Crystal Downs Country Club

Photo: Larry Lambrecht

Due to its remote location in northwest Michigan, Crystal Downs was long overlooked and underrated. This 1932 Alister MacKenzie/Perry Maxwell collaboration became better known after Tom Doak introduced it to Ben Crenshaw in the 1980s and word began to spread. Don't be fooled by its miniscule 6,518 yards from the tips. Crystal Downs is perched on a bluff that peers down on both Lake Michigan and Crystal Lake, so the combination of strong breezes, thick fescue roughs, wildly undulating terrain and fiendishly contoured, firm and fast greens help keep the par of 70 an elusive target.