America's 'first' reversible golf course opens in Michigan

Golf course architect Tom Doak has designed “North America’s first reversible course” for the Forest Dunes resort in Michigan.

Called The Loop, Doak’s design features two distinct layouts that use the same 18 greens and fairways. Players move clockwise on one day, and counterclockwise the next.

The course – developed on a relatively flat, sand-based stretch of land to the west of the resort’s pre-existing course – is due to open fully for the 2017 golf season, but is now open to overnight guests at the resort.

“Everybody I’ve taken up there to play it had a perception in their minds so different than when they see it,” said resort owner Lew Thompson. “They couldn’t believe that the a green they played one way was the same green they played again coming in from the side because it has such a very different look.”

Doak said creating this distinction between the two versions of the course was his greatest challenge.

“When you’re shaping and thinking about two directions it does make it trickier but we already had ruled out the things that would get us in trouble. I’m really pleased with it. Whichever way you’re playing, it never feels like you are going the wrong way.

“We just had to make sure that the best of the holes are distributed relatively equally between the two loops, so that one version of the course doesn’t trump the other.”

Doak has wanted to build a reversible of course for over 20 years after being inspired by The Old Course at St. Andrews. That course was designed to be played from two directions, but seldom is because holes along the first route have become far more iconic.

Golf  reversible golf course  Tom Doak  Michigan  Forest Dunes golf resort 
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Golf course architect Tom Doak has designed “North America’s first reversible course” for the Forest Dunes resort in Michigan. Called The Loop, Doak’s design features two distinct layouts that use the same 18 greens and fairways. Players move clockwise on one day, and counterclockwise the next. The course – developed on a relatively flat, sand-based stretch of land to the west of the resort’s pre-existing course – is due to
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The Loop at the Forest Dune resort can be played in two directions / Forest Dune Resort
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