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Arcadia Bluffs - Michigan Golf

I am NOT a FAN in any way

37 replies to this topic

#1 kkrenzke

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 04:40 PM

I live 1 1/2 hours away from this course and I'm asked about it during my business travels.  While I think it is a beautiful course, the greems are the MOST circus like I've ever seen.  It is NOT fun to try and not 3 put every green ( I'm an 8 Hdcp) while just paying to keep you ball on the green with chips and approach shots.

I activly discourage any and all from playing this course and to proceed at their own risk.  am I the ONLY GUY that feels like this about this course????  Wit the many other stellar courses to play, it is often a negative experience for guys that were so excited to play this course...

Thoughts?

Kevin K.


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#2 vallygolf

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 04:45 PM

Not too severe IMO.  They seem pretty standard for a good test of golf.  Just my observation though.


Edit:  Im going off the assumption that we are talking about the original course, not the south course with the square greens.  I have not played that course yet.

Edited by vallygolf, 20 December 2018 - 04:48 PM.


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#3 VNutz

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 04:49 PM

Since you live nearby I can understand the frustration. For myself it's a destination course and always a treat to get there, so there are things I'm willing to deal with, like the greens, since I don't see many like it otherwise. To me the entire course is a challenge depending on the wind conditions and the green speeds, so I go into it knowing I can either do well or get kicked around for a couple hours. If it were in the regular rotation I could see myself getting annoyed with it. That said I actually prefer the greens there to Harbor Shores.

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#4 AzSuperHack76

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 04:56 PM

Played there this summer, I didn't thing the greens were "circus" greens at all. Nicely contoured, no crazy severe slopes that I can think of. I remember there being a couple greens that would be considered to have false fronts but that's about it. I really enjoyed the course and the greens were spectacular when we were there.

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#5 MI517

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 07:37 PM

I play it 3-4 times a year, Iím an 8 as well. There was ONE time I played it where the greens were borderline unfair. Pins as close to edges as legal, right on/around ridges or false front and itíd been sunny/hot for a week. I play with some pretty good short game guys and there were definitely some chips done after a putt that day. Hardest round I ever had there. Next closest was a 29* day in MAY that had 30-45mph gusts coming off Lake Michigan. I was hitting driver/3-wood into par 4ís and just getting there where Iíd usually driver/8-9i. Hit a 2i on a par 3 (giving the wind 40yds)!

In general though, no, I consider the greens challenging but not circus-like (ok maybe #4!). Thereís a lot of tiered greens for sure. Itís an amazing course that everyone should have on their bucket list. Conditions can definitely vary your enjoyment. Thereís usually going to be some wind!

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#6 AThompson_3

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 09:40 PM

Arcadia Bluffs is fantastic. The greens are challenging no doubt, but they arenít unfair. Itís absolutely a must play course IMO. Personally I think every serious golfer needs to take a golf trip to Michigan. Arcadia Bluffs and Forest Dunes are as good as it gets.
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#7 mci711

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 10:52 PM

I didn't think they were unfair or that tricky at all. Just my opinion, I thought the tee shots were tricky if anything. But the greens seemed pretty basic but some challenge.

Streamsong black is the closest to "circus" greens I can think of. But even then, it is a challenge and part of the fun. Comparing those 2 Arcadia is mild.

Edited by mci711, 20 December 2018 - 11:32 PM.


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#8 tjblue

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 11:50 PM

Plenty of elephants planted in those greens and I'd love to see them toned down a bit.

Still one of my favorite courses to play (when they allowed 18 holes at twilight).

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#9 burnsniper

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 02:11 PM

I love the course, however the greens are not in the same ďextremeĒ league as golden era courses that can now run really really fast.

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#10 HackerDave

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 08:03 PM

I just don't see it.  I've played there maybe 6 times and have nothing but love for it.  The only green I find a bit silly is #9, but only if they put the pin in front. Yea, they are big with 3 levels, but they roll true and you can score there.   The sum total of the resort, from service, views and conditions make it a winner in my book.   I hope guys don't play it.  Makes it easier for me to get a tee time  ;-)


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#11 sabram

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 07:50 AM

View Postkkrenzke, on 20 December 2018 - 04:40 PM, said:


;;;the greens are the MOST circus like I've ever seen.  

Thoughts?

Kevin K.

"Thoughts": My initial thought is that you may not have seen a wide variety of courses. Where else have you played? What courses would be next on your list of courses that have "circus like" greens?

The greens at Arcadia would not keep me from returning or recommending it, although the green fee might.

Have you played The Old Course or North Berwick?  in the U.S have you played Kingsley or the Loop which aren't too far from Arcadia. How about Pinehurst #2, Old Macdonald or Streamsong? If so I'd be curious about what you thought about the greens at any of those courses.

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#12 mci711

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 10:16 AM

View Postsabram, on 22 December 2018 - 07:50 AM, said:

View Postkkrenzke, on 20 December 2018 - 04:40 PM, said:

;;;the greens are the MOST circus like I've ever seen.  

Thoughts?

Kevin K.

"Thoughts": My initial thought is that you may not have seen a wide variety of courses. Where else have you played? What courses would be next on your list of courses that have "circus like" greens?

The greens at Arcadia would not keep me from returning or recommending it, although the green fee might.

Have you played The Old Course or North Berwick?  in the U.S have you played Kingsley or the Loop which aren't too far from Arcadia. How about Pinehurst #2, Old Macdonald or Streamsong? If so I'd be curious about what you thought about the greens at any of those courses.

Old mac was my other thought but went with Streamsong Black instead. In my opinion very similar courses and greens that can make your head explode if you go in with the wrong mind set.

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#13 Roadking2003

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 03:16 PM

View Postkkrenzke, on 20 December 2018 - 04:40 PM, said:

I live 1 1/2 hours away from this course and I'm asked about it during my business travels.  While I think it is a beautiful course, the greems are the MOST circus like I've ever seen.  It is NOT fun to try and not 3 put every green ( I'm an 8 Hdcp) while just paying to keep you ball on the green with chips and approach shots.

I activly discourage any and all from playing this course and to proceed at their own risk.  am I the ONLY GUY that feels like this about this course????  Wit the many other stellar courses to play, it is often a negative experience for guys that were so excited to play this course...

Thoughts?

Kevin K.

I played it in 2017 as part of a week long seven course trip in that area.  We all rated it either the best or second best of the bunch.

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#14 thejuice

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 10:24 AM

Thanks OP for the warning but now this is on my bucket list based on the reviews of everyone else.  Crazy how that happens!!!!
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#15 Roadking2003

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 05:49 PM

View Postthejuice, on 24 December 2018 - 10:24 AM, said:

Thanks OP for the warning but now this is on my bucket list based on the reviews of everyone else.  Crazy how that happens!!!!

Golf Digest ranks it #3 in the state.

https://www.golfdige...-state-rankings


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#16 gatorMD

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 06:56 PM

if u think these are hard play oakland hills south and u would want to quit golf.
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#17 sabram

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 07:42 PM

Here's a link to a photo tour of Arcadia Bluffs

https://www.flickr.c...157685653209786

Posted Image
Arcadia Bluffs #3 from gold tee zoomed



Posted Image
Arcadia Bluffs #10 approach


Posted Image
Arcadia Bluffs #11 par 5 second shot


Posted Image
Arcadia Bluffs #12 from tee


Posted Image
Arcadia Bluffs #13 par 3 160 yards from gold tee in to wind


Posted Image
Arcadia Bluffs #15 from tee


Posted Image
Arcadia Bluffs #16  green


Posted Image
Arcadia Bluffs #17 par 3 170 yards from blue tee


Posted Image
Arcadia Bluffs #18 from tee


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#18 mci711

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 11:35 PM

View Postsabram, on 24 December 2018 - 07:42 PM, said:

Here's a link to a photo tour of Arcadia Bluffs

https://www.flickr.c...157685653209786


Great pictures. Here's 1 from my last trip there. The course has a little more meaning for us now.

We also kept playing and I had a career best -2 round. So that was a plus too.

Posted Image

Edited by mci711, 24 December 2018 - 11:36 PM.


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#19 Santiago Golf

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 01:42 PM

Hands down one of the best courses in the world, though it will never be rated that.

The greens are fantastic, you have to remeber this destination golf. People do not play here on a regular basis and are not super concerned what they shoot. They are here for an experience of playing absolute stunning visual golf course.


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#20 Exwinger20

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 02:32 PM

Now I'm even more excited for the trip we have planned there in the spring!


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#21 AThompson_3

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 04:27 PM

My tip: Tee one up facing Lake Michigan on #12 and try to hit it to Wisconsin.
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#22 hybrid25

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 04:39 PM

I'll tell you what, give me the 70 degree, sunny, calm winded day that I played it on this past September right about now oh, and you wouldn't make me much happier offering me anything else. What a beautiful treat it is and was to play that course.

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#23 exgolfpro

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 10:18 AM

What is the deal with the short flags?  In those photos, the flags look like they are about 3 ft tall.  Does that throw off the visual of estimating yardages?

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#24 AThompson_3

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 11:56 AM

View Postexgolfpro, on 28 December 2018 - 10:18 AM, said:

What is the deal with the short flags?  In those photos, the flags look like they are about 3 ft tall.  Does that throw off the visual of estimating yardages?
Yeah the short flags are really odd. It definitely throws off your depth perception. You get used to it after the first couple holes though.
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#25 mci711

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 11:58 AM

View Postexgolfpro, on 28 December 2018 - 10:18 AM, said:

What is the deal with the short flags?  In those photos, the flags look like they are about 3 ft tall.  Does that throw off the visual of estimating yardages?

I thought I was a mile out on the first hole because the flag looked so small in the distance... I shot it multiple times with the range finder and was so confused until I got up to it, then it made sense. Definitely threw me off at first though.


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#26 sabram

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 02:37 PM

View Postexgolfpro, on 28 December 2018 - 10:18 AM, said:

What is the deal with the short flags?  In those photos, the flags look like they are about 3 ft tall.  Does that throw off the visual of estimating yardages?

I've been told it's because of the wind, so that the flags don't blow over. It does take some adjustment when you are eyeballing distances. Dakota Winds uses them as does the Tribute in Texas.

Posted Image
Dakota Winds #7 x George on green note short pins due to high winds


Posted Image
The Tribute #18 view from rear right of green



Posted Image
Arcadia Bluffs #2 Larry missed an Ace by an inch740

Edited by sabram, 28 December 2018 - 07:34 PM.


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#27 rtraudt

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 01:59 AM

View PostSantiago Golf, on 27 December 2018 - 01:42 PM, said:

Hands down one of the best courses in the world, though it will never be rated that.

The greens are fantastic, you have to remeber this destination golf. People do not play here on a regular basis and are not super concerned what they shoot. They are here for an experience of playing absolute stunning visual golf course.

It's far more than just playing a stunning visual golf course...I travel to play courses with greens like Arcadia because of the enjoyment on the greens.  The slopes and speed require a creativity and touch that just isn't asked of me on my local muni/public courses.  And, at least for me, putting is probably the most enjoyable part of the game.  Nothing is more boring than a course with 18 flat greens, and Arcadia is FAR from that!  Also, to anyone looking at this thread and planning to go play, be sure to play the new South course too!  As an architecture nut, it was an absolute blast with a very strategic design.  It also is a great walking course which, as a golfer who far prefers to walk my rounds, was a nice complement to the riding only nature of the Bluffs course.
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#28 Lottaouts

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 05:39 AM

Need to get back to Arcadia. My one time play was memorable. Great design and conditioning, at least 10 years ago or so. The overall experience was top notch including the clubhouse and staff attitude.

Someone mentioned Harbor Shores. I have played there once or twice each of the last 4 years. Enjoyed it quite a bit until this year. I personally like the design alot but the course seems very overplayed. More unrepaired divots than I have ever seen on a good course...par three tees and fairways were a minefield. Condition of the greens was so-so.  Pro shop staff acted tired.  Course halfway house had almost nothing that was posted on the menu. Attendant was busy on her phone and clueless.  Dirty counter and spiderwebs. It was a neat experience when new but has lost some of the key elements that made it special.  Admittedly, this was on a hot tuesday afternoon in August.

I hope Arcadia has avoided the management shortcomings that I observed at Harbor Shores.

Edited by Lottaouts, 29 December 2018 - 05:41 AM.


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#29 PuttCurseRepeat

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 11:22 AM

The OP reads like they were done wrong by a member of the staff. Very, very bad advice to "actively discourage" anyone from playing AB. Warn them that you think the greens are severely tricked up, ok, but don't dissuade them from one greatest, most unique golf experiences in the Midwest, if not the country.

The greens at AB are dramatic. Large and undulating. They are also challenging, fair, true, excellently maintained and add to the enjoyment of the experience. The three times I have played there, I did not find any of the pins unfair. Maybe I got lucky. While I can imagine locations where pins would be nearly impossible, the large greens also provide many relatively flat pinnable locations on each.

While still being able to maintain a sense of serenity, Arcadia Bluffs is also a bold and dramatic course and resort - from the clubhouse to the holes on the dunes high above Lake Michigan, to the mounding and the bunkers and seemingly endless number of gorgeous views. A collection of uninspired greens would be sorely out of place here.

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#30 ChunkAndRun2

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  • Member #: 517642
  • Joined: 12/04/2018
  • Location:Ypsilanti, MI
  • Handicap:10
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Posted 02 January 2019 - 01:47 PM

I've played there twice a year, every year since I moved to the state in about a decade ago.  The greens can be fast and challenging, but I would never call them unfair.  I think you can get yourself in some bad spots that might make you frustrated, but thats about the prior shot in my opinion.  Number 6, 9, and 10 all come to mind with putting yourself on the wrong side of a flag.

Now, if you just go to the short game area and look at that green, you will think somebody lost their mind, but I find the course to be nothing but fair.  

For what its worth, I would call their shoulder season rates the best deal in America, even with the 2019 rate going up to $100 (was $75 just a few years back).

Driver -  Titleist 913 D2
3 Wood - Titleist 915
Driving Iron -  Mizuno MP 18 MCC
4-PW - Titleist 716 CB
Wedges - 50* 55* 60* Vokey SM7
Putter - Scotty Cameron Newport 2.0

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