Crystal Downs

crystal downs in michigan
Gary Kellner/Dimpled Rock
3 Photos

Crystal Downs

  • Course Type

  • GOLF Top 100 World Rank (2023-24)

  • Year

  • Architects

    Alister MacKenzie / Perry Maxwell
  • Par

  • Yardage


Course Overview

Because of its remote location, Crystal Downs was once overlooked, but that changed when Tom Doak introduced the course to Ben Crenshaw in the 1980s. A combination of strong breezes off Lake Michigan, thick fescue roughs, undulating terrain and fiendishly contoured greens make this one of the more difficult Top 100 courses relative to its par of 70. Measuring just under 6,600 yards, monster length is not required when you have greens this exceptional. (Photo: Gary Kellner/Dimpled Rock)

3 things to know

  • Hole everyone talks about

    No. 5, par-4, 353 yards. This one’s well-known for its strategic wizardry. Off the tee, there are several routes toward the green (essentially four). Choose wisely.
  • Best non-golf amenity

    Amenities? A private club, yes, but Crystal Downs is known to be understated and unstuffy. (You’ll love it.) After your round, enjoy the sun-splashed patio and view of the course.
  • Insider tip

    After enjoying one of Alister MacKenzie’s best designs, don’t stop there. Michigan, and especially northern Michigan, is one of the most underrated golf destinations around. Live it up.