Complexity Veiled by Simplicity – New South Course at Arcadia Bluffs Opens for Public Play


Midwest Golfing Magazine had the honor or touring the South Course at Arcadia Bluffs before it opened to the public last week and the Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design is golf in its purest form. Picture Chicago Golf Club opening in the 21st century- can we assume we’ve got your attention now? Their opening press release is below:

Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club today announced that the widely anticipated South
Course at Arcadia Bluffs opens to public play August 1.

Reservations to be among the first to play the South Course began in 2017. The classically-inspired South
Course is an opportunity for players to step back in time and experience golf course architecture in a
manner that is seldom achieved at a present-day public venue.

“We are extremely excited to open and share the South Course with the public. Our team of professionals
have worked incredibly hard over the past 16 months,” said President Bill Shriver. “We could not have asked
more of them as we prepare to welcome our guests. The course is in great shape and promises to reward
players with an incomparable round of golf, on many levels.”

The vision that fueled development of the South Course harkens to the late 19th century, when Charles Blair (C.B.) Macdonald built America’s first 18-hole facility — the Chicago Golf Club — in 1896, now located in Wheaton, Illinois. Some 10 years later engineer/architect Seth Raynor joined Macdonald and history has
proved that the duo built some of the world’s most revered golf courses. What Raynor did with updates to
Chicago GC — large squared-off greens, rectangular tee stations and flat-bottom bunkering — is the
inspiration behind the South Course, only on a larger scale and canvas. It should be noted that the
average size of the greens on the South Course is 9,400 square feet versus 8,000 square feet at the Bluffs
Course on the Lake Michigan shore just one mile north. The objective for the South Course was to design a
golf course by strategically positioning a collection of elements, serene in their appearance, ultimately
creating a veil of simplicity over the complexity of challenges that await.

When added to the project team, architect Dana Fry of Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design said, “I
agreed with the owner’s original design concept that the property was perfectly suited for what
Macdonald and Raynor did at Chicago Golf Club.”

The South Course presented the team with the opportunity to do something unique in modern golf design:
reprise the imagination of Raynor’s genius for all golfers to experience. “It became a real passion to
recreate the feel of the Chicago Golf Club,” Fry said. August 1, the entire golfing public can stick a tee in
the ground and have an experience available only at a few select private classic courses from golf’s
earliest days.

The South Course is a property of Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club, now boasting 36 holes of world-class golf, 37
rooms of luxurious lodging, four links-side four bedroom/four bathroom Cottages, incomparable dining, and fresh coast views of Lake Michigan. In 2019, The Bluffs Course celebrates 20 years as one of America’s Top 20 Public Golf Courses, according to Golf Digest. For more information on the course and to book stay and play packages visit 



About Author

Glen Turk is a Wisconsin native who has been the Senior Writer/Editor of Midwest Golfing Magazine since 2006. Besides being an avid golfer, Glen enjoys traveling, music, and cheering on the finest professional sports team of all-time, the Green Bay Packers. Glen’s ultimate golf goal is to play in all fifty states and currently he is more than half way there. His other dream, albeit far-fetched, it to record an ace in all seven states of our distribution area. Thanks to an ace in Illinois in 2015, and one in Michigan in 2016, he has three down, four to go!

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