Industry News

Saint John’s Resort to debut first high-end public golf course in Metro-Detroit in 20+ years on the grounds of a 1940s seminary

The luxury resort will unveil a new championship 18-hole golf course, short course and putting course in 2024 creating the Ultimate Golf Entertainment Venue

Plymouth, MISaint John’s Resort, Detroit’s destination resort and leading hotel and conference destination, announces its highly anticipated new championship golf course will open for play Spring2024. The Plymouth, MI project is the region’s first high-end  public golf development of its kind in more than 20 years and is part of a $50-million-dollar resort transformation that began in 2021 under the property’s new ownership group, the non-profit Pulte Family Charitable Foundation.

“It's hard to believe that a golf rich state like Michigan and the Metro-Detroit area has not had a new high-end public golf facility in so long,” said Paul Wegert, CEO of Boutique Hotel Professionals and managing director of Saint John’s Resort. “We believe the area is prime for a new high-end golf product, and we are very happy that we have elevated the golf experience to match our resort transformation. Our golfers and guests, who visit from all over the country, will be excited when they see it.”

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Designed by Michigan-based golf course architect Raymond Hearn, the new golf course, named “The Cardinal,” has undergone a complete transformation including  a new 18-hole championship golf course, seven-hole Par 3 course with famous template greens and a two-acre putting course to entertain all ages and skill levels. 

Hearn has partnered with one of the industry leaders in golf course construction, LaBar Golf Renovations, to completely alter the Southeast Michigan golf property. LaBar Golf is widely respected in the industry for its renovation work at internationally revered private golf clubs like Merion Golf Club, Muirfield Village Golf Club, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Winged Foot Country Club and Oakland Hills Country Club.

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The Cardinal at Saint John’s Resort sits on 200 acres of rolling land where the original 27-holes were completely removed to build the new course. The golf course presents an original experience with no two holes that look, or play, alike, being routed in all directions factoring in elevation, wind, terrain, and scenic beauty to strategically deliver optimal shot values. The course also takes full advantage of the flow of the land and the beautiful 100-year-old trees that were saved during the project and now frame many of the holes, providing a classic design aesthetic from the golden age of golf course architecture. Several holes also feature classic Golden Age green contours and bunkering. 

“It has been a thrill to be able to work on this project for Saint John’s Resort and the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation,” said Hearn. “The land, with its natural glacier forms and beautiful hundred-year-old trees, was a great foundation to work with. 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.”


“This also allowed me to draw on my inspiration from previous Donald Ross, Tom Bendelow, and Willie Park Jr. projects as well as one of my favorite courses, The Old Course at Sunningdale by Willie Park Jr.  Our goal was to create a fun golf experience and I believe we have achieved that and then some with this project,” continued Hearn.

Hearn, a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, recognized the importance of making the course entertaining and playable for all levels of players. He created fun and strategic golf holes with multiple teeing areas and approach angles. This was accomplished through a five-tee system on each hole, creating a variety of options and yardages. Golfers can have fun mixing up the tees playing different combinations. 

Complementing the new championship golf course is a seven-hole short course, two-acre putting course, and a short game area. This multi-purpose golf entertainment venue will wrap around the resort’s driving range and Carl’s Golfland, one of the top golf retailers in the country. The short course offers inspiration from some of the game’s most famous green complexes like the Punch Bowl, Redan, and Biarritz to name a few, while the putting course drew its inspiration from great putting course experiences at St. Andrews and Pinehurst. 

“The layout of our property, with the proximity of Carl’s Golfland and the range, was a perfect location to create a pure golf entertainment venue,” Wegert explains. “We have also added a new food and beverage venue near the putting course, which will be a great gathering place for golfers, corporate groups, wedding parties, families, and kids.”.

In 2021, the William J Pulte estate purchased the former Inn at St. John’s from the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit and donated it to the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation, which has since rebranded the property into Saint John’s Resort. 

In addition to the golf course development, the resort and hotel transformation includes updated rooms, a 6,200-square-foot pavilion, 17,000-square-foot grand ballroom, new wedding pavilion, wine bar, and other interior upgrades throughout the resort.

For more information on the new golf course project visit

For more information on Saint John’s Resort visit


About Saint John’s Resort

Saint John’s Resort, the premier resort destination in Detroit features 200 acres of luscious grounds, 118 luxurious hotel rooms, two bars and restaurants – upscale FIVE Steakhouse and the brand-new Wine Grotto (opening Summer 2023), and more than 50,000 square feet of unique event and wedding space. With a rich history that dates back to the late 1940s, Saint John’s Resort originally opened its doors as a seminary. After more than 40 years, the seminary closed, and it was re-opened in the late 90s as a retreat center for youth and families, before converting to a conference center and hotel. In 2021, the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation acquired the Inn at St. John’s and began converting it into what it is now – Saint John’s Resort. Undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation, the property will open an additional 50,000 square feet of meeting space along with a new 18-hole championship golf course, seven-hole Par 3 course, two-acre putting course, and a more casual third bar/restaurant in 2024. The resort is part of the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation’s “Humanitarian Hotels” strategy – undertaking initiatives for employees, guests, and their communities that represent the Foundation’s mission of serving those in need. Additionally, 100% of the net profits from the resort are donated to educational and humanitarian initiatives from Metro Detroit and around the globe. Visit


Media Contacts:
Kevin Frisch PR
Kevin Frisch(989) 614-0241 

Joanne Miller
(815) 603-5119