Kingsley Club

Kingsley Club featured in The Fried Egg's Newsletter

On the Skillet: Kingsley Club - 12th - par 4 - 455/425/325 yards


Sometimes the hardest skill for an architect to master is restraint. The tendency is to put design more features than less when laying out a hole or a course. In some ways, golf course design follows the adage "less is more."

Kingsley Club in Northern Michigan is a modern marvel of minimalist architecture. Architect Mike DeVries moved only 30,000 yards of cubic dirt to construct the course. That's a fraction of a normal course. The minuscule amount is jawdropping when compared to Whistling Straits which moved over 1 million tons of earth! Kingsley's sandy soil and fescue fairways promote firm and fast conditions and highlight the natural land.

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Kingsley Club ranked 110th in USA by Golf Magazine

BUBBLE COURSES: TOP 100 IN THE U.S.

101. Quail Hollow, Charlotte, N.C.
102. Crooked Stick, Carmel, Ind.
103. White Bear Yacht Club, White Bear Lake, Minn.
104. The Country Club, Pepper Pike, Ohio
105. Country Club of Fairfield, Fairfield, Conn.
106. Lawsonia (Links), Green Lake, Wis.
107. Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands), Duluth, Ga.
108. Wykagyl, New Rochelle, N.Y.
109. Oak Tree National, Edmond, Okla.
110. The Kingsley Club, Kingsley, Mich.
111. Gamble Sands, Brewster, Wash.
112. Canterbury, Cleveland, Ohio
113. Kapalua (Plantation), Maui, Hawaii
114. Wannamoisett, Rumford, R.I.
115. Colorado Golf Club, Parker, Colo.

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DeVries courses in Golf Week rankings

Top 100 Modern Courses

Kingsley #21 Top 100 Modern Courses
Greywalls #77 Top 100 Modern Courses, #2 in MI for Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play

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Best Courses You Can Play

Pilgrim’s Run, #15 in MI for Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play

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Best Classic Course

Meadow Club, #133 in Golfweek’s Best Classic Course, Next 100
Siwanoy CC, #150 in Golfweek’s Best Classic Course, Next 100

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Golf Club Atlas Group Reviews Kingsley

Check out the Golf Club Atlas website for reviews and discussions on courses and all things golf course architecture related. A group of 35 from this site came together to play Kingsley (with smaller contingencies at Greywalls and the Mines prior to Kingsley) in late June.

“Like a pitcher that changes speeds, I thought Kingsley was a great example of a course constantly varying the challenge from hole to hole.” — JASON TOPP

Since then, there has been some good discussions on the courses – click here to see what they are saying. Or, if you’d like to participate in the thread click here.

Greywalls on the Cover of GolfWeek

A shot of the 5th green at Greywalls is featured on the cover of the magazine’s annual “GolfWeek’s Best” issue, which lists the country’s top 100 courses in Classical (pre-1960) and Modern (post-1960) eras. Greywalls debuts at #92 in the country, joining Kingsley, which is at #20 and has been a staple on the modern list for many years.

In the listing for public access courses in Michigan, Greywalls is #3, Pilgrim’s Run is #17, and the Mines debuts at #19 for the state.

God of the Greens: Mike DeVries

Traverse City’s Mike DeVries has gone from mowing fairways at Frankfort’s tony Crystal Downs to designing some of Northern Michigan’s sweetest links. This year GolfWeek Magazine named the DeVries-designed Greywalls course in Marquette No. 3 in the state, and Kingsley Club, just south of Traverse City, No. 20 of the Best Modern Courses in the nation. We caught up with the wunderkind between trips to Texas, where he’s carrying out the decades-lost design of a course MacKenzie masterminded in 1930.

Golfweek: Kingsley One of America’s Best Courses

" The retro look is not simply a matter of the Classical courses. There's something of a traditionally oriented, back-la-basics movement in Modem course design. The four leading courses on the Modem list all sport firm, fast fescue fairways - quite a contrast to the lush, green look of American parkland golf. ... Modern golfers accustomed to pure visibility might balk at some of the quirkiness, semi-blind tee shots and scruffiness of Mike DeVries' new Kingsley (Mich.) Club (No. 98). But that's the beauty of such a list. It's fodder for discussion. And material for road trips." 

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Links: Kingsley—Head of the Class

"Federal law prohibits a golf periodical from publishing any best of list that doesn't include a course in northern Michigan. The Kingsley Club fills that requirement for this list, and it may be the most architecturally ambitious layout in the bunch. Mike DeVries did the design work, with visions of Crystal Downs and Sand Hills dancing in his head. His 6,911-yard course includes a par-5 on the back nine that plays 617 yards from the ego tees. Despite that one colossus, the rest of this Audubon-approved golf landscape is a study in the shotmaker's art." 

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