TREETOPS RESORT - Masterpiece Course (855) 437-2189
Michigan Golf Course Review
The resort's name came into being when Robert Trent Jones Sr. was standing on the 6th tee of his "Masterpiece" which overlooks the Pigeon River Valley.
He was contracted in 1985 to build the first of the Treetops courses, with the plan being to eventually feature a course for each day of the week. Rick
Smith was hired to oversee golf operations at about the same time. Upon completion of the Jones Course in 1987, Treetops became a four season resort
(originally opened as a ski resort in 1956), and the "Masterpiece" was named as the 2nd best new resort course in the U.S. by Golf Digest. Since then, it
has stood the test of time and is still recognized as the property's most challenging layout. You will use all your clubs and probably encounter every lie
imaginable on this course, which has a slope rating of 144 from the tips. The ranger politely recommended that we play from 1 tee box shorter than normal. It was a good tip.
The Masterpiece is as its name implies - truly a work of art. Rolling terrain and beautiful scenery abound. Along with the other Treetop's courses, The
Masterpiece is affiliated with a local environmental stewardship program designed to enhance and protect wildlife habitat, vegetation and water resources.
This award-winning layout features large greens with challenging pin placements, elevation changes and numerous hazards in the form of water, sand and
deep ravines. As with all Treetop's courses, extensive information is provided for on each scorecard. Diagrams of every hole with helpful hints on how to
play them, along with green depth and pin placement information are included. Cart paths are marked to the center of the green and colored stakes are
placed near the fairways at 100,150 and 200 yards. With the continual elevation changes you encounter, it will take some time before you are accurately
able to choose the correct club for the distance required. You will eventually acclimate, as all 5 courses present similar conditions.
We recommend playing it safe on the first hole - a relatively blind tee shot to an uphill fairway. Keep it anywhere near the middle, and you will have
considerable options for a lay-up, or to try to reach in two the green which plays downhill over water. If you reach in two - "you the man"! A double bogey
awaits if you are unsuccessful. Play it safe to the left and you have a reasonable chance at birdie or par. Hole # 2 plays uphill to a sloping green. Trouble
is short and right - but you also do not want to be long. The third features a straight but sloping fairway to an elevated green, with a deep ravine all along
the left side. The right side is guarded by trees on this #1 handicap. A beautiful uphill par three is followed by a dogleg left par five, to another elevated
green. A deep ravine left makes it difficult to reach in two. Play it safe along the right side and hope to reach the narrow putting surface in regulation. The
next four holes provide perhaps the prettiest stretch on the course. After the signature par 3 sixth (see preceding picture), you are faced with an uphill tee
shot to a narrow fairway with a severely sloped green. The eighth is a postcard hole - a sharp dogleg right with a tight, scary approach. The green is
guarded by trees on either side of the fairway, and has water on three sides. Par is a great score here. After a beautiful drive in your cart along a wooden
bridge and walkway, you will encounter an island tee box facing a narrow, chute-like fairway. This mid-length par four features an elevated green.
You will not pass the clubhouse at the turn on any of the Treetops courses. "Halfway houses" and refreshment carts are however, provided for your
convenience. The back nine opens with a long par five that plays uphill and has severe mounding around the green. The eleventh is a gorgeous uphill par
four with an incredibly rolling fairway and bunkers all along the left side. A steady rain hampered our picture-taking ability the rest of the way - though the
course looked even more beautiful with the mist hanging above the trees. A long, wide fairway greets you on the # 2 handicapped par 4 twelfth, with a
green heavily guarded by bunkers. A downhill par three over water is followed by three of the most score-able holes of the layout. The 14th, 16th and 18th
handicaps feature two reasonably short par 4's and the shortest par three on the course. The uphill seventeenth has lots of room off the tee, but you will
want to land it on the correct portion of the double-tiered green. The closing hole favors a tee shot to the center or right on the fairway and a lay-up
before the approach to this medium range par 5. The fairway narrows considerable as you near the green, which is guarded by two sand and one grass bunker.
You will encounter water on only 5 holes on the Jones course. Doglegs and rolling terrain will test your shot-making ability, however, as will the green undulations. Check out the Two Guys Who Golf detailed information page on this course - click here. Visit the Two Guys Who Golf information page for
Treetops Resort by clicking here.