No matter what time of day you play these Benzie golf courses, the scenery is stunning. Purple heather, thick patches of woodland, vistas of Crystal Lake, emerald greens. But, set off in the late afternoon when the course quiets down and the sun begins to drop over the lake for an idyllic eighteen in Northern Michigan.
Crystal Lake Golf Club
This Warren Henderson/Rick Smith design drops a dramatic 225 feet from its highest point down to the bluff over Lake Michigan. Golf Digest ranked it the top public course in Michigan in 2011-12, and the windswept terrain, deep bunkers and natural grasses are reminiscent of Scotland. 14710 NORTHWOOD HWY., ARCADIA, 231.889.3001, ARCADIABLUFFS.COM.
Bear Lake Country Highlands
This 18-hole semi-private golf course features three sets of tees for different skill levels, and Bear Lake views provide a picturesque backdrop. U.S. 31 S., BEAR LAKE, 231.864.3817, GOLFBEARLAKE.COM.
Gentle clusters of purple heather line the fairways at this course that offers contoured greens and views of Lake Michigan and Crystal Lake. 501 N. MARSHALL RD., BEULAH, 231.882.9200, CHAMPIONHILL.COM.