Watson's Greens

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By Golf’s Course Raters and Ran Morrissett, Architecture Editor


BelvedereH11AM2020Aug 0579WEB

As part of GOLF’s course rating process for 2022-23, our fleet of 100-plus expert panelists identified the best golf courses in Michigan. 

No 9. Belvedere 

Thanks to how Golden Age architect William Watson incorporated meandering creeks, dramatic valley walls and gorgeous Michigan rolling landforms into his routing here, the golfer wants for nothing. Watson’s greens — both their contours and their placement — are marvels, many of which don’t require bunkers for window dressing. For instance, the surface at the 6th features a savage false front that consumes nearly one-third of the putting surface. Other bunkerless greens include the 16th and 17th, both of which Watson benched into hillsides. A faint-hearted approach to the 346-yard 16th finds the golfer a dozen-plus feet below the putting surface; same goes for a pull at the 179-yard 17th. Belvedere has attracted a legion of design fans over the years, and for good reason.