Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 7th
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Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 7th
Two streams and a pond guard the par-5 seventh hole on The Legend at Shanty Creek in Bellaire, Michigan. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 1st
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Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 1st
The first hole on The Legend at Shanty Creek tumbles downhill as a risk-reward par 5. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 2nd
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Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 2nd
The controversial second hole on The Legend at Shanty Creek eats a lot of golf balls. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 3rd
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Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 3rd
The third hole on The Legend at Shanty Creek, which reveals views of Lake Bellaire, plays as a tough, dogleg par 4. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 4th
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Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 4th
Views of Lake Bellaire frame the fourth green on The Legend golf course at Shanty Creek. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 6th
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Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 6th
The elevated tee of the par-4 sixth hole of The Legend at Shanty Creek looks down upon a narrow fairway pinched by bunkers and a pond. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shanty Creek - Legend G.C. - 8th
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Shanty Creek - Legend G.C. - 8th
The par-4 eighth hole on The Legend at Shanty Creek doglegs to the right to a green perched behind a stream. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 9th
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Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 9th
The homeowner behind the ninth green at The Legend at Shanty Creek has a nice backyard view. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 13th
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Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 13th
It's a tough, 569-yard, uphill climb to reach the par-5 13th green on The Legend at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, Mich. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shanty Creek - Legend GC - 14th
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Shanty Creek - Legend GC - 14th
The 14th hole at The Legend golf course at Shanty Creek can relinquish birdie because it's just 333 yards from the blue tees. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 15th
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Shanty Creek - Legend golf course - 15th
Take a half-club less to reach the green on the par-3 15th hole of The Legend at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, Michigan. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shanty Creek - Legend GC - 18th
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Shanty Creek - Legend GC - 18th
After the tee shot through a narrow corridor, the par-5 18th hole at The Legend at Shanty Creek opens up to end at an elevated green. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
12 Images

Golf poetry by Arnold Palmer: The Legend Course at Shanty Creek Resorts in northern Michigan

BELLAIRE, Mich. -- The hillside of flowers spelling out "The Legend" and the gorgeous downhill opening tee shot on a risk-reward par 5 provide a fantastic first impression on The Legend at Shanty Creek, a 6,764-yard classic designed by Ed Seay and Arnold Palmer in 1986.

Once golfers survive the tricky second hole, The Legend unveils golf as good as northern Michigan gets.

Commanding views of Lake Bellaire reveal themselves on the par-4 third and par-3 fourth holes. A parade of elevated tees the rest of the round, a signature of the region, allow hackers to swing with confidence, although slices and hooks quickly disappear into the forest. Water provides the obstacles every step of the way on the signature hole, the par 5 at no. 7.

A pond off the tee and two streams dissecting the fairway protect a narrow green. Doglegs dictate the angles off the tee on the back nine, especially the three tight finishing holes. Seventeen of the 23 reviews on GolfAdvisor.com consider The Legend a "five-star" course. User wolfjam wrote: "Blown away by how gorgeous this course is. Elevated greens and tees throughout. Awesome view. Great playability. Difficult greens. ... Truly a pleasure to play.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

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Golf poetry by Arnold Palmer: The Legend Course at Shanty Creek Resorts in northern Michigan