Kingsley Club golf course - No. 17
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Kingsley Club golf course - No. 17
Designed by Michael DeVries, Kingsley Club in northern Michigan plays firm and fast, allowing the contour of the ground to be an integral element of the play. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Images
Kingsley Club golf course - No. 1
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Kingsley Club golf course - No. 1
The opening hole at Kingsley Club is medium par 5 where the optimal tee shot plays over a large bunker complex. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Kingsley Club golf course - No. 2
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Kingsley Club golf course - No. 2
A deep bunker catches many balls that roll off a false front on the right side of the green on the par-3 second at Kingsley Club in Michigan. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Kingsley Club golf course - No. 3
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Kingsley Club golf course - No. 3
The par-4 third, like all the holes at Kingsley Club, has a green with which to be reckoned. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Kingsley Club golf course - No. 4
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Kingsley Club golf course - No. 4
The 411-yard fourth hole at Kingsley Club brings in all the elements -- rolling terrain, sand and a sloping green. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Kingsley Club G.C. - No. 6
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Kingsley Club G.C. - No. 6
The par-4 sixth hole at Kingsley Club plays up over a ridge. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Kingsley Club G.C. - No. 11
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Kingsley Club G.C. - No. 11
The par 3s at Kingsley Club are all unique, including the 180-yard 11th. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Kingsley Club G.C. - No. 12
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Kingsley Club G.C. - No. 12
The tee shot on the downhill par-4 12th at Kingsley Club. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Kingsley Club G.C. - No. 14
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Kingsley Club G.C. - No. 14
The par-5 14th at Kingsley Club plays 615 yards from the back tee. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Kingsley Club GC - No. 15
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Kingsley Club GC - No. 15
At 465 yards with a green tucked away, the par-4 15th at Kingsley Club is the most difficult hole on the course. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Kingsley Club GC - No. 16
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Kingsley Club GC - No. 16
The par-3 16th at Kingsley Club has a green that slopes right to left toward a bunker. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Kingsley Club GC - No. 17
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Kingsley Club GC - No. 17
A big tee shot can finish down a hill, leaving a relatively short approach for an eagle opportunity on the par-5 17th at Kingsley Club in northern Michigan. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Kingsley Club GC - No. 18
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Kingsley Club GC - No. 18
The par-4 18th at Kingsley Club features another tucked away green. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor

Kingsley Club: A one of a kind golf experience in northern Michigan

KINGSLEY, Mich. -- It may be the most interesting golf course in the state. Designed by Michael DeVries, a protege of Tom Doak, the 6,956-yard Kingsley Club in northern Michigan is a course where players have infinite options on how to play the holes. But if they hit in the wrong place, recovery can be at best difficult.

With greens that slope in different directions, deep bunkers that catch misplaced tee or approach shots and undulating fescue fairways that run firm and fast, the Kingsley Club is never boring. You can play run-up shots in certain situations and play far away from the pin in others in hopes of either being safe or getting it close.

While the Kingsley Club, one of the most highly regarded clubs in America, is indeed private, it's not impossible to get on, especially for out-of-towners with club affiliations. A call from a prominent PGA Professional can sometimes do the trick. It's a golf course you don't want to pass up if you have the opportunity.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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The Tribute Course at the Otsego Club in Gaylord, Mich. runs up and down and around the Sturgeon River Valley, with plenty of panoramic views off the tees and natural forest framing the holes. With four to six tee boxes on every hole, the Tribute plays to all levels, but is a stiff test from the tips. Nearly every tee is elevated, and some offer views of more than 30 miles.
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Kingsley Club: A one of a kind golf experience in northern Michigan
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