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Forest Dunes, Both Directions of The Loop Ranked Among America's 100 Greatest Public Courses


Forest Dunes, Both Directions of The Loop Ranked Among America's 100 Greatest Public Courses

By Brian Weis

The Loop at Forest Dunes, the innovative reversible layout designed by Tom Doak, continues to garner the highest accolades from the golf industry. In an unprecedented achievement, both golf course routings, Red and Black, have been ranked among Golf Digest's list of America's 100 Greatest Public Courses. The panel ranked the Black No. 45 and the Red No. 47.

Not to be outdone by the boutique Northern Michigan resort's newer addition, the original and immaculately-conditioned Tom-Weiskopf-designed Forest Dunes course is ranked No. 28 on the list, putting all three Forest Dunes Golf Club layouts in Golf Digest's top 50. Forest Dunes joins Pebble Beach, Streamsong, Bandon Dunes and Kohler as the only resort properties with three courses distinguished among the nation's Top 50.

The publication's biennial review of America's top public courses can also be found on Golf Digest uses nearly 1,000 low-handicap male and female golfers on its Course Ranking Panel and asked each to submit ballots based on eight criteria including shot options, challenge, layout variety, distinctiveness, aesthetics, conditioning, character, and fun.

The Loop opened in 2016 to rave reviews across the industry. Golf Digest named it the Best New Public Course, and GOLF Magazine named it the Best New U.S. Course You Can Play. The two different layouts, Black-clockwise and Red-counter clockwise, alternate directions for play on a daily basis. The Forest Dunes course (a staple of the Golf Digest Top-100 Public Courses List since 2007) has drawn flattering comparisons by Golf Digest writers to Spyglass Hill, Pine Valley and Augusta National thanks to pristine turf conditions that contrast beautifully with roughly-hewn bunkering and dunescapes.

"To have both routings of a reversible golf course ranked among the top 100 courses in America says volumes about the creativity, craft and pure genius of Tom Doak, says head golf professional Elliott Oscar. "The Loop is a special experience in both directions. To see the Golf Digest panel affirm our praise for Tom's monumental design feat here on this beautiful site is a tremendous honor."

The Loop is the only reversible course of its kind using 18 green complexes, which are the heart and soul of the unique design. Doak showed his genius as this generation's iconic designer, creating fun green complexes that had to be approachable and interesting from 360 degrees, while also maintaining pure host values so a golfer never feel like he is playing in the wrong direction.

He and his team accomplished it throughout the golf course in both directions. Golfers marvel at No. 6 of the Red Course (counter-clockwise), a very short par 3 with a wide and shallow green, and the seventh, a short par-4 with a long and narrow green that has a dip in the middle of it. Those two holes are also among the best holes playing clockwise coming into the greens from 90-degrees.

Doak also added his version of a Redan hole, which is No. 4 of the Red Course, a par 3, and plays as the Redan green on No. 13 of the Black Course (clock-wise), the longest par 3 on the course.

New for 2019: The Loop will allow golf carts. The course was designed for walking and is especially walker-friendly, and golfers can choose to enhance their experience with the professional caddie fleet offered by CADDIEMASTER, the world's leading caddie company. In addition, the new exciting HillTop Putting Course, a two-acre 18-hole putting course, is routed over thrilling natural undulations and tucked into a quaint setting in the mature surrounding pines.

To build a unique Forest Dunes package with golf and lodging, simply combine the Lake AuSable Lodge, golf cottages, or the new golf villas with the Forest Dunes and Loop courses. Lodging rates can range, depending on the time of the season and room type, from $69 to $159 per person. Golf rates, depending on the time of season, range from $85 to $160.

In addition, Forest Dunes is providing a tribute rate during the summer months on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays on both courses for $100 for military, first responders, seniors (55 and over), ladies, and teachers.

For more information and to book a stay and play package, click on


Revised: 06/12/2019 - Article Viewed 782 Times - View Golf Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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