Canthooke Valley

New excitement around every corner at classic Canthooke Valley.


Get ready to play fabulous traditional-style golf on our Canthooke Valley Course. The rolling fairways here are planted in Kentucky bluegrass that sets your ball up high for easy contact. The layout, done by Michigan architect Gary Pulsipher in 1993, meanders through hardwoods and a white pine forest. The course then opened in 1994.

This was the first course built at Manistee National and is beloved by everyone from high handicappers to scratch golfers. It will test the best and yet be playable for golfers of all abilities. You’ll face generous fairways and only a few forced carries at Canthooke Valley. However, the moderate-sized, bentgrass greens are well-bunkered, and some ponds, marshes and trees threaten your path to the greens. Every hole has a lot of individual character and personality so that your round will offer new excitement whenever you turn a corner. The par-4 No. 1 (439 yards from the back and 374 from the front) is a great opener and a strong test. It’s one of the longer par-4s on the course. When you reach the dogleg left par-5 No. 3 (519 yards from the back tees and 399 from the front), you’ll find that your length off the tee is not the key to success. The fairway here makes a quick turn to the left, and you have to be careful that you don’t hit through the fairway into the woods with a drive that’s too long. The fairway drops down into a gully as you approach the green; so many players lay up in front of the gully and then make a short wedge shot. Those bunkers include a large, deep trap front right as well as others left and short of the green by 20 to 30 yards. The No. 1 handicap hole is the par-4 No. 5 that measures 447 yards from the back and 300 from the front. The tee shot is what this dogleg right is all about.

After this fairly robust start, the course softens up a bit. Everyone especially enjoys the par-3 No. 9. This hole, recently renovated and improved, was previously a par-4 that was almost too easy. This new, intriguing par-3 measures 198 yards from the back and 125 from the front. The back nine leads off with a dogleg right par-5 that requires precision off the tee. This hole (520 yards from the front and 439 from the back) is bordered by oaks and pines on each side. Then the fairway drops down a 20-foot slope to a lower level. The downhill grade makes the green reachable in two if you can get your tee shot down to the lower section of the fairway. But watch out for the irrigation pond on the left side of the fairway. No. 14 is a unique par-4 that plays at 340 yards from the tips, 238 yards from the front. The only problem with taking the high-risk route and cutting the dogleg is that between tee and green lies a 200-yard-long by 20-foot-deep waste bunker. Another fun challenge on the back is No. 16, a big sweeping dogleg left par-4, heavily protected by oak trees on both sides. This fairly long hole plays at 428 yards from the tips and 307 from the forward tees. You’ll finish your round at Canthooke with a great par-4 (324 yards from the tips and 167 from the front) that requires you to make your tee shot partly over a pond that’s off to the left but circles around in back of the green. Long hitters will bite off more of the pond that stands in front of the green. High handicappers go more to the right. Thinking about aiming directly at the flag can be dangerous since you’re aiming for a small, two-tiered green that slopes from right to left.

Distances, ratings and slopes at Canthooke Valley:

Tee Yards Course Rating / Slope
Blue 6,517 72.1 / 131
White 6,127 69.2 / 128
Gold 5,288 65.6 / 121
Red 4,778 67.5 / 116
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Cutters' Ridge

One of the great things about our Cutters’ Ridge Course is how its personality differs from that of Canthooke Valley, giving you, the golfer, a chance for yet another very out-of-the-ordinary round of 18.