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

4.5
143 Reviews (143)

Reviewer Photos

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Walked

WHAT A CONCEPT!!

One of the most beautiful places I’ve EVER played golf. It’s worth the drive and you will NOT be disappointed. The LOOP is one of the coolest concepts in golf, and I would highly recommend a “Stay and Play” package where you can play the Black and Red courses on back-to-back days!!!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 25+
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

If you're looking for a "pure" golf experience in Northern Michigan, this is it!!!!

This was my first time playing here, but certainly not the last! I was fortunate enough to play it last summer during preview play. The course was very firm (the greens may have been some of the firmest I've ever putted on), and sometimes the bounces were a bit unfair, but hey, that's golf! The one thing I would improve is the native area off the fairway. Although the fairways were very wide, they were very firm. One of us would hit a drive, and we would think it was perfect, but it would go bounding into the native area, where we spent a lot of time looking for lost golf balls. Overall, I think the course was a little rough around the edges, but it certainly lived up to all the hype!

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 28
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
2.0
First Time Playing
Good weather
Walked

Over hyped; don't go.

The hype about this course is just that. I heard another golfer talking about it on the phone and called it "gimmicky." An apt description.
They opened this course for play too soon. It is NOT ready for play. The fairways basically are cross corn rows of grass in many areas that have not grown in. Beneath the grass everywhere are small pebbles in the dirt. The fairways are very hard. You can take a shallow divot, and the ball will roll out a good distance if you keep the ball on line. Of course, that also means if you are not on line, they tend to roll in to the "hazard" areas lining the fairway as there is no rough. To imagine the immaturity of the course conditions, just imagine a course you have played that is in decline and no longer maintained and you have a pretty good idea of this course's condition.
Greens are rock hard. I saw approach shots bounce 8 to 10 feet into the air and barely make a dent in the green. That doesn't mean they are super fast. They are reasonably fast, but not as fast as the greens on the Forest Dunes original course. And they roll true for the most part even though they are sometimes difficult to read accurately.
The course is walking only, and I understand it will always be walking only due to the nature of its reversibility. They are concerned with players driving carts into unseen bunkers facing the opposite direction from the direction the players are playing. The caddie fee is fairly typical of other courses. Of course you can play without a caddie and carry your clubs or use a pull cart, but the knowledge of the more experienced caddies is helpful to more experienced players in navigating the course especially with where to approach the greens given their non-receptiveness to your wedge shot. If you decide to use a caddy, request an experienced caddy. They have experienced caddies and high school or college kids with little or no experience. We had both. There is a difference. If you want a good caddy, ask for Jeremy if you insist on playing this course.
There are NO facilities on the course currently other than a porta potty after the 9th hole. I don't know what the future plans are for this. Also there was no drinking water on the course except an Igloo jug of water after #9 which was TOTALLY USELESS as there were no cups to drink it. It was a fairly warm day when we played, and we would have appreciated having the water. There was a beverage cart stationed after one of the holes to catch golfers who pass by, but it wasn't on the course until we reached it around hole #12 on only one of the two days we played. HOW HARD WOULD IT BE TO PLACE ICE CHESTS WITH BOTTLED WATER STRATEGICALLY AROUND THE COURSE? FOR A FEW DOLLARS, THEY COULD PUT BOTTLED WATER AT EACH LOCATION. OR THEY COULD AT LEAST LET YOU KNOW IN ADVANCE THAT YOU NEED TO CARRY YOUR OWN--WHICH WE DID ON OUR SECOND ROUND PLAYING THE COURSE IN REVERSE..
The course has wide rolling fairways. It looked like it was carved out of a corn field. It reminded me of several courses I have played that also lack any character or aesthetic appeal. There are a few interesting holes such as #18 on the black course which plays uphill from the tee box with a dogleg to the right. It is hard to pick out holes to describe as they are monotonously similar. The best way to distinguish them are the greens. Some of them also are gimmicky like #6 or #11--which was it-- that had a valley running through it. I asked my playing partner which hole it was on and he couldn't remember it either. His response was: "It's hard to remember as there was nothing memorable or remarkable to distinguish the holes. There are no water hazards on the course, and while there are many bunkers on the course, I never landed in one, my partner landed in only one, and I can't remember the other players being in more than one or two. This suggests to me that they weren't that strategically placed to add the difficulty of the course. I kind of feel sorry for Lew Thompson having invested so much in a course that I think ultimately will not add to the draw of Forest Dunes which I have raved about to anyone who would listen over the last 5 years.
The concept of a reversible course was intriguing which is why we played it. Neither of us would play it again or recommend it to anyone else, and this course is definitely NOT bucket list golf. There are many more memorable courses in the area such as at the Tree Tops Resort and Shanty Creek Resort. I suggest you not waste your time or money. I look at as 7 hours I will never get back.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
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Commented on 09/09/2016

Have you ever played True Links golf..ex: Scotland, Ireland, Aracadia? You don't need divot tools on those courses and you barely can take a divot in the fairway. That is links. Hit a great drive and it keeps rolling into a hazard. That is links. I am playing this next week and played the Old Course 3 weeks ago, so that will be a good comparison.

Default User Image
Commented on 07/25/2016

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I couldn't disagree more! I love Doak's design.

Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Walked

Bucket List Golf

I play here every year. The place is perfect. Don't change a thing.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Good weather
Walked

Another Gem with a non-Identical Twin!

Have been looking forward to my first trip around the Loop ever since the first shovel hit the ground. It definitely exceeds my expectations. This is the first course I have played in Michigan with no rough. The fairways are accommodating but the greens and the junk are the courses defense. The greens are quick and undulating, no two are alike. The junk is thick and sturdy. You may find your ball in it, but you may not be able to hit it. Keep it in the fairway and get your approach close and you will score well. Thanks to the crew at FD for opening this up for preview play this summer. No question this will be one of the best new courses in America!

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 20
Handicap 0-4
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Hot weather
Walked

Best Public Track in Michigan

Forest Dunes is IMO the best public course in MI. The layout is a very manageable and enjoyable walk . The variety of holes make the round very memorable. The front nine plays through the woods massaging players to shape the ball both ways off the tee, the memorable par 4 5th is a great "choose your route" hole that makes it very playable. The back nine then routes out into dunes style terrain. the driveable par 4 (#17, a Weiskopf Design Staple) is a great risk reward hole which can help your scorecard prior to the lengthy par 5 18th. the Bye Hole is a wonderful final 19th hole, designed to help settle four-some bets that is a great way to end the round. The entire facility (lodging, clubhouse, practice) is *****. DO NOT MISS THIS PLACE ON YOU NORTHERN MICHIGAN GOLF TRIPS

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 6
Skill Intermediate
Plays Twice a year
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

This greens were awesome

Can't say much bad about a course so far north and they do not use the rough winter as an excuse for the greens. I am hoping the price come down when the loop opens so I can play it annually. Got a good deal on golf now so I am happy. Enjoyed the range prior to round. Good Experiance.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Great course. Bugs were kind of a nuisance

Awesome course with a great staff. Practice facility is something out of tour stop. Depending on the time of year you better have bug spray cause you will need it.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

This course is a bucket list course

Great practice facility, staff are amazing and all around a great course for all skill levels. Greens are fast and true. The only negative thing i would say about this course is bugs... Tons of bugs. Bring your bug spray and you'll be good. Definitely will come back again

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

one of the best in the state

Great playable layout! In great shape for this time of year. Enjoyed the range/practice area. Friendly, welcoming staff. Played on a Monday afternoon- great pace of play. I could sit outside the clubhouse for hours after finishing that 19th hole. This certainly will become a great destination golf resort with the completion of "the loop" and future projects. Bugs were an issue but did not bite, just annoying at times. Looking forward to returning.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Nuff Said

A review of Forest Dunes is superfluous at this point, but just to pile some gravy on the rave reviews.

A must play course in Michigan. Top notch practice facilities, friendly and knowledgeable staff, a beverage/snack cart seemingly on every hole, true greens and a layout that is very aesthetically pleasing. There is not a blade of grass or grain of sand on this course that has not been mulled over and maintained impeccably.

Highly recommend and will be back next year

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Good weather
Used cart

Not Worth The Money

I know aerating is necessary but charging that much when the greens and fairways were aerated is a rip off

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

1st Class All Around

Hosted a Ryder cup style event. 4 rounds over 2 days.
Nothing about our trip to Forest Dunes disappointed. Course conditions were just as advertised. Greens were lightning fast. Couple of green structures were a bit ridiculous (#5 & #15) for par 5s but overall they were very fun to putt on. Course was actually a little more open off tee than I thought which was nice. Some very cool strategic holes (#6, #8, #10 & #12). Loved 3 finishing holes - strong par 3, drive-able par 4 then reachable par 5 with water left in play.

Most impressive thing about trip was the service of all the staff - treated group as if we were members all weekend which was appreciated.

Resort homes we stayed in were great for group our size. The lodge and new golf villas also looked awesome from outside.

Will definitely make a return trip. Only 2 1/2 hours from Detroit area is nice bonus

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 16
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Excellent course

Played on a Thursday at 3pm for 100 bux. That's a pretty good deal for this course. Club house is beautiful. Everyone from the guy at check in to the ranger were very nice.
Course is two different nines. The front is Forest and the back is dunes. I enjoyed the variety of holes-very pretty holes with water as well. My favorite thing about this course was the greens. Very fast but rolled true. Very playable course-pretty open fairways but approach shots to greens were well guarded.
We ate dinner at the club house after the golf and it was awesome. Very good service and even better food.
Can't wait to come back and play here when the new course is up and running!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
3.0
First Time Playing

Not a Bucket List Course

The course is beautifully manicured. The greens are smooth and fast. The problem is the price. The Grayling/Gaylord area of northern Michigan is full of finely manicured courses. Nothing here really puts this course above those. I paid $149.00 and could've found similar golf within 25 miles for $80.00.

Conditions Excellent
Value Poor
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
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Commented on 11/24/2015

I agree! I also found that my experience fell way short of expectations.

Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

Golfing Treat

This is a beautiful and beautifully maintained course, with interesting holes throughout. I will definitely try to return, maybe with a group!

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 5
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Good weather
Used cart

Great course, HORRIBLE GNAT PROBLEM!

Been dreaming of playing this course for several years. However, it is about a 6hr drive away. Finally said heck with it. I booked a $78 hot deal time for me & my son as a final summer golf trip. We have played several top 100 courses but forest dunes would be the highest rated we have played. Was so looking forward to it even with the LONG drive. Being from central Ohio we have played over half of the top rated courses in Ohio alone. As well as many other very fine courses that do not show up on top lists... Anyway, after leaving the house at 8am and arriving at forest dunes just before 2pm we were both beyond excited. After arriving we quickly loaded up and checked in. Hit a few balls on the range to get warmed up and on to the 1st tee. We were in golf heaven. Or so we thought. After finishing on the 1st green we knew the bug spray (RARELY use) which i carry in my bag must be applied. We proceeded to apply bug spray at least every other hole to no avail. For the next 4hrs we were caught in a SWARM of gnats! Felt as if i swallowed, inhaled and was ear penetrated by 100's of gnats during our round. We sincerely tried to ignore the problem and enjoy the beautiful course and facilities. I honestly could not take even a moment to look around and enjoy the highly rated course we drove so far and spent so much to play. All i can say is whomever has rated this course must have been furnished much superior bug spray than i have. A dream golf trip shattered. $156 for a forest dunes twosome hot deal + $80 in gas for a 12hr round trip drive + besieged by a million gnats = a unexpected horrible golfing experience.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Friendliness Average
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Impressive

Great course. Impressive layout in the middle of a woods.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Nicest course ever

I have played tons of golf all over the country and Forest dunes is the best conditioned course I have played. The greens are fast and true, the fairways are like carpet and the traps are powder. The cart paths are eight foot wide and stamped concrete. Impressive. Only complaint was it took 5 hours to play the round. Probably a situational occurrence with a large group in front of us. Will definitely give 8t another try.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Fair
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

One of the best in the country

Beautiful course. Well maintained, almost looks fake in places. Challenging, yet manageable for average/intermediate golfers.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
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