Forest Dunes in Michigan markets itself as "Pine Valley meets Augusta"
I love golf marketing. I mean, how much different are courses to one another, really? Why not just say your new course has “18 flags with cups, some dirt moved around, water, hot dogs at the turn"?
To put your new course in the same breath as two of America’s most legendary, exclusive layouts, now that takes some serious marketing balls. That’s just what Forest Dunes, an upscale course in Roscommon, Michigan is doing – comparing their Weiskopf design opened in 1998 to Augusta National and New Jersey’s famous Pine Valley.
Having not played either Pine Valley or Augusta National, it would be wrong for me to completely denounce this comparison. Instead, I’ll just scratch my chin and say, “riiiiight.”
What their marketing strategy is trying to communicate however is their contrasting nines. The front nine is set in heavy woods (a slight gnat problem – bring bug spray if it’s rained recently).
The backside plays through wasteland, including the highly intimidating 16th, named “Hell’s Half Acre” (a reference to the 7th at Pine Valley).
That said, Forest Dunes is an awesome course, one of Michigan’s finest and a viable runner-up to Arcadia Bluffs in the state’s public offerings. GM Chris Bronson says the conditions are “Tour ready” everyday. I would agree. They are flawless. Also, show up early so you can bang out some Titleist NXT range balls before teeing off. And the clubhouse is Baldwin-esque.
They also hope to sell 300 lots and go private. To that I say, “good luck".
They’ve got the course, but Roscommon isn’t exactly bustling and Michigan’s economy isn’t exactly ripe for a new exclusive club.
Am I going to get on the Augusta-meets-Pine Valley bandwagon? Well I must play the two to know for sure.
But Pine Valley and Augusta aren’t returning my calls. . .
Full review on Forest Dunes coming soon to MichiganGolf.com
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