Forest Dunes Golf C - ClubhouseREAL ESTATE

Northern Michigan's Forest Dunes offers home buyers remote location, Tom Weiskopf golf

By Brandon Tucker,
Senior Writer

Pleasantly located in the northern Michigan village of Roscommon, Forest Dunes Golf Club is a first-rate residential golf community with a world-class Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course.

ROSCOMMON, Mich. - If real estate is all about "location, location, location," then Forest Dunes Golf Club couldn't be further from it, which is why it's perfect.

The golf club and real estate development is located in the small, northern Michigan village of Roscommon, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It's not as far north as the relatively major hubs of Traverse City, Petoskey and Gaylord. Only about a three-hour drive from Detroit and southeast Michigan, Roscommon itself isn't much, comprising about 1,000 residents, but that's what Forest Dunes hopes brings in the home buyers.

"That's part of our charm, you can get away from everything else and just relax," says Jennifer Middleton of the sales and marketing department of Forest Dunes. "We're in the middle of everything up north has to offer - snowmobiling, horseback riding - and the Au Sable river is about a mile away from here, and fishermen from all over the country know about it and come for it."

Higgins Lake is also located nearby. Years ago, National Geographic named it the sixth most beautiful lake in the world. So far, residents have comprised both seasonal vacationers and residents planning to live here full-time.

There are six different types of home models to choose from here. The smallest is the Au Sable, a 1,600 square foot, two-bedroom home. The largest model is the 2,415 square foot, two-story Forest plan, which features three bedrooms, a den/office, two-car garage and basement.

Empty lots at Forest Dunes begin at $19,500 to upwards of $350,000. It's currently in phase one of development, with two more phases on deck once the first is sold out. The homes will wind throughout the course but be set far back from the fairways. As a golfer, you won't see housing much at all, only a nationally ranked golf course.

Tom Weiskopf's Forest Dunes Golf Club

The centerpiece of Forest Dunes is the championship golf course designed by Tom Weiskopf. Home owners will appreciate the name, as he is rated among the top architects for golf course realty resale values, just behind Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio.

Forest Dunes Golf Club - Front NineIt opened in 1998 and has quickly become heralded as one of Michigan's best golf courses, ranking in most publications' top five. Golf Digest even named it the nation's 20th best public course in its 2007 Top 100 Public Courses list.

"I've had writers and players tell me it's a mix of Pine Valley and Augusta National," says General Manager Chris Bronson, referring to two of the world's most prestigious private clubs. While that comparison is a bit lofty for a club that's wrapping up its first decade of existence, it has similarities. The course features two starkly contrasting nines.

The front nine plays through rolling land and dense, tall pines. The backside however plays mostly through open, sandy wasteland. The long par-3 16th, named "Hell's Half Acre" (named after Pine Valley's enormous waste area on its seventh hole) plays almost entirely over sandy wasteland.

There is also a bonus par-3 19th hole: a short shot over water to a sloping green that has a sand bunker sitting right in the middle of it.

Forest Dunes is an upscale club in every sense: it's in flawless condition almost all year, for instance. "The course is PGA Tour-ready every day," says Bronson.

It has full practice facilities and Titleist Pro-V range balls. There is also a 2.5-acre putting course. The clubhouse is all-encompassing with just about every amenity, from full-service locker rooms to a fine dining room.

Forest Dunes golf memberships

The golf club, which is currently semi-private, may go entirely private once memberships are sold. Currently, memberships run $15,000 for initiation and $4,800 annually. For this members get unlimited access to the course, clubhouse, practice facility, bag storage, handicap service and member events.

National memberships allow 24 maximum rounds played per year and are $2,400 annually with the same initiation fee.

Those who purchase a lot at Forest Dunes will receive 10 percent off membership initiation (valid up to 30 days after the sale of the lot). If construction of their home begins within 60 days of lot purchase, the initiation fee will be waived entirely. Lot buyers receive free social memberships to the club for one full year.

Forest Dunes also offers existing homes available for daily and weekly rental for individuals, groups and corporate outings. Two and three-bedroom homes range from $299-$479 a day. Unlimited golf ranges $95-$125 depending on time of year.

If You Go

Forest Dunes Golf Club
6376 Forest Dunes Drive
Roscommon, MI 48653
Tel: (866) DUNES-MI

September 17, 2007

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.

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