Devil’s Ridge Golf Club sold to Kaiser Real Estate

By Ben Gagnon
Oxford Twp.  — After nearly 30 years in operation, Devil’s Ridge Golf Club in Oxford Township has hosted its last rounds of golf.
Devil’s Ridge, an award-winning 180-acre course formerly owned by the Munaco family, closed in December and was sold to Kaiser Real Estate, which plans to repurpose the property into private hunting grounds and space for farming. Golfers hit the course for the final time in late November before it closed.
Founded in 1995, Devil’s Ridge became one of the top golf courses in the state, garnering acclaim for its picturesque views, spectacular elevation levels and 18 challenging holes. The sprawling property in northern Oakland County was purchased in 1971 by Anthony Munaco Jr. and his brother Sam, but development for the golf course didn’t begin until 1993.
During the building of the course’s 10th hole, course designers had a “devil of a time” trying to construct the fairway, which was situated near a steep drop-off on the side of a hill. Hence, the hole was nicknamed Devil’s Ridge — a name that soon applied to the course itself upon its opening in April 1995 and quickly became associated with its difficult holes and breathtaking terrain.
Anthony bought Devil’s Ridge from his brother in 2006 and owned the course with his wife Frances until he passed away in 2010. Frances ran operations with her children until her death in 2021.
Brad Keast, former general manager of Devil’s Ridge from 2009 to 2023, said the Munaco family decided it was the right time to sell the golf club last year.
“They ran it for 29 seasons, and they felt it was just time to move on,” he said. “They were also looking at monumental costs to make repairs to the clubhouse building, plus updates to the golf course and the cart paths.”
Rick Fleming, club manager and co-owner of the nearby Metamora Golf & Country Club, managed Devil’s Ridge from 2000 to 2009. He said Devil’s Ridge was one of the first courses to kick off further golf club development throughout the Oxford area and northern Oakland County. All the while, the course retained its rustic setting of hills, woods and wetlands.
The Devil’s Ridge clubhouse hosted many weddings, graduations and private parties along with a variety of Lapeer-area charity events and outings.
“These days, a lot of golf courses are built to sell development,” said Fleming. “Devil’s Ridge was a pure standalone golf course with a resort feel, like what you would find ‘up north.’”
Devil’s Ridge was voted Best New Public Golf Course in 1995 and named a Top Five Public Golf Course in Michigan three times. The course hosted around 50 golfing events each year and still had over a dozen leagues in operation in 2023 before its closing.
In addition to the course, Devil’s Ridge boasted a 14,000-square-foot club house that could fit up to 250 people. The clubhouse hosted many weddings, graduations and private parties along with a variety of Lapeer area charity events and outings, including the Lapeer Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Awards, the Rotary Club of Lapeer’s Pot O’ Gold event and The McLaren Lapeer Region Foundation golf outing and awards banquet.
Keast said the course staff strove to deliver exceptional service over the years, forming many great relationships with golfers and guests.
“We not only provided a fantastic golf course for players of all abilities but also a beautiful venue for nearly 1,000 couples to get married in,” he said. “More than anything, I’ll just miss the people, so many of whom became like family.”
Fleming said he hopes Devil’s Ridge will be remembered not only for its scenic landscape and course design but also for its impact on the northern Oakland and Lapeer area communities.
“I appreciate the Munaco family and the time and effort they put into building that golf club,” he said. “We did a lot to support the community through the club. It’s a really special place to me.”

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