The Loop – a reversible golf course at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon, MI. is designed by prolific golf course architect Tom Doak and features two distinct layouts, using the same 18 greens but is played clockwise one day (from the white tees) and counterclockwise the next (from the red tees).
The Loop and its fescue fairways are walking only with caddie service available. It plays a length of roughly 6,800 yards in both directions, with a par of 70. The unique design incorporates 18 greens and 36 teeing areas. Only the 9th and 18th greens are labeled with those numbers. In addition to The Loop, Forest Dunes Golf Clubs already boasts a top 25 best public course in the country – a Tom Weiskopf-designed parkland-style classic.
Get Set for a Challenge at Forest Dunes Golf Club
Located about two-and-a-half hours northeast of Grand Rapids, The Loop is not the first attempt at a reversible course. The most famous would be St. Andrews, which was originally drawn up to be played in alternating directions. However, given the appeal of the challenging par 3, hole 11 and famous Road Hole, No. 17, the course just wouldn’t be the same if played in reverse. The entire course would lose some of its mystique, thus the idea of employing a reversible course at St. Andrews quickly dissolved.
In Michigan, it’s a different story with a different set of circumstances. What Doak has done with The Loop is constructed two equally-impressive tracks using a special piece of land to the west of Forest Dunes’ current course. The relatively flat, sand-based earth is the perfect location for this concept giving owner Lew Thompson a revolutionary course; the only one of its kind that is sure to garner interest the world over.
Two of the best holes, according to Doak, are the sixth and seventh playing in the counterclockwise direction. He explained. “The sixth is a very short par-3 with a wide and shallow green, and the seventh is a short par-4 with a long and narrow green that has a dip in the middle of it. But those are also two of the best holes playing clockwise.”
With the addition of the reversible course, Forest Dunes management is adding basically two courses in one, which will make everything more efficient and economical; they will have three golf courses, but only maintain two.
Nestled on 500 acres of heavily wooded land within the Huron National Forest, Forest Dunes has become one of the country’s most peaceful and exciting golf experiences. With the addition of The Loop, however, this exquisite golf complex is about to get a lot more attention.
RVers are also in for a treat. There are a series of RV parks in Roscommon. All combined, there are more than 600 campsites available throughout the season.
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a golf column, “The RV Golfer,” which is published every month in rvlife.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.