Shanty Creek Golf – The Legend

An Arnold Palmer Design in Northern MIchigan

Elevation changes, beautiful tree-framed greens, occasional scenic vistas and excellent hole variety

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Shanty Creek Golf – The Legend

What You Need to Know

    • Course Info Shanty Creek Resort comprises four eighteen hole courses. The Legend (Arnold Palmer) and Summit courses at Summit Village. Cedar River and Schluss Mountain courses have their own separate village within three miles.
    • Fees: Legend $49-99.  Cedar River $59-119. Schluss Mountain.  $30-55.  Summit $22-39.
    • Yardage: Five sets of tees span from 4895 yards to 6764 yards (73.2/137).
    • Location – Bellaire, Michigan. Four hours northwest of Detroit in Northern Michigan. One hour northeast of Traverse City, Michigan.
    • Lodging –  Shanty Creek Resort comprises three villages with 500 lodging units.

A popular ski and golf resort, Shanty Creek golf resort spans 5,000 acres of forest, mountains and meadows. Three separate villages  (Summit, Cedar River and Schuss) comprise the resort with over 500 lodging unit, two ski mountains and four eighteen hole golf courses.  Only guests who stay at Shanty Creek properties can access the pools, the fitness center or the shuttle to the nearby village of Bellaire.

I played the most well-known course, The Legend, designed by Arnold Palmer.  The other three courses are also championship calibre, Cedar River by Tom Weiskopf, Schuss Mountain by Warner Bowen and Summit by William Diddel.  Golf Magazine ranks The Legend and Cedar River in the top 20 in Michigan.

Shanty Creek Golf – The Legend Course by Arnold Palmer

Northern Michigan golf courses are often characterized by a secluded wooded layout, elevation changes, water features, and sweeping vistas.  Arnold Palmer’s The Legend course fits this profile.   A well-balanced layout provides excellent variety with doglegs in both directions.

Elevation changes with steep down hill tee shots and steep uphill approach shots are commonplace.   Fairways are on the narrow side with a few open expanses.  I found ten to twenty yards of thick rough before dense forest.  Playing from the proper tees is essential to keeping the ball in play.

Generous greens are undulating with occasional multiple tiers. Water is a major factor for only three holes.  Palmer connects holes end-to-end rather than side-by-side.  Hence, the layout covers a great distance cutting through the forest feeling very secluded and bucolic.  We played our entire round seeing very few other golfers.  Some great views of Lake Bellaire over the dense trees add to the enjoyment.

Hole Highlights

Hole 7 – a 474 yard par 5.  The tee shots bends around water tempting the golfer to cut it tight. A creek bisecting the fairway limits the choice though.   Fronted by a creek and sandwiched by two bunkers, getting to this green in two requires a precision fairway wood.  With an easy layup, it’s a simple wedge to the elevated green.

Hole 12 – a 156 yard par 3.  A serene hole with water surrounded by marsh and greenside bunkers left and long.  A well-hidden ski chalet peers from within the trees behind the green.

Hole 15 – a 190 yard par 3.  Framed by tall trees, with a large meandering greenside bunker front and left, and a large green, the difficulty is high with a front left pin.

If you like elevation changes, beautiful tree-framed greens, occasional scenic vistas and excellent hole variety, then this Shanty Creek Golf course is for you.

Explore other Midwest golf course profiles from Quintessential Golf Magazine.

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