An 18-hole reversible golf course has earned Roscommon’s Forest Dunes the honors of Best New Public Course and Best New U.S. Course You Can Play by Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine, respectively.
Designed in 2015 by renowned global golf course designer Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf Design in Traverse City, The Loop is one of the first reversible golf courses in the world. The unorthodox design allows golfers to play a traditional 18-hole course and then reverse their direction for a different experience the following game.
“This is truly an honor to be recognized by both of golf’s leading publications,” says Lew Thompson, owner of Forest Dunes. “When we decided to build our next golf course, I wanted something industry changing, and fun for everyone. Tom Doak delivered by providing us some of his best work, and the feedback by our guests has been tremendous. The genius of the concept is how it looks and plays completely different when you play in the other direction.”
The Loop joins Tiger Woods-designed Bluejack National as the top winner in each publication’s private club category, which Golf Digest’s architecture editor Ron Whitten attributes to both courses’ “fun and playability” and that they cater to “the masses” rather than elite players. Whitten says the latter is a strategy being adopted by many top clubs and courses as they work to diversify their audiences.
Doak and his Renaissance team beat the northern Michigan winter by planting all 18 holes in a single summer, with Brian Scheider and Eric Iverson shaping most of the greens and bunkers and Brian Slawnik running the job and handling finishing touches. The project was Doak’s first course in Michigan since 1999, when he designed the Lost Dunes Golf Club in Bridgman, south of Benton Harbor.