Golf Courses with a View of the Lake
Superior National at Lutsen offers panoramic views of Lake Superior in Lutsen, Minnesota. It’s one of several courses with scenic backdrops.
To enjoy a round of golf around Lake Superior, you don’t really need to be good at the game. You might swing like a pro or fling divots like a novice, but one thing’s for sure: The stunning Big Lake scenery will ensure a memorable day on the links.
This Circle Tour sampler of courses, starting clockwise in Wisconsin, features varied terrain, challenges and greens fees. What these courses all have in common are dazzling views that might help you forget your score, if you need to.
How good is the view at Apostle Highlands Golf Course in Bayfield, Wisconsin? In 2012, it placed among our Best of the Lake readers’ choices for Best Views – Overlooks. There’s a reason for all those votes: Apostle Highlands sits 500 feet above Bayfield and delivers panoramic views of Chequamegon Bay and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Catch vistas of the Lake from 13 of the 18 holes at this par 72 public course that’s 6,332 yards from the back tees. Plus you can tee off over a miniature Lake Superior on the first hole.
Madeline Island Golf Club in Wisconsin has seven holes overlooking the Lake. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the 18-hole course has interesting features such as holes 6/15, which share a fairway and then split in opposite directions. Although it’s private, limited public play is allowed if you make arrangements in advance.
High atop a bluff overlooking Duluth, Enger Park Golf Course has striking views of Duluth Harbor. The 27-hole course, near the landmark Enger Tower and the lovely Enger Park, offers golfers three layout styles ranging from 3,168 to 3,359 yards, with holes through densely wooded areas as well as around scenic ponds.
On Duluth’s east end, scenic Lester Park Golf Course, along the Lester River, has Front 9 and Back 9 courses of 3,182 yards and 3,189 yards. You’ll find panoramic views of Lake Superior on 20 of the 27 holes.
Northland Country Club in Duluth is full of history dating from 1899 (when memberships were $15 and dues were $10 a year). This 18-hole, par 71 course features 6,825 yards of golf with tree-lined fairways, water hazards and beautiful views of Lake Superior for members.
Lakeview National Golf Course in Two Harbors, Minnesota, provides expansive views of Lake Superior from 14 of its 18 fairways and tees.
In Lutsen, Minnesota, Superior National at Lutsen overlooks Lake Superior and includes the newly renovated 9-hole River course. While renovation work continues on the 9-hole Canyon by golf course architect Jeffrey Brauer, the Mountain and River courses are open for 18 holes of play.
In Thunder Bay, the city’s 18-hole Strathcona Golf Course provides challenges at this 6,509-yard par 72 course on rolling wooded terrain. It has limited views of Lake Superior.
Bayview Golf Course is a 9-hole course that offers scenic surroundings on the Sibley Peninsula east of Thunder Bay.
Bayview Golf Course in Pass Lake, Ontario, is 45 kilometres (27 miles) east of Thunder Bay on the Sibley Peninsula, home to the wonderful hiking and elevated terrain of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. You don’t need to reserve a tee time at this 9-hole course on Highway 587, where the greens overlook Lake Superior. “We do have a beautiful view of the Lake,” says co-owner Tiffany Miller.
Aguasabon Golf Course in Terrace Bay, Ontario, is a challenging 9-hole course on the northern shores of Lake Superior. The signature hole, No. 7, offers a beautiful view of the Lake and of the Slate Islands.
The Stanley Thompson-designed Peninsula Golf Course in Marathon, Ontario, overlooks Lake Superior. The 9-hole public course features an area carved from boreal forest.
The Crossings at Sault Ste. Marie, in Michigan, may not be right on the Lake, but it’s near the busy St. Marys River and the Soo Locks. While putting on the 17th green, you can watch as huge freighters cruise through the St. Marys.
In the eastern U.P., the 18-hole Wild Bluff Golf Course is on the Waishkey Bay, along with Bay Mills Resort and Casinos in Brimley, Michigan. Golfers can see freighters passing by in the distance, after getting through the Soo Locks. There’s also this fun element: driving range target greens in the shape of a heart, a club, a diamond and a spade.
At Marquette Golf Club, the Mike DeVries-designed Greywalls Course, which opened in 2005, takes players over varied terrain, including tumbling fairways, elevation changes, rolling and bunkered areas and panoramic views of Lake Superior. The club’s older course, the Heritage, dates from 1926; its back nine also offer views of the Big Lake.
Many courses have pros to help with instruction, so get out there and get in a few good swings.