Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course
|White (W)||73||6389 yards||76.8||142|
|Red (W)||73||5024 yards||64.7||120|
|Champions M: 75.7/146||519||189||530||415||583||195||472||449||203||3555||481||633||431||240||340||519||486||176||439||3745||7300|
|Blue M: 72.7/140||498||182||524||410||578||190||434||389||196||3401||424||594||430||190||340||470||459||170||435||3512||6913|
|White M: 70.5/134 W: 76.8/142||459||160||502||367||557||161||425||352||162||3145||399||563||378||160||310||460||441||158||375||3244||6389|
|Gold M: 69.2/125||415||146||467||311||460||142||365||310||140||2756||375||480||305||135||304||440||376||150||340||2905||5661|
|Red M: 64.7/120 W: 69.8/128||355||124||372||279||439||80||350||295||134||2428||359||465||293||98||245||358||342||129||307||2596||5024|
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Photo submitted by cjohnbrown on 10/07/2019
Photo submitted by cjohnbrown on 10/07/2019
Photo submitted by cjohnbrown on 10/07/2019
Clubhouse on the Hill Photo submitted by grandslamsam92 on 07/14/2019
Number 12 (on the lake) Photo submitted by grandslamsam92 on 07/14/2019
Photo submitted by grandslamsam92 on 07/14/2019
Waiting.... Photo submitted by bjjans22 on 06/04/2019
Photo submitted by u00000760482 on 09/26/2017
teeing off on 11 Photo submitted by BrandonTuckerGA on 09/06/2016
Photo submitted by Jesse5296632 on 07/06/2015
Overhyped and Overpriced
Oh where to start? Arcadia, I wanted you to be great. I did. I wanted you to live up to the hype. I wanted you to overwhelm me. Unfortunately you did not. In fact, you underwhelmed me. I’ll start with the good: beautiful clubhouse, nice views, good practice area, great greens.
The bad: When you tell players your expected pace of play is 4:45 you’re just inviting them to play 5:30+ hour rounds...and guess what? They do. We teed off with what should have been plenty of time to finish before sunset only to be disappointed by darkness setting in on #16. But what about rangers you ask? Non-existant, a myth. Paid $140 for 16 holes, and it was by far the worst value of our trip.
Overpriced and terrible service? Check and check. We arrived an hour before our round, thinking that we had plenty of time to check out the clubhouse, pro shop, and grab some food before heading to the first tee. We go to the pro shop, intent on buying a bag tag as a souvenir. How much? $26. You’re kidding me right Arcadia. Royal County Down, you know, the #1 course in the world, charges $20. Royal Portrush, you know, host of the 2019 Open Championship, charges $18.
So we moved on from that and said hey lets grab some hot dogs. After being scoffed at by the bartender/waiter as if we were second class citizens (which everyone who worked there seemed to be condescending and aloof aside from the guy who provided transport from the parking lot to the clubhouse) we were charged $46 for 1 hot dog and 3 brats, which is, well, insane. A half hour goes by, which by the way at this point is getting very close to our tee time, and the items that take about 10 minutes to cook are still not out. I go ask about their status and am told “they’ll be out when they’re done.” Cool, thanks,. Finally got them about 10 minutes before our tee time, had to scarf them down, and then were told we would lose our spot if we did not get to the tee on time.
Lastly, the course is okay. Don’t get me wrong, it was in good condition (can’t say great because the walls of many bunkers are literally crumbling), but my main problem with Arcadia is that if you take this course, put it in the middle of the state, next to the Loop or Forest Dunes...it barely makes top 10 in the state and certainly does not rate ahead of either of the aforementioned. #s 11, 12, and 13 are all that you see in pictures and there are good views down to Lake Michigan on every hole...but it’s the same view: rich green fairways, brown fescue, and water beyond. Sunset was beautiful, but the water is so far down and removed from the course, there is no immediacy like you feel at say Pebble Beach, or even Bay Harbor, and because of where it is situated along the coastline (with no peninsula jutting out) there are no real views down the coast when you are on the lakeside holes. It’s a nice course, with a good layout, but for the steep fee they charge for everything, the poor service, the aloof attitude from their team members, and the downright terrible pace of play, it unfortunately fell at the bottom of the list of courses we played over the weekend which included (by order of over quality) The Loop, Bay Harbor, Forest Dunes, and Arthur Hills.
Arcadia, I wanted you to be great, I did, but you fell woefully short of that.
Amazing Must Play Course
Challenging but fair Arcadia Bluffs sits on Lake Michigan and creates magic amongst the dunes. The real challenge is the approaches into greens. You can feel the inspiration from classic Links courses with huge pot bunkers, stunning seaside holes and tight fairways between the dunes. You will need all of your game when the wind blows. The course plays firm and fast and the greens are generous via the ground and the air. Many of my favorite holes are not even lakeside but the lakeside holes are stunning. As the waves lap against the beach you will feel like you are oceanside on the coast. The staff is very good especially the Marshals who often wait in fairways to show you where your ball is when wayward. The round will play slow but won't feel slow expect at least 5 hours, it is more about routing and find a lost ball we did not wait on the tee boxes. The Rangers are great, very friendly, helpful and keep the pace (they even mark your errant ball for you can find it faster.)
The Bluffs - incredibly amazing but bring your A++++ game
8 buddies on a golf trip got beat up by The Bluffs. One of the nicest courses we’ve ever played in our 10 year golf trip history. With that said, it beat the crap out of us...twice. Especially the back 9. Also, pace of play is reallllly slow. The starter tells you the pace is 4:45 but it took us 5:20. Even with the slow pace, our group agreed we would return. Play the appropriate tees for sure. If you don’t hit it far, play the whites. Thanks Arcadia Bluffs for an awesome time!!!!
Evening at Arcadia Bluffs
2nd time to play here. Course is awesome, a great golf experience. My only advice is to plan on a 5 hour round and make sure you tee off early enough to get done before sunset. We didn't tee off until 4:40 and played the last hole in the dark. A little over 5 hour round. Waited on pretty much every shot. Go early and enjoy the scenery after the round. Also, play the South Course. It is a lot of fun.
An amazing course that will absolutely live up to expectations. You cannot beat the views here, and the design and layout are top-notch. It is expensive, but it's honestly worth the price of admission. You will not soon forget your round here, and from the moment you drive up to the club house you'll be blown away by the views. I'd rate this one better than Whistling Straights, though not as difficult (thankfully).
Scottish-like Course in Michigan
This is the third time I have played this course (4th of July) and it is truly exceptional. The views are amazing and the conditions are just as good. While the fairways are fairly wide and the rough is fairly deep, the course has deep fescue outside of that and a wayward drive will punish you. There are several blind tee shots so hitting at the aiming posts is key.
Combining the wind, tough course layout, and long drives (if you play from the back tees) the pace of play can be quite slow. Unfortunately, my group was stuck behind a foursome that spent 10 minutes looking for fescue shots, putting 1 foot putts, waiting to try and hit every par 5 in two but duffing the second shot. We asked the staff to urge them to play a little bit quicker but with no luck, a 4 hour and 15 minute round turned into a 5 hour and 30 minute round. With the sunshine and beautiful views it wasn't too bad.
The restaurant has indoors and outdoors and the outdoor seating is awesome and the indoor has a great view as well and the food is very good. We were very lucky in that the night we went, they had a bagpiper come out and play at sunset.
I would definitely recommend playing this course!
Great layout and great course. Staff was great with check in and directions to practice areas and the first hole. After your round the locker room has a great changing and shower area! Generous fairways, but you can stray far!
They do have caddies, but I was paired with a local who know the course very well!
The Epitome of Golf in America
Arcadia Bluffs is American Golf Incarnate: You take a Cart (you can get a caddie, but I think that the course would be a far cry from an easy walk as there are a few green to tee transitions that are not short), because its on the water it is called a links, but it does not play like one at all (like Pebble, Whistling Straits, etc), The views are Fantastic, The off course amenities are top class, the round will take about 4.5 hours, you need to hit it high and straight, the design is mostly penal as trouble is everywhere. I am glad we had a day without wind as I can picture this place being a multi-sleeve round if the wind is up. Spent plenty of time searching for partners balls without wind; fairways can be quite tight on the back nine.
Now, you might be saying that the previous list sounds perfect to you and that is why Arcadia is doing well. I enjoyed my round and the day. Off the course, they have everything you need to get ready in a practice range and short game area. They have multiple restaurants, a terrace and an area with deck chairs to watch sunset complete with bagpiper. You can also watch people come in on the 18th. The experience is definitely 5 star. From what I understand, the lodging is too.
The course itself is set on cliffs high above Lake Michigan. The routing enables you to revisit the water on multiple occasions and the views are quite spectacular. The only negative of the course is the handful of tight fairways. The layout itself does present some shot options off the tee, plenty of bunkers, some elevated greens and greens which have some contour and plenty of sections divided by ridges, contour, etc. There are half pars on both sides on the par 4s. The par 3s are not redundant, play in all directions and demand accuracy. They also vary in length. You will definitely need your sand game and short game ready as the rough around the greens is tall and plenty of misses will find you with semi-blind uphill shots. A very good course.
Over all,I wish I could give 4.5 stars as it is deserving of it. Between the Bluffs and the South Course, Arcadia offers two courses that are very different and I find that to be a great thing. If you are a golfer seeking to play in Michigan, Arcadia and Forest Dunes should be your first two destinations.
Wet Day at Arcadia
A buddy and I traveled to MI to play Arcadia and Forest Dunes. The play really is special, it's beautiful and picturesque. The clubhouse is nice, but I didn't think the bar area is anything super special, so I'm not giving a 5 star for the amenities, b/c the clubhouse was beautiful but not captivating. The pro shop was fine but they need to get someone a bit younger or with better style to work on their shirts and hats, most were extremely lame and SUPER expensive. The logo isn't good, just doesn't look good on a shirt or clothing item. I was disappointed b/c I couldn't force myself to buy even a hat that I thought was stylish. The course itself is fantastic... great challenges, excellent conditions, the views, oh the views. The sad part for us was that it rained by hole 7 and we played in really cold and wet conditions through the back 9. It was difficult to fully appreciate the place b/c we were, well... wet and cold. That obviously has some bearing on my opinion of the place. The only layout fault was that multiple par 3's were the same length from the white tees, 160 yards. We paid $215 to play here and didn't have an option due to location to stop our round, although the pro shop offered us 18 holes the following 2 days but we couldn't swing it. I would play here again but at the $215 price tag it made me wonder how many great courses were around with similar topography that are MUCH better values, we passed about 10 courses on the way there. I would likely play some of the other courses in the area before spending big on this one, but if you haven't played it you should do it for the experience.
“And thru the fog we saw it....The Bluffs”
This was quite the track. Not my first rodeo, but ‘‘twas for some in the crew and the course itself did not disappoint.
We did, however, have to deal with a 1.5 hour fog delay which resulted in a 6.5 hour round waiting on every hole (back to this in a moment).
The course itself was nothing short of spectacular. Excellent views, impeccable shape and some really challenging golf. BUUTT the waits, man the waits. I get the fog delay, but there is no reason for a round to take 7 hours. Green fees were $130, I feel like $80 went for the course and the additionally $50 was to soak in the views at each 20 minute wait on the tee, it was like Cedar Point and totally took away from the bluff-perience...ahhh well, we had fun and the 2.5 hours extra spent on the course meant there was no time for a post-round feast at the course.
Great Fun and Great Course
I am an intermediate level golfer. This course was challenging but very fun. I have to say it is the most fun I have had playing golf and not scoring well. The scenery was amazing. The amenities were top notch. I have played Spyglass Hill at Pebble Beach and I believe this course to be better. The price was very fair for a well groomed course and awesome practice facilities. Dinner was the round was pricey but the meal was outstanding. Our group will definitely play here again. If you are in Northern Michigan, this is a must golf.
Greens ruined the experience
The views and layouts are amazing, but the fun stops once you're at the greens. Too many times I hit good shots into the greens, fixing ball marks within 10' of the hole, only to find my ball 20-50' away and behind mounds and tiers that made the putts literally impossible to keep close, or even on the green. One putt in particular, 20' from the hole, but had to go over a tall mound to the hole on the downslope which lead to a false front. The 'play' was to hit the ball 90* away from the hole, up an adjacent slope, and hope the ball settles back within 15' for the par putt. This happened WAY too many times throughout the round. At $199 I'll easily pass on playing this course again anytime soon. Many other courses nearby have better bang for the buck.
My favorite course in America
I maybe biased in my reviews because I love Links golf. I have played pebble, Bethpage, Whistling Strights , Bay Hill etc. This experience is down right better. From the moment you drive up, you get a feeling that something magical is taking place.
I can’t believe that some clown wrote that the greens don’t hold. He gave the course 4 Stars? Are you kidding me? You hit your fairways and you can control the spin and distances associated with the greens. The greens are extremely fast and true .
This is my new favorite course in the states. The views alone are worth the 195 price point.
I can’t wait to come back. What a treat.
One of the best in Michigan
Believe everything you've heard about Arcadia Bluffs. People say the sunsets here are some of the best you'll ever see, and I agree with that 100%. Don't get distracted by the views, however, because this course is a test and it needs your full attention. The starter will help you choose the correct tee boxes to make sure you have the most enjoyable experience possible. The fairways play fast but fair and the greens are always speedy. The conditioning is top notch, from the tee boxes all the way to the sod bunkers (which you don't want to end up in). There is only one thing that I can complain about, and that is the pace of play. With a golf course this spectacular, there are bound to be many people here, and that can cause some backups. The rangers usually help speed things up, but sometimes you're just stuck. I wouldn't let slow pace of play discourage you from playing here. You can easily put it out of your mind and enjoy what lies before you. This bucket list course is definitely one of the best in the states. Take a vacation and come to northern Michigan to play this gem on the lake.
lives up to the hype. Beautiful views, great layout, and top notch conditions. Gotta hit the right spots to score. I hit a number of greens that just couldn't hold. would love to go back.
I've played a number of courses in Ireland. This is the closest thing to Irish links golf that you will play here in the states.
This course truly lives up to the #1 ranking. The views are spectacular and the course was in perfect condition. The staff was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. It was definitely well worth the drive and price. I will definitely be playing there again.
Best in Michigan
For years I had been hearing about the great Arcadia Bluffs. I thought there was no way it would live up to the hype. It does. The layout of the course is fantastic and the changes in elevation need to been seen to be believed. It is a fair but challenging course. Even when your ball goes in the high stuff, most of the time you are able to find it and play it. It is not cheap to play, but the good courses rarely are. There only negative was that there were A LOT of ball marks on the greens. You would think the golfers who spend the money to play would care enough to fix their ball marks.
Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course lived up to the hype. Staff was super friendly and were happy we were there. Club House is top notch and a the pre-round lunch on the patio was very good as were the views of course and Lake Michigan. Course was in pristine condition fairways are generous but anything off the fairway is trouble if you hit in the tall grass around each fairway good luck finding the ball, if ball is found very difficult to advance the ball. The greens are super fast and undulated, very hard to stop the ball and just have to tap putts. Play to front of greens. Very good views of Lake Michigan on almost every hole must hit a ball into Lake Michigan on #11. The bag pipe player and gallery on 18 are very cool. Expected pace of play is 4 hr 45 minute our group of high handicappers finished in 5 hours. The Marshals politely press the pace of play. I advise to just enjoy the views and the quality of the course and not get caught up on pace of play. We took advantage of the early Sunday 2:00 pm twilight rate . Highly recommend Arcadia Bluff a must play.
We had a foursome and a threesome on senior day. A 10:30 group showed up late and were sent out at 12:00. The first four holes we played we fine, but when we got to the 5th hole it was backed up. Waited on every shot on every hole after that which resulted in a 5 hour plus round. A couple things that were upsetting is that when we were waiting on the #7 tee two marshals were flirting with the girls at the hotdog stand while there were 4 groups on that hole. One of the marshals told us to keep up with the group in front of us as we had been waiting to tee off for some time before that. They then sent a young guy out to us on #8 green who just stood there and when one in our group asked what he was doing he said that he was going to tend the flag to speed up play. Didn't know how that would help when at least 4 groups in front was holding up the entire course. He followed us around for 3 holes which was very annoying. Our groups are fast players, playing ready golf and normally play in under 4 hours. The slow play took away from what should have been a great experience on a beautiful layout. Would not recommend playing there.
A poor man's Whistling Straits
Prepare yourself for a great day playing one of Michigan's best golf courses when you tee it up at Arcadia Bluffs. I've had the good fortune to play this northwest Michigan gem two times and would play it everyday, if I could. The layout is terrific with a variety of shots and club selections. The scenery is spectacular! Lake Michigan is in view for many of the holes on the back nine. The greens are pristine and the staff is welcoming and friendly. I got to play on the Sr. rate day (Tuesday) for $90 and what a value! This course will challenge all levels of golfers and will make you want to come back again and again!