Eagle Eye Golf Club in Lansing regularly gets rated as 18 of the best holes in Michigan, and even among the best in the country. With an iconic island green replica of the famous 17th hole at the TPC at Sawgrass, Eagle Eye is a must-play that should be on every golfer’s bucket list if they haven’t already played it.
But Eagle Eye isn’t the only great course in the Capital Region. There are many memorable holes around Lansing that you can play during a long weekend, mixed in with some stops on the Makers & Shakers Trail of craft breweries.
Here are 18 of our favorite holes:
No. 18 at Groesbeck
This municipal course built in 1926 is in great condition, and the finishing hole gives it a great ending. At 436 yards from the tips, with Grand River Avenue at your back, the par-four squeezes between the wooded boundary of the course on the left and, on the right, a pond built in the late 1990s to improve drainage in the area. It’s long and narrow, with an uphill shot into the green.
No. 16 at College Fields
At just 249 yards long from the white tees, this par four sounds simple enough. But good luck avoiding the row of bunkers left of the green, and the natural wilds along the right side of the hole. The 16th presents a classic case of risk and reward if you try to drive the green. It certainly would be safer to hit an iron off the tee.
No. 18 at Timber Ridge
Nestled in the woods in East Lansing, Timber Ridge features tree-lined fairways, rolling hills and the highest point in Clinton County. It also has a fantastic finishing hole. The par-four 18th presents a fittingly picturesque conclusion to a course full of scenic beauty. The green sits beyond a rock-bordered pond, with a row of sand bunkers deterring any bailout to the right.
No. 1 at Forest Akers West
The flags of Big Ten schools outside the clubhouse lets you know you’re at a place where championships are contested. The elevated tee and downhill sloping fairway on the 1st hole shows you that Forest Akers is a place of beauty. At 377 yards from the white tees, No. 1 makes for a beautiful beginning to a round on the Michigan State University course that annually plays host to the state high school golf finals.
No. 18 at Hawk Hollow
There’s nothing like finishing a round of golf with the toughest shot of the day. No. 18 curls around Hawk Lake and, unless you plan on putting your way to the green, it requires a shot over the water. When your ball (finally) finds the gigantic, two-tiered green, go ahead and tip your hat.
No. 13 at Little Hawk
Really, all 18 holes at the Little Hawk Putting Course are a blast. It’s one of only three natural grass putting courses in Michigan – authentic miniature golf with fairway, rough, water, sand and fescue. Three-putts here are par for the course. At 226 feet long, No. 13 actually is a par four.
No. 11 at The Emerald
Depending on where the tees are placed, the 11th hole can entice longer hitters to ignore the fairway and rip a drive straight for the green above or between two towering trees on the right side. The scorecard measures this par-four at just 299 yards from the diamond tees. A gaping bunker guards half of the green, however.
No. 2 at Eldorado – Blue
Uphill through the trees and 221 yards from the back tees, No. 2 is the toughest hole on the toughest nine at the 27-hole Eldorado Golf Course in Mason. For the most part, Eldorado is playable for all ages and, as general manager Mike Bell says, “you’re not going to invest in a lot of golf balls” being lost in the woods or the water. It’s just a fun course with really good greens.
No. 6 at The Falcon
This 9-hole course at Hawk Hollow has no par fives and measures only 2,000 yards from the white tees. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. At more than 200 yards long, No. 6 can be as hard to par as any hole anywhere – especially because most of that distance is over a pond, and it can get windy. The sixth hole is the first of back-to-back-to-back par-threes that circle the pond. The Falcon is in great shape and makes for a fun, fast round.
No. 1 at The Falcon – Foot Golf Course
All nine holes at The Falcon have separate tee markers and greens for foot golfers (who kick a soccer ball around the course and into a really, really big hole). No. 1 at the Falcon measures 147 yards from the adult foot golf tee, and 91 yards from the tee for kids. The foot golf greens are cut out of the rough near each golf green.
No. 9 at College Fields
There are 12 acres of fairway shared by the par-four 9th hole and the adjacent par-five 18th. There’s even a large area of short grass behind the green leading up to the clubhouse, making for some interesting shots back toward the pin if you go over the green. College Fields in Okemos offers a diverse challenge with a front nine that’s mostly flat and open and a back nine that requires more target golf.
No. 10 at Groesbeck
Like the adjacent No. 18 hole, No. 10 runs along a pond the city built for drainage purposes about 20 years ago. The elevated tee makes for an eye-pleasing start to the back nine, but there’s little margin for error on this par four with water on the right and a forest of pine trees on the left. Groesbeck is one of the state’s best municipal courses and comes at a value.
No. 8 at Forest Akers West
A flank of tall pines shields the par-five 8th hole from I-496 and creates a chute that runs up to a slightly elevated green with half of its front protected by a deep bunker. It’s incredible how serene the hole feels with a highway so near. No. 8 is a really pretty hole that, at 497 yards, is a manageable length.
No. 7 at Eldorado – White
The shortest of the three nines at Eldorado, the White course routes mostly through the woods. That makes for some beautiful holes including No. 7, a longish par four with a creek in front of the green. From the back tees, the hole measures 423 yards.
No. 11 at Timber Ridge
The two par-3 holes on the back nine at Timber Ridge are a joy. No. 11 runs downhill to a diagonal green that skirts a pond against a backdrop of trees. The farther back and left the pin is placed on the green, the more precarious any shot at the flag becomes. Plus, there’s a swale in the middle of the green for an extra putting test.
No. 16 at Timber Ridge
Can’t have No. 11 on this list without No. 16, since they’re mirror images of each other. The par-three 16th hole presents the same challenge, only with a pond on the right instead of the left. It’s also a longer hole with a larger green and the tee at a higher elevation.
No. 8 at The Emerald
Every par-three at The Emerald poses a unique encounter. Sometimes, it’s the shortest shot that’s the most intriguing. That’s the case at No. 8, which measures only 129 yards as it runs downhill to a little green. It seems straightforward, but there’s more than one way to get the ball to the green on this hole.
No. 17 at Hawk Hollow
The final two holes at Hawk Hollow wrap around Hawk Lake, making for a harrowing finish to the round. No. 17 is a longish par-three with the lake on the right, sand on the left and not much to do besides take aim for the middle of the green and hope you hit it straight.