The historic Elk Rapids Golf Club was designed and built by legendary architect Donald J. Ross in 1922/23. Our course opened for play on July 15, 1924. As was the tradition in those times, course builders took the land they were given and created their designs with very few physical alterations to it. Ross was presented with an excellent lakefront location here and he made the most of it.
Many players who have golfed on modern “manufactured” course designs will perhaps be looking for something Ross didn’t do here at the Elk Rapids Golf Club. Donald Ross was born and grew up in the northern Scotland village of Dornoch, learning to play the ancient game on small local courses around his home. Later, after he apprenticed under the tutelage of Old Tom Morris at St.Andrews, Ross moved to America and began his course design career.
His design of the Elk Rapids Golf Club course is very much like the courses he played in his youth–classic “out and back” hole routing that is often described as “links” golf. Links courses are characterized by greens and adjacent tee boxes on the course being a short walk apart–like links in a chain–and they are generally built beside oceans, tidal basins or lakes. All of these characteristics are employed here at the Elk Rapids Golf Club. Our 9- hole course is easily walked and takes two hours or less to play.
When you play our course you may at first presume it to be simple and easy. But look deeper and you’ll begin to appreciate the subtle challenges Ross employed here. You’ll discover that while you thoroughly enjoyed your round overlooking beautiful Elk Lake, your score at the finish will often be what you would shoot on courses that appear to be more difficult! This was the genius of Donald J. Ross.
Welcome to the Elk Rapids Golf Club. Enjoy an experience that will take you back to the way the game was meant to be played.
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