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

4.5
143 Reviews (143)

Reviewer Photos

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 11
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Well worth it!!

Without a doubt the nicest public course in Michigan. Maybe the best period! I've played Arcadia Bluffs, The Bear....Garland...you name it. This will become a regular trip for me!
The greens roll lightning fast and true. But also hold from as far out as 225 yards with a long iron. If you can catch it for less than $90 like we did...play it!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 10
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
2.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Horribly Overrated

First of all (as stated by everyone else), Bring bug spray.

I think the most important thing that this course lacked was any kind of preview of what the hole looks like. This was missed in quite a few ways: Not having a GPS system on the carts like Arcadia, Harbor Shores, Thousand Oaks, and all great courses have. Not having a course layout on the scorecard to give some sort of idea of what's coming ahead. Not having a hole layout on some kind of tee marker. Or they could have just as easily have made elevated teeboxes so you can see the beauty of the course. I guess I'm saying, BUY A YARDAGE BOOK. Ya know... Because you haven't already spent enough at this course.

My honest opinion is that this course is highly overrated. There were no holes that "wowed" me. Just a nicely maintained course. Meh.

Conditions Good
Value Poor
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 4
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

not a bucket list course

Course has top notch playing conditions , but was not a bucket list item like playing Pebble Beach (which I did in 1994 when I was 47) or visting the gravesite of Al Czervik (which I did when I toured the memorable attractions of L.A. last March). The terrain is fairly flat and there are no dramatic holes like 7,8,and 9 at Pebble or the third hole at Threetops in Gaylord, Michigan. Our foursome agreed that it was an OK course in great shape, but overhyped by Golf Digest and other evaluators of golf destinations. We were all disappointed with The Dunes. However, we did have a memorable tasty dining experience while enjoying a beautiful sunset on the deck of LimberJack's located on the tranquil shores of Houghton Lake. We capped our Northern Michigan golf excursion with some good natured golf banter and listening yo the social commentary of comedian Louis C.K. on our ride home. Lots of laughs after a ho-hum round of gawf. Save your $$ and use them on climbing Mt.Everest, skydiving , riding a professional rodeo bull, or playing Pebble Beach before you kick your bucketfull of shag balls.

Conditions Excellent
Value Fair
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Default User Image
Commented on 06/23/2015

Perfect review. What a funny guy!

Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Very playable course overall.

I found this course to be very playable! For playing it the first time. Most of the time everything is right in front of you. Very well taken care of . Wide fairways and nice greens. They rolled very well. Liked the speed of the greens as well . Beautiful lay out. I will be back to play this course . I heard great things about this course from a friend that played it a few years ago and I was not disappointed at all. The staff was great and I had the rainbow trout which was excellent !

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 11
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Fun, Fair, and Exciting

Beautifully designed and maintained. Each set of tees are well set for all skill levels. I played the 2/3 split tees, and had a wonderful time! Great yardages to hit from that offered a challenge, yet lots of fun!

The greens weren't too fast, and the rough was very very forgiving to keep up pace of play and make the course more fun. I loved it. Hats off to the director of golf and the superintendent!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 7
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Great course

This course is beautiful. Awesome clubhouse. Very friendly staff. Worth the 2.5 hr drive it took to get here. Will be back.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 3
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

Great experience

This is one of those Michigan "bucket list" courses to play and was not disappointed with the experience. Although greens had recently been aerated, condition of course was exceptional. Because of some weather concerns, staff made accommodations to get our round in earlier than original tee time. If you like links style design, you must make time to play this track.

Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

A fabulous experience

With the help of GolfNow, this marvelous course was affordable. The only negative was the lack of a course marshal to aid with playing through slower groups.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
3.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Not Bucket List Worthy

They advertise this as Bucket List a Golf, but it comes up short in many ways. The course itself is a nice layout, in great shape, and greens are as fast as most any you'll play. However, the course lacks the elevation changes that one anticipates in N MI golf courses. It is very flat and lacks character that you experience on courses within an hour of this track. It has lots of sand and a well manicured course, but not worthy of all the acclaim. In addition, the staff is unfriendly, food is average, and they stuck us behind an outing that took almost 6 hours. Tried to ask for a rain check prior to teeing off behind the scramble, but they were not accommodating. Nice course & facilities in the middle of nowhere, but short on making guests feel welcomed and certainly not worthy of bucket list status. There are a lot of fun courses to play that are easier to get to, and more enjoyable. Oh, and if you do go, bring your bug spray!

Conditions Excellent
Value Fair
Friendliness Poor
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
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Commented on 11/24/2015

Perfect review. I agree 100%. My experience was very similar with this overrated course.

Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Forest Dunes Insanity

From how prestine the course is to a great layout, our whole day consisted of nothing but good things. The greens roll very true and even the fairways allow the ball to run. I definitley look forward to playing it again. However, I could go without the nats... They could be overwhelming at times.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 69
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Top 250 Contributor
First Time Playing
Poor weather
Used cart

amazing staff

IMO, this course lives up to the hype. I have not played Arcadia Bluffs, I have played most of the other top courses in lower peninsula, and this was the best of them. I was most impressed with the staff though. We were the last tee time of the day. Massive storm blew through in the afternoon, pulling everyone off the course and shutting down computer systems. We teed off about 45 minutes late and thought there was no way we were going to get the round done. We even played the 19th hole (in the dark but still). You could hardly tell that the course had been rained on, let alone the massive downpour. The staff was very good about keeping people on pace and getting groups through the round. We'll be back, but with an earlier tee time.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

The design and layout of the holes were picturesque!

I'm already looking forward to going back having just played it for the first time. It is truly a gem!!!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

Best course I've played.

Impeccable conditions on a fabulous track of land in the middle of nowhere. What more could you ask for. The staff are there only to make sure you have a great round.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Amazing course

You cannot say anything bad about this track. Awesome condition, challenging, amazing views, fast greens, outstanding staff.

My one critique was pace of play and our 5+ hour round. This was alleviated by the staff giving us vouchers to return for a round on them. Amazing customer service!

Strong recommendation to play here if you love golf and great service!

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 33
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Fair weather
Used cart

Fantastic Course In The Middle of Nowhere

Excellent course in excellent condition! Many sandy waste areas and the greens were really fast. The practice facilities are also excellent. If you have the chance, play the course. Depending on the tees you play it can offer a really good challenge. I plan to play it again next year when I go back to Michigan.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 4
Handicap 15-19
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Used cart

Great!

Best golf course in michigan for the pure golf enthusiast. Arcadia has the views but I think this best golf.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Great course

Nice layout, well maintained. Greens were in great shape. Only complaint is for a course this nice and money should have towels to wipe clubs.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Walked

Good walking course. Great conditions.

Good walking course. Lunch menu is really weak. Nothing healthy...just basic bar food. And the draft beer system was busted. When they get the second course in…this will be a great destination.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 32
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Gem in the Middle of Nowhere

Forest Dunes was touted to me by many as nicer than Michigan's premier public course Arcadia Bluffs. While the actual course condition may have been a little better, (and the greens faster) it simply could not match the overall aesthetics or playability of Arcadia.

That said, wow, what a gem in the middle of nowhere!!! And the value for the money is far superior to the $180 Arcadia charges. However, for a place that claims to be a bucket list golf destination, the lack of GPS or any kind of caddie program was disappointing.

From tee to green, this course was as pristine as some of the finest Country Clubs I have played. The course strategy was pretty much straight forward without any complicated sight-lines. Each hole was framed beautifully by trees, yet the course didn't play like it was tree-lined. It was certainly a unique experience, but not on par with the Pebble Beaches, Whistling Straits & Arcadias of the world.

Overall it was a fantastic round at a fantastic course and should you find yourself in the middle of nowhere it's worth playing. And if Tom Doak does build a second course there, it's probably worth a weekend stay!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 75
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Top 250 Contributor
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Punishing

Forest Dunes appears as the name implies- with forested areas and sand dunes all around. It is a beautiful course that reflects the natural landscape in this part of northern Michigan. The course is very difficult. If you stray fron the fairway you are either in brush, forest or bunkers and can expect to lose balls. If you manage to get to the green, the real punishment starts. The greens are faster than any I ever played and probably faster than 90 percent of golfers are used to - they are like glass. Invariably, if you land on the green with an iron or chip shot your ball will roll off. Once you start putting expect to be doing so at least three times on almost every hole. Finally pin placement adds to the humiliation and beat down. Go play the course if you can but expect to leave down trodden and doubting your ability to play golf at all.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Average
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
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