6376 Forest Dunes Drive, Roscommon, Michigan 48653, US
(989) 275-0700
Location Map

About Forest Dunes

Forest Dunes had a rocky start two decades ago, but under owner Lew Thompson has shot to the top of the heap among Michigan's golf resorts. The construction of the Lake AuSable Lodge and The Loop, the ground-breaking reversible course by Tom Doak, has added a stay-and-play component that was never available in the past beyond Tom Weiskopf's excellent original design. With the return of a Hilltop putting course in 2018 (previously dormant for a decade) and the new 10-hole executive course by Riley Johns and Keith Rhebb debuting in 2020, Forest Dunes continues to raise the bar.

Facts

Price Range$$$$
Property Class★★★★
Acres500
Year Opened2002
Number of UnitsLess than 100

Amenities & Services

RestaurantsCasual
Room TypesRoom, Suite
Short CourseYes
Practice FacilityYes
Beach AccessYes
Banquet SpaceYes

Rules

Is the resort pet friendly?No
Is resort stay required for a tee time?No

Golf courses at Forest Dunes

Reviews

4.4
143 Reviews (143)

Reviewer Photos

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Recommended
Handicap
Age
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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 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Great Course and Views

The course was amazing. It was in great shape and was a real challenge for all levels of golfers. We played the combo tees to ensure members of our group would enjoy the track and was very much a challenging experience for of us all. Par 3 were long and we protecting by big bunkers. There were a wide variety of par 4s, #14 being the toughest. The par 5s required great tee shots and accurate approaches.

This would certainly be a course I recommend to anyone that enjoys a golf focused escape!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
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
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Close to Perfect

I have to break this down into three parts: Golf Course, Staff/Services, and Golf Environment:
1. Golf Course: Tom Weiskopf did an outstanding job with this routing. Plenty of length for the long hitters and plenty of golf course for everybody else. There are 5 sets of tees and also a combo set to satisfy all tastes. The course provided the opportunity to use every club in the bag, as well as giving a reachable par 5 (maybe two), a driveable par 4 (for longer hitters), a long par 3, and a short par 3. The two finishing holes on both front and back nines are some of the best I’ve played. There are some elevation changes and plenty of changing green complexes. This course was manicured in an excellent manner as well. The greens were fast but receptive, but the fairways were a bit soft (some rain earlier in the week). I EASILY give this golf course a 5-star rating.
2. Staff and services: All of the Pro Shop staff were very courteous, and very customer oriented. The starters were all very friendly, knowledgeable and wanted to be sure all the guests had an opportunity to have a great time and that all the groups started on time. The outside staff were friendly and accommodating. We had requested caddies for our foursome, but somehow that got mixed up and we only had a forecaddie available. Our forecaddie was friendly, but truly provided no real additional knowledge that we did not gather fo ourselves from our hand-held GPS. His green reading was average. Our group determined that the $30/player would have been better spent on souvenirs from the Pro Shop.
3. Golf Environment: This is the area that needs MOST IMPROVEMENT if Forest Dunes wants to be held in the same regard as a golf destination as Whistling Straits, Bandon Dunes, etc. Imagine going to play Pinehurst, and Bushwood Country Club breaks out...That was much to our surprise. VERY LOUD MUSIC coming from multiple carts, 5+ hour round and course assistants that did nothing to move groups along. Many groups were yelling back & forth and just generally had no regard for normal golf course etiquette. At one point in the afternoon, we were told by a course assistant “To play ready golf, so every group can finish before dark.” But nothing was done to speed up play. We were told that “a couple of groups were holding everyone up (but nothing was done to remedy the pace). We were already on #15 and had been playing ready golf since the round started, so the admonishment to play ready golf did not sit well with us, as we waited almost every shot.

All this being said, Forrest Dunes is an excellent golf course and was lots of fun to play. I would go back there again, I would just have a better idea what to expect.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Average
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 150
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Chicago Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
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 150
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Chicago Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Forest Dunes - Perfectly Conditioned Weiskopf Masterpeice

The Good: Forest Dunes in Roscommon, MI (about 30 minutes south of Gaylord) is an impeccably conditioned Tom Weiskopf design with beautiful contrasting nines that wind through woodlands on the front and sand dunes on the closing nine. What this Northwoods course lacks in lake views and elevation change makes up with fun, strategic holes with several interesting doglegs, excellent Par-3’s, and a super closing Par-5. 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. Great service and very accommodating staff. Very solid amenities including expansive practice area and several comfort stations throughout the course. Decent value at $160 peak season considering the conditioning and overall experience.

The Bad: The golf carts lacking GPS is a little bit of a bummer. The greens putt very true but the complexes aren’t as interesting as the Loop and many of the other courses in the area. If you’re staying at one of the houses off-site from the course, make sure to not try to find it at night and after several dinner drinks.

The Verdict: Forest Dunes might be the best-conditioned public course I’ve played in a long time. Just a fun, pleasant walk (cart drive) in the park and a joy to play. A Top 5 public golf course I’ve played in the Midwest.

Best Hole: The Par-4 8th is an awesome dogleg right with a drive that must needle through trees left and a large fairway bunker on the right, unveiling an open approach to a downhill, peninsula green guarded by water right. The huge clubhouse in the distance is a nice touch.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
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 150
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Chicago Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
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 237
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Birmingham Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Weiskopf nails it

I was expecting Forest Dunes to be the appetizer for the main course across the state at Arcadia Bluffs later this weekend, but I was blown away by what Weiskopf created in the scrub pines of Northern Michigan.

In fact, if I didn’t know better I would think I had played in the Southern Pines region of North Carolina. There are elements of Sand Valley, World Woods Pine Barrens, Mid Pines and Ghost Creek at Pumpkin Ridge included in the round. The holes are varied. The natural areas are imminently playable.

When scouting this track online I didn’t think much of the par 3s. They appeared to look alike and I feared redundancy. I couldn’t have been more wrong. They are each unique.

I was very impressed with the early season conditioning. Fairways were superb. Greens have a little further to go, but we’re extremely pure, if a bit on the slow side.

Favorite holes were the sixth with the fairway sunken behind a massive bunker and a tree bisecting it. The 10th gives you options on which way to drive it on a split fairway. The decision will undoubtedly be determined by which side of the green the pin is. A small pot bunker Is the centerpiece of the green complex. The 12th is a textbook par 4 that you will dream about playing long after the round. The par-3 16th demands a long iron approach of roughly 200 yards, but contouring allows for balls to feed to the back and right portions of the green. The short 17th is simply a joy to unlock.

The Bye hole with the bunker in the center of the green a la Riviera and San Antonio is a fun way to close out the day.

Forest Dunes’ practice area is second to none. An expansive range is bolstered by a Himalayas-esque chipping area and a putting green that spans like an amoeba through and around trees and grass knobs. A 10-hole short course is expected to be added later this summer.

In summary, the staff’s hospitality combined with the course’s excellence creates a memorable experience that is deserving of a Top 30 American public course ranking.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 31
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
D C Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Pristine and Fun

Designed by Tom Weiskopf Forest Dunes is nearly flawless execution of the classic parkland style. Bunkers almost seem elegantly placed next to green sides. The course meanders through corridors of a tall pine forest. Forest Dunes is exactly what the name says, a course weaved into a forest with a great mixture of rugged dunes, large waste areas strategically placed, ball attracting native areas and perfectly molded fairways. In classic Weiskopf fashion, most holes have a risk-reward option that will tempt the most conservative of players and trap the best of players. Weiskopf is known for his driveable par 4s and he has a beauty on 17, you can lay up 160 yards or carry a vast wasteland of sand and native areas. Forest Dunes is a great resort with friendly inviting staff, if you are looking for a course executing the designer's intentions and its name at the highest level, Forest Dunes is a must-play.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
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 7
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
4.0
Previously Played
Windy weather
Used cart

Price

Pricing was to high, will not go back at this price point!

Conditions Average
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
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 6
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

Over-hyped

I don't quite get the hype for this course. It's good but not great. The layout is good, but there's nothing really here that will blow your mind or be particularly memorable, and there's way more forest than dunes. The conditions were quite good, but the greens were just of average speed. The worst thing was the gnats, and even 100% DEET does nothing for them. It was miserable to have a constant swarm of gnats everywhere on the course. There are many better and more interesting places to play in Michigan. We did not play the Loop course, but it appeared to be in terrible condition from what we could see.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 314
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Illinois Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Outstanding!

First off I'm a huge fan of Weiskopf''s Cedar River at Shanty Creek (1999). I always wanted to get over to FD (2002) to see what Tom had in store for me. Finally did and so happy I ventured to out of the way Roscommon. FD is similar from the aspect that fairways and greensites are sculpted to allow thoughtful rolls that bring your ball back into play. I'm a lover of the ground game and FD provides that and more. Course looks "tight" but there's really a lot of room. Spectacularly beautiful/quiet and Tom has a few more greenside bunkers that require carry than Cedar River. Wonderful facilities which also has the Doak Reversible Loop course, putting course and next year a 10 hole short course. Nice clubhouse/bar areas as well. Expensive but worth it. Hardly anyone was there the Sunday after the 4th holiday. A tad buggy so bring some spray. We played in under 4 hours. Well maintained - greens were great. Already want to go back and stay for a week - play the Loop in both directions and then play FD in the afternoon shade. 10th hole is an interesting split fairway with crazy green and FD's short "driveable" 17th is even better than Weiskopf's short 17th at TPC Scottsdale which the pro's play Super Bowl weekend. Highly recommend a special visit or stay and play at this gem..

Conditions Good
Value Fair
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
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
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
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