Michigan Golfâ€™s Best 42 Courses That Offer Incomparable Value and Golfing Pleasure
Arcadia Bluffs ARCADIA
Once a cherry orchard with 3,100 feet of Lake Michigan frontage, Arcadia Bluffs has ascended to become one of America’s Top 100 golf courses – private or public, and No. 13 daily fee course in the U.S. (Golf Digest), and the No. 1 public course in Michigan by any measure. The dramatic, rutty terrain is at once exhilarating; the 18 hole journey unforgettable. Golfers and visitors alike have architect Warren Henderson to thank for Arcadia’s breath-taking design. Never once did thoughts of conceiving Arcadia as a traditional manicured-style course cross his mind. “Arcadia Bluffs embodies the classic principles and strategies found at the greatest courses of Ireland and Scotland,” Henderson said. “There are few places you can go in the world that have a feel to them. This is one of those places.” A Nantucket, coastal estate-style lodge with 15 comfortably appointed guest rooms was added to the clubhouse in 2010. Each elegant room caters to guests with a king-sized, pillow-topped bed and down comforter, private walk-out
YARDAGE 5,529/7,404; three sets of tees ARCHITECT Warren Henderson/ Rick Smith YEAR OPENED 1999 ADDRESS 14710 Northwood Highway PHONE/WEB SITE (800) 494-8666 www.arcadiabluffs.com
balcony, tiled shower with conventional and rainfall shower heads, self-controlled air conditioning and geothermal heat, WiFi, Ipod/MPS player radio, breakfast, laundry service, room service and more. The timeless, seaside design of the Lodge and Clubhouse provides ample locker space, personal showers, a community sitting room with beverage station, corporate meeting space and The Sunroom—a carpeted, climate-controlled extension of the Dining Room with infinite panoramic views of Lake Michigan. The staff at Arcadia Bluffs accepts the expectation that the dining experience has to be equal to that of the golf and lodging. That’s why menus change daily, that offerings are seasonally inspired, that chefs select only locally-grown produce, and that seating can be intimate or open, indoors or out. “From the moment our golf, dining and lodging guests are greeted, to the moment they book their next visit, we want them to have the best experience they’ve ever had,” pledges Chief Operating Officer Bill Shriver.
Everyone knows you go north to get to heaven. Blue waters. Inviting, green fairways surrounded by steeples of pines and hardwoods. Views that leave you speechless. The good life. This summer, there are even more reasons to head north – to BOYNE – including last season’s addition of Hidden River Golf & Casting Club to the BOYNE portfolio of superb golf courses and resorts. Quiet and secluded, Hidden River offers a demanding yet fair test of game in a northern Michigan golf-worthy setting. With a layout that is enjoyable for both the beginner and the single digit golfer, Hidden River is a locals’ favorite and will cast a spell on you soon after you hit your first tee shot. Especially memorable is the cart drive between holes three and four, where you’ll see the Maple River weave its way through the woods. A blue ribbon trout stream, it is on this river that Boyne Outfitters’ river guides take guests fly fishing, and where the “casting” part of Hidden River’s name comes into play. The course, designed by Michigan native Bruce Matthews III, plays from 4,787 yards at the forward tees to 7,101 yards from the tips with five sets of tees total. It is known for being one of the first golf courses to open and last to close in northern Michigan, a trait that sits well with golfers in denial of summer’s end. Along with Hidden River Golf & Casting Club, BOYNE’s golf course brigade includes The Heather, currently ranked among Golf Digest’s “100 Greatest Public Courses,” Arthur Hills, Donald Ross Memorial and The Moor at Boyne Highlands Resort, Crooked Tree Golf Club and Bay Harbor Golf Club, now ranked #65 on Golf Digest’s “100 Greatest,” in Bay Harbor
area and The Alpine and The Monument at Boyne Mountain Resort. With by far the most impressive collection of golf courses of any resort in the Midwest – eleven total to be exact – golfers will want to take advantage of BOYNE’s discounted day-ofarrival golf, available to anyone staying on a golf package at any of BOYNE’s three resorts – Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain and The Inn at Bay Harbor – A Renaissance Golf Resort. Beyond golf, BOYNE offers an endless array of entertainment including award-winning spas, ziplining, tennis, Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark, sunset views with patio dining and a dinner theatre, plus pubs, made-from-scratch pizza and an ideal setting for a most memorable golf vacation. To learn more, go to www.BOYNE.com, or check out the latest deals and specials at www.BOYNE.com/BoynesBestDeals.
LOCATIONS Boyne Highlands Boyne Mountain Bay Harbor Golf Club Crooked Tree Golf Club Hidden River Golf & Casting Club ARCHITECT Varies by course YEAR OPENED Varies by course PHONE/WEB SITE (800) 462.6963 www.BOYNE.com
Manitou Passage Golf Club CEDAR
YARDAGE 6,734 from back tees ARCHITECT Arnold Palmer Design YEAR OPENED 1998 ADDRESS 4600 Club Drive Cedar, MI 49621 PHONE/WEB SITE 231.228.6000; 888.656.7572 www.manitoupassagegolfclub.com
The Manitou Passage Golf Club looks and feels new, thanks to its recent renovation work, but one thing remains the same from the old King’s Challenge course, the golf club still roams through the same beautiful wooded, hilly landscape that makes the Leelanau Peninsula one of the most special places in Michigan. The setting at Manitou Passage in Cedar is idyllic and serene, tucked far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Every round feels like an intimate escape. Golfweek named it among the top 50 “new” courses to open in 2010 and 2011. The work since 2009 to revive the course, spearheaded by Bob Kuras, president of The Homestead, has been nothing short of spectacular. The new paved entry way leads to a wonderfully cozy rebuilt clubhouse of cedar shake and ledgestone. Inside dual stone fireplaces, a library and trophy alcoves with Arnold Palmer memorabilia, luxurious furnishings, original art and warm, rich woods help golfers feel at home. Changes at Manitou Passage made the par-71, 6,688-yard course more playable and less severe. Hole 18 was lengthened to a 525-yard par 5. Seventeen is a picturesque par 3, with an elevated view to the valley floor and the wooded expanse. A large bunker that encircled the right side of the green was halved with a walkway. You
can now see the green from every tee location. Sixteen is now a much more forgiving, yet still demanding par 4, as tees crowding the left dogleg were moved west. The par 4 left dogleg second hole is less restrictive. The tee stations on the fourth hole were moved left providing a much more favorable routing to the green. The exclamation point to the new Manitou Passage can be witnessed at hole 8, an exhilarating downhill par 5 that tempts reward at the risk of getting wet should you try to reach the putting surface in two shots. Take a moment before you tee off because it is here, at the highest point on the course, that you can see the Manitou Islands and the expanse of water that separate them from the mainland. Memories can be made throughout the round. Just ask celebrity chef Mario Batali, who watched one of his sons sink a hole-in-one on the seventh hole last summer. For those looking to stay awhile, The Homestead in Glen Arbor, 10 minutes from the course, is home to a Dave Pelz Scoring School, the Mountain Flowers par-3 course, Spa Amira and a great beach complex with a pool, hot tub and tennis courts. For more visit thehomesteadresort.com or manitoupassagegolfclub.com.
A-Ga-Ming Resort TORCH LAKE
YARDAGE Varies by course ARCHITECTS Sundance - Jerry Matthews: The Torch - Siebenthaler & Harbert: Antrim Dells - Jerry Matthews YEAR OPENED 2005 - Sundance 1976 - The Torch Antrim - 1975 ADDRESS 627 A-Ga-Ming Drive, Kewadin, Michigan PHONE/WEB SITE (877) 678-0123 www.a-ga-ming.com
With some of the best real estate you will find anywhere in the Lower Peninsula, the golf courses of A-Ga-Ming Golf Resort— The Torch, Sundance and Antrim Dells—take advantage of the great views and rolling terrain Northern Michigan is blessed with. Sundance ranks among the most enjoyable courses in Michigan with large greens that roll smooth and fast and expansive fairways that are nicely framed by 118 bunkers. Sundance débuted to rave reviews in 2006. Golf Digest magazine ranked it 3rd best among public courses to open that year. Overlooking Torch Lake to the east and Traverse Bay to the west, you’ll not find a more suitable setting for a golf course. A-Ga-Ming’s original layout—now called The Torch— remains a favorite of many golfers and provides the challenge of a traditional woodland’s course. Traverse magazine ranked The Torch the 2nd most beautiful golf course in the region for 2012, and for good reason. The 18-hole layout affords guests the best views of Torch Lake to be found anywhere, as each hole meanders through hardwoods and over many swift flowing creeks with numerous elevated tee shots. The third golf course that was
added to A-Ga-Ming’s stable of courses is Antrim Dell’s, a perennial Northern Michigan gem not far inland from East Traverse Bay. “The Dell’s”, as A-Ga-Ming owners refer to the course, is just 10 minutes up the road from the main resort. The front nine is a mixture of parkland-style golf while the back nine resonates woodlands. The course has nice sized fairways and undulated greens that are a true test for any golfer. Relax to views of the bay at the clubhouse or climb the stairs to the best dining in the region featuring fabulous whitefish and lake perch. The new Cedar Hollow and Vista duplex-style lodging units are located on the Sundance course and are perfect for large groups of eight to 32, with gathering areas, gas grills, spacious kitchens and a one-person-per-bed ratio. The Maplewood Condos, with magnificent views of The Torch and Torch Lake, provide 1, 2 and 3 bedroom options and are within walking distance to the clubhouse and pro shop. A-Ga-Ming Golf Resort, now with three great golf courses and excellent accommodations, is the perfect place for a golf package getaway. Two-night and threeday unlimited golf packages begin at $199 and rise to only $272 in peak season. Visit www.a-gaming.com to learn more.
Shanty Creek Resorts BELLAIRE
YARDAGE Varies by course ARCHITECTS Weiskopf, Palmer, Bowen, Diddel YEAR OPENED 1963 ADDRESS 5780 Shanty Creek Road Bellaire, MI 49615 PHONE/WEB SITE 866.408.5215 www.shantycreek.com/summer
Boasting the highest concentration of golf courses in northern Michigan, Bellaire’s Shanty Creek Resorts raises the Up North bar. With four championship golf courses and 72 holes that combine tight fairways, formidable doglegs and varying elevations along with welcoming summer weather and stunning scenery—it’s easy to see why Shanty Creek earned a Silver Medal rating from Golf Digest. Featuring track designs from the game’s top names like Tom Weiskopf and Arnold Palmer, Shanty Creek challenges and impresses golfers of all ability levels. Weaving through wetlands, rolling hills and pine forests, golfers play amid stunning views of northern Michigan proving one way to improve your game is simply by taking in the scenery. Private or group lessons from one of Shanty Creek’s PGA-certified professionals can improve your game even further. Across its 4,500 acres and three distinct villages, Shanty Creek has over 500 lodging accommodations, multiple dining options, live entertainment and plenty of recreational activities. The resort’s recent $10 million renovation of its
flagship Lakeview Hotel & Conference Center is where guests enjoy spacious and lavish guest rooms with breathtaking views of Lake Bellaire and miles of unspoiled hardwood forests. And finding a little R&R is easy with a relaxing massage from Spa at Summit Village or by unwinding with a book and cocktail at the pool overlooking Lake Bellaire. It’s fair to say everything Up North is within reach of Shanty Creek Resorts—the turquoise blue waters of Torch Lake and nearby beaches; the eclectic shopping and dining in Bellaire and neighboring Alden, Elk Rapids and Charlevoix; the orchards, wineries and brew-pubs that dot the landscape of northern Michigan. Smack dab between Traverse City, Petoskey and Gaylord, Shanty Creek is literally in the middle of it all. Whether you’re looking to play a round, host a group event or simply enjoy a day Up North with family and friends, Shanty Creek Resorts defines the Up North experience. And with multiple stay and play packages, there’s something to suit every budget. It’s no wonder Shanty Creek is Michigan’s Favorite Resort. Again.
Bucks Run MT. PLEASANT
YARDAGE 5,090/6,756; four sets of tees ARCHITECT Jerry Matthews YEAR OPENED 2000 ADDRESS 1559 S. Chippewa Rd., Mt. Pleasant PHONE/WEB SITE (989) 773-6830 www.bucksrun.com
In between Michigan’s small Northern towns and bustling Southern Cities, sits Central Michigan’s best kept golf secret: Bucks Run Golf Club. Tucked away on Chippewa Road in Mount Pleasant, this 18-hole course offers a natural and pristine setting to practice your game and record a memorable round. Bucks Run is truly a place where you can leave your cares at the front gate and slip away into a peaceful and friendly golf getaway. Open since 2000, this award-winning, Jerry Matthews designed course encompasses 290 acres, featuring two small lakes, 1-1/2 miles of Chippewa River frontage, and 34-acre Lake Fisher. In addition, Bucks Run offers a five-acre driving range, two large putting greens, plus a true bentgrass, 18-hole putting course. Much pride is taken in the maintenance of the course. With beautifully sculpted tees, fast greens, playable rough, and more, it is evident that much attention is paid to the slightest details in the look and condition of the course. This is a major part of what make Bucks Run a challenging, but enjoyable golfing experience. Before and after your round, you’ll want to visit the log cabin-style club-
house, which includes a fully stocked Golf Shop for all your golf gear and accessory needs. The clubhouse is also home to The Quarry Grill, which offers casual-fine dining and an extensive menu selection to suit any taste. There is also an outdoor patio, which provides panoramic views of the course and sunsets over beautiful Lake Fisher. Whether you are an advanced golfer, or just starting out, Bucks Run offers challenges and fun for all skill levels, with four sets of tees that enable you to select distances ranging from 5,104 to 6,765 yards. Voted 4-1/2 out of 5 stars in Golf Digest magazine’s Best Places to Play and ranked 30th best public course in the nation in Golf World magazine for 2010, Bucks Run Golf Club is a distinguished treasure, with outstanding customer service that impresses beyond the ordinary. Greens fees are suitable for any budget, ranging from $40 to $85 with many surrounding hotels offering Stayand-Play packages. The staff at Bucks Run awaits your every need. For more information or to set-up a tee time, visit www.bucksrun.com.
YARDAGE 4 courses Varies by course YEAR OPENED 1951 ADDRESS 4700 Red Oak Road Lewiston, MI 49756 PHONE/WEB 877-442-7526 www.garlandusa.com
Herman Otto was nothing short of a visionary when he established Garland Lodge and Resort in Lewiston over 60 years ago. It was a humble beginning with just nine holes. But that grew to 18 in the early 70s and when son Ron assumed ownership in the mid 80s, Garland swelled to become one of the Midwest’s premier golf destinations. Now under new ownership, Garland’s stature continues to grow. To be sure, 72 holes of spectacular golf punctuates that Garland is a golf destination foremost. There’s a lot of golf to consume in Michigan, but nothing quite equals the thrill of The Reflections, The Monarch, The Fountains and Swampfire. Like children, each course has its own personality but share similar traits. Fountains and Reflections, for instance, have six par 3s, six par 4s and six par 5s. Monarch derives its name for the stately pines that grace its edges. Swampfire, as you might imagine, tests your patience with water. Garland Lodge and Resort boasts the largest log lodge east of the Mississippi, lending it quintessential status as a Northern Michigan getaway. The Main Lodge offers one and two bed room options, or the Penthouse with king bed and master suite Jacuzzi tub, second bedroom, living room and kitchenette. Additional
accommodations include the three-story South Wing, with one and two bed room options, gas log fireplace, and Jacuzzi or spa shower. Lofted Golf Cottages on the Fountains course sleep up to four adults with gas log fireplace, fully equipped kitchen and deck with gas grill. The Villas at Garland offer luxurious living, ranging from one bedroom and bath with gas log fireplace to four bedrooms and 3.5 baths with fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities. Dining options at Garland Resort include the Tamarack Restaurant, Antlers Bar and Grill and Bunkers on the Patio. As you might expect at a world-class resort, there’s more than just golf to appease your adventurous appetite. The Au Sable River is world-renowned for trout, where fishermen often are greeted by canoeists and kayakers. Fly fishing lessons and guided trips can be arranged at the Old Au Sable Fly Shop. The Maple Valley Riding Stables offer horseback and horse-drawn rides. Hikers and bikers could spend days wandering the Resort’s 3,500 acres. On site there’s tennis, basketball, bocce and volleyball courts, an indoor lap pool and Jacuzzi, spa, outdoor pool and pretty much anything you could expect or imagine at Michigan’s most authentic northern retreat. You will want to learn more, which you can do at garlandusa.com.
Thornapple Pointe GRAND RAPIDS
THORNAPPLE POINTE YARDAGE 7016 / 6544 / 5939 / 5302 ARCHITECT William Newcomb YEAR OPENED 1997 ADDRESS 7211 48th St. SE, Grand Rapids 49512 PHONE/WEB SITE (616) 554-4747 www.thornapplepointe.com
The evolution of Thornapple Pointe Golf Club in Grand Rapids is quite remarkable. Situated on a bend along the Thornapple River, the course led the wave of upscale golf courses in West Michigan back in 1997. Since then the course has been guided with disciplined attention from Superintendent Jack Thomasma, the only superintendent the course has known. He and General Manager Chris Sobieck have managed the golf course through substantial changes and upgrades. Significant course improvements began in 2003, like the addition of nine tee stations that stretch the course of over 7,000 yards in length and twenty-six additional bunkers since the course opened. Annual course adjustments have become the norm at Thornapple Pointe. Last fall the driving range tee was reconstructed nearly doubling the size of the tee, as well as adding a new target green 80 to 100 yards out depending on the tee location. Holes 1, 2, 11, and 12 have also been altered with new collection areas on 1 and 12, new bunkering on 11 and 12, and new tee boxes on hole 2. In 2011 a new short game practice area was added with two target greens and bunkering. The practice area is unique to the region in that you can practice a wide variety of short game shots up to 80 yards in length.
“All our changes are designed to make for a better experience for all levels of golfer,” said Sobieck. “We feel like we have made the course a better challenge for the skilled golfer while at the same time made it more playable and enjoyable for the average golfer.” Improvements for 2013 are already planned, and although Sobieck wouldn’t reveal what they are, he said “everything we do is related to improving the golfer experience.” Thornapple Pointe was the first to introduce on-cart GPS technology for pinpoint accuracy to the flagstick, that also doubles as a leader board with live scoring for any size group or outing. A permanent pavilion west of the clubhouse that seats up to 250 was added in 2006 and has been upgraded each year since. The Pavilion is now enclosed in glass and air conditioned and heated, allowing for all season events. It is clear that the goal of Thornapple Pointe is to put the golfer and their experience first; a measurable quality you’ll detect the moment you arrive. The little things do stand out, not to say you won’t appreciate special discounts you receive when booking and pre-paying on line, daily specials promoted throughout the season, or special pricing for groups and various tee times. Learn more about the experience that is Thornapple Pointe at www.thornapplepointe.com.
Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort AUGUSTA
YARDAGE 5 courses, 90 holes, varies by course ARCHITECT Darl Scott Family, Charles Scott, Jon Scott, William Mitchell YEAR OPENED First course opened in 1963 ADDRESS 7417 North 38th St., Augusta, MI 49012 PHONE/WEB SITE (800) 432-7971 www.GullLakeView.com
The family owned and operated Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort in Augusta celebrates its 51st season in 2013. The foundation established by Darl and Letha Scott remains the best combination of variety, playability, value and convenient travel time. Choose from five championship golf courses, enjoy extraordinary dining at Gull Lake View’s East Course Grill, settle in at the Fairway Villas, or plan an extended stay at either of Gull Lake View’s premier golf communities—Cranes Pond or The Woods at Stonehedge. The Fairway Villas are nestled in a densely wooded area surrounded by practice greens and bunkers. Each room has a kitchen, two bedrooms (two beds each), two bathrooms, dining room, family room and a balcony or patio with views of the East Course. The newest additions to the Resort this year is a new driving range at the Gull Lake View facility adjacent to the Fairway Villas, a new fleet of golf carts at Gull Lake View and a new men’s bathroom at Gull Lake View. Opened in 1963, the West course is the original of the 18-hole layouts. Landmarks are a mix of hills, valleys, woods and ponds blended into a mature test of golf. The front nine offers plenty of
opportunity to hit driver, and a tight, water hazard-driven back nine provides a challenge to all golfers. The 36-hole Stonehedge facility is conveniently located three miles from Gull Lake View. The championship South layout is carved through dense woods with tree-lined fairways and stone hedges. Stonehedge North offers grassy, wind-blown holes, forested topography, elevation changes and large greens. The unique paring of six par 5’s, six par 4’s and six par 3’s provide entertainment and great scoring opportunities for all golfers. Bedford Valley, named Michigan Golf Course of the Year Award by the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, is home to The Michigan Senior Open. Golf purists rave about Bedford Valley’s shot values and challenging layout—huge greens, large bunkers and fairways lined with mighty oaks and pines. Voted “Best Golf Course” by readers of the Kalamazoo Gazette in their 2010 and 2009, packages start at just $93 and include lodging at the Fairway Villas and provide unlimited play at all five courses. Also, located within 25 minutes of the resort are two new casinos for your evening enjoyment. Visit www.gulllakeview. com or call 800-432-7971 to book your 2013 golf vacation.
LochenHeath NEAR TRAVERSE CITY
YARDAGE 5,219-7,239 4 sets of tees ARCHITECTS Steve Smyers YEAR OPENED 2001; Grand Re-Opening April 2011 ADDRESS 7951 Turnberry Circle, Williamsburg, Michigan 49690 PHONE/WEB SITE 231-938-9800 www.lochenheath.com
The Traverse City area is famous for its golf courses. But even amid the region’s many offerings, LochenHeath is a true original. Since it first opened in 2001, this bayside golf club — which is only 15 miles from beautiful downtown Traverse City — has drawn rave reviews from golfers and the golf media alike. In fact, LochenHeath has been rated one of the top public courses by Golfweek and Golf Magazine. Designed within a 300-acre cherry orchard, LochenHeath borders Grand Traverse Bay, offering sweeping views of its deep blue waters. It is one of only a handful of northern Michigan courses crafted in the Scottish links style. The 7,239-yard-course features rolling terrain; wide-open fairways; and deep, well-placed bunkers, providing a welcome challenge for golfers who want to test their shot-making abilities. The sixth hole is situated right on the water’s edge, while most holes offer stunning views of the bay. Golfers who want to work on their game will enjoy a practice facility that is among the finest in Michigan. The practice
area features target greens and bunkers dotting the landing areas. There are two large putting greens along with a massive green for sand trap practice. There’s also a second green so golfers can practice approach shots and chipping. The practice area also features multi directional tees and a practice fairway bunker. LochenHeath’s pro shop is well stocked with a full line of merchandise and the latest apparel. Our staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to help golfers get the most out of their LochenHeath experience. The Restaurant at LochenHeath is much more than the typical “19th Hole”. Chef Joseph George has won numerous awards for his outstanding and varied menu. He and his team specialize in creative recipes featuring the finest local ingredients. The expansive views from the restaurant’s deck are a perfect complement to his amazing table fare. The restaurant offers a casual menu and fine dining nightly. LochenHeath welcomes public play as we grow our membership.
The Golf Academy at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa NEAR TRAVERSE CITY
YARDAGE 54 holes, varies by course ARCHITECTS Spruce Run - Bill Newcomb The Wolverine - Gary Player The Bear - Jack Nicklaus YEAR OPENED 1980 ADDRESS 100 Grand Traverse Blvd., Acme, MI 49610 PHONE/WEB SITE 800-748-0303 www.grandtraverseresort.com
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa’s Golf Academy has added stateof-the-art technology to help golfers improve their swings - the Foresight Sports GC2 Smart Camera System and Performance Simulator. The GC2 provides a comprehensive virtual depiction of a golfer’s launch conditions, shot shape and down range values – all in real time. It can be used to review shot dispersion and gap analysis of yardage from club to club. “Ball flight characteristics tell you everything that’s going on with your swing,” said Scott Hebert, the six-time Michigan PGA champion, six-time Michigan Open champion and winner of the 2008 national PGA Club Professional Championship. “I often tell my students that I can’t feel what you’re feeling, but if I can capture the data on ball flight characteristics, I can pretty much pinpoint why the ball is behaving the way it does.” The portable GC2 system has indoor/outdoor flexibility, so it can be used on the practice range, at the Golf Academy, and on Grand Traverse’s golf courses. The GC2 can be connected to a computer running Foresight Sports’ Performance Simulation software, enabling the staff to
convert virtually any space into a performance-driven golf simulator, which works very well for Grand Traverse’s indoor winter golf leagues. The Grand Traverse staff has Titleist club fitting certification, meaning they’re experts at interpreting data collected by devices such as the GC2. Studies have shown that 90 percent of golfers who are fitted using a launch monitor gain demonstrably improved performance with their new clubs. Men, women, and juniors of all abilities rely on the Golf Academy, open December-October and by appointment in November, offering private instruction, golf schools, on-course instruction, junior camps, corporate clinics, Titleist club fitting, and indoor winter golf leagues. The Golf Academy’s 2,000 square-foot building is yards away from three great courses – The Bear, The Wolverine, and Spruce Run. In winter months, it is the only learning center in Northern Michigan where golfers can see the flight of their ball, thanks to heated indoor-outdoor practice tees. For more information, call 800-236-1577 or visit www. grandtraverseresort.com.
Pilgrim’s Run PIERSON
YARDAGE 4,771/7,065; 4 sets of tees ARCHITECT Kris Shumaker and Mike DeVries YEAR OPENED 1998 ADDRESS 11401 Newcosta Ave., Pierson, MI 49339 PHONE/WEB SITE (888) 533-7742 www.pilgrimsrun.com
We all have our favorite golf course. And we don’t like to be pinned to having just one. We want the freedom to have several favorites. There’s our favorite “resort” course, or “links” course, or “private” course, or “local” course, or “upscale” course. Then there are holes that aid our memory of a favorite course; memorable par fives, fours and threes. Pilgrim’s Run is a favorite among legions of golfers. Perhaps it’s the ambling, quite, welcoming opening par 5. Looking down that fairway from the tee box; seeing the flag wave in the distance; taking in the towering pines that line the borders, just sets the mood for an enjoyable round of golf. It’s a setting unique to Pilgrim’s Run, not unlike any of your other favorites, albeit for different reasons. Pilgrim’s Run has an intriguing history in its design, too. While Mike DeVries is the noted architect who seamed all of the holes together, sculpted the greens and gave the course life, the owner empowered six people involved in the course’s construction to design three holes each. The radical approach resulted in a must-play venue and earned the course a top ten placement
among Michigan Golf ’s Top 50 Public Golf Courses ranking. Jeff O’Malley is the only Director of Golf Pilgrim’s Run has employed. He was there when two-time U.S. Open Champion Lee Janzen carded a 65 from the 7,100-yard gold tees. O’Malley quips about the course having “shot-value” and notes the courses’ “playability” as factors for being a public favorite. Price has a lot to do with where you rank a course among your favorite places to play, too. Greens fees at Pilgrim’s Run during peak season will be considerably less than you’d expect on a course of this caliber. During the summer months the aroma of outdoor grilled, half-pound brats and burgers waft across the course. Inside you’ll find the best half-pound hotdog known to golfers, as well as beer and wine. Each hole at Pilgrim’s Run is a verse in a poem of holes that culminate in a risk-reward par-4 unlike any you’ll play; from elevated tees on No. 18 you look out over a small lake to an elevated green 250 yards in the distance. A lot of folks go for it. Most walk away with doublebogey or worse. Each proclaims they’ll return and give the opus another go.
BENTON HARBOR/ST. JOSEPH
YARDAGE 18 holes, 6,861 Par 71 ARCHITECT Jack Nicklaus YEAR OPENED Preview open with 9 holes in 2009, 18 holes summer of 2010 ADDRESS 201 Graham Ave., Benton Harbor, MI 49022 PHONE/WEB SITE (269) 927-4653 www.harborshoreslife.com
Harbor Shores was introduced to the world just three years ago as Lake Michiganâ€™s first beach and golf community. Ideally located just 90 minutes from downtown Chicago, Harbor Shores is nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan in the cities of Benton Harbor and St Joseph and home to The First Tee of Benton Harbor. With five breathtaking beaches, towering sand dunes and panoramic views of Lake Michiganâ€™s bold blue waters, Harbor Shores is unlike any other community in Southwest Michigan. Harbor Shores has continued to become one of the most popular new real estate destinations in Michigan and in 2012 introduced the 17,500 square-foot golf clubhouse campus, unveiled the Nature & Fitness Trails, broke ground on the 100 slip marina, and announced the eight story boutique hotel, waterfront condominiums and new cottages. Memorial Day Weekend in 2012 presented an opportunity for Harbor Shores to showcase the community as the 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid was held
at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. The Championship was a resounding success with first-time Major winner Roger Chapman taking home the trophy after a masterful performance. As we begin 2013, residents and visitors alike look forward to continued momentum at Harbor Shores. With exciting additions to the community including the introduction of the Renaissance Athletic Club, construction of the first home in the Trailside neighborhood, completion of the marina and groundbreaking on the 100 room boutique hotel, it is easy to see why many new families are now calling Harbor Shores home. Looking ahead to 2014, Southwest Michigan golf fans will again get the opportunity to witness some of the best in Champions Tour golf as the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid returns to Harbor Shores. Make your visit to Southwest Michigan complete by visiting this exciting new community. For more information about Harbor Shores, visit www. harborshoreslife.com.
Otsego Club & Resort GAYLORD
YARDAGE Multiple Courses ARCHITECTS Robbins/Koch, Tribute William Diddel, The Classic YEAR OPENED The Classic, 1955 Tribute 2001 ADDRESS 696 E. Main Street M-32 Gaylord, MI 49734 PHONE/WEB SITE 800-752-5510 www.otsegoclub.com
The Otsego Club and Resort in Gaylord has been a prominent fixture in northern Michigan for over 70 years. The popular boutique resort combines one of the premier Midwest golf escapes with 36 holes in the middle of The Golf Mecca. Guests will be extremely pleased as they experience the Tribute course, designed by NBC golf commentator Gary Koch. Recently voted the 8th Best Public Golf Course in Michigan by Michigan Golf Magazine, the Tribute meanders through 1100 acres of the spectacular Sturgeon River Valley offering 40-mile views of northern hardwoods that stretch along the rushing headwaters of the Sturgeon River. Four to six tee boxes accommodate all levels of play and elevation changes will delight every player making the 7 ½ mile round trip. Koch did a masterful job with the Tribute saying it is extremely rare for an owner to give him carte blanche when it came to using a piece of property. At Otsego you can also feast on the Classic, a William H. Diddle design, which features some of the best greens in Northern Michigan.
The traditional “Country Club” design of the Classic provides a no gimmicks, honest approach to the game. The Classic is a sleeper amidst the big name resort courses in the area. A glance back from the #9 green offers the same panoramic twenty mile view as seen from the historic main lodge. Truly, you’d be hard pressed to find a more exhilarating golf package at one destination. The Otsego Club and Resort offers newly remodeled 117 lodge rooms, suites and condominiums, over 24,000 square feet of meeting space, and restaurants, including the award-winning Duck Blind Grille and The Pontresina – a multi-year winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The grand ballroom accommodating up to 300 guests, along with our additional wedding facilities, makes Otsego the perfect choice for your rehearsal dinner, intimate wedding or grand gala. Begin planning today for your next or first visit to Otsego Club and Resort and discover some of the magic that is the Gaylord Golf Mecca. Visit www.otsegoclub. com for more details.
Eagle Eye/Hawk Hollow BATH
YARDAGE 5,151/7,308; 5 sets of tees ARCHITECT Chris Lutzke YEAR OPENED 2003 ADDRESS 15101 Chandler Road, Bath, MI 48808 PHONE/WEB SITE (888) 411-4295 www.hawkhollow.com
Hawk Hollow Golf Properties has become the standard of excellence for golf destinations in the Midwest. This four course complex is located in the heart of mid-Michigan, three miles north of East Lansing and the campus of Michigan State University. Eagle Eye Golf Club, designed by Chris Lutzke in collaboration with renowned architect Pete Dye, was named the 5th best new upscale course in America for 2004 by Golf Digest magazine. Since then the course has consistently been rated a “Top 50 in America” golf destination by Golf Weekly and Golf World. “Some of my course designs are pretty bad, but this one is good,” remarked Dye during the grand opening. “It’s got a lot of ambience. It has a great look. This course is good enough to host any championship.” Indeed it is, having hosted three U.S. Open qualifying tournaments, five Michigan PGA Championships, and numerous collegiate events. The clubhouse overlooks a lake and the 9th and 18th holes—dramatic par fives. The signature 17th hole is a true replica of the famed island green seen each year at The Players Championship.
Across the street from Eagle Eye is Hawk Hollow Golf Course, a worthy 27-hole complement designed by Michigan native Jerry Matthews. Manicured fairways wind through stately hardwoods and beautiful wetlands. The large green complexes offer challenging but fair opportunities to truly enjoy the game. The clubhouse offers a lake view and a veranda to watch the action on hole 18. Both Hawk Hollow and Eagle Eye are exceptional locations for golf outings, weddings and tournaments. There is even a wedding chapel on the grounds at Hawk Hollow. In addition to the two championship courses, there are three full size, target style practice ranges, three large practice putting greens and a short game practice area. The Falcon Golf Course is a nine hole walking course (carts are available). This beautifully maintained course is enjoyable for all ages and skill levels. And the Little Hawk Putting Course is an 18 hole, all natural grass putting course—complete with waterfalls and bunkers; one of only a handful in the country.
Ravines, Timber Ridge, Quail Ridge
This Jerry Matthews design earns its name honestly. The terrain – which boasts the highest elevation point in Lansing – and the timber offer a challenging game in a pristine setting that continues to excite golfers of all skill levels. Timber Ridge’s 6,400 yards in length keeps it from being a brute, while requiring accuracy off the tee and long irons on several of the par 4’s. Timber Ridge Golf Club is a stern but pleasurable test of shot making skill. The bentgrass greens are as well conditioned and maintained as any you will putt on. Each cart is equipped with full-screen GPS imagery for distance accuracy. Timber Ridge has earned a reputation as a premier place to hold charity outings, as well as leagues and weddings. Learn more, become a member or make tee times at www.golftimberridge.com.
Five-time Michigan Open champion Randy Erskine had a hand in this Ray Hearn design. His input helped map a golf course that will challenge the most accomplished golfer while providing delight to the most novice of players. Located in Ada, Quail Ridge is a golf course complete with elevation changes, rolling terrain and a combination of woodlands and wetlands that add uniqueness beyond the usual. Expansive tee stations allow for five sets
of tees. The fairways are as wide as any you’ll ever play and the receptive greens are equally generous in size, to the extent that the par 3 ninth hole and the par 5 finishing hole share a green. For 2013 sod wall bunkers were added to several holes. The short game practice facility and driving range have few equals. Quail Ridge can accommodate leagues, outings, banquets and weddings. Book tee times at www.quailridgegc.com.
Arnold Palmer has penned his name to several Michigan golf courses, but nothing rivals Ravines near the shores of Lake Michigan. Saugatuck is reason enough to visit, but golfers will revel in the challenge and beauty of a setting coursed by several ravines from which sets the namesake apart from all others. Virgin stands of giant hemlock accentuate the secluded setting, adding a dimension not experienced on more traditional wooded settings. The par 5s are especially exhilarating, as is one par 3 precariously pitched along a 60-foot ravine. Arnie’s Cottage is a great place to grab a bite and a beverage and just hang out after your round. Five sets of tees enable all levels of golfers to dial in a distance suited to their skill level. The Ravines builds custom golf packages and boasts a great membership base. Visit www.ravinesgolfclub.com to learn more.