing was so very much fun. We actually met the course superintendent and he was a pleasure to chat with. He thinks the course should be played 3-4 times each direction to figure it out. After playing each direction only once...I agree. But I think this (these?) layout needs a little more time to mature.

The staff and services were good, but not quite in the excellent category (see my Forest Dunes write-up for more detail). The driving range, chipping area and the Hilltop (large putting course) were all very good. The driving range seemed very sandy, but that was a minor inconvenience. There is now a 10 hole Par 3 short course available, but my group did not play it, but it looks great!

I think the food/drink options were good, but they seemed a bit overpriced. But the atmosphere on the patio made the food and drink worth it.

Again my central complaint about this course is the LOUD MUSIC and seeming unawareness of some of the members to realize that many of us traveled a long way to play here, and we did not want to hear there music or hear there group to group banter.

If you can get past the Bushwood atmosphere (or be lucky enough to play where there wasn’t a party on the course), it’s a great experience.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 16
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Play the Loop

FOREST DUNES THE LOOP (RED & BLACK)
This is one of the most interesting golf courses I’ve ever played. The golf course is very well maintained. The greens were slightly fast and putting them was a pleasure. The ever changing tee pads were very unique and the routing was so very much fun. We actually met the course superintendent and he was a pleasure to chat with. He thinks the course should be played 3-4 times each direction to figure it out. After playing each direction only once...I agree. But I think this (these?) layout needs a little more time to mature.

The staff and services were good, but not quite in the excellent category (see my Forest Dunes write-up for more detail). The driving range, chipping area and the Hilltop (large putting course) were all very good. The driving range seemed very sandy, but that was a minor inconvenience. There is now a 10 hole Par 3 short course available, but my group did not play it, but it looks great!

I think the food/drink options were good, but they seemed a bit overpriced. But the atmosphere on the patio made the food and drink worth it.

Again my central complaint about this course is the LOUD MUSIC and seeming unawareness of some of the members to realize that many of us traveled a long way to play here, and we did not want to hear there music or hear there group to group banter.

If you can get past the Bushwood atmosphere (or be lucky enough to play where there wasn’t a party on the course), it’s a great experience.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 155
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 25 Contributor
Chicago Advisor
First Time Playing
Used cart

The Loop at Forest Dunes (Black)

The Good: The Loop at Forest Dunes, designed by the great Tom Doak in 2016, is one of the most unique golf experiences in the Midwest. A reverse routing with 18 green complexes and fairways that can be played either way on consecutive days, it has some of the most severe and fun greens that I’ve played. The Black course has better Par-4’s in my opinion compared to the Red design, particularly on the front nine. The green complexes for this routing appear even more interesting & challenging compared to the Red. Course conditions are meant to be extremely firm and fast, so they aren’t nearly as pristine as its sibling Forest Dunes. Now a full-fledged resort with the additional of many great lodging options, it has a huge, immaculate clubhouse with full restaurant and very nice outdoor dining area with views of the 9th & 18th of the Weiskopf course. Great service and very accommodating staff.

The Bad: Those expecting a beautifully conditioned resort course will be disappointed, but those that enjoy the bump-&-run style of play will be overjoyed. The concept of the design is brilliant; however I felt that several greens felt “out of place” on the Black compared to the Red. Perhaps this is simply because I played the Red routing first and it caused bias but of the green complexes are borderline unfair. Lacks some of the on-course amenities compared to Forest Dunes.

The Verdict: While many marvel at The Loop, particularly the Red routing, as their favorite course in Michigan, I don’t rank it quite as high. It’s a unorthodox concept that is brilliantly executed, but the Forest Dunes course is more my cup of tea. With that said, it’s a magically fun place to spend an afternoon with buddies and beers.

Best Hole: The long, 450-yard first hole is a TOUGH Par-4 to open. Typically into the wind, it is a demanding way to start your day.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Fairly Easy
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
1.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

The Loop

What a waste of time and money! To pay $160 for that course was an absolute joke! About 4 nice holes out of 18. The maintenance on the course was totally lacking. Tees in the fairway (which is supposed to be novel) had uneven surfaces and bunkers in need of some serious attention. The fairways were extremely hard and boy could I go on!

Do yourself a favor and play Forest Dunes twice!!! This one is worthless!

Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 155
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 25 Contributor
Chicago Advisor
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

The Loop at Forest Dunes (Red)

The Good: The Loop at Forest Dunes, designed by the great Tom Doak in 2016, is one of the most unique golf experiences in the Midwest. A reverse routing with 18 green complexes and fairways that can be played either way on consecutive days, it has some of the most severe and fun greens that I’ve played. The Red course opens with a fairly benign, open tee shot but suckers you into thinking all is well. You’ll find this is the precursor to the rest of the course. Most Par-4’s Par-5’s are fairly straight away, but the standouts are the beautiful, tough Par-3’s. While several are short in stature, they have some bite! Course conditions are meant to be extremely firm and fast, so they aren’t nearly as pristine as its sibling Forest Dunes. Now a full-fledged resort with the additional of many great lodging options, it has a huge, immaculate clubhouse with full restaurant and very nice outdoor dining area with views of the 9th & 18th of the Weiskopf course. Great service and very accommodating staff.

The Bad: Those expecting a beautifully conditioned resort course will be disappointed, but those that enjoy the bump-&-run style of play will be overjoyed. The concept of the design is brilliant; however I wish there was more uniqueness to the holes, particularly the Par-4’s. Some of the green complexes are borderline unfair. Lacks some of the on-course amenities compared to Forest Dunes.

The Verdict: While many marvel at The Loop, particularly the Red routing, as their favorite course in Michigan, I don’t rank it quite as high. It’s a unorthodox concept that is brilliantly executed, but the Forest Dunes course is more my cup of tea. With that said, it’s a magically fun place to spend an afternoon with buddies and beers.

Best Hole: The uphill, Par-4 18th with several fairway traps framing the hole is a beautiful end to an interesting round.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Fairly Easy
Played On
Reviews 237
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Birmingham Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Used cart

The Loop, Part 2

I summed up a lot of my comments on the reversible Loop in my previous review of the Black routing yesterday.

However, after going in both directions, the Red routing is more fun, but the Black is the tougher test, and probably has more standout holes.

If you pay attention to your surroundings, it is amazing what you will notice about holes that you never saw when playing the other direction. Much like this track’s inspiration - the Old Course - it will take multiple loops to uncover the nuances it offers.

For me, the best single green complex for both courses, in my opinion, lies with the Black’s seventh and Red’s 11th. It plays as a short par-4 on the Black route and a long par 3 on the Red. What is interesting about this hole is that the pronounced slope on the left and back sides surrounding the green from the Red approach can be used to funnel balls to a back right hole location. I didn’t even notice it when playing the Black routing the day before. That is the pleasure of playing The Loop.

The direction of the wind will dictate not only your score, but what type of shots you will be required to play. That is fun to me, but it could beat some golfers up.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 237
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Birmingham Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Used cart

Loop exceedingly fun, misunderstood

So here are my initial thoughts after playing just one half of the routing. This is for the Black course, playing the Red tomorrow:

This is a concept born of the Old Course’s ability to play in reverse, and I think we will see more of these in the near future.

Doak’s design is simplistic, yet intricately thought out. There is not a lot of trouble on the course. The bunkers are the main land mines. The natural areas are extremely playable. The course’s defense however is in its’ contouring around the greens. I didn’t find them so severe that they border on unfair. I think you simply must “think” about the shot you want to play and see if it matches the shot you probably should play. That is essentially the key to scoring here.

The wind was up this afternoon, which kept my attention. But, I could see where you could kind of get lulled into a comfortable stretch in the beginning of the round. When you turn the scorecard over, however, the holes played scary long into the wind and the bogey train is boarding. The par-3 13th played uphill 211 yards into the wind. Do not go long! The finish can be a grind but there are some scoring opportunities in the final holes waiting to right the ship.

Here is another misconception I feel too many golfers have made and will make when playing The Loop: don’t compare it to Forest Dunes across the parking lot. They are two different philosophies. They rely on two different conditioning principles. What may look like bad conditions, brown grass and a barren landscape is just what is necessary to provide the linkslike experience the Loop is seeking.

What makes playing the Loop increasingly difficult is that although a primitive yardage guide is available for purchase, there is no way to tell what portion of the green the pin resides. Therefore, it is golf as it was in the beginning: inexact information, scruffy fairways, penal bunkers, wind-ravaged green complexes, generous teeing areas near the previous greens. Embracing this idea is essential to enjoying your round, no matter the routing that day on The Loop.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 31
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
3.0
D C Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Okay but a little over hyped

Designed by Tom Doak (previously played Old Mac & Pacific Dunes @bandondunesgolf and Blue Course @streamsongresort ) The Red course is one-half of the reversible 18s at the Loop in which the course can be played in two different directions creating two courses. I only played the red course but could see that the course would distinctively different yet play a very similar Links style game. I used my 8 iron and putter for most of my shots and enjoyed engaging the creativity portion of my golf brain. You can probably put away the driver and wedges, especially if the wind is high like it was for me. The course is fun and I appreciate the concept but if I return I would rather play 36 on Weiskopf's Forest Dune and once on the loop. The course is all fescue, which I always enjoy and plays very firm and fast. The bunkering is very good but can be very penalizing with such firm greens. The pictures online do not show you but the course is not flat, and the fairways have a lot of movement on most holes. If the wind is blowing and the conditions are firm you will face a real test of your game. If you enjoy links play you will enjoy if not you will be bored and frustrated. Overall the course is good but not great and uses the Loop factor to make it seem better than what it is which is a decent course.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 12
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

A Different Kind of Golf Course

As a reversible track, there aren't any tee boxes, just flags placed where one should tee off. The ground and greens were extremely hard and I had to play at least one club shorter into the greens than I usually would have. The front nine on the Black course was easier than the back, and I thought that some of the greens on the back almost bordered on unfair. I like the course, but if I was taking the time to go up to Roscommon and could only play on course, give me Forest Dunes every time.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 15
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Golf Channel
Previously Played
Walked

Fascinating experience. Enjoyed the layout and loved the firm, fast conditions. Would be even more fun and interesting the more you play it and uncover new shots, angles, etc.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 100
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 100 Contributor
Denver Advisor
First Time Playing
Wet weather
Used cart

Taken together, a rubiks cube of golf strategy

The loop Red and Black are two courses in one. Think of them as two diverse ways to play one course and you are well on your way to understanding the design concept. The good news is that both are about the same as far as enjoyment and you would miss out if you went one way without going the other the next day. The Black starts out with a couple of difficult holes and the finish is also more difficult. The Red starts out with a short par 4 and ends easier. Both courses have drivable par 4s, long par 4s (half par holes each way), short and long par 3s and par 5s that could be gone for in two. The only difference is when these type of holes appear. All holes have wide fairways, firm/fast conditions, undulating greens and a lot of strategy off the tee. Very enjoyable golf no matter which direction you are playing that day. I can only think that more plays will lead to a greater appreciation and understanding of the routing and strategy for each hole. There are bunkers that you will see in one direction and wonder why they are there until the next day. I played 36 each day and was only beginning to get how it was all put together.
One example of this is the tree on the right of the par 5 13th on the red. You must be on the left side of the fairway to go for it in two and if near it for your third, shotmaking will be required. The other way, #6 on the Black, you won't even notice the tree as it is not anywhere in your driving line. Instead, the 6 green has two tiers. While your approach on the 12th for red doesn't have the tiers come into play. This type of variety is unique to the Loop and I for one loved it.
The course does play linksy as you can run your ball to certain pin locations. The fairways also have a lot of run out in them.The green sites also reveal themselves on multiple plays as some contours are not known off the fairway. Multiple plays are needed for any great course and the second time around is a revelation here. Made me want to come back for more.
Off the course, Forest Dunes has everything you need. A range, Putting Green, restaurants, outdoor patio dining, lodging and all are top shelf. The loop is not next to the clubhouse, but still only a 5 minute walk.
If you are going to Forest Dunes, play the loop in both directions as well as the original course. The courses are quite different in strategy, but all are worth your time. Getting two courses for one makes the resort a must visit if you are going to Michigan.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 15
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Unique Golf Experience

The loop track is like nothing I've played before. It's a throwback concept, no formal tee boxes, simply flags in the ground. The front 9 you're shooting at one color of flag and the back nine it's a different color. We had no issue finding the next hole, or anything like that. It's not your finely manicured course like you'll see at a resort or even Forest Dunes across the street. The fairways are giant, and there isn't much for rough at all, so for us it was extremely playable, you don't lose balls, and you don't get stuck in gnarly rough. The challenge starts as you approach greens. You cannot attack greens, instead you need to roll balls onto the green and there are a ton of undulation in and around the greens, it was extremely challenging to decide what to play. However the point is that you can take on each hole in a different manner. I loved it, and it's a beautiful place. I will say that after hitting several great second shots that rolled off the back of greens I was ready to play a track where I could be aggressive in attacking greens. I got a bit bored and frustrated having to hit 10-15 yards short on every hole, but it's a challenge for your mind. I also played Forest Dunes after my round and would probably advise most golfers to play both, and I likely would have played Forest Dunes first b/c I liked it better and thought it was a prettier course. Most of all it's how golf was originally played and it's cool to take on that throwback. They now allow carts so it's much more manageable.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 14
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

A course unlike anything else in Michigan

Loop Black is unlike any other course in Michigan. With the course able to play from either direction, shots that go long can run off the backs and you have a dicy pitch back to the green. Awesome concept with the tee markers, just a small flag where you can tee anywhere on the box. Great tee balls will run for a long time. Greens roll true, but are slower than the Dunes course across the street.
Only bad thing is that if you go off the fairways good luck finding your ball. The rough is like a short brush that you almost have to step on in order to find a wayward ball. Also, make sure you pack a bug spray in your bag. We got ambushed on the back.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 69
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Michigan Advisor
Top 250 Contributor
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Walked

A Reversible Test

The Loop Black is more difficult than the Red routing. It's astounding how playing the course in a different direction makes it seem like a totally different track. Nowhere else in the world can you be playing the same bunker shot on two different courses on separate days. You'll have little moments of recognition, but both courses have so much character that you'll want to play them again and again.

The links-style play is incredibly fun. Both courses are very nice walks as well. It's a throwback to golden age courses with fast conditions and pleasant walks. You'll play shots here that you won't find anywhere else in Michigan. Get to Forest Dunes as soon as you can and play both routings of the Loop. You won't regret it!

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 69
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Michigan Advisor
Top 250 Contributor
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Walked

Pure Golf Fun

The Loop Red is an incredibly fun course to play. I was blown away when I stepped on the first hole. You can use almost anything off the tee and it'll run out to a good location, but it's your second shot that really matters. In true links fashion, you can't stick the greens. You have to play the ball short or run it up. It's a totally different style of play that's hard to find in the states. You really have to adjust your mental game to score well here. The architecture is world class. Trying to figure out both routings in your head is a puzzle you'll think about for a while. Some features on the Black course are even hidden from view on the Red.

I've already booked another tee time to play the Loop. It's one of the best in Michigan. Do yourself a favor and walk a couple of rounds at the Loop. It's like stepping back in time.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 167
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Walked

The Loop: Twice the Fun!

My first encounter with a Tom Doak design was at Black Forest up in Gaylord, Michigan. My recollection was that he liked to bury elephants in the green. The greens had some of the wildest breaks and undulations I had ever seen. They made some of Jack Nicklaus’ designs seem tame.

My second encounter was at Streamsong, where Doak and his Renaissance Golf team of architects created what many believe is one of Florida’s finest courses, Streamsong Blue. The greens, while they didn’t seem to have a much rise and fall as I remember from Black Forest, were extremely fast, which is not entirely Doak’s fault.

My lack of enthusiasm for Tom Doak-designed golf courses changed after I finished playing the first round of his latest creation – the reversible Loop Course at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Rosscommon Michigan. This is one – make that two – incredible golf courses!

Doak had been toying with the idea of creating a reversible course for more than 30 years. The idea comes from The Old Course at St. Andrews, which was played both was during the 19th century. Every now and then you’ll read about an event at The Old Course where it is played backwards.

Doak’s problem was find a piece of land where he could make his dream a reality. Tom now lives in Northern Michigan and knows the area quite well. He felt that the land around the Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon, MI had most of the elements he was looking for. To make a long story short, it just so happened that the course had come under new ownership and there was an interest in adding a second course. Several months later a deal was struck and Doak and his Renaissance team got to work. Very little earth was moved in creating The Loop. Doak did a great job of using the subtilties in the natural topography of the land to shape the holes and arrange them in a clockwise/counterclockwise direction.

The finished product is quite an accomplishment. Eighteen greens that are approach from different directions on different days, creating 36 unique golf holes. A green that plays as a par 3 on Monday could be a par 5 on Tuesday. Tee boxes are a throwback to the old days and are marked with a single small flag. Tee up on either side; there are no defined boundaries. There’s a good reason for this: what may be a tee box on Monday will be part of the fairway on Tuesday. There are three sets of tees on every hole, marked with Black, White and Red markers. They look like little flags and bear The Loop's Infinity logo.

The Loop is as close to Scotland as you can get without using a passport and is reminiscent of some of the great courses in the home of golf. It’s a walking only course, no motorized carts are allowed on the course. Guests may carry their own bag or use a push cart. A third option is to take a caddie. If you’re out to shoot your best score or take money from your buddies, this is a wise move, as their knowledge of the golf course and green complexes may prove a valuable resource.

The main reason this course is walking only is because of the special grasses that Doak used throughout the course. According to some of the maintenance people I spoke with, the fescue grass used cannot withstand the wear and tear of motorized golf carts. As you make your way around, you’ll see that even walkers and pull carts have literally left their mark on the course.

The Red Course plays counterclockwise around The Loop. Your round starts to the right of the 18th green and plays to the red flag in the distance. You play to the red flags on the front nine and the white flags on the back. If all else fails and you lose your way, just keep to the right.

The routing on the Red Course is more traditional; starting you out with holes that lift your spirits and give you hope, only to bring you back to reality on the last few holes. One of the more memorable scoring holes is the short par 4 12th, which can produce a 6 or 7 as easily as a 3 or 4. At only 312 yards from the back tees, many long hitters will be tempted to go for the green off the tee. Although it plays downhill, it’s a long carry over the front bunker and shooting it up the gap on the left can make for a tricky up and down. Long fescue grasses and the odd tree await anything hit to the right.

The Black Course plays clockwise around the property. The round starts left of the 18th green and plays to the white flag in the distance. With this routing, you play to white flags on the front nine, and the red flags on the back, just like you were playing The Old Course at St. Andrews. If you ever get to the point where you’re not sure of which way to go, just keep to the left!

The Black Course starts out tough and finishes somewhat easier than the Red. Coincidently, Number 12 on the Black Course is also a short par 4 and perhaps the most memorable on the entire course – either way. Although you’ll be tempted to thump the ball off the tee between the bunkers on the left, you may want to consider laying up short of the bunker. Anything over the bunker but not far enough left will funnel down the slope and bring the deep bunker on the right side in to play. Too far right off the tee and one of The Loop’s rare trees may hinder your approach shot.

Last Word: The Loop takes golfers back to the simple origins of golf. Hazards typically found in the US are limited; there is no water on the course and only a few man-made bunkers. And, although the course is situated within a state forest, very few trees come into play. There is no first or second cut of rough; if you don’t see your ball when you get up to it, you’re in trouble. That said, there is still an unbelievable amount of trouble in the form of natural wastelands formed over a long period of time and areas of native fescue grasses.

Playing the course just once each way is not nearly enough to develop any kind of feel or to really distinguish one hole from another. In looking back at my rounds on the Red and Black Courses and trying to recreate the rounds, I found that it was necessary to refer to the yardage book, and sometimes that wasn’t enough.
The fairways on The Loop are wide open, especially off the tee, giving you the opportunity to just swing away and hit it as far as you can. This can be both good and bad because The Loop has some of the most intriguing green complexes you will ever encounter. Often there a huge advantage to approaching the green from one side of the fairway and the green complexes require you to hit a variety of shots and be creative if you want to get your ball close to the hole. It really does require a lot of mental acuity to get around the course successfully.

What ended up being the downfall of The Old Course being a reversible course was that memorable holes, such as the Road Hole (No. 17) and the par-3 11th just weren’t the same when played in the opposite direction. Eventually, people only showed up to play it when it played in a particular direction. The Loop is less than two years old so it’s a little early to tell if it will have the same fate.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 25+
Skill Intermediate
Plays Twice a year
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

First Time Golfing in Michigan

I live in Florida and had the pleasure of walking 18 holes on my last trip to Michigan where we visiting Forest Dunes and walked The Loop- Red. I'm not a great golfer, but found the course to be really enjoyable to play, fairly easy to walk and all around a beautiful way to spend an afternoon. We played the Red course, but would love to go back and play it in reverse on Black to see how different it is. Beautiful setting, unique course, especially for the area. Will definitely be back and would recommend to friends in Michigan.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
1.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Walked

Needs Help

It's billed as a throwback to courses in Scotland and they supposedly maintain it as such. Problem is the climate in Michigan is completely different. The course was completely burnt out. Not a problem except for the greens. They have a lot of small greens with wild undulations that, when burnt out, can't hold a shot. It was not fun. Add in that there is no drinking water on the course, you must walk (fine), there are giant gnats swarming you at all times, and it was 90+ degrees and it's not worth playing. Water the greens, find a bug spray that works, and add drinking water and MAYBE you might have a course. Don't waste your money until they do.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Poor
Friendliness Fair
Pace Good
Amenities Poor
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 16
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Michigan Advisor
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Walked

Lets get a Little Loopy

So first-thing first, you have to walk this course . . . and that is where this review ends . . .

Just kidding, located right across the street from the main Forest Dunes course, this course is wide-open. Walking it was definitely enjoyable, albeit a little tiring. Definitely recommend getting the pull-cart. We had about half the group get caddies, which ranged from great caddying to poop caddying (guy did not know the course, not sure he had ever played golf before, was asking other caddies to read putts, etc. etc.). Anyways, if you don't mind a little exercise, definitely play this course. It is get-able and you can go low, just be wary of some hidden traps going in the opposite direction and play it a little shorter because the ball tends to run out on everything. If you're up by the Dunes, I'd advise to play the original course prior to trying out the loop, but to each their own.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Average
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
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The Unlimited Golf Getaway package is perfect for the serious golfer that wants to pack in the rounds! The unlimited package provides you unlimited golfing access to five of BOYNE's outstanding golf courses and a night's stay. Courses included in the package are The Moor and Donald Ross Memorial at Boyne Highlands, The Alpine and The Monument at Boyne Mountain, and Crooked Tree Golf Club*.
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