800 Whitwam Drive, Benton Harbor, Michigan 49085, US
(269) 983-1111
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About Harbor Shores Resort

The AAA Four-Diamond Inn at Harbor Shores, debuting in 2014, is part of the resurgence of the St. Joseph and Benton Harbor communities, bringing a world-class golf resort to Michigan's southwestern shores. The Harbor Shores Golf Club has hosted multiple Senior PGA Championships since its celebrated Champions for Change charity grand opening in 2010 featuring Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller and course designer Jack Nicklaus. The course winds along the Paw Paw River and atop the dunes of Lake Michigan. The Inn, home to 92 rooms and 14 suites with individual balconies, features multiple dining options, including the premier waterfront dining in the area. There's alos a deep-water marina, spa, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, meeting rooms and banquet facilities that can hold up to 300 people and a public riverwalk connecting to 12 miles of recreational trails.

Facts

Price Range$$$
Property Class★★★★
Year Opened2010
Number of UnitsLess than 100

Amenities

RestaurantsCasual
Room TypesRoom, Suite
PoolIndoor
Fitness CenterYes
Practice FacilityYes
MarinaYes
Banquet SpaceYes
SpaYes

Services

Room ServiceYes

Rules

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

Golf courses at Harbor Shores Resort

Reviews

4.2
90 Reviews (90)
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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played

Aeration

The people who reviewed since mid October about aeration being a non-issue are not truthful. This year seems to be a slow to recover period for the greens. More sand and holes than ever seen 3-4 weeks later. Don’t get me wrong; this course is an awesome place to play-anytime! Just know the putting game is over for the year. Every pre-winter prep makes this place so much better in the spring.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 36
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Top 1000 Contributor
Previously Played

Tough but very playable!

They punched the course this month but they called to tell me that before I came out, a little bumpy and slow but most of the courses in Michigan punch at this time. To is a Jack Nicholas Course so course management is key, don't over play the course, slow down and think it through. If its your first visit, I highly recommend running ahead and looking where your ball wants to land. If you can't hit reasonably straight you will want to take extra balls, simple as that. Today was my second trip here, I shot an 81 from the whites which is good for me at a 10 handicap. It's the end of the season now but please play it!!

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 17
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Used cart

A Michigan Must Play

I had the extreme pleasure of playing Harbor Shores on 10/14/20. I have played one other Jack Nicklaus course in the past, so I knew it would not be a walk in the park. Everything was top notch. From the time we dropped off our clubs in the morning to the time we left, the entire staff was professional, courteous and kind. The routing of the course is interesting because it is broken down into four areas (Inland, Dunes, Woodlands and River) depending on where you are, on the course. The Dunes and Woodlands are my favorites. My favorite hole would have to be the hardest one out there, #7. Make sure to snap some pictures of Lake Michigan off of either #7 green or #9 tee. There are five par threes on the course and each are unique in their own way. The routing between some of the holes takes a few minutes to get from green to tee, via cart. The greens are interesting to say the least with multiple tiers and undulation. Even thought we played on an aerated course (greens and fairways), this by no means distracted us from enjoying the day and the beauty of the golf course. While the price is not cheap, you owe it to yourself to play Harbor Shores. On a side note if you are looking for breakfast and do not want to eat at a chain restaurant. Go to the Mason Jar Café, located right outside Harbor Shores entranceway, and try the jalapeno scramble.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 3
Handicap 25+
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Like having your own private course

Once again Harbor Shores delivers a relaxed and relaxing challenge of a round. A threesome of women were welcome. We never waited. In fact while it was a busy day, we never saw anyone else. We didn’t even mind losing a few golf balls! The course is in great shape. The trigger ball removal tools take some practice but we got the hang of it.

Elle in the Grille provided excellent and careful service for our 19th hole drinks and meal.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 32
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Nice place

Always nice to play a Jack Nicholas Signature course. big greens and lots of sand but hit it straight and play the tee box for your abilities and you will have a good day of golf.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Great course layout but pricey

Course layout is great and there are challenging holes. A few of the greens seemed a bit extreme with the elevation change and speed, but overall great experience. Have wanted to play the course since it opened, so now have had the opportunity. Great golf course, not great value.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

The course is holding up well despite the unusually high water levels.
I truly appreciate the efforts that went into developing the site and the different golf experience in the deign utilizing 4 different areas (inland, dunes, woodland and river)

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 157
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 25 Contributor
Chicago Advisor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Harbor Shores - Beautiful Nicklaus Design w/ Odd Routing

The Good: I was pleasantly surprised that I had a better experience during my second playing of Harbor Shores in southwest Michigan. Beautiful, visually stunning Jack Nicklaus design is spread throughout a huge development complex near downtown Benton Harbor. Host of several Senior PGA's even though in its infancy. Has the now typical Nicklaus rugged feel with awesome variety in Par 4's and Par 5's, with devilish, deep sand traps engulfing the course at every turn. Massive, treacherous green complexes putt true and make for a significant challenge. Pro tour caliber conditions. Extremely nice clubhouse and full restaurant. Superb on-course amenities include GPS, multiple restroom facilities, and halfway house. Practice facility is strong with nice driving range, separate short game area, and putting green.

The Bad: Course layout is very awkward and winds through a retirement community and the slums of Benton Harbor all in one. Some of the greens (especially #10) are so outrageous that its laughable. $150 price tag would be justified if service & routing matched the beauty of the course. The Par-3's are good, but not great.

The Verdict: One of the most challenging, yet gorgeous tracks in all of Michigan. Could (and should) be a top 5 public destination in the state but is slightly brought down by lack of staff friendliness & routing.

Best Hole: There are many great holes, but without a doubt it is the short, uphill Par 4 7th. A precise drive is required to drive water and sand, with a short iron approach to a green not visible from below. One of my favorite Par-4's in the state.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Average
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Challenging Greens

Beautiful coarse, especially the signature hole with a view of Lake Michigan. Take the time to use practice green, because these greens are extremely difficult! Free driving range was excellent! A little bit of a Geese problem, but awesome coarse.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 86
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Top 250 Contributor
First Time Playing

Beautiful course but really tough

Nice golf course but very tough. All the staff was extremely friendly and accommodating throughout our round. The scenery was fantastic and the course design used all the natural landscaping! We didn’t play very well, but enjoyed the day!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 11
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

most excellent

enjoyed it. I like Nicklaus courses and this one didn't disappoint. The tenth green is as crazy as advertised; but, thankfully they're not all that way. A little pricey, but would do again for the right price. Conditions were excellent and the course was challenging, but fair.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Played On
Reviews 11
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

Enjoyed it

Always enjoy Nicklaus courses, especially since my ball flight is left to fight off the tee. It's a little pricey and far from home, but would return for the right price.

Conditions Excellent
Value Fair
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 13
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Maybe my favorite course in Western Michigan

I don't understand the mixed reviews here. Is the layout funky? Yes! And understandbly so, given the course was put here only recently to revitalize a struggling town, and they secured whatever land they could cobble together. I actually enjoy the stark contrast between holes and think it weaves an interesting story. Course is always in great shape, and the staff and facilities are top knotch. #7 is a masterpiece, and it helps that I'm a career two under par on that one! Look forward to playing here a few times a year.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Default User Image
Commented on 07/09/2020

It's unfortunate that some claims made are not factual. Harbor Shores was never private and is a non-profit facility that donates all profits to local development.

Harbor Shores also maintains the once forbidden Jean Klock Park and Beach, which now yields six figures annually directly to the city of Benton Harbor.

In addition, most of the land procured was abandoned and unsafe from old factories that left town.

The taxes collected due to Harbor Shores that was once $0, is now staggering.

Facts are important.

Default User Image
Commented on 07/07/2020

The course was not put their to revitalize a struggling town. The people were offered 100 times the value of their homes, which most were given $250,000 or more for their homes. The people were also told that there would be no houses built, only a golf course, which anyone can see was a lie. The Inn a Harbor Shores was also not supposed to be built, but was. The people were essentially tricked into selling their homes for huge amounts of money, so that Whirlpool and State representatives and senators from St Joe could get a golf course. The promise to the people of the area was also that it would not be a private course and locals could golf there for a very reasonable rate. The course is public now, but was private for a couple years and locals can golf for the same rates as everyone else.

Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Aeration

The greens are slow to recover from October’s aeration. The sand and plug marks detracts from the enjoyable round. This place is memorable because of the challenging greens. Make a return visit to truly appreciate them. Any other reviews that say the aeration is not noticeable is not being truthful.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 36
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 1000 Contributor
First Time Playing

Spendy but worth it!

What a beutiful course! It's obvious that Jack designed this course, I have golfed several of his early designs, but this was D
definitelymore playable. A couple of the holes have Lake Michigan views and the rest have more of a cottage or woods feel. The greens ran 13 this day and the fairways were mowed extra short but wide in the right places. There are lots and lots of bunkers but the sand in them is white, deep and workable. This is one of the few courses this year to have a in course grill and snack bar that was open with dogs and wraps. There was also lots of beverage carts traveling around. Its amazing that this course is open to the public, this kind of quality is tough to maintain with public traffic. I'll be back for sure!

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

Great rate, beautiful course!

Course in great shape. Play a little slow - waited on several tees. Awesome deal!

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Played On
Reviews 4
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Auto 2 Putt

Everything is amazing, my suggestion is to play auto 2-putt and save yourself and group from unnecessary frustration from circus like undulations on a large amount of the putting greens.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
1.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Liked the Course, but would never go back

We booked our outing over 9 months ago. A week before the outing, we are informed that they now have to close the course all day Friday for an outing/event, costing us two of our rounds. We saw the set-up for this event multiple tents, a stage, etc., so there is no way they found out about this event a week before. They gave us zero compensation for our inconvenience, not even a free round. The twelve of us spent thousands at the course and the Inn over the weekend.

For the cost, the course is not well maintained. Fairways and greens are a little beat up. Sand traps weren't raked. The course is fun, but we were treated poorly, and none of us would ever go back.

Conditions Fair
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Poor
Pace Average
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Default User Image
Commented on 09/19/2019

The group was informed over 3 weeks in advance of their arrival and attempts were made to assist in rounds nearby. They were notified as soon as the course received notice.

We've apologized numerous times for the inconvenience and it's unfortunate that you are attempting to smear our brand; your group was more than compensated.

We appreciate you coming to Harbor Shores and wish you, and the next facility you visit, the best.

Regards,

Joshua R. Doxtator
PGA General Manager

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