First Peek: The Cardinal at Saint John’s Resort

High-end golf is opening in the Motor City for the first time in more than 20 years

Golfers researching a vacation to Michigan should take the state’s most populous city into consideration before automatically looking west toward Lake Michigan or north to the Upper Peninsula.

Saint John’s Resort in the Metro-Detroit suburb of Plymouth, Mich., is set to debut a brand-new, 18-hole championship course to the masses on May 10 as part of a $50 million renovation of the luxury destination.

The Little Cardinal short course at Saint John’s Resort

Designed by Michigan-based architect Raymond Hearn, The Cardinal establishes a completely new routing on the undulating, 200-acre plot previously occupied by the resort’s 27-hole course. Hearn took inspiration from England’s Old Course at Sunningdale and other Golden Age aesthetics in creating a verdant parkland layout framed by 100-year-old trees and stone-lined lakes in the shadow of the resort’s historic 118-room, red-brick inn.

“We were able to save many of the old mature trees and create a routing that kept them in play around green sites and along fairways, which is a bit unique in today’s golf course architecture that focuses more on tree removal,” says Hearn.

the cardinal Saint John’s
The Cardinal at Saint. John’s Resort

Reducing the number of golf holes allowed Hearn to add a seven-hole par-3 course with template-style greens such as a Redan and Biarritz, as well as a two-acre putting course, adjacent to the existing Trackman driving range (covered and heated year round) and Carl’s Golfland retail store onsite. Overnight guests are sure to enjoy the resort’s other upgrades, including refreshed hotel rooms, a new Wine Grotto, and a 6,200-square-foot pavilion.

Are you planning to play at The Cardinal at Saint John’s Resort?

Thank you for supporting our journalism. If you prefer to read in print, you can also find this article in the Winter 2024 issue of LINKS Magazine. Click here for more information.