“Dunmaghlas” was the battle cry of the Scottish clan MacGillivray; no word on whether designer Chuck MacGillidary’s name somehow evolved from that clan, but the Gaelic translation of the course name gives some indication what to expect: “Touch not this cat without the glove!” The meaning is not to come into battle unless you are prepared for it, and the hilly terrain around Lake Charlevoix will show its teeth when confronted.
Right out of the gate you’ll be forced to cross a stream that runs alongside the fairway up to the green...not exactly a “gentle handshake” opener! Although the hills do create consternation for players at this design (also created by Larry Mancour), it will not necessarily be because of climb. Indeed, the club claims to only have two uphill shots throughout its entirety. The burden will be on the player to do mental math and judge their distances accordingly, lest they land short (or, more relevantly, long).
Unlike traditional Scottish rounds, there will be numerous forced carries, especially during the final few holes, but in one similarity to the courses of olde worlde, this is a route where the course will not return to the clubhouse mid-round.
This is a course I took in during a recent trip to Northern Michigan. My wife and I were in Charlevoix and decided to play here. I guess I have to give this course just an okay. The first four holes and narrow and steep as you work your way up a large ridge. On the par-5 third the uphill was quite severe. My range finder said the second-shot player was 27 yards longer! Once you got around to 6 the course opened up on the backside of the ridge and there were quite a few nice holes around the back portion of the course. The land was open and sprawling and actually, this part of the course was quite fun. You returned to the ridge at the downhill par 4 14th, and the closing holes down from the ridge are quite challenging and fun.
I couldn't escape the feeling that if they had started the course around 5 or 6 and utilized the beautiful flowing land north of the ridge that they would have come up with a much better golf course. As it is you have an unusual combination of narrow, tree-lined holes combined with modern open designs on the back. It's like a weird fusion of Donald Ross mountain golf and modern golf design thrown together.
All in all, not a bad course to play but not one I would see out or travel to play