Page 1

Online: MICHIGAN GOLFER Publisher/Editor Art McCafferty

Photo/Video Kevin Frisch Dave Richards Carter Sherline Scott Sullivan Brian Walters

Editor Emeritus Terry Moore Associate Publisher/Producer Jennie McCafferty Writers Peter Allen Martin Ames Susan Bairley Phyllis Barone Jack Berry Mike Duff Keith Gornick Greg Johnson Doug Joy Brad King Tom Lang Chris Lewis Scott Moore Bill Shelton Brad Shelton Scott Sullivan MikeTerrell

Director of Accounting Cheryl Clark

Michigan Golfer is produced by Great Lakes Sports Publications, Inc.

GLSP Advertising & Business Office 4007 Carpenter Road, #366 Ypsilanti, MI 48197 734.507.0241 734.434.4765 FAX

Video (search “glsp”)

FootGolf Begins At Elmbrook GC on Their 50th Anniversary, Traverse City Lost Lake Woods, Junior Golf Camp, 2014 With Jim Dennis & Staff, Lincoln Lost Lake Woods Golf Course, a Tour, Lincoln Michigan Golfer TV Presents a Tour of The Northport Creek GC, Northport Northport Creek Golf Course - A Jerry Matthews Design, Northport Bay Meadows Family Golf Center, Traverse City 75th PGA Senior Championship Presented by KitchenAid, Benton Harbor Michigan Golfer TV -Taylor Made Golf Experience, Las Vegas, Nevada World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational - Presser - Jim Furyk, Akron, Ohio World Golf Championship - Bridgestone Invitational - Rory McIlroy, Akron, Ohio World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational Presser - Tiger Woods, Akron, Ohio

Michigan Golfer is published online four times a year by Great Lakes Sports Publications, Inc., 4007 Carpenter Rd, #366, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. All contents of this publication are copyrighted, all rights reserved. Reproduction or use, without written permission, of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. All unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and illustrations will not be returned unless accompanied by a properly addressed envelope, bearing sufficient postage; publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited materials. The views and opinions of the writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect endorsement of views and/or philosophy of Michigan Golfer. Back Issues: May be ordered by sending $5.00 with your name, address and issue requested to Michigan Golfer, 4007 Carpenter Road, #366, Ypsilanti, MI 48197.


World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational Presser - Ricky Fowler, Akron, Ohio World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational Presser - Tim Clark, Akron, Ohio Michaywe Art & Crafts Fair - Gaylord, Michigan Pine Cone Vacations - Serving The Gaylord Golf Mecca The Otsego Club - Happy 75th Birthday from GLSP, Gaylord, Michigan


In This Issue VOLUME 32






Year One for Meijer LPGA Classic Is a Big Success By Terry Moore

8 11

The Berry Patch By Jack Berry LPGA Connects with Kids at Meijer LPGA Classic By Jennie McCafferty


Elmbrook Turned Half-Century Old This Summer By Mike Terrell


Volunteering at the 2014 Women’s U.S. Open By Bill Shelton


Golfing the Grand Strand – North or South? By Bill and Brad Shelton


Newberry Country Club: A Revitalized Upper Peninsula Treasure By Chris Lewis


Leelanau Club – a Sassy Teenager By Mike Terrell


Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort – Family Fun in the Sun By Martin Ames


Slice of Life:  By Terry Moore

About the cover: Michelle drives from the No. 1 Tee during the First Round of the Meijer LPGA Classic. Wie withdrew from the tournament after nine holes. Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

Michigan Golfer News Weekly email newsletter To join: email



© Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

Champion Mi Rim Lee of South Korea takes home $225, 000. 4


Year One for Meijer LPGA Classic Is a Big Success By Terry Moore ell, the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic has ended and in light of its many successes it should now take a bow. For a debut tournament, it couldn’t have gone much better for the event held at the fan- and player-friendly Blythefield Country Club outside Grand Rapids. I must admit I was a little concerned a few months ago that not enough marketing and advertising dollars were being spent on the first-year event to turn out a good size gallery. Rest assured, the smart folks at Meijer knew what they were doing, especially with the affordable $15 any day ticket and with kids being admitted free with an adult. I spent four days there last week and was very impressed with how the tournament was organized. Let me share a few observations:

Blythefield Country Club proved very popular with players and fans alike. The players liked its old-timey,

The LPGA is on a roll right now with a host of attractive stars led by the world’s number one player, Stacy Lewis. What’s smart about sponsoring an LPGA event, is that its stars show up and don’t take a week off. (For first year tourneys, all LPGA players are expected to tee it up.)  Players know that supporting a first year tournament is critical for building not only sponsor but fan loyalty.  Even Michelle Wie, withdrawing after her first nine holes on Thursday due to a hand injury, didn’t spoil the party in Grand Rapids. Another strong field is expected next year.

© Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios


classic layout with its open-front greens, modest bunkering, relatively flat greens and fairways, and its

Paula Creamer tied for 12th.



strategic dogleg holes. It’s also a comfortable walk especially after one negotiates the uphill 7th hole. Tournament officials also made a good call in reversing the nines for play as the original 10th hole afforded better spectator viewing as a starting hole. Smartly, they retained

the club’s ninth and 18th holes as finishers on both sides.

the first hole. I didn’t hear a single complaint about transportation.

Transportation to and from the course all went exceedingly well with the general public being bussed to the course from Fifth/Third ballpark and dropped off at a special gate at

Volunteers were out in full force and, in fact, the tournament stopped taking names a few weeks before the event given the strong community response. Credit in part goes to Meijer with over 300 volunteers and to Blythefield with over 100. And they had a cheery, helpful attitude, too. I particularly liked one volunteer near the front entrance who greeted patrons with a spirited “Welcome to Blythefield Country Club!” Quality of competition, as expected, was exceptional. The sunny and dry weather, great greens, and a not too penal of a  course set-up, all made conditions conducive to scoring and the pros didn’t disappoint. After a low round of 65 on Thursday (by Sandra Gal), 64s were carded each day thereafter. Birdies make for good entertainment. On day one, 39 players were at par or better which set the tone for the week. 

© Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

Approachable and fan-friendly players. As noted, the LPGA players really get it. They connect and engage with their fans. And all the stars I witnessed took time after signing their scorecards to then sign autographs and pose for photos with fans. One day after her round, Paula Creamer took extra time talking and posing for pictures with a group of junior fans all dressed in her trademark pink.

Inbee Park lost a playoff to finish in second place. 6

A community-minded and wellheeled sponsor. That’s Meijer. Given its huge retail operation with its thousands of brands, it wasn’t surprising to learn the pro-am sold out early. If you do big business with Meijer, it only made sense to get onboard and support this event.


Likewise, Meijer leveraged its relationships to maximize its investment with the tournament. What could be done better? Well, even the Masters keeps getting better with its mantra of “constant improvement” so I hope no one gets too sensitive about a few suggestions:  I’d like to see more grandstands for the general public. Blythefield members and sponsors deservedly had exclusive grandstand seats around the 9th, 17th and 18th holes and I don’t begrudge them that. But Blythefield isn’t a stadium TPC course (thank goodness!) with natural amphitheaters so it needs some help with elevated seating for the rest of the gallery. A  few grandstands on both nines should be erected—as well as small bleachers for the practice range— and set aside for general patrons.

The television coverage was generally well done. Yet, I’d like to see Meijer talk to the Golf Channel and offer some additional information about Grand Rapids and West Michigan. Mentions and footage about ArtPrize (starting next month) should be included as should be Grand Rapids’ nationally acclaimed craft beer reputation. I mean, it did earn the title of “Beer City USA” two years in a row. Other considerations are Grand Rapids growing stature in health care as well as the fact that the scenic Lake Michigan shoreline is only 30 minutes away. 

© Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

My wise colleague Jack Berry also pointed out that the pairing sheets lacked the customary scorecard describing par and yardage for each hole. That’s an easy fix.

Morgan Pressel missed the cut. Establish a year-round awareness about the tournament and build early and long term fan interest. And create an incentive to buy week-long tickets earlier.

But the big picture: a resounding success for the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic. - MG -



The Berry Patch By Jack Berry

Photo by Art McCafferty


this time? Another one point defeat or another record clobbering? We’re talking about the Jack Berry Ryder Cup of course, the event in which the pride of American golf regularly thrashed the whimpering Europeans. That was a couple decades ago when Great Britain and Ireland were the thrashees. Then good old Uncle Sam took pity on the Brits and the Irish and said go ahead, invite some continentals if you can find any that play the game. America has been paying for it pretty much ever since Spain’s Seve Ballesteros played toreador and stuck every club in his bag into the Yankee bull. A 13-match winning streak for the United States ended in 1983. Since then it’s been Europe, 10-4, including that 18-1/2 to 9-1/2 rip at Oakland Hills in 2004 followed by the same crush at the K Club in Ireland in 2006. Ballesteros left the ring three years ago but his spirit lives on, especially in Ian Poulter who rallied the Europeans at Chicagoland’s Medinah two years ago with five straight birdies in the final Saturday afternoon four ball to give him and his partner, Rory McIlroy, a 1-up 8

victory over Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson. That night the Europeans, down 10-6, felt they could win the Sunday singles. They won eight of the 12 matches and halved another. Europe kept the cup with a 14-1/2 to 13-1/2 victory. Veterans Phil Mickleson, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar and Steve Stricker collapsed in the stretch as what seemed a victory turned to vinegar. Ironically the joke this year seems to be hoping the Europeans will be overconfident. Led by McIlroy’s triumphs in the Open Championship, PGA, the World Golf Championship at Firestone and his BMW PGA Championship in England, the Europeans are on form. Martin Kaymer, who clinched the 2012 victory, beating Stricker, is the reigning U.S. Open champion. Sergio Garcia, always at his best in Ryder Cup play, has been hot, pushing McIlroy to the Open Championship. Henrick

Stinson tied for third in the PGA. Add Justin Rose, Thomas Bjorn, Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson and Europe is loaded. Rickie Fowler is the only really hot season-long American. Furyk has had good finishes without winning and he may have nightmares over his finish at Medinah. He lost 17 and 18 in his match with Garcia. Furyk’s had late round troubles in recent years. Might be a good idea to add another hour to his five hour energy drink. PGA of America president Ted Bishop is pinning his hopes on Tom Watson, the last American captain to win in Europe. Watson’s team won at The Belfry in 1993. If he pulls off an upset this time he can wear a Superman cape. Watson said he wanted “heart.” I don’t believe for a moment that Furyk or Stricker lacked heart. If

Photo courtesy of PGA

hat will it be

Gleneagle King’s Course - 5th Hole


Home Front ongratulations to Blythefield Country Club and sponsor Meijer for bringing bigtime golf back to Michigan with the LPGA Meijer Classic. The field was worthy of a major championship with U.S. Open champion Michelle Wie, World No. 1 Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, player of the year last year with three major championships, British great Laura Davies, Norwegian star Suzann Pettersen and Michigan native Morgan Pressel.

Photo courtesy of PGA


Photo courtesy of PGA

Ryder Cup Captains Tom Watson and Paul McGinley

Gleneagle Queen’s Course - 8th Hole anything, they had so much heart their nerves simply were tied in knots. I think it happens more with age, so much more difficult to take the club back and through. It happened to Ben Hogan and who had more heart than Hogan? The Sept. 26-28 match is at Gleneagles, the five-star Scottish resort in the Ochil Hills of Perthshire, owned by the Diageo company which produces a dozen or more premium whiskeys including 10

Johnnie Walker, Bushmills, J&B, and Crown Royal plus Guinness Stout and Smirnoff and Ketel vodka. Jack Nicklaus designed the course and every player is familiar with Nicklaus courses. This year they played Dove Mountain in the Accenture Match Play, the Honda at PGA National, the Memorial on Jack’s own Ohio course and the PGA at Valhalla. With Diageo hosting, there will be liquids suitable for winners and losers.

The players loved the classic course and the galleries and the galleries loved the friendliness of the players. Meijer smartly had free admission for kids 17 and younger with an adult and the kids all seemed to be having a ball and getting autographs. Everyone was a winner and the contract runs two more years. I hope it continues past that. Host pro Patti Butcher and the Blythefield members can be very proud of their course and the show. Blythefield has a good history. I covered the 1961 Western Open at Blythefield and Arnold Palmer edged Sam Snead. Gary Player was in that one too and took “a fresh air.” First time I heard the term. He swung at a ball under a tree. No contact. Rickie Fowler won the Western Junior at the Grand Rapids club and two of Butcher’s predecessors are in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, John Barnum and Buddy Whitten. OLF Magazine is out with its Top 100 Courses You Can Play and 20 Michigan courses are ranked. No Midwestern states can match Michigan and not



many nationally. Michigan’s 20 include courses designed by the best in the landscape art, Robert Trent Jones, Rees Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Doak, Tom Fazio, Tom Weiskopf, Rick Smith, Art Hills, Jim Engh, Mike DeVries, Jerry Matthews and Kevin Aldridge. And Michigan prices don’t choke a horse as they do in a number of other locations.

It was a tough summer for 20 Michigan PGA professionals who lost their jobs when Dick’s sporting goods, citing lower than expected sales, fired 478 PGA pros nationwide. This season didn’t start with $300 drivers flying off the racks but Dick’s continues to sponsor televised tournaments. Oddly, I don’t recall Dick’s ever promoting they had a PGA professional on duty. Kevin Helm, executive director of the Michigan PGA section, said it has been a good summer for the

PGA Junior League and the Drive, Chip and Putt competition. Both programs are aimed at turning young people on to golf. PGA president Bishop said the Junior League, which started in 2012 with 1,500 youngsters, has grown to more than 18,000 this year and the Drive, Chip and Putt program, which started in 11 PGA Sections and 19 states, jumped to all 41 Sections and every state in the union. A moment back at weather – where oh where are the 80 degree days? - MG -

© Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

Weatherwise, compared to many states, we’ve done well this summer. We managed to survive a winter that was very tough, especially on a number of Detroit-area courses and clubs, and then some Biblical proportion

rains. But no droughts, no fires, no (knock on wood) tornadoes.

A huge gallery followed LPGA superstar, Stacy Lewis. MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014


© Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

Kids watch play on the Seventeenth Green from the Kids Club.

LPGA Connects with Kids at Meijer LPGA Classic By Jennie McCafferty few years ago I had a blast at the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills with my twelve-year-old nephew, Gus Meyer. On a practice day, Gus chased autographs, but had little success getting near the hot players. Once he tried a different tactic, he did get autographs from a couple of players neither of us knew much about: Brian Gay and Daniel Chopra. Gus knows the game of golf, mentioning the

A 12

typical driving distance of several players, especially his favorite, Adam Scott. We followed groups of younger players, including Scott, Camilo Villegas, and Anthony Kim. We also began to pay more attention to the players whose autographs Gus now had. As it turned out Brian Gay tied for third at the end of the First Round, finished T20 and went on to win several tournaments.

This year I was looking forward to attending the Meier LPGA classic with Lily Zylstra, my eleven-year-old grandaughter. Lily has interviewed kids at the West Michigan Golf Show, but she is just learning about golf. On the Wednesday practice day, the first thing Lily noticed was kids getting autographs from players. “Where do they get those flags?” she asked. The Pro Shop, of course, had the flags and also included Sharpies. The LPGA


Another kid-friendly feature was the Meijer LPGA Junior Clinic which was held on Wednesday afternoon. Blythfield CC GM Patti Butcher hosted 150 junior golfers at Boulder Creek Golf Club. We spoke with one junior golfer from Traverse City who was pleased as punch with the instruction she got on driving, putting, and chipping.

Lily and I walked most of the course on Thursday, watching many players. Lily was interested in getting a better view and found several trees perfect for climbing. Unfortunately, most of those were “inside the ropes” We also planned to visit something called the Kids’ Club that first day. The Kids’ Club was a hit. It was a very upscale grandstand with whiteboards and markers, tables with games and crayons. One little boy, about 5, wanted everyone to see that he could draw a really big circle on that whiteboard. We were greeted with offers of drinks, ice-cream and popsicles. High stools with tables in front and chairs overlooked the Seventeenth Green. We had a fantastic view of the green, watching Suzann Petterson, Lydia Ko, and Paula Creamer, then Stacy Lewis, Karrie Webb and Jessica Korda play. The Kids Club was the answer to

Mi Rim Lee signs a flag for Lily Zylstra after playing in Wednesday’s ProAm. getting that better view that Lily was hoping for. Chie Arimura made the cut, finishing the tournament T42. And, among those autographs which Lily has is one Mi Rim Lee, the winner of the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic. - MG -

© Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

Lily also read about players in the LPGA 2014 Player Guide and noticed something special about Chie Arimura of Japan, whose birthday is the same day as Lily’s, November 22. It was

Lily’s idea to follow Chie Arimura’s round for several holes.

Photo by Jennie McCafferty

players were especially friendly and accommodating with kids who sought autographs. No fences, no ropes, no barriers were there to keep fans away. Lily acquired the autographs of Tiffany Joh of San Diego, Pernilla Lindberg of Sweden, Christel Boeljon of Netherlands, Mi Rim Lee of South Korea, and Grace Choi, the University of Michigan sponsor’s exemption. All of a sudden, Lily is especially interested in several players.

Kids show off their autographed hats at the Kids Club. Kids who participated in the Junior Clinc got hats like the one on the left. MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014


Photo courtesy of Elmbrook GC

Elmbrook Turned Half-Century Old This Summer

Elmbrook Golf Course By Mike Terrell lmbrook Golf Course, the region’s oldest public course, turned a half-century this summer, and has lots of events planned throughout the summer to celebrate the anniversary, according to owner Carolyn Olson.


“We’ve had a long association with the Traverse City community, and it’s been mutual,” said Olson, whose family has owned the golf course from the beginning. “We sure appreciate their support, and over the years we’ve hosted numerous charity events and fundraisers for community groups.” It’s not only the oldest course in 14

the area, but one of the busiest. It’s proximity to downtown Traverse City, just 10 minutes south, a playable course that caters to both walkers and carts, dramatic elevation changes, and jaw-dropping views of downtown, both bays and Old Mission Peninsula from the back holes make it popular with both locals and visitors. They are known as a “family golf course” and pay special attention to kids and women. “We host lots of women’s leagues, tournaments and special women’s clinics throughout the season,” Olson pointed out. “We’ve had special children’s tees on every hole for years, which makes the course very

playable and keeps the game fun for them. And, we’ve put on many programs over the years for junior golfers.” The course is not long, 6,131 yards, but challenging with elevated tees and greens on some of the holes. Native grasses frame the holes carved out of the upland, rolling countryside, not unlike Scottish countryside along the seashore. Tee boxes on the 6th and 13th holes offer panoramic, stunning views of both bays and the peninsula. The fairway unfolds before you dropping away on both holes. Hit a long, high tee shot, and the ball seems to hang in the air forever. Very visual holes,


if you carry a camera in your golf bag, both holes lend themselves to pictures from the tee boxes. The course was designed by Carolyn’s father Vern Nelson, one of the original owners. It was the only course he ever built, but did a nice job laying out the holes over the sand hills. The fairways, which often flow through valleys and hollows, are slightly narrower than many resort courses. It pays to keep your drives in the fairway, or you may find some awkward lies. In celebration of the 50-yearanniversary Elmbrook is introducing FootGolf, one of only two locations in Michigan offering the new sport. The other is Shanty Creek. It has become very popular in Europe and

They will also be hosting Music on the Green, which will feature concerts with some of the region’s top musical artists throughout the summer.

South America. You kick a soccer ball into a 21-inch hole. Each kick counts as a stroke, and you start from a tee-box just like golf. There are rules and guidelines established for the sport. An 18-hole round can be played in about the time it takes to play nine holes of golf. Elmbrook also plans an expanded food and beverage operation this summer with a new patio overlooking the putting green and golf course and introducing a new food concept, Pig Wings, pork on a bone eaten like chicken wings. “It’s pork without the fork,” laughed Olson. “We are the only place in the region that is offering this new product, and we expect it to be very popular.”

Ubiquitous Michigan Golf


A Girls Just Want To Have Fun clinic will be taking place on Monday nights throughout the season. It’s a three-hole event with instruction followed by a networking wine mixer. The cost is $10. As Olson said, “It’s been 50 years of mutual respect between Elmbrook and the community.” If the popular television show Cheers had been about a golf course instead of a neighborhood bar, Elmbrook would be it. - MG -




Photo courtesy of USGA

Michelle Wie on the Par 5 10th Hole.

Volunteering at the 2014 Women’s U.S. Open By Bill Shelton ast year I decided to volunteer for the 2014 Women’s Open at Pinehurst primarily to get a different perspective of professional golf. I have had Bill Shelton the privilege of playing in Pro-Ams, serving as cochair of a charitable mini-tour event, and covering tour events for the Michigan Golfer. Rather than opting for volunteer sessions for the



men’s Open or serving in both weeks, I submitted an application for four sessions of only the women’s event. To get the best perspective, I requested the practice area though I knew it would be a prime choice for many. Surprisingly, my application was accepted and I was more delighted to read that my assignment was the practice area! I quickly found the term “volunteer” to be somewhat of a misnomer. First, there is a request for detailed information followed by a require-

ment of $235 for the uniform which included two shirts, a rain jacket, cap or hat (bucket in my case), ID with lanyard, and a meal ticket for each session. There was an air-conditioned volunteer tent that provided free donuts, coffee and soft drinks. Special parking was available for your sessions only. However, you could attend all days of the tournament using your ID. The cost of volunteering was really not bad considering all the clothing was Ralph Loren and free admissions to all days. And, if you had the earliest session (5:30-10:30 AM), you could


get a sugar high eating donuts. Surprising I had two of those sessions! A training sessions for Practice Area volunteers was held about 3 weeks before the Open. During the 90-minute session, we got a pep talk from a USGA staffer, watch a brief film about the Open, and then quickly reviewed the do’s and don’t listed in the Volunteer Guide. Because we would be in a restricted area, unlike some other volunteer groups, a picture was required for our ID. Pretty impressive stuff!

The first arrival to the area was the caddie for Natalie Gulbis. She was the first pro there each morning of the practice rounds and was as

genuinely friendly as she appears on tv. In fact, the women pros are so far ahead of the men in terms of appreciating the fans and volunteers. Other than one rather rude and arrogant veteran player, I was truly impressed by the responsiveness of the players. It made the long hot sessions very worthwhile. I was also impressed by the effort made by foreign players to express their appreciation and speak English though sometimes a challenge. Clearly they have a commitment to making women’s golf a success. Volunteering was a great experience and I encourage others to give it a try. Kudos to the women pros who contributed to an exciting 2014 Open. I got no autographs and took no pictures but I certainly will have lasting memories of my experience as a volunteer. - MG -

Photo courtesy of USGA

Finally it was time for my first session. I had been to Pinehurst many times and was familiar with the layout of the clubhouse and courses (the first tee boxes and fairways of courses #3 and #5 were used as the driving range). I had also attended two days of the men’s Open the previous week. I arrived at the practice area just as dawn broke,

reported to the Practice Area Chair and was assigned to the putting and chipping greens. Among my duties were handing out buckets of practice balls for the chipping area, keeping bottles of water in the cooler for players and caddies, policing the area for litter, and picking up balls on the chipping greens. (Here I must voice a criticism of the USGA. At the training session we were told that there would be different brands of balls—Titliest, Taylormade, Callaway, etc—available depending on the pro’s preference. And that was the case for the men. But, the women were only provided Titliest Pro-V 1’s even though they played different brands also. The other balls were already there so why not make them available to the women also?)

Amateur Brooke Mackenzie Henderson at Pinehurst No. 2 MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014


Photo courtesy of Ocean Ridge Plantation

Golfing the Grand Strand – North or South?

Ocean Ridge Golf Course By Bill and Brad Shelton

Bill & Brad Shelton fficially the Grand Strand of South Carolina is a 60mile stretch of beach land from Little River on the State’s northern border to Georgetown south of the Waccamaw River inlet.

O 18

The primary economic driver of the area is tourism with almost 15 million visitors per year. Supporting tourism, there are 460 hotels and 1900 restaurants available to Strand visitors. In addition, many of the golf complexes offer apartment and condo rentals.

Carolina Opry, an excellent aquarium, myriad themed putt-putt facilities, a NASCAR cart track, the nation’s #3 rated boardwalk, and several outlet malls. Virtually all of the major hotels cater to families with children by providing play areas, pools, and lazy rivers.

The largest city on the Grand Strand is Myrtle Beach. It has increasingly become known as an affordable family vacation destination with manicured beaches, amusement and water parks, a giant Ferris wheel on the beach, the

Surprisingly, some visitors spend a week or more on the Grand Strand without ever stepping on a golf course! For golfers throughout North America, there is one primary reason to visit the area - immersing themselves in a reasonably priced


golfing marathon! Dubbed as the “Golf Capital of the World,” the Strand offers over 120 courses hosting 5 million rounds annually. The visitors bureau boosts that a golfer could play a different eighteen every day for more than 3 months and still not have played all of the Strand courses. It has served for several decades as the site of the World Amateur Handicap Championship, a 72-hole event attracting 3300 golfers on 60 different courses. And every summer, it hosts the largest Father-Son tournament in the world. In March, the Strand is filled with “North Americans,” escaping the cold winters of Canada and the Northeast during the Can-Am Days. And, when the players finish their rounds, a trip to Martin’s PGA Store or the Golf Dimensions Superstore is a favorite way to continue in the golfing trance. Reliving each day while enjoying freshly caught seafood or aged beef with your golfing mates and hit the sack for another day of 18 or 36 holes tomorrow.

With so many courses and limited vacation time, golfers should preplan their trips to maximize time on the course and minimize time stuck in slow moving traffic along the Grand Strand—real bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic. While the 17 Bypass has relieved some vehicle congestion, getting around Myrtle Beach can still be a timeconsuming ordeal. The premium golf season is from late February through mid-May, but tourism has become a year round activity. Lower golf rates typically can be found during the summer months and early fall. With so many golfing opportunities the full “Strand Experience” cannot be achieved in just one trip. Promotional material typically divides the Strand courses into three sections—northern, central, and southern. Though the Northern Strand officially begins at Little River, just across the border in North Carolina are 20 additional courses that are available to Strand visitors.

The writers have visited the Strand numerous times and participated in the Father-Son tournament for six years (and even picked up a little hardware!). As would be expected, while both agree that the Grand Strand is a golfing mecca, they do not agree on which area has the best courses.

Brad – I usually only get a week or so to spend in Myrtle Beach and must make a choice – I need to get my priorities straight! In my opinion, the north side of

Photo courtesy of Ocean Ridge Plantation

In our opinion, the challenge is

for golfers to settle on either a northern or southern Strand package—and we do mean package. The best way to getting the maximum benefit for your money is to buy a golfing/lodging package. Almost every course is packaged with other courses usually owned or managed by a common entity. The good news is that the degree of course difficulty and the price per round vary widely providing excellent opportunities for all golfers regardless of skill or resources.



Photo courtesy of Tidewater Golf Club

South Carolina’s most awarded golf course and recognized as a one of the premier North Myrtle Beach Golf Courses. I could try to describe the experience but would fall short of you enjoying your own experience on this magnificent course.

Photo courtesy of Tidewater Golf Club

Tidewater Gofl Course

Tidewater Golf Course Myrtle has the best courses offering value for both your money and golf experience. One of my favorites in Myrtle Beach is Tidewater Golf Club. Set high on bluffs overlooking the 20

Intracoastal Waterway, Atlantic Ocean and the Cherry Grove salt marshes, the course is one of only three Grand Strand courses on Golf Magazine’s prestigious listing of “Top 100 Places You Can Play in the United States.” Tidewater is

Tabbed the Fantastic Four, architects Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Tom Fazio and Pete Dye have helped Barefoot Resort & Golf become a popular golf destination in Myrtle Beach. Top golf publications have honored Barefoot Resort’s four award-winning courses designed by this legendary foursome. Be careful not to get caught up in the beautiful vistas of the Lowcountry, these courses are beautiful and fun but challenging to play. Head further north and you will find a trio of courses that will demand the best of your game at The Glens. Heather Glen, Glen Dornoch, and Shaftesbury Glen are three courses that have received numerous awards form Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, and other travel publications for their challenge and playability. Two courses, both designed by Clyde Johnson, are tributes to the legendary Donald Ross and the designs at Augusta National. Ocean Ridge Plantation, home of the award-winning and nationallyrecognized Big Cats golf courses –


Leopard’s Chase, Tiger’s Eye, Panther’s Run and Lion’s Paw offers another great experience for both resort living and golf.

historic plantations along the Waccamaw River, appears frequently in the top 50 courses you can play category. Pete Dye and his son, P.B., combined their talents in designing the Prestwick Country Club, once included in Golf Digest’s “Five BestKept Secret Courses.”

The three distinctly different signature courses at Sea Trails Golf Resort, designed by Rees Jones, Dan Maples, and Willard Byrd, can be enjoyed by players of all levels, but are challenging even to the accomplished golfer.

The TPC at Myrtle Beach is one of the best TPC venues anywhere and it is the only course awarded 5 stars by Golf Digest. Designed by Tom Fazio, the course and impressive clubhouse have been the cite of a Senior Tour Championship. For “one-stop” stay and play trips, Litchfield Golf and Beach Resort, offers three excellent courses by Willard Byrd, Tom Jackson, and Dan Maples. Golf for Women magazine named the Maples course in its “Top 100” for 5 consecutive years. The Legends Resort is very popular with golf groups for its 3 award-winning courses, golf villas, Scottish tavern, and lighted practice facility. Its Heathland course, designed by Tom Doak; Moorland tract by P.B. Dye (listed by a major golf publication among the “Fifty

There are 47 courses listed as North Myrtle Beach golf, all which offer challenges and fun for every level of golfer. These are just a few cases that I can include to express my point that golf north of downtown Myrtle Beach is better.

Bill—Admittedly it is a tough call

Ranking at the top are True Blue Plantation and Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, both designed by architect Mike Strantz. Both courses have appeared numerous times in golf publications’ “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.” Pawley’s Plantation, a Jack Nicklaus signature course, has recently undergone a major renovation and is described as “one of Myrtle Beach’s elite venues.” The Heritage Club, built on two

These are just a few examples of why I think the southern half of the Grand Strand is the finer golf mecca. Admittedly, many are among the more costly courses to play but carefully planning and scheduling a trip to the Strand will result in an unforgettable golfing adventure.

So many courses and so little time - if only we all had three months to spend on the Grand Strand we would play every course in the area and take advantage of every golf package available. It’s hard to make a mistake. Whether you select North or South, the Grand Strand is a great, affordable golf trip for individuals and groups. Go North, Go South, but definitely go Grand Strand! - MG -

Photo courtesy of TTPC Myrtle Beach

and I agree with Brad that the northern courses offer a great golfing/lodging experiences. Without doubt, the northern half of the Strand offers more golfing venues but, for me, the highest quality courses are found in the southern sector. An added benefit is that virtually every top golf designer has put his signature on one or more of the courses. Here a few of the representative courses that I believe should influence you to go south!

Toughest Courses in America”); and the Parkland course are all rated at 4 1/2 stars.

TPC Myrtle Beach



Photo courtesy of JNewberry CC

Newberry Country Club, Hole No. 1

Newberry Country Club: A Revitalized Upper Peninsula Treasure By Chris Lewis Timing really is nearly everything. And what it isn’t, circumstance makes up for. - Steven Van Zandt, actor and musician

ithout question, this quote could be directly applied to Lance Byrns, the owner of the Upper Peninsula’s Newberry Country Club, especially last summer.

W 22

While visiting his wife’s relatives in nearby Curtis and McMillan, as he had throughout the last three decades, he decided to attend a public board meeting with his father-inlaw, in which the financial state of the country club was discussed. In the midst of the meeting, Byrns raised his hand and mentioned he would like to help the club recover from its recent financial losses so it could remain opened to the public. Little did he know at the time, but in less than three months, he

would not only help the country club financially – he would purchase it. But before he could acquire the property, he set out to determine exactly what he would need to do to help restore the country club’s popularity. After meeting with Newberry community members and attending additional board meetings, he determined the best method to increase business on a short and long-term basis. He would have to renovate the club’s golf course and return it to its initial design.


“Its feel was like an executive course and I wanted to give it a resort course feel instead, with wide fairways and low-cut approaches,” says Byrns. “New equipment was even purchased to ensure the course maintained a manicured, professional appearance as well.” To help achieve his goal as quickly as possible, Byrns sought assistance from a man who arguably knew the club’s golf course better than anyone else, its original architect, Mike Husby. A designer of a number of golf courses, including three based in the Upper Peninsula, Husby first oversaw the development of Newberry Country Club’s course back in 1998. “Mike has a great design eye and is a working designer, which means he is actually doing the work,” Byrns says. “He has a crew that works for him, but he is very hands-on and works right alongside them.” “I have a true love for Newberry Country Club, which I consider a hidden gem,” Husby explains.

“When Lance asked me to tour the course with him prior to his purchase, we discussed our ideas and came up with a game plan to revitalize the course.”

A Game Plan for Revitalization The “game plan” particularly involved creating new tee boxes to increase the course’s length, widening fairways for improved playability, and adding bunkers so the course would be a bit more challenging for advanced golfers. The revitalization began during the last week of September 2013, within days of Byrns’s purchase, and continued until early November. Once the harsh winter started to dissipate, Byrns and his own grounds crew began to work with Husby and his crew again this spring, along with Northland Harvesting, a local logging company. The team added 300 yards to the course overall, starting with the 10th hole, which was straightened out and lengthened by 40 yards.

Seven other holes were renovated last winter and this spring. The entire right-hand side of the 11th hole’s fairway was opened up to give the hole a different look and feel, whereas the fairway of the 16th hole was also opened up and two new bunkers were added near the green. On the 18th hole, a new tee box was created, increasing the length of the hole by 30 yards, while two bunkers were also built greenside. A new tee box was also generated at the first hole (lengthened by 25 yards) and at the par-three fifth, which measures 25 yards longer than it had previously. Furthermore, a very large bunker was created near the right side of the sixth hole’s green, a parfive that formerly did not provide challenges to long hitters. But perhaps the most significant renovation occurred on the third hole, where tee boxes were relocated, three new bunkers were created, trees were removed along the right side of the fairway, and the length was increased by 40 yards. As a result, the hole is no longer a dogleg, but, rather, plays straight.

Photo courtesy of Newberry CC

“The course is now more playerfriendly than it has been in years,” Byrns states. “With its wider fairways, smoother and faster greens, tightly mowed approaches and collars, and better sight lines, the course has more of that resort course feel that I was hoping for when I first began the restoration process.”

Three Recently Revised Compliments to the Course

Newberry Country Club Hole No. 3 24

In addition to the course renovations, the country club’s clubhouse was entirely remodeled last fall and


“The restaurant and sports bar has been a great compliment to the course,” says Byrns. “The restaurant’s menu is very different from the local flavor, as guests can order a simple BLT, cheeseburger, or wings, or, if they prefer, more specialized items like bowtie alfredo, braised pork rafano, and aged rib-eye.” He adds, “The bar, meanwhile, is full-service, with a line of domestic, import, and craft beers, including Widow Maker and Pick Axe Blonde, as well as an extensive wine list that provides choices like Canyon Road and Rodney Strong.”

Photo courtesy of Newberry CC

winter to provide guests a lodge-like atmosphere, complete with a gorgeous restaurant, sports bar, and pro shop.

Newberry Country Club’s renovated clubhouse The restaurant and sports bar are opened seven days a week. If guests prefer, they can also eat outside on two patios overlooking the golf course.

In the meantime, before or after finishing their rounds, guests can also visit the newly updated pro shop that offers a full lineup of clothing, shoes, golf clubs, and equipment for men, women, and children. From TaylorMade and Ping clubs to Nike and Footjoy clothing and shoes, the pro shop’s

Photo courtesy of Newberry CC

“The entire clubhouse is truly one-of-a-kind, as it is very inviting to everyone, friends, couples, families, you name it,” Byrns says. “Whether guests want to watch their favorite sporting events on one of the bar’s six large screen TVs, or just enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner, they will find whatever they prefer at the clubhouse. And, better yet, they will be able to eat at the clubhouse in the winter as well, as it will be opened all year.”

Newberry Country Club’s clubhouse bar.

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


lineup was created with golfers of all ages and experience levels in mind. It even includes the only fully stocked Oakley sunglass retailer in the entire Eastern Upper Peninsula.

Exceeding Expectations as a “Must Play” Course Since reopening the course on May 15th, Byrns and his staff members have received a positive reaction from the golfing public.

He continues, “People have been coming up to my staff and me daily, thanking us for what we’ve done. Apparently, the course has made a very good impression on those who have played it so far. It’s been very exciting.” “Most people don’t think of golf when they mention the Upper Peninsula and that needs to change,” Husby states. “When golfers visit the Upper Peninsula, they actually have a tremendous selection of good courses to choose from – and Newberry Country Club will now be on golfers’ ‘must play’ lists.” As Byrns prepares for the future, he anticipates further renovations, such as new bunkers, lengthened

holes, and wider fairways, will continue to occur, ensuring customers remain pleased and eager to see the pristine layout for themselves, which is nestled alongside 200 acres of forests, streams, ponds, and hills. “My goal is for Newberry Country Club to become a ‘destination’ course, restaurant, and pro shop,” Byrns concludes. “I love seeing both new and pre-existing customers alike revel in the course, bar, and restaurant. It truly proves all of the hard work is well worth it.” For more information about Newberry Country Club, as well as its membership offerings and yearround family activities, please visit - MG -

Photo courtesy of Newberry CC

“Business has increased this year, even with the cool spring,” says Byrns. “The amount of support the local and regional community members have shown has been overwhelming. At the same time, golfers from outside of the Upper Peninsula have been just as excited about the

course as the locals.”

Newberry Country Club, Hole No. 13 26


Photo courtesy of Leelanau Club

Leelanau Club at Bahle Farms

Leelanau Club – a Sassy Teenager By Mike Terrell ou may never mistake the Leelanau Club at Bahle Farms for the Augusta National Golf Club where they hold the famed Master’s Golf Tournament, but the entrance way mid-May might be just as beautiful.


It may not be Magnolia Lane, but the entrance to Leelanau Club, meandering through a tart cherry orchard, is pretty spectacular when the trees blossom, according to head professional Logan Price. “It’s absolutely stunningly beautiful,” the long-time golf pro enthused. “It sets the mood for the rest of the course, which was cut through a 100year-old orchard on Bahle Farms. The entrance way is just as pretty when the trees are ripe with fruit.”

The Bahle family still owns the course, which turns 15 this summer. Opening in August 1999 it has matured into one of the area’s top courses. It was Tuesday in early May as we talked in the pro shop, and there was a good crowd for early season midweek. The sun was out and temperatures were near 60. “We’ve gotten off to a little later start than normal, but the golf course came through the winter in great shape and is ready for play. I think after the cold fall that ended the golf season early last year and the long winter there’s pent-up demand among golfers to get out and play. Our first golf league started this morning,” Price pointed out. “We host over 300 league rounds per summer and 45 tournaments. It’s busy.”

Despite being busy there’s still plenty of time for non-league players to squeeze in a round of golf, insisted Price. “Over the next few months we have 14 to 15 hours of daylight daily, which is plenty of time to play a round and still have plenty of daylight hours left for other endeavors,” he asserted. “And, you can always play just nine holes, which a lot of golfers are doing today. We reverse the order of which nine holes we start on daily, so you could play nine one day, play nine the next and you’ll have played all 18. There are lots of options.” Over the last few years the Leelanau Club has been making improvements to the course, and a lot of it is



to speed up play. That has become a serious consideration among golf courses in general to speed play and make it more fun and forgiving for average golfers.

“Club selection is an important part of your game here,” laughed Price. “You will probably use all 14 in your bag during an 18-hole round. There are elevation changes, and you have to consider wind since many of our holes sit on high terrain. You don’t come out here and

just bang away. It’s a thinking golfer’s course.” The course was designed by prolific local golf course architect Gary Pulsipher, who also designed Matheson Greens, Bay Meadows, The Crown and Manistee National. He’s been Leelanau Club’s only golf course superintendent since its inception. The club house contains the Orchard Grille, which is open for breakfast and lunch and libations in the afternoon until close. There’s also a fully stocked pro shop available. For tee times you can call 231271-2020 and for more information you can log onto  - MG -

Photo courtesy of Leelanau Club

“We’ve been taming the golf course little by little, making it more playable for all golfers,” added Price. “We’ve opened up hole No. 5, a dog-leg left with a ravine, by cleaning it out and cutting back some tall pines so that players will have a better view of the green. We cleaned out a lot of the woods along holes No. 7, 8 and 14. New tee boxes have been added at holes No. 6 and 14. All of the bunkers will be restored over the next couple of years. Probably 10 this season, but it will be done one at a time so play isn’t impacted much.” The course has a reputation for

requiring use of every club in your bag playing a round. There’s something for all tastes. It’s not flat by any means, carved out of the sand hills and glacially enhanced ridges of Leelanau County. It offers rolling to hill terrain with huge elevation changes. A couple of the holes play alongside working cherry orchards, and hole No. 15 offers jaw-dropping views looking down at Suttons Bay and Lake Michigan. The course is never dull and always scenic.

Leelanau Club at Bahle Farms 28


Photo courtesy of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront esort

Hotel Complex

Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort – Family Fun in the Sun By Martin Ames HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (July 2014) — If any one place exemplifies the phrase “family fun in the sun,” it is the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort in the historic Lowcountry of South Carolina. The renowned resort’s numerous offerings for all ages is a major contributor to Palmetto Dunes being named one of the World’s Top-25 Family Getaways in 2013 by Travel + Leisure Family magazine. For years, generations of families from across the globe have visited Hilton Head Island and enjoyed Palmetto Dunes’ seemingly infinite bounty of outdoor activities with a family focus: World-class golf and award-winning tennis, fishing, kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding on an 11-mile lagoon system, bicycling, dining and shopping, all of it along a three-mile stretch of pristine Atlantic Ocean beachfront.

Palmetto Dunes is designed for families to get active together by offering a variety of ways to do just that — including its Hilton Head Family Golf School. Whatever levels at which a family may play, Palmetto Dunes will tailor its golf school to specific needs and skill level. Its head of golf instruction, former PGA TOUR player Doug Weaver, is great with kids and teaches them moves like “closing the car door” and “alligator arms” to help them learn golf in a fun and engaging way. Palmetto Dunes offers a variety of Hilton Head golf lessons for juniors, including its popular “Little Swingers” program designed for ages 3-7. Weaver and his instructors teach the game of golf while singing songs with the kids. Palmetto Dunes’s Junior Golf

Clinics for ages 6-18 focus on golf fundamentals like golf shots, etiquette and rules, covering three different shots every day, and four-time attendees are rewarded with a Junior Golf School Manual. If you have a junior golfer who’s top of the class, enroll him or her in the Advanced Juniors Classes for ages 8-18. The golf school includes a video analysis sent by email, on-course instruction, rules and etiquette lessons, use of the school’s video lending library, take home materials, lunch daily, free range privileges, plus nine holes of golf daily on a space-available basis and 25 percent discount on all rentals — such as bikes, kayaks and canoes — from Hilton Head Outfitters. Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is showcased by its sterling trio of world-class golf courses designed by legends of the industry:



Photo courtesy of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

Oceanfront Resort, please call 877-567-6507 or visit

About Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

Palmetto Dunes Golf Course

Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is a 2,000-acre resort destination located in the middle of Hilton Head Island, S.C., bounded by 3 miles of Atlantic Ocean beach on one side and a sheltered Intracoastal Waterway marina on the other. The resort features three world-class golf courses, an award-winning tennis center, an 11mile inland salt-water lagoon system for kayaking and fishing, and Hilton Head Outfitters for bike rentals, canoes, kayaks, fishing and much more.

Photo courtesy of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

The Mediterranean-style Shelter Cove Harbour deep-water marina, located right across from Palmetto Dunes, features waterfront shopping and dining and a wide variety of charters, including nature cruises, dolphin tours, sport crabbing and fishing. For information about activities or reservations, please call 877-5676513 or visit

About Greenwood Communities & Resorts

Palmetto Dunes Golf Course The renowned Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course, which features picturesque views of the ocean; the Arthur Hills Course, where collegiate stars like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson honed their talents; and the George Fazio Course, designed by George Fazio with construction work headed by his nephew, famed architect Tom Fazio. Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort caters to golfers of all levels, having installed permanent junior tees on its Robert Trent Jones golf course, while the George Fazio course caters to juniors with markings of 150 yards or less. In addition, kids play free at the Robert Trent Jones Hilton Head golf course and the Arthur Hills golf course after 4 p.m. with an adult paying regular rate. To sign up for a Family Golf Program at Palmetto Dunes 30

Based in Greenwood, S.C., Greenwood Communities & Resorts has been a leader in the creation and management of award-winning residential and resort communities in the southeastern United States since 1978. Beginning with the award-winning Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C., and now including communities like The Reserve at Lake Keowee, Big Canoe near Atlanta and The Ponds in Charleston, Greenwood’s mission has always been to create memorable places that foster meaningful and fulfilling lives. For more information, please call 843785-1106 or visit Contacts: Martin Armes (919-608-7260) & Brad King (336-306-9219),

- MG -


Slice of Life By Terry Moore know it’s a bit early for end-of-theyear awards and recognition but the best hotel I experienced in 2014 was Streamsong Terry Moore in Bowling Green, Florida. (Note: I wrote about Streamsong’s golf courses earlier this year.) For Michiganders planning winter travels and vacations, they should check out Streamsong now.

And Streamsong is more than a golfer’s quiet retreat and respite between rounds. “We’re seeking a diverse target audience,” said Tom Sunnaborg, Vice-President of Land In my thirty years plus of coverDevelopment for Mosaic Company, ing golf, I’ve never encountered such the enterprise behind the resort. a singularly thematic design, ameni- “We’re seeking the avid and the alpha ties and attention-to-detail all tied customer— whether it be someone together at one property. Streamsong putting together a golf buddy’s or gal’s is so different (in a good way) and getaway or a CEO or meeting planner in many cases so lavishly understatlooking for an executive meeting.” ed, I can see where at first glance the Sunnaborg is not shy about voicing resort—and its contemporarydesigned, five-story, 216-room hotel— may be greeted with some head-scratching and “what’s going on here?” mumbling. But if one steps back a moment, takes a deep Zen-like breathe, and looks around with a keen eye, it will become apparent that Streamsong is an exceptionally conceived, designed, constructed and managed property. The jury may be still out on the question of whether or not the golf marketplace will patronize this upscale, pricey resort in profitable numbers. (In fact, it may take several years for that question to be

Streamsong’s standard for excellence. “Along with the best golf, we’re providing the best food, the best rooms, the best meeting space and the best service.” There are four restaurants at Streamsong, three at the main lodge and one at the golf clubhouse, that offer both casual and fine dining. Along with 13,500 feet of meeting space, the lodge also features a fullservice, grotto-style spa, fitness center, lakeside pool, hiking paths, sporting clays, tennis and guided bass fishing. So although the resort is in an isolated, sparsely populated area, there’s a wealth of diversions at play here. The magic starts with the lodging’s contemporary, sleek design by Tampa-based architect Alberto Alphonso (who also designed previously the golf course clubhouse). The Mosaic Company gave Alphonso the freedom, license and funds to create something unique and bold. The result is a hotel with

Photo courtesy of Streamsong Resort

Photo courtesy of Terry Moore


fully answered.) But you must give Streamsong its due and a standing ovation for the courage of its convictions—namely that top-shelf quality and design, luxurious accommodations and service will always command a following. Besides, such an approach has never been a problem for elite hotels in major cities so why not for Bowling Green (pop. 2900) only an hour’s drive from a little destination called DisneyWorld?

Streamsong Hotel Exerior



Photo courtesy of Streamsong Resort

life stories with a fellow golfer from Toronto who was visiting Streamsong for his third time. Yes, he’s sold on the place.

Streamsong Hotel Interior a design theme of a tree. Concrete columns at the base are the “roots” of the tree where its branches and leaves rise up through the lobby and the floors. Moving up vertically, building materials go from concrete to steel to wood. At the top of the tree’s “canopy,” there’s a rooftop bar

and restaurant—Fragmentary Blue (named after a Robert Frost poem)— with wonderful views of the surroundings and the open sky. It was here I had a delightful light dinner and a most savory Pleiades cocktail (named fittingly for a star cluster) while exchanging golf and

The hotel rooms, all meticulously designed and furnished by Alphonso, carry out the arboreal theme and are equally impressive. Decorated in soft earth tones and with lots of wood, ample light and natural materials, each room contains an original painting by Alphonso (this guy was busy!) Instead of curtains for the expansive windows, Alphonso cleverly opted for three-foot wide, floor to ceiling walnut louvers that protect and hide the room like leaves on a tree. Each room sports two-sided HD TVs— where one can watch programs from either the bed or from a sofa. There’s also a smartly designed and appointed desk and work area and guests are even issued complimentary New York Times and Wall Street Journal digital access. The bathroom is large and boasts a dreamy walk-in shower. Every room has a spectacular, unfettered view of the lake or the golf course dunes. An obsessive attention to detail is best seen in the books selected for each room. On a bookshelf over the sofa, were such carefully chosen classics as: Huckleberry Finn, The Catcher in the Rye, Moby-Dick, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Separate Peace, Invisible Man, Poetry by T.S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens, and my personal favorite (harking back to my college days) Light in August. In its own separate nook and again gracing each room is A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith, a best-selling novel published in 1984 that was set in pioneer Florida and covered a century of the state’s his-



tory. A few nitwits may say this literary touch is bit pretentious but I admired the care and thinking behind it. It certainly demonstrated how Streamsong dared to take a different path for its pampered guests. I can’t explain why—other than an appreciation for design that fits holistically throughout the lodge— but it was a simple accessory found on the room’s desk that was most

thought-provoking. Painted bright red, it was a thick #6 pencil by Charles Leonard, Inc., a leading office and school supply company. Feeling just right in my hand, its graphite imparted clean marks and letters. It conjured up a famous poem (not found in the room) by William Carlos Williams titled, The Red Wheelbarrow. You see, that’s what a restorative

stay at Streamsong will do for you: it gets you thinking of long-forgotten lines of poetry that’s still resonate, still offering meaning and serenity in a noisy world. On second thought, maybe it was just the cocktail. For more information, visit - MG -



iPad House ad_Full page 12/20/11 9:18 PM Page 1

Now on iPad 34


Michigan Golfer, September / October 2014  

A quarterly publication about Michigan Golf courses, Michigan golfers and Michigan golf events.

Michigan Golfer, September / October 2014  

A quarterly publication about Michigan Golf courses, Michigan golfers and Michigan golf events.