An independent, unbiased review of Arcadia Bluffs – Bluffs Course in Manistee County, Michigan using the Michigan Golf Matrix Scoring System.
All public Michigan Golf Courses are considered for review.

Address: 14710 Northwood Highway, Arcadia, MI 49613

Front 9: Par 36

Back 9: Par 36

Overall Course: (all 18) Par 72

Yardage: Red tees – 5,024; Gold tees – 5,661; White tees – 6,389: Blue tees – 6,913; Championship tees – 7,300
Stimp meter: 11.5

Clubhouse at Arcadia Bluffs

Clubhouse and Amenities – Rating 9.00

The clubhouse at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan, sits at the highest point geographically amid the breathtaking landscape of Lake Michigan. Perched atop a bluff overlooking the pristine waters and the meticulously manicured golf course, the clubhouse offers a restaurant with a full menu as well as course favorites along with a full bar. The pro shop has a large variety of apparel, and a selection of equipment items all average in price. Outside, the amenities are beautiful with a manned bag drop, putting green, full practice range and shuttle service from the parking lot. There are gps-equipped golf cars with weather covers, ball/club cleaning, and sand/seed for divot repair. Cart paths are excellent and, on the course, there is a well-placed snack station with drinks, sandwiches, snacks. All of this comes with outstanding service from the staff and spectacular views of Lake Michigan.

Arcadia Bluffs – Bluffs Course Front Nine

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 1

Hole 1 – Par 5 – Rating 8.67

Red: 355 yds
Gold: 415 yds
White: 459 yds
Blue: 498 yds
Championship: 519 yds

The first hole, viewed from the first tee, gives you an idea of what you are in for. The tee blocks are small, level and elevated. The rolling fairway doglegs right a little bit with dense medium rough and fescue. A variety of fairway and greenside bunkers are real sand and in great shape. Waste areas lie outside the fairway. The green is large, putts very fast with a surface that is receptive, rolling, tiered and sloped back to front.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 2

Hole 2 – Par 3 – Rating 8.40

Red: 124 yds
Gold: 146 yds
White: 160 yds
Blue: 182 yds
Championship: 189 yds

This downhill par 3 starts on elevated, medium size, level tee boxes. The rough that guards the green is short but dense with areas of fescue. The unique bunker design has a long waste bunker flowing directly into the greenside real sand bunker. The receptive and rolling green is tiered, sloped back to front, runs at a fast speed and is large.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 3

Hole 3 – Par 5 – Rating 8.67

Red: 372 yds
Gold: 467 yds
White: 502 yds
Blue: 524 yds
Championship: 530 yds

Your second long par 5 has small, level and elevated tees. Place your tee shot in the rolling fairway that sits below you but runs uphill to make sure you have a good look at a second shot. The rough is medium length and dense with some fescue and the bunkers are real sand. The medium size green is receptive, rolling and fast of speed.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 4

Hole 4 – Par 4 – Rating 8.67

Red: 279 yds
Gold: 311 yds
White: 367 yds
Blue: 410 yds
Championship: 415 yds

Hole 4 gives you one of the better views of the lake from small and level tees blocks. The rolling fairway runs downhill with a dogleg right and dense medium length rough with areas of fescue. All the bunkers are real sand and the large, fast putting green is rolling, receptive and bowl shaped.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 5

Hole 5 – Par 5 – Rating 9.00

Red: 439 yds
Gold: 460 yds
White: 557 yds
Blue: 578 yds
Championship: 583 yds

Unique to Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course is a front nine with 3 par 5’s, 3 par 4’s and 3 par 3’s. Your 3rd par 5 is long and challenging from level, small tees. Find the rolling fairway with your tee shot and second shot. Since getting there in 2 is a dangerous prospect, you will want to set it up for your 3rd shot being an approach shot. The fairway doglegs left sharply as you near the green. Rough is medium and dense with a mine field of real sand bunkers from fairway to green. Avoid the dunes and fescue. The green is large, fast, receptive, rolling and has 3 tiers making it look low in the middle and high on the sides. 

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 6

Hole 6 – Par 3 – Rating 9.50

Red: 80 yds
Gold: 142 yds
White: 161 yds
Blue: 190 yds
Championship: 195 yds

Your 2nd par 3 has medium size, level tee boxes. All carry from tee to green on this hole and if you do miss the green, try to make sure you stay in the short grass. There is medium, dense rough along with fescue and dunes to avoid. Bunkers are real sand and the large green is receptive, rolling, sloped back to front and is fast of pace.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 7

Hole 7 – Par 4 – Rating 9.20

Red: 350 yds
Gold: 365 yds
White: 425 yds
Blue: 434 yds
Championship: 472 yds

Hole 7 gives you one of the tamer golf experiences here from level, medium size tees. The fairway is rolling and runs slightly downhill with medium dense rough, fescue and a multitude of real sand bunkers and waste bunkers if you should miss the fairway. The green is also one of the gentler greens, being large and fast, rolling and receptive.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 8

Hole 8 – Par 4 – Rating 9.00

Red: 295 yds
Gold: 310 yds
White: 352 yds
Blue: 389 yds
Championship: 449 yds

Level, elevated, medium size tees begin hole 8. The rolling fairway runs uphill, doglegs right. Fescue and medium-length, denser rough surround it nearly the entire way. Real sand bunkers line fairways and greensides, featuring sod faces.  This large green is tiered, rolling and receptive with a fast putting surface.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 9

Hole 9 – Par 3 – Rating 9.00

Red: 134 yds
Gold: 140 yds
White: 162 yds
Blue: 196 yds
Championship: 203 yds

Tee off from elevated, level, medium size tee blocks on this final par 3 on the front nine. Make sure you have accurate yardages to the pin since this is a deep green and anything missing the green surface can be trouble. Expect dense, medium rough, fescue, and combination of real sand and dunes. The green is large, fast of speed, sloped back to front and has a receptive, rolling feel.

Average Rating Holes 1-9: 8.90

Arcadia Bluffs – Bluffs Course Back Nine

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 10

Hole 10 – Par 4 – Rating 8.33

Red: 359 yds
Gold: 375 yds
White: 399 yds
Blue: 424 yds
Championship: 481 yds

Start the back nine on level, medium size tee boxes with this memorable hole that gives a great (and challenging) golfing experience. The fairway runs downhill, is rolling and doglegs slightly right. Real sand bunkers, medium length dense rough, and fescue in massive dunes side the fairway. The green is sloped back to front with a receptive and rolling feel. It is also large and putts quite fast.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 11

Hole 11 – Par 5 – Rating 8.80

Red: 465 yds
Gold: 480 yds
White: 563 yds
Blue: 594 yds
Championship: 633 yds

Your first par 5 on the back nine mirrors hole 10 a bit as it also runs downhill and is sided with large dunes. The tees are small but very level and the fairway is rolling, with medium dense rough and fescue. Best way to go is to stay between the dunes and avoid the real sand bunkers. Another large and fast running green awaits at the bottom with a surface that is rolling and receptive, being sloped back to front.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 12

Hole 12 – Par 4 – Rating 9.00

Red: 293 yds or 248 yds
Gold: 305 yds or 260 yds
White: 378 yds or 333 yds
Blue: 430 yds or 385 yds
Championship: 431 yds or 386 yds

The 12th hole is unique based on which day you play and how it is set up. The hole has 2 greens and a split fairway. One is fairly straight, running along the bluff and the other is sharp, dogleg right. The tees are large and level giving you the fairway option. The fairway is rolling and edged with dense, medium length rough and dunes with fescue. The bunkers are real sand and the greens are both large, fast, receptive and rolling with right dogleg green also being sloped back to front.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 13

Hole 13 – Par 3 – Rating 9.00

Red: 98 yds
Gold: 135 yds
White: 160 yds
Blue: 190 yds
Championship: 240 yds

Welcome to the first par 3 on the back nine, or as we like to refer to it, “A signature hole with a wish and a prayer”. The tees are medium size, level and the least of your concerns. The hole plays downhill slightly, and you must hit the surface of the green or else find trouble. Especially left of the green, which is no man’s land. Rough is medium and thick, with dunes and fescue. There is a real sand bunker short and another long left which may bail out an errant shot. The green is receptive being sloped back to front and is rolling with a fast speed on the large surface.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 14

Hole 14 – Par 4 – Rating 9.00

Red: 245 yds
Gold: 304 yds
White: 310 yds
Blue: 340 yds
Championship: 340 yds

This par 4 has level, medium size tee boxes and begins heading you back uphill a bit. The rolling fairway doglegs left and there is medium dense rough and dunes with fescue to steer clear of. All bunkers are real sand. The green is large, fast, receptive and rolling with a deceptively subtle breaking surface. 

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 15

Hole 15 – Par 5 – Rating 9.00

Red: 358 yds
Gold: 440 yds
White: 460 yds
Blue: 470 yds
Championship: 519 yds

The final par 5 takes you back beside the clubhouse from small and level tees. This rolling fairway is sided with dense, medium rough and fescue in the dunes along with a few strategically placed fairway bunkers. All the bunkers are real sand. The green is receptive, rolling, sloped back to front. It is large, and putts at a fast speed.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 16

Hole 16 – Par 4 – Rating 8.67

Red: 342 yds
Gold: 376 yds
White: 441 yds
Blue: 459 yds
Championship: 486 yds

Hole 16 starts on small and level tees. The winding “S” curve fairway runs back toward the lake, so it is downhill. Bunkers are real sand and there are dunes and medium length rough with a denser feel. The rolling, receptive green is only medium in size, but runs very fast.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 17

Hole 17 – Par 3 – Rating 8.50

Red: 129 yds
Gold: 150 yds
White: 158 yds
Blue: 170 yds
Championship: 176 yds

The final par 3 is a special place. From elevated, level, medium sized tees it is all carry to the putting surface. The rough is medium and dense.  The dunes are fescue and a difficult time to get out of. Bunkers are real sand near the large, undulating green. Anything right or right-and-long is gone. The green is enormous with 3 separate tiers. It is receptive (thankfully), rolling, and slick with a fast-putting pace.

Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course Hole 18

Hole 18 – Par 4 – Rating 8.67

Red: 307 yds
Gold: 340 yds
White: 375 yds
Blue: 435 yds
Championship: 439 yds

During our review we developed a “love-hate” relationship with hole 18. From elevated, small and level tees, be accurate with your tee shot into the rolling fairway, cause the second shot is a doozy. There is denser medium length rough, dunes and fescue and some pesky fairway bunkers of real sand on the way. Everything rests on your second shot as it goes extremely uphill to the large receptive and rolling green. Pick an extra club you feel can make it to the top, then go back and get the next club up to try and make sure. The green also runs quite fast. (We love this finishing hole really, but it can kill a good round.)

Average Rating Holes 10-18: 8.77

Overall Course Rating: 8.84

SUMMARY:

Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course is perched atop bluffs and sand dunes with a premier layout. and renowned for its stunning panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding landscapes. The construction of Arcadia Bluffs is a golf course design unlike any other in the area with large green complexes.  Expect a unique experience with spacious greens, native areas, and the occasional wide fairway all on windswept acres of lakefront property.  The golf course offers excellent course conditions for guests of all golfing abilities.  

This challenging yet rewarding 18-hole layout was designed by Warren Henderson and Rick Smith. The course also features undulating terrain, multiple sets of tees, strategically placed original sod-walled bunkers, and fast, bent grass greens, providing players with a true test of skill. With its world-class facilities, impeccable service, and a setting that captures the essence of Northern Michigan’s charm, Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course stands as a premier destination for those seeking both golfing excellence and natural splendor. Highly recommended play. See our video of Arcadia Bluffs, Bluffs Course.

Fairways rate a high 9.72 and the greens a perfect 10.00.

Pricing: Refer to www.arcadiabluffs.com or call (800) 494-8666 for tee times and pricing

Value Rating: +1.89

These other courses got great reviews; and we are not bluffing.

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