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4.3
12 Reviews (12)
5 Stars
7
4 Stars
3
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.7
Value
4.6
Layout
4.6
Friendliness
4.6
Pace
4.7
Amenities
4.1
100.0%
Recommend this course
12 out of 12 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.3
3 Reviews (3)
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.7
Value
4.7
Layout
4.7
Pace
5.0
Amenities
4.3
StaffFriendliness
4.7
100.0%
Recommend this course
3 out of 3 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.3
3 Reviews (3)
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.7
Value
4.7
Layout
4.7
Pace
5.0
Amenities
4.3
StaffFriendliness
4.7
100.0%
Recommend this course
3 out of 3 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Public/Resort
Par 72
Length 7412 yards
Slope 132
Rating 75.6

Course Details

Year Built 2018
Golf Season April 1st - November 10th
Architect Jason Straka (2018) Dana Fry (2018)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes - included in green fees
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Caddies Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Discover Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No

Food & Beverage

Bar, Grill, Restaurant

Lodging

Lodging Available

Accolades

  • Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Michigan (2018 #9)

Reviews

4.3
12 Reviews (12)
Advanced Filters
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
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Used cart

Golden Age Replica

This course is a great attempt at making a golden age course that the public can play. Course conditions were firm and fast, and the greens were some of the fastest I've ever played. The conditions at the South Course were exceptional and were some of the best I've seen anywhere (I would consider them comparable to Valhalla or Victoria National). I would highly recommend a forecaddie for your first trip around the course, as there are multiple blind tee shots and it can be difficult to know where to place the ball on the greens due to their massive size and slopes.
As amazing as the conditions of the course were, the real stars of the course are the incredible green complexes. The greens feature severe slopes and most feature 3-4 large tiers or mounds. The imagination and skill demanded to play around these greens made for an entertaining day.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 16
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Firm and Fast

Arcadia Bluffs South is a very new golf course, that when it matures, it will provide a wonderful alternative to the Bluffs course. Great layout, long, but it does run firm and fast so it’s still playable. Wonderful RECTANGULAR greens that are firm, smooth, and fast. You will use every club in your bag, and it’s a fun layout. The staff is professional and very friendly. They have golf carts with GPS and this helps with a new course. Caddie’s are available, but I didn’t use one. The greens were hard and mostly unreceptive, but by next year they will be better. But HARD AND FAST is the true links experience, I just prefer a little softer greens (I don’t expect a parkland atmosphere, just no large bounces). I would certainly recommend this course and I will be returning!

Oh, and dinner in the restaurant was outstanding!

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
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
Perfect weather
Used cart

The South Course at Arcadia Bluffs - Mssterful Macdonald Homage

The Good: The South Course at Arcadia Bluffs is a beautifully-conditioned Dana Fry & Jason Straka homage to golf courses of yesteryear, particularly C.B. Macdonald’s Chicago Golf Club. With its huge, square green complexes and rectangular, church pew style sand bunkers scattered all over the place, its quite the sight. Excellent course conditions that present an opportunity for firm & fast conditions, the green complexes are the real challenge. Given that the greens are so large, the course can set up different golf courses with 6-8 various pin locations. Good Par 4’s and Par-5 variety, but the real showcase is the extremely demanding and fun Par-3’s. Similar in style and look to the original Arcadia Bluffs clubhouse, the South course’s amenities are top notch. Nice indoor dining area and quaint outdoor seating area with its own Adirondack chairs. One of the finest short game areas I’ve seen on a public course. GPS on carts is a nice plus. Decent value at $130 considering the cost of many other premier Midwestern resort courses.

The Bad: There’s not much change in elevation or variety in the designs, but this is easily forgotten once you step on the crazy green complexes. Some of the pin locations are absurdly difficult when we played and didn’t really allow for even the most skilled of golfers to hit shots close to the green. The greens putt perfectly but were almost too firm for the average weekend golfer. Lack of outdoor dining area, particularly during Covid-19, was a bummer.

The Verdict: While it doesn’t have the lake views of the cache of its older sibling, the South Course at Arcadia Bluffs was the pleasant surprise of my golf trip in 2020. The variety of the green complexes were the true standout and the main reason why many actually prefer to play this course more often than the Bluffs. A Top 5 Michigan course I’ve played.

Best Hole: Even though it led to a triple bogey, the Par-3 5th hole is an 190-yard demon that I can’t wait to play again. A very tough green that is hoisted well above the tee-area, its has a huge fall-off to the left if you miss the green.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 26
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

South Course - Awesome!!!!

8 buddies on a golf trip thoroughly enjoyed the South course. Walked with caddies. Easy walk and a fun layout. Course and practice facilities were immaculate! Our caddies ( Travis & Ty) were really great. I’d definitely come back here again. My only complaint was that I requested individual caddies for each person in our group. When we checked in we were told we would only have 3 caddies. Only 2 caddies showed up.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 10
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
3.0
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Used cart

Difficult New Links Style Course

Played this course a couple days after playing the Bluffs course. I have to say, this course is extremely difficult. I would say as of right now, it's almost set up for the pros because it is so firm; thus, increasing the difficulty.

Regarding the conditions... I said excellent because the course is pristine but here's the full scoop. The fairways are very very wide so there is some freedom to spray the ball but once in the fescue, it's best to just chop out. The fairways are still very firm and this will give one significant roll off the tee and when approaching the green (it's a smart play to land the ball short of the green and get it to bounce and roll onto the green). The greens are incredibly firm, which means that spinning a lob wedge from 80 yards with a full swing will yield a bounce, and no check (surprisingly). The greens are incredibly fast and that makes for some great putting! The greens all have false sides and hitting to the middle of the green is the safest play. The green-side bunkers have a ring of "rough" around them so if can leave a tough shot where the ball is stuck in the rough instead of the bunker (I wished they rolled into the bunker instead of staying the in the rough).

Overall, it's a great, very difficult course to play and I would recommend you play once (at your own peril lol) to say that you've played it but I would wait a couple of years until the conditions soften up.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 5
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Great Design and Fun to Play

Really enjoyed the layout and course conditions and the practice areas, first class! Now for the not so great. Paid my money but no directions to the practice facilities. Another minus was they said there would be a beverage cart out. We did not see one all day and it was toasty!
The final negative is that as a single I was stuck in between 2 foursomes. The foursome let me through, but the three some in front of them did not ask me to join them?
Pace of play?
It is a GREAT NEW COURSE TO PLAY!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Fair
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
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
Perfect weather
Used cart

A Modern based on Classics

I thought that the South Course would have been polarizing and reviews would have a love it or hate it showing. I am pleasantly surprised that all reviews are favorable. I would have thought that an old school architecture course with firm fast conditions, ground game emphasis, massive contoured greens and no water in sight would have been hated by plenty. I am glad that I am wrong; instead, it has been nothing but love by reviewers and add me to that list.
The course itself is all that is mentioned above and then some. Very Linksy firm and fast golf here. Take 15 yards off your approach shot and watch the roll. It is also very strategic as plenty of fairways have bunkers in the middle of them or cross bunkers. Both of these force decisions and accuracy. I've only seen this at links courses, but they are prevalent in Golden Age Private courses in the USA. The style of golf is mentally engaging and shotmaking is emphasized. Using slopes to bring the ball towards the pin happens frequently. Thinking about the run that your drive will have forces different lines on tee shots. In the end, you are going to have a lot of fun. I wish that I had time for 36 as things are learned in the first round that would help with future rounds. This could be a course for a lifetime as different pin positions and wind will demand different angles and shots.
Off the course, they have a driving range, putting green and chipping green. There is a temporary clubhouse which really just has a proshop and small restaurant but it has a good menu. (They are building a full clubhouse and maybe some lodging) The drive from the main lodge is only 10 minutes so not a big deal. Pace of play was great as I went out as a single and only had to play through one foursome. I was done in about 2.5 hours. Twilight rates make it reasonable. I also think that this course is quite walkable and the only walk of any type of distance would be between the two nines.
Over all this is a can't miss if you are in Michigan. Any golf trip to Northern Michigan should have this on the agenda. A unique, wonderful and fun public course experience.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 16
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Michigan Advisor
First Time Playing

Surprise Sand South

Started off the 6 course, 3-day weekend with 20 bros at the South course. The training facility was pristine with everything you could imagine, use the bunkers because you’ll need the practice to slay this beast.

On to the course, it was in great shape but I feel like the rough and fescue need to grow a bit. My playing partners consistently blasted it, what one would guess is, outta bounds but no balls were ever lost and they had quite a day scrambling around the pitch.

The greens played a bit slower than expected. Be wary, every hole there is a trap waiting 250-290 yards in the fairway ready to eat your ball. The greens don’t get friendlier as most are better protected by bunkers than Fort Knox is with barbed wire.

Good luck, be ready for beach play

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Average
Friendliness Average
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 303
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Advisor
Previously Played
Windy weather
Walked

Will certainly turn heads in northern Michigan

I had the chance to play the brand new South Course twice over three days. I played from different tees in a different wind direction but walked both times. It's a very intuitive and walkable routing, something that can't be said for the more dramatic Bluffs course up the road.

The design here was a real treat and is sure to get a lot of attention as it matures. The site is certainly not showy like the Bluffs course but architect Dana Fry made the most of it, delivering something totally unique and unexpected given what seems to be the trends in resort golf these days. The angular, Chicago Golf/Seth Raynor-inspired shaping makes each shot engaging. I had a blast on it.

Each nine has a killer stretch of holes. On the front, Nos. 5-6-7 are great, and on the back, I especially love nos. 15-17. For those who think the Bluffs is too penal for them, it's really hard to get into too much trouble on the South.

What was especially impressive was the turf quality of the 007 bent grass, probably an 8.5-9/10 in terms of where they want it to be. Despite two days in a row of big storms, the fairways still rolled nicely and you could putt and bump-and-run shots into the green. Give the fescue areas another couple summers to really pop and make this place light up.

Arcadia hasn't made the big splash some other modern resorts have but they have slowly and methodically created a first-class destination over 20 years and now with two courses to play, a stay-and-play here is a real no-brainer.

Conditions Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

A new Gem in Michigan

Four of us had the real pleasure if playing this new Dana Fry creation, inspired by renowned Chicago Golf. It is A+ in every sense and highly recommend playing it next season.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Wet weather
Used cart

Arcadia Adds a Winner

This is probably the most mentally engaging course I have ever played. Every shot makes you think about where you want it to land. It was drizzling almost all day when I played this course, and the greens were still extremely firm and fast. There is almost no hope of having a ball spin backwards on these greens. You need to use the undulations to feed the ball towards the hole which makes for some very fun shots.

The greens. These are what make the course great. They roll perfectly, and have crazy undulations without being unfair. Each one is so unique.

Off the tee the fairways are pretty wide, but you do have to navigate the nasty fairway bunkers. If you go in one there is almost no shot of hitting the green. All of the bunkers were in perfect shape, even after a good bit of rain.

Some of the best holes:
Hole 2 is a short par 4 that is reachable for longer hitters with a severely undulating green. My buddy drove it and 3 putt for par.

Hole 5 is an uphill par 3 that may as well be an island green. Miss left and you are in a 6 foot deep bunker, miss right or short and your ball will roll 30 yards off the green.

Hole 9 is a long par 4 with a large false front in front of the green. The green is massive with two plateaus in the back right and left making two putts difficult if you are on the wrong tier.

Hole 12 is a Lions Mouth green which means it is shaped like a horse-shoe around a bunker in front of the green. Severely down hill off the tee, fun shot.

Hole 13 is a long uphill dogleg right with a pair of snake-eye bunkers 40 yards short of the green. The green is a giant punch-bowl style green funneling all shots towards the middle of it.

Hole 16 is a 230 yard par 3 that played into the wind for us, miss short or left and your ball will funnel into a collection area 15 feet below green level.

Hole 17 pays homage to Oakmont's famous church pew bunkers. DO NOT miss into these bunkers or you may be playing out straight sideways.

There is no clubhouse built yet at the South Course which was my only low mark from my experience there. There is no driving range but a really good putting and short game area. Pace of play was average, but I imagine the rain slowed everyone down a bit. You definitely need to add this to your must play list.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Fair
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
Perfect weather
Used cart

A firm, fast, and beautiful puzzle

I'm going to start this review by saying for the most part, I will not be comparing the South course to the Bluffs course. There is such a huge different between the two that I don't believe it's fair to compare them. That being said, this is some of the most fun and challenging golf I've ever played.

Despite being inland, with no views of water and only two trees on the course, the views are captivating. The landscape rolls gently in some places and very harshly in others. The sun hitting the native grasses is gorgeous and the bunkers provide a delightful contrast amidst the greens and yellows.

The course plays very fast. Low shots will be your friend, especially off the tee and around the greens. It's in your best interest to roll your ball where it needs to end up instead of carrying it there. It's a play style that I've only ever had to use at the Kingsley Club, and it's one I thoroughly enjoy. It requires a lot more thinking and planning than the average golf course (especially around the crowed greens). The bunkers are strategically placed to gobble up your miss-hits. It's tough to make par after ending up in one, but it's a fun challenge. I don't think I've ever had to think this much while playing golf. It makes me want to play this course over and over.

With the opening of this course, I believe Arcadia Bluffs should be one of the top golf resorts in the Midwest. There are not many places where you can play two courses so uniquely different, both with breathtaking views. I love playing the Bluffs course, but the South course makes me want to come back just as much. I didn't think a new Arcadia course could possibly stand up to its older sibling, but the South course surprised me. Do yourself a favor and come play one of the most fun and unique golf courses you'll ever play in your life. I'll be back soon!

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
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