Play at least once in these top Michigan golf courses

In Michigan, golf vacations can be one-of-a-kind experiences. The state is home to more than 600 publicly accessible golf courses boasting designs by some of the most respected architects in the sport. And these designs marry Michigan's natural beauty—rolling hills, dense woodland, lush meadows, bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan—with hole layouts that make the game delightfully challenging. No matter what your skill level is, you'll find the perfect Michigan golf course to fall in love with. If you do end up with a mulligan, no worries. You can always say you got distracted by the view.

Scottish-style Michigan golf at Arcadia Bluffs

Cherry and apple orchards once stood in the 240 acres now comprising Arcadia Bluffs. Today, it's an 18-hole, Warren Henderson-designed Michigan golf course on rolling terrain overlooking 3,100 feet of Lake Michigan's shoreline. Arcadia Bluffs is as close as you can get to playing traditional links-style golf in this part of the world. You'll have long drives ahead of you with tricky sand bunkers blocking your path, and you'll have lakeshore breezes challenging your game. After your round, you can return to your vacation rental and drink in the serenity of the views from your deck, maybe while soaking in your hot tub with a glass of wine in hand. Or, if the weather permits it, you can head to the beaches of Lake Michigan, where you can go swimming, fishing, or boating.

Play Michigan golf your way at Bay Harbor Golf Club

If you want to customize your game to suit your skill level, or maybe to spice things up a little, you may want to book your tee times at Bay Harbor Golf Club. This Michigan golf resort has 3 9-hole courses that you can play individually for short games or pair up for longer, 18-hole rounds. Each course has its own special features. The Links follows the Lake Michigan shoreline closely in a links-style layout. The Preserve lets you drive through a thick hardwood forest where you can encounter wildlife while playing. The Quarry, on the other hand, is more rough and rugged. Vacation homes around Bay Harbor Golf Club are typically luxury homes, with amenities such as modern kitchens and private pools. If you don't feel like going back to your vacation rental, you can explore the resort town of Bay Harbor for its boutique shopping and gourmet dining.

Eagle Eye: A Michigan golf course for clever shot-making

Though the areas of Lansing and Bath aren't known for having hilly terrain, renowned golf architects Pete Dye and Chris Lutzke have worked their magic to create rolling hills for Eagle Eye Golf Course. As easy as these undulating greens may appear, however, they're guarded by swaths of fescues and tree groves. Eagle Eye is especially notorious for its Hole 17, where the green is right in the middle of a large lake. Once you've conquered the 17th and made it through the 18th, you can celebrate your victory with a jaunt in Lansing, maybe to go shopping or browse its many art galleries, or to catch a game of the Michigan State Spartans. Then you can cap your day with a home-cooked meal prepared in the well-appointed kitchen of your vacation rental, using fresh ingredients from the Bath farmer's market.

Scenic Michigan golf at Shanty Creek Resort

Tucked away in the scenic backroads of Michigan's Antrim County is Shanty Creek Resort, a ski destination in winter and a golf haven during the warmer months. For golfers, Shanty Creek offers 4 courses, each designed by a different PGA legend and featuring its own set of challenges. Cedar River has greens well-guarded by cedar groves, while The Legend has views of Lake Bellaire that can distract you from the water traps. Schuss Mountain, on the other hand, is hilly and surrounded by pine forests, while Summit has short fairways for fast games. If you're the outdoorsy type, you can substitute tee times for hikes through the forests of Antrim County or for boat rides on the lakes surrounding the village. If you feel like taking a stroll through the village, you can get lost in the art galleries and antique shops you'll find here. Or you can just as easily hang out in your condo or cabin rental for some quiet time.