Golf News

Full course, short course open at Saint John’s Resort in Michigan

Saint John's Resort Cardinal

Saint John’s Resort in Plymouth, Michigan, will open its new Cardinal Golf Course on June 22, with several other top-tier golf amenities having been constructed to complement the 18-hole course.

Golf architect Raymond Hearn was tasked with reimagining  the old 27-hole layout at what was then the Inn at St. John’s on the west side of Detroit. His new main layout is a total rethink of the property to create an original experience across the rolling landscape.

“The land was a perfect setting for me to draw on my inspiration from previous Donald Ross, Tom Bendelow and Willie Park Jr. projects and one of my favorite courses, the Old Course at Sunningdale (in England) by Willie Park Jr., which I implemented on both the championship course and the short course,” Hearn said in a media release announcing the opening. “Our goal was to create a fun golf experience. I believe we have achieved that, and then some, with this project.”

Saint John's Resort Cardinal

The routing for the new Cardinal golf course at Saint John’s Resort in Plymouth, Michigan (Courtesy of Saint John’s Resort)

The project includes a seven-hole short course by Hearn named Little Cardinal, which plays across 7.5 acres with holes ranging from 44 to 112 yards. Also built was an 18-hole, 2-acre putting course – complete with food, drink and built-in music – that was themed after the famous Himalayas Putting Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. These are first-of-their-kind amenities for the Detroit area, and the concepts of alternative golf options have been proved at some of the top resorts in the U.S.

“These exciting golf attractions provide a relaxed environment focused on fun and offering a less intimidating introduction to the game, encouraging newcomers to want to participate, learn and improve,” Stan Witko, executive director of golf for Saint John’s Resort, said in the media release.

It’s all part of a renovation to the property formerly owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit. The property was donated in 2021 to the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation and has been rebranded as Saint John’s Resort. A $50-million transformation includes updated rooms at the resort’s hotel, a 6,200-square-foot pavilion, a ballroom and more. The charitable foundation has pledged 100 percent of net proceeds to educational and humanitarian initiatives in Metro Detroit and beyond.

Check out a selection of photos of the new courses and putting green below:


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