Manitou Passage gets new look


Sean Dudley

Manitou Passage Golf Club in Michigan is reopening this weekend after an extensive renovation led by Arnold Palmer Design, the course’s original architects.

The course, formerly known as Kings Challenge, changed hands last year. The new owners, led by Bob Kuras, president of the Homestead resort in Michigan, brought in the Palmer firm, plus landscape architects Peridian International, and golf contractor Wadsworth to assist with renovation efforts.

“We are very excited about the opening,” said Kuras. “We adopted a very high goal and are delighted with the contributions that Palmer, Peridian and Wadsworth made toward our achieving that goal. We are looking forward to becoming a destination course and providing the playing conditions and service golfers desire and deserve.”

Manitou Passage now measures 6,700 yards, a few hundred yards longer then its former self. Each hole features five repositioned rectangular tee boxes and a redone green complex. Other changes included the lengthening of holes, restoring native grasses, and clearing trees and brush to open up vistas around the course.

Some holes also underwent major changes including the eighteenth, which was lengthened to over 500 yards with new fairway lines. The par three seventeenth, which has views of the Leelanau countryside, had bunker changes and teeing areas repositioned so the green can be seen from each tee box. At the demanding par four sixteenth, the tee boxes were moved fifty yards west and trees removed from the corner of the dogleg to open up the driving area and create a challenging risk reward shot.