Detroit’s Best Public Courses

By Ryan Watson

Detroit, Michigan is often seen as a city on hard times rather than a golfing destination. However, folks from the area know that the Detroit metro area is home to numerous fun and challenging courses. In fact, for a period in the early 90s, no other area was building golf courses as fast as the Motor City. The city is also home to the PGA Tour’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, held at the private Detroit Golf Club, and has been the past home of the Buick Classic. The following are GolfLink’s list of Detroit’s 5 best public course.


The Majestic at Lake Walden

9600 Crouse Rd, Hartland, MI 48353

Built by Jerry Matthews and Ray Hearn in 1994, The Majestic at Lake Walden helped kick off Detroit’s golf scene with its impressive layout. The course winds around a large lake through the surrounding forests, making for a nice woodlands course with ample water. The course has 3 9-hole tracks, and while not the most challenging layout it still requires good shotmaking in order to keep your scores low.

Coyote Preserve

9218 Preserve Dr, Fenton, MI 48430

Located in suburban Fenton, Coyote Preserve is a fun and challenging layout designed by Arnold Palmer. The course is kept in excellent condition despite being one of the more affordable games of golf out there. Golfers should expect elevation changes and heavy use of water, with 14 holes containing water hazards. The standout hole remains the high risk-reward 16th hole, tempting golfers to drive over the nearly 200 yards of water straight to the green.

Eagle Crest Golf Club

Golf Club, 1201 S Huron St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Eagle Crest Golf Club is owned and operated by Eastern Michigan University and features a course designed by Jim Lipe that opened in 2012. The course borders Ford Lake and is playable for scratch and more intermediary players alike. One thing that’s easily noticeable is that many holes offer a safe option and a high risk option, meaning that accuracy and decision making are crucial during your round.

The Orchards Golf Club

62900 Campground Rd, Washington, MI 48094

One of the originals and still considered by many to be the best Southeast Michigan course, the Orchards Golf Club was designed by Robert Trent Jones III in 1993. The layout meanders over 500 acres with lakes, wetlands, and the namesake apple orchards. The course uses the natural landscape and impressive strategic bunkering to offer up a challenging course. Knowing your own abilities when choosing your shots is paramount on this gem of a course.

Shepherd’s Hollow

9085 Big Lake Rd, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

Shepherd’s hollow is a beautiful woodlands course that makes full use of the rugged, hilly terrain of Michigan. The course was designed by Arthur Hills in 2000 and features 27 holes. The course has few tricks and instead uses the natural elevation changes and forest to its advantage. The course is home to many tree lined holes with rolling fairways that reward accuracy and punish errant shots. It also is a long course that favors heavy hitters.

About the Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.