Review: Kingsley Club Golf Course, MI

A Michigan "Must Play"
Kingsley Club Golf Course is one of those courses you can’t miss if playing golf in MI.  Yes, it is a private club, but they offer limited outside play; just ask. I appreciate Kingsley’s sole purpose to have the best golfing experience without all the frills or distractions.  I’ve had the opportunity to play a few of these kinds of private courses and Kingsley Club ranks up there with some of the best.  It is a MI “Must Play”.
Golf is a competitive industry right now and the old days are long gone, even for private clubs; so opening your doors on a limited basis for non-members benefits everyone.  Whether it is a personal phone call to Kingsley’s head pro or connecting through your course’s professional, Kingsley Club is accessible.  The excellent course layout and perfect conditions shouldn’t be missed.  Local and national memberships might make sense too.

The easiest way to describe Kingsley Club is a parkland links style course.  It is all set on some rolling, wooded terrain in west central MI.  The fescue turf is firm and fast, the greens are severely undulated and the roughness of the bunkering and terrain make it very different from 99% of US courses.   The location feels very much out in the middle over nowhere even though Traverse City, MI is only 15 miles away and the little town of Kingsley is just a couple miles down the road.
Hole 1
Hole 7
Hole 9

The pictures show most of the story at Kingsley Club.  The course is PHENOMENAL!!  This actually happened to be my second time here and I thoroughly love this place.  The firm and fast conditions really do make golf more fun, even when at times there are frustrations too when a perfect shot turns out poorly.  Every hole is memorable at Kingsley Club.  The 1st is a great starting par 5.  Simply majestic and massive yet requiring accuracy to be played properly.  The par 3s are simply out of this world with their variety of distance, their bunkering and unique green complexes.  The par 4s vary in length and challenge.  The finishing hole of the front 9 maybe on the best holes anywhere in terms of variety.  This par 3 can play from about 180* of different angles.  There are multiple tee boxes each offering a completely different angle into this green.

The back 9 doesn’t disappoint on a single hole either.  It has a few more trees that come into play, but still offers a fairly open “linksy” feel.  The 12th and 13th are wonderful back to back holes.  The downhill long par 4 12th is stunning with its little green, while the short 13th is tricky, even though it is drivable.  The severe undulation of this massive green could lead to a 4 putt, even after driving the green.  The 16th-18th holes close out one memorable round.  The long par 3 16th can be hard to judge the bounces your ball will take in order to keep it on the green.  Short and right is typically going to be the play.  The 17th green can cause your ball to roll back down into the fairway and quite a ways down the hill.  The final hole has a little secret by the tee box in the stone wall to calm your nerves on this narrowing finishing hole.

Hole 12
Hole 17 Approach
Hole 18
It is all about great golf at Kingsley Club.  Their clubhouse is small, their other amenities are minimal, but their course and practice facility are some of the best around. They get it at Kingsley Club by opening their doors on a limited basis to outside play.  You won’t find a more enjoyable experience on the course with its firm and fast fairways, undulated greens and linksy style of play.  Kingsley Club Golf Course is a “Must Play” in Michigan.

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Quick Hits
+Firm and fast
+Undulated and smooth greens
+Rugged beauty
+All about the golf
+18 memorable holes
+Private but limited outside access

–Kind of in the middle of nowhere