Half Moon Bay (Ocean)

Half Moon Bay, California

Belvedere Golf Club (Charlevoix, Michigan)

Belvedere Golf Club logo Golf Course Review by: Billy Satterfield

The Takeaway:  Belvedere feels like a step back in time and boasts some of the finest greens you'll find anywhere. The course has a host of subtleties that are uncovered over time which help deliver exceptional replay value. A classic course that is best enjoyed on foot.  Grade B+

Quick Facts

Designer:  Willie Watson 1927

Cost:  $47 - $125 ($25 for a cart) Click for current rates

Phone Number:  231-547-2611

Course Website:  Official Website - Visit Belvedere Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.

Directions:  Get here! - 5731 Marion Center Road, Charlevoix, Michigan  49720 – UNITED STATES

Photos:  See additional photos of Belvedere Golf Club

What to Expect:  A visit to Belvedere is like stepping into a time machine. From the old school pro shop reminiscent of Cypress Point, to the intimate routing, to the Gaelic signage; everything at Belvedere just feels pure. The Willie Watson layout is understated in virtually every aspect except one; the greens. The greens are some of the best surfaces and contours you'll find at a course and highlight the property that is anything but loud. The back nine is certainly the better of the two sides and enjoys much more movement in the terrain on the west side of the road compared to the front that is found on the east side of Marion Center Road. The tees and greens are so well connected that Belvedere becomes one of the most enjoyable walks a golf course can offer and is the type of course I'm shocked doesn't get built more often in this century. While Michigan is often known for bold and brash designs like Arcadia Bluffs and Bay Harbor, Belvedere is more in the club of Crystal Downs as a course that wants you to learn and appreciate her subtleties over time rather than shoving them right in your face. And isn't there more enjoyment in the long term chase than in the one night stand? As such, it is exactly the type of course you'd love to play everyday without growing weary of it and you could probably use the same ball all summer long.

By the Numbers

Tees Par Yardage Rating Slope
Black 72 6906 73.6 131
Blue 72 6601 72.2 129
White 72 6285 70.4 128
Brown 72 6091 69.5 126
Green (Ladies) 72 5507 71.7 125
Light Blue (Ladies) 72 4675 66.5 110

Individual Hole Analysis

Signature Hole:  16th Hole – 346 Yard Par 4 – A hole that both Gene Sarazen and Tom Watson called one of the best short par fours in the country, the 16th hole at Belvedere is a devilishly great hole to contend with. From the tee the hole appears rather docile with a gentle uphill climb, but after hitting the tee shot players will be faced with one of the most demanding approach shots in Michigan. With the green angled from front left to back right and the fairway kicking balls to the right, players will almost assuredly be faced with a wedge shot to the shallowest angle to the green and a penalizing slope in front that will quickly repel balls back down the fairway. There is a slight bit of forgiveness long, but you really need to just be spot on with your approach shot here and hope you produce the right amount of spin to hit and hold the green. 3s and 8s are common here and it stands as the best match play hole on the course.

16th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (346 Yard Par 4)
16th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (346 Yard Par 4)

Best Par 3:  17th Hole – 179 Yards – The closing three holes at Belvedere are notorious for their challenge, and the one-shot 17th is a significant reason why. The tee shot plays uphill to a green on top of the hillside with a series of trees creating the background. Shots coming into the green the least bit short will quickly be sent tumbling back down the fairway in front or to the rough on the left while leaving a tricky chip to a sloping green that will want to move balls left towards the sloping hill. The hole is completely devoid of bunkers, a testament to the challenge without them, and pins on the left side are only for suckers to attack.

17th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (179 Yard Par 3)
17th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (179 Yard Par 3)

Best Par 4:  1st Hole – 370 Yards – The 1st hole at Belvedere is a great introduction to the course and plays from the high ground near the pro shop and drops 50 feet to the fairway below. The hillside on the right influences the terrain and will push balls to the left as they land, but it is the approach shot that will test players and introduce them to the star of the show at Belvedere; the greens. The putting surfaces are among the best in the country with contours and slopes that will test the best of flatstick navigators. On the 1st hole, it is baptism by fire with a green that the surface is mostly blind from the fairway due to the raised lip in front and how quickly it runs off the back and left sides. If you don't have someone in your foursome three-putt the first green, consider it an accomplishment.

1st Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (370 Yard Par 4)
1st Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (370 Yard Par 4)

Best Par 5:  10th Hole – 527 Yards – The back nine kicks off with a scoring opportunity on this downhill par five with no fairway bunkers in play until you get 100 yards from the green. Cutting loose on the driver is certainly the play and can result in just an iron into the green that features a bunker on each side of it. The 65 foot drop from tee to green greatly shortens the hole and should put confidence in your swing.

10th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (527 Yard Par 5)
10th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (527 Yard Par 5)

10th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (527 Yard Par 5)
10th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (527 Yard Par 5)

Birdie Time:  15th Hole – 465 Yard Par 5 – Like many older courses, the par fives at Belvedere aren't long and certainly stand as opportunities to throw birdies on the card; the 15th is one such hole. Tipping out at a mere 465 yards, the 15th is perhaps Belvedere's most unique offering with a straightaway tee shot down a fairway that terminates 250 yards from the tips. A tee ball that carries 220 yards will fly the fairway bunker on the right and set up a perfect look at the approach shot that is 90 degrees to the right and drops 25 feet off an edge to a new fairway that runs up to the green. Needing less than driver off the tee and feasibly an iron on the second shot to get home in two certainly makes the 15th extremely vulnerable at yielding birdies; and the occasional eagle.

15th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (465 Yard Par 5)
15th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (465 Yard Par 5)

15th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (465 Yard Par 5)
15th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (465 Yard Par 5)

Bogey Beware:  4th Hole – 230 Yard Par 3 – While the par fives are scoring opportunities at Belvedere, the par three counter back and will require your best game to conquer. The hardest of that group of one-shotters is the first one which is found as the 4th hole in the routing. Tipping out at 230 yards, players will need to hit a long and straight approach that has enough juice to clear the slope in front, while shots leaking to the right will be kicked further from the green. A tee shot that carries the bunker that is well short of the green will come in on a line where the rolling turf can either help you or hurt you. It is hard to imagine having a longer approach shot into any green at Belvedere than what this one requires, so your best chance at avoiding bogey will likely come from getting up and down from around the green.

4th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (230 Yard Par 3)
4th Hole at Belvedere Golf Club (230 Yard Par 3)

Recommended Accommodations

Belvedere B&B - Located just a couple of blocks from downtown, the Belvedere B&B is the ideal place to stay when golfing in Northern Michigan. Completely updated in 2022 by new ownership, the two story structure hosts seven suites all of which have been tastefully decorated for a homey feel while featuring spacious king beds. The three-tone paint in the bedrooms paired with the remodeled bathrooms deliver a touch of class without sacrificing the charm of this historic building. Air conditioning guarantees a comfortable stay when visiting in the summer months while the hot breakfast made to order in the morning is sure to start your day off right. When golfing at the famed Belvedere Golf Club, treat yourself to the full experience the city of Charlevoix has to offer by staying here and enjoying the best hospitality in the area. Contact: 231-547-2251 or bookings@belvederebb.com

Sojourn Room at Belvedere B&B

Armistead Room at Belvedere B&B

Margaret Room at Belvedere B&B

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