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4TH HOLE, HILLS COURSE EVAN SCHILLER PHOTOGRAPHY
A STUDY IN ACADEMICS |
The heritage of golf, and its link to university life, can be found in Michigan.
32 THE MANISTEE SECRET |
The northern Michigan region remains a hidden gem of golfing destinations.
ON THE COVER: EAGLE EYE GOLF COURSE
40 SUMMER ESCAPE: SUNRISE COAST |
With golf, beer, wine, and sunrises abundant, Lake Huronâ€™s coastal region offers up a popular foursome for the fairway getaway.
60 MOUNTAIN RESORT FAIRWAYS |
More than five decades ago, one man with a vision planted the seed for a northern Michigan region to become an international resort and golf destination.
University of Michigan Golf Course Evan Schiller Photography
BRIAN WALTERS PHOTOGRAPHY
GOLF SPA SHOP DINE CASINO
GET UP AND GO The paradise of golf in Northern Michigan is more than a manicured green, orchard-lined fairway or battling The Bear. More than award-winning course design, spacious Clubhouse or veteran instructors. It’s having all of those things at your fingertips. You won’t believe it if you haven’t seen it. Get up and go at GrandTraverseResort.com/Golf.
#gtresort Owned and Operated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
AT THE TABLE: WITH PAUL BEACHNAU |
The Golf Explorer: Michiganâ€™s Journal to Incredible Golf catches up with the Executive Director of the Gaylord Area Convention and Tourism Bureau.
take a look at some of the airports providing convenient access to incredible golf in Michigan
48 THE COACHING CORNER |
Golf lessons and instruction have evolved from the days of golfers simply plunking money down for about an hour of swing tips and new grips.
Patti Butcher PGA Professional, LPGA Professional, Owner, Instructor | Grand Rapids, MI
COURTESY APPLE MOUNTAIN
From the editor While the golfing season may have had a slower
start this year as the stubborn crisp air of winter lingered, the last few weeks have been unseasonably warm and cloudless for the state of Michigan. Whether paired with a refreshing breeze off one of the Great Lakes, a clear view of the landscape, or a cold refreshment at the 19th hole, Michigan’s golf season beckons—and doesn’t disappoint. In the second summer digital issue of our annual golf lifestyle publication highlighting the game, the people, and the destinations in the Great Lakes State, we take a moment to catch up with several coaches across the state who are bringing their own characteristic and modern take to instruction; consider the history of Boyne Resorts’ collection of golf courses; and travel to Manistee County to learn what hidden gem fairways lay waiting. We also look to the Sunrise Coast, where golf, wine, beer, and breathtaking sunrises make for a popular foursome; consider the university-related courses throughout the state; and pull up a chair to the table with the Executive Director of the Gaylord Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. We welcome you to the fifth edition of The Golf Explorer. Come escape to Michigan. Rachel J. Weick Editor | SVK Multimedia and Publishing The Golf Explorer: Michigan’s Journal to Incredible Golf
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CONTRIBUTORS WRITERS Greg Johnson Riley Collins
EDITOR Rachel J. Weick
PHOTOGRAPHERS Kevin Frisch, Fusion Media Strategies Evan Schiller Brian Walters Photography Nile Young, Nile Young Photography
CREATIVE AND DESIGN Chris H. Pastotnik | H3 Designs
CIRCULATION David Fant, Market Mapping Plus
PUBLISHER John C. Olsa
PRINTING AND MAILING Walsworth Printing Holland Litho
ADVERTISING SALES John C. Olsa email@example.com
The Golf Explorer is printed once per year, with 83,000 copies printed each issue and 79,000 via direct mail to our database. PO Box 586 Hudsonville, MI 49426 (616) 379-4001 michigangolfexplorer.com/contact-us/ ©2018 All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or reproduced without written consent of publisher. Advertising rates found at michigangolfexplorer.com SVK Media & Publishing is not responsible for unsolicited materials or contributions.
LEGAL Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge
Kim Amesbury, Advertising Sales firstname.lastname@example.org
ACCOUNTING Pennell CPA Fred Pennell, CPA, CGMA Brian Furness, CPA
Jamie Jewell, Advertising Sales email@example.com
FINANCE Lake Michigan Credit Union
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Bay Harbor Golf Club The Quarry • Hole #6
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Golf Explorer Package ALL-INCLUSIVE GOLF IN CADILLAC, MICHIGAN
Nile Young | PHOTOGRAPHER With a portfolio spanning more than 400 courses across the globe, Nile Young is among the foremost photographers in the industry. His library includes some of finest golf properties in the world, including: The Old Course at St Andrews, Michigan’s Arcadia Bluffs, Tucker’s Point in Bermuda, Florida’s StreamSong Resort, Wisconsin’s Whistling Straits, and Mexico’s Mayacoba. Nile’s expertise extends to lifestyle, portraiture, and architectural imagery for many of the world’s top resort brands, including Wyndham, Walt Disney World Golf, Four Seasons, World Golf Village, Hilton, and Waldorf Astoria, among others. His work has been published in such notable titles as Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, and Links Magazine, as well as the Sports Illustrated and Jack Nicklaus calendars.
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CALL TO BOOK! 231-775-9947 Newly renovated rooms Two on-site restaurants Indoor pool, jacuzzi, and sauna Several partner courses nearby Prices are per golfer, based on double occupancy, and include all applicable taxes. Rates are not valid with current bookings, outings, or leagues. Subject to lodging and tee time availability. Valid throughout the 2018 season only.
Greg Johnson | WRITER Greg Johnson has written about Michigan golf for 34 years, and owns a media services business in Hudsonville. He serves as co-chair of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Committee, and in 2012, the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association presented him with the Bruce Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award.
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AT THE TABLE: WITH
Paul Beachnau BY GREG JOHNSON
Paul Beachnau is the
Executive Director of the Gaylord Area Convention and Tourism Bureau, which includes the Gaylord Golf Mecca division. Beachnau has directed the Gaylord Golf Mecca since its inception in 1987 as a group marketing effort for golf courses and resorts in the area, such as: Treetops Resort, Otsego Resort, The Loon Golf Resort, Michaywé Pines Golf Course, The Natural at Beaver Creek Resort, Black Lake Golf Club, Gaylord Country Club, and Indian River Golf Club. Beachnau is 55-years-old, single, has two children—Abby, 17-years-old, and Timmy, 16-years-old—and a Golden Retriever named Mac. Beachnau does not keep a golf handicap, but he said it would fall between 18 and 22.
“I’m a good scramble golfer,” Beachnau said. “I enjoy scrambles. I enjoy playing golf and I hit the occasional good shot.” When not working, Beachnau is partial to the outdoors where he snowshoes, cross-country skis, downhill skis, and loves to get away to the Upper Peninsula and his cabin in the aptly named town of Paradise. The Golf Explorer: Michigan’s Journal to Incredible Golf had a chance to talk with him recently.
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• Golf Digest 2013 — #39 on “America’s Top 50 Courses for Women.”
• Golf Digest 2013 — #69 on “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.”
• Golf for Women — Top 100 Women — Friendly Courses in 2001.
• Golf Week 2013 — #6 “Best Courses to play in Michigan.”
• Golf Week 2014 — #5 “Best Courses to play in Michigan.”
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What is the best part of working in golf?
I love the fact anybody—any age, any shape, or size—can play it; so you have a great audience for marketing. Take basketball: If you are six-foot-seven-inches [tall], you are probably going to be better than others at basketball. Golf ’s not that way. It is for anybody—male, female, short, tall, anybody—and I find that very appealing to work with. The hardest part of my job is trying to keep ahead of changes in technology with regards to marketing. It always seems like something new is coming on board, and it is I the greatest thing. First there was Facebook, then Twitter, then Instagram, and then on and on in social media and in other areas. The constant change is a blessing and a curse. Sometimes people get lost in it and just throw up their hands. I’ve found you have to do your best to stay proficient with it all and try your best to keep up with it.
What is your best golf shot ever?
I have Tommy Armour irons. I’ve had them a long time and I love them. People tease me about them and tell me I should get new clubs, but I hit them well. My driver is a Nike and it is three- or fouryears-old. My favorite club is a TaylorMade 9-wood I use from anywhere between 150-to-180 yards.
What is the hardest part of your job?
What clubs do you play?
1/23/18 2:33 PM
I can tell you my three best golf shots ever. It was at Royal Scot Golf Course in Lansing. I eagled a par-5 hole when I was playing with my brothers. I hit the best drive of my life, followed by the best 3-wood of my life on the green, and then I sunk a 15-foot-putt. Playing with my brothers made it really special. Of course, I then fell apart and finished 8-over on that nine [holes] or something like that.
Do you play golf outside the mecca?
My job in tourism allows me to travel and be in golf outings in various places. I see a lot of other places, but all my favorite courses are in the Mecca.
Do you have a favorite player on tour?
I really like Jordan Spieth. I’m a Jordan Spieth fan. He is a really fine young man, very polite, and to me he stands for what the game is all about. I’ve also always been a Phil Mickelson fan. He has always been a gentleman and great player, and I did
have a chance to meet him when he was up here one year for the Par-3 Shootout at Treetops. He stayed and signed a lot of autographs for whoever wanted them, and he had great things to say about the area and playing golf in the area. It was a really nice experience.
Who are the three people you most enjoy playing golf with?
I haven’t played with them in a while, but it is my brother Pat and my two nephews Adam and Joe. We once played all five Treetops courses in two days. I’ve also been on trips with them, like one down to Louisville. It’s a fun group. We mix it up and play a lot of different games on the course.
What is your dream foursome?
Mark Dantonio, Tom Izzo, and Pope Francis would be it.
Do you ever just want to get away from golf?
I try to get out to all the Mecca courses, because sometimes people want to play. Playing at a Mecca course is a lot like work to me though. I worry in a good way about
how busy it might me, what the others are thinking about the course conditions, and then also what ways I can market the course. My mind is usually racing, because I’m thinking are we promoting them enough, and are we getting the best features out there.
What are your duties as executive director of the Gaylord Golf Mecca? One of my duties is making sure we stay
cohesive as a group. We have seen a lot of success with this model of courses working together. I strive to make sure our group is harmonious, because I’ve always believed in working together. It is also my job to help increase rounds and revenue for our member courses. I want Gaylord golf to be king. I want it to be the golf place to go to in the United States, so I work on programs to increase rounds and revenue.
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A study in academics
University of Michigan Golf Course
COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
The heritage of golf, and its link to university life, can be found in Michigan. By Greg Johnson
hen Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan decided to add a golf course to campus in 1994, Terry Sack transitioned from his role as Assistant Vice President for Campus Operations and Planning and was charged as the General Manager with making The Meadows Golf Course work as both a public and university course. Sack decided to go back to school to prepare and started visiting other university courses in the United States. His early research found nearly 106 universities with golf courses—some with more than one. There were about seven universities in Michigan with courses, including three institutions with two courses. For the next 10 years, Sack visited more than 50 locations, and all of the courses in Michigan. Michigan’s university-related courses comprise: University of Michigan Golf Course, Radrick Farms Golf Course—owned by University of Michigan—Michigan State University’s Forest Akers West and East courses, Oakland University’s Katke-Cousins and The R&S Sharf golf courses, Eastern Michigan University’s Eagle Crest Golf Club, Katke Golf Club at Ferris State University, Michigan Technological University’s Portage Lake Golf Course, and Grand Valley State University’s The Meadows. Terry Moore of Grand Rapids—a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and elected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2011—conducted a study on university courses and found nearly 150 university-affiliated courses across the country. Moore’s public relations company used to represent The Meadows, and some of Moore’s findings can be found on the golf course’s website. “I never would have guessed how many university golf courses there were, and I really needed a resource on how other universities did things because a university golf course is a different animal,” Sack said, in reference to his initial interest he admitted turned into a passion. He retired last year and the long-time Head Golf Professional and former Head Coach of the Men’s Golf Team at GVSU, Don Underwood, is now serving as General Manager. Underwood said Sack went out and found out the best way to run university golf courses. “He made a study of it, and it shaped the way things are done here,” Underwood said. “A university course is different than a public or private venue in several ways, and for me, the
Oakland University, R&S Sharf Golf Course
biggest difference is the variety of customers you have, from the public, to students, faculty and staff, alumni groups, and special events on campus. Our president at the time the course was built—Don Lubbers—wanted a golf course that would host tournaments, and we do a lot of that.” Moore’s study traced golf and universities sharing what he called common ground back to the 1400s. St. Andrews is the celebrated home of golf with the Old Course, and St. Andrews University was founded in 1413 as Scotland’s first university. “One of the early courses in the United States was the Yale University Golf Club that opened in 1926. Yale and Harvard dominated the NCAA championship, between them winning the first 19 titles,” Moore stated. “The game began spreading to the Midwest with Alister MacKenzie designing two courses at Ohio State and one at [University of] Michigan. The Wolverine teams of 1934 and 1935 ended the Ivy League team domination and John Fischer of Michigan won the individual title in 1932 and Chuck Kocsis, en route to being named Michigan’s Golfer of the Century, won in 1936.” 26
Sack said on his tours, usually done in February, he did not play golf. “Everybody thinks that, but I would visit two or three facilities in a day,” Sack said. “I made it as far East as the University of Maryland and West to Lubbock, Texas, and Texas Tech. I would just show up, ask for a cart and make a quick tour. I could tell a lot about an operation just by seeing the facility, and the ones that impressed me, I called back from Michigan and asked my questions.” Sack also said the university course is unique among golf. “You report to somebody in the organization, and in this case it is a university, and not all do it the same. Some report to the athletic departments, some to the business department like I did, and also some to a Vice President like I did for a while,” Sack said. “There is dealing with golf teams, meshing with athletics, dealing with alumni, student rates, how to handle university golf events versus non-university golf events, food service, and all those things I needed to learn. There were really a hundred questions I had that a private or public golf course person would not COURTESY OAKLAND UNIVERSITY
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Grand Valley State University, The Meadows
have or care about, because they are not part of a university or serving one,” Sack added. Under the direction of Sack and Underwood, The Meadows meshed with public golf and the university, and even the Laker golf teams and athletic department. The Meadows has hosted nine NCAA national championship tournaments: six for women and three for men. It has also served roughly 27 times as a host for the Michigan High School Athletic Association state championship tournaments as well as countless other events for junior golf. It’s a links-style course designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan, the 2007 winner of the prestigious Donald Ross Award from the American Society of Golf Course Architects, and it is also busy as a host to public outings and daily fee golfers. At the University of Michigan, the university course is across the street from the football stadium, with Radrick Farms nearby. The higher academic institution-related courses are essentially standout semi-private courses with eligibility for play restrictions to members, alumni, students, and staff. The university course is one of two MacKenzie designs in the state, with the other being the internationally ranked Crystal Downs in Frankfort. It has also COURTESY GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
hosted several Golf Association of Michigan tournaments, as well as NCAA and Big Ten tournaments for the university golf teams. University of Michigan’s other course, Radrick Farms, is on property gifted to the institution by Frederick C. Matthaei Sr., who is an alumnus and regent. It was designed by Pete Dye and founded in 1965. A recent renovation of the clubhouse at the University of Michigan has also been greatly received in the campus community, and recently hosted the annual meeting of the Golf Association of Michigan. Its often-rival and westward neighbor, Michigan State University, invested in a nearly $1 million renovation of its Forest Akers West course in 1992 by Arthur Hills, former Spartan golfer and with Arthur Hills and Associates. While its Forest Akers East course was also redesigned in 1997 from a par-71 to a par-72, both have been on campus since 1958. The West is the more difficult course and hosts the college teams and various NCAA and Big Ten tournaments. Though the East is a popular place for the junior golfers in Michigan, both courses also host Michigan High School Athletic Association competitions and present the Spartan Golf Academy. In more recent years, MSU debuted a state-of-theart practice facility for its golf teams with the $6 milMICHIGANGOLFEXPLORER.COM
lion, 15,000-square-foot Lasch Family Golf Center in 2016, which is a gleaming part of the sprawling facility grounds. Northwest of Detroit at Oakland University, the two courses featured at the institution comprise: Oakland University Golf & Learning Center, and a Rick Smith Academy. Oakland University’s Katke-Cousins course is the original course for the property, and like the R&S Sharf Course, is considered private. The Sharf is a Rick Smith modern design winding through some dramatic property, and the Katke-Cousins course is a Bill Newcomb design and more traditional with its tree-lined, parkland-style layout. Both have hosted several collegiate and professional tournaments. The Michigan PGA Professional Championship has been contested there in recent years, and the Michigan High School Athletic Association state championships also use the site. Located nearby in Ypsilanti Township, Eastern Michigan University’s Eagle Crest Golf Club is open to the public and home to the Eastern Michigan collegiate golf teams. Officially known as the Roy E. Wilbanks Eagle Crest Golf Club, the original course designer was Karl Litten in 1989, with major renovations completed in 2012 by Jim Lipe. It is a scenic and significant golf test and hosts collegiate competitions on a regular basis. It also features a PGA Teaching Academy.
Eastern Michigan University, Eagle Crest Golf Club 30
Katke Golf Club at Ferris State University is a Frank Beard-design that also serves as home to the Professional Golf Management Program for institution, which was the first in the country sanctioned by the PGA of America to train golf professionals for public and private facilities in 1975. The course, tree-lined and parkland in style, is open to the public, and hosts various collegiate and high school competitions as well as seminars and other events related to the PGM programming. Currently, a new PGM Learning Center known as the Ken Janke Sr. Golf and Learning Center is under construction and will also serve as the home of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. The late Janke was a founder of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, and his family made a significant gift toward the new PGM facility. Journeying a little farther North to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan Technological University’s Portage Lake Golf Course just outside of Houghton, Michigan is a regular spot for university events. Only three miles from the main campus, the course is a Golf Association of Michigan member despite the fact golf is not among the 14 other sports in which the university fields NCAA teams. The 18-hole course settled on nearly 160 acres provides two nine-course layouts known as Pilgrim and Portage.
Ferris State University, Katke Golf Club
LEFT: COURTESY EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY; RIGHT: FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
1/16/18 MICHIGANGOLFEXPLORER. COM1:40 PM
The Manistee secret
Manistee National Golf & Resort
Doug Bell, PGA professional and general manager for Manistee National Golf & Resort, remains amazed. MICHIGANGOLFEXPLORER.COM
Arcadia Bluffs 34
within 20 minutes of Downtown Cadillac
hile Bell has been managing and marketing the Manistee National Golf & Resort and promoting golf in Manistee County as the secret nobody has heard about for nearly 19 years, he still finds people who have not heard about it. “After 19 years it still feels that way. We still have golfers and groups tell us they just found out about us,” Bell said. “If they do come over once, they come back year after year,” Bell added. Bell grew up in Cadillac, Michigan, went through the Ferris State University Professional Golf Management Program, and is a licensed pilot. He knows Manistee golf from the ground level up to the sky, and all the other angles in between. Bell noted he likes that golf properties in the county work together—even the big diamond, as he calls it; internationally acclaimed Arcadia Bluffs. “We have Lake Michigan close by and that gives people who visit a different mindset,” Bell said. “There’s a different feeling when you are near the water under a clear blue sky. I would say 95 percent of the people who golf with us don’t use the [lake], but they like being near it and being able to go over and see it and just that feeling of being near it.” Manistee National, Bell’s charge, features the Canthooke Valley and the Cutters Ridge courses and pays homage to the timber industry history of what is now the Manistee National Forest, by first artfully placing its 36 holes of golf across two courses among the tall trees. The two-distinctly-different-courses at the resort, Canthooke Valley and Cutters’ Ridge, are also aptly named, because a canthooke is a tool historically used to pull logs down the river, and the term cutter refers to a lumberjack. The Canthooke course is a more traditional golf layout by Gary Pulsipher, while Cutters’ Ridge—a Jerry Matthews design—winds through the wetlands and marshes with a more modern target approach. While Canthooke is the friendlier course and Cutters’ Ridge the more challenging, they make for a great 36 holes of golf in one day for those who can’t get enough. “I don’t know if it is more the price-point or the quality-to-price-point or a little bit of everything, but we are doing very well with two very good golf courses here,” Bell said.
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“We have really good food. We are not Boyne, or Shanty Creek, or even Crystal Mountain with all that infrastructure around us. We are smaller. We get to know our staff members. We get to know our customers by their first names. I want my staff to get to know them like our friends and not our customers.” The two courses at Manistee National are among nine total in the county, which includes a second course known as the South course set to open later this summer at Arcadia Bluffs. Arcadia Bluffs has promised a dramatically different, yet classic course with its latest venture. It has already become an international golf destination with its award-winning first golf course on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. The Nantucket-style clubhouse, restaurant, and lodging complete a facility that Bell admits changed everything for golf when it opened in 1999.
Manistee National Golf & Resort 36
“More people come to the area, because of Arcadia, we know that, and we embrace it. We have groups that play Arcadia, but also stay with us and play our courses, too. We get that reaction ‘hey this is pretty good over here, too,’” Bell said. “We’ve even had groups where some of them play Arcadia, and some of them play with us, because Arcadia is too difficult for them or they like our price-point better. Still, Arcadia is that big diamond that attracts attention for the whole state, but the other courses in the area benefit from it,” Bell added. Manistee Golf & Country Club, which is open to the public—not to be confused with Manistee National—and yet it is another popular golf stop in the county. It’s a smaller par-71 course depending on tee choice weaving through heather, sand dunes, and mature trees; it offers stunning views of
Lake Michigan. It has parkland and links design characteristics and has been around since 1901 on a bluff within the city limits of Manistee. The Heathlands in Onekema, Michigan is a more modern design by Jeff Gorney, but with classic features and plays reaching more than 6,500 yards from the championship tees. It’s inland with elevation changes and fun twists and turns. Bear Lake Highlands Golf Club features a layout offering up some challenging water hazards, and yet remains very playable with four sets of tees. Chestnut Hills Golf Club, also in Bear Lake, is another pleasant public venue that presents as family-friendly—it is, as well as golfer-friendly. Fawn Crest Golf Course in Wellston, Michigan has just nine holes, and offers a nice tour through towering trees of the Manistee National Forest.
Bell said Manistee golf stands with the other golf areas in the state, and perhaps stands out a bit as well, even if it still feels like it’s a secret. “Hey, we still do our hook ‘em and slice ‘em,” Bell said. “We coordinate Salmon fishing charters where folks can go out and catch their fish, bring it back, and we cook it up and serve it to you that evening, maybe after some golf. We do things a little different over here maybe. You can have a lot of fun on this coastline.”
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With golf, beer, wine, and sunrises abundant, Lake Huronâ€™s coastal region offers up a popular foursome for the fairway getaway. BY GREG JOHNSON MICHIGANGOLFEXPLORER.COM
Golf, beer, and wine in Michigan
makes for a popular foursome. While often less recognized, things have been brewing and fermenting for quite some time in the Northeast region of the Lower Peninsula, which for several years has marketed itself as the Sunrise Coast of the Great Lakes State. Through word-of-mouth, and calling on friends and fellow golfers, The Golf Explorer: Michiganâ€™s Journal to Incredible Golf surveyed some of the recommended stops for golf, beer brewing and tasting, and wine tasting in the area East of Interstate 75 covering destinations, such as: Grayling, Gaylord, Mackinaw City, Oscoda, Alpena, the Tawas Bay Area, and Lake Huron.
Lakewood Shores Golf Resort in Oscoda, Michigan features three golf courses, such as the award-winning favorite: The Gailes. The links-style course, complete with sod bunkers, gives the golfer the quintessential taste of golf found in Scotland. It truly is a unique golf experience in this state, especially when the wind blows. In Harrisville, Michigan, brothers Steve and John Ashford formed a partnership more than 30 years ago to buy the nearly 157 acres across Springport Road from Lake Huron and create the 18-hole Loggers Trace course to go with an original nine-hole
Lakewoods Shores The Gailes
Lakewood Shores Golf Course, The Gailes 42
Harbor Shores COURTESY LAKEWOOD SHORES
layout known as Springport Hills. It’s an affordable public stop and a bit of a hidden gem. Red Hawk Golf Club in East Tawas, Michigan welcomes golfers to its classic Red Hawk Golf Course with iconic golf architecture elements of the 1920s. Designed by Arthur Hills, the diverse terrain puts Michigan’s natural features on display with some stunning vistas. It’s off the beaten path, but well worth the trip. Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman, Michigan has a fun public golf course that is a little harder than it might appear on paper. It’s challenging, but fun and the popular resort offers up many other activities for those traveling with the golfer. Owner Jack Mathias, a long-time proponent of the area, designed the course.
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The Boathouse Beer Co.
Wiltse’s Brew Pub in Oscoda, Michigan is touted as the third brew pub in Michigan when it opened in December of 1994. Friends pointed out that the Paul Bunyan Ale and Blue Ox Stout they brew on-site is great, and the food, especially the steaks, is great, too. They also have a nice outdoor patio. Biere De Mac Brew Works is just south of Mackinaw City and is worth the stop just to sip a brew and see the scenic views of the Mackinac Bridge. It’s owned and operated by the Ran44
ville family, has 14 brews on tap, and a full menu. The family has roots in the straits back to the French fur trade. To the South, along the shore of Lake Huron, the Boathouse Beer Co. & Boozery in Tawas City is considered one of the area’s top beer and food stops, and the mural painting on the brink front of the establishment of a boat is creative and eye-catching. They have the best brews from top craft brewing companies across Michigan on tap. In Gaylord, the Dead Bear Brewing Co. has more than a unique name. They have four of their own beers on tap, and several others. Food reviews are positive, too. One friend called it the best wings-beer option he has found on his last four golf trips.
Rose Valley Winery in Rose City, Michigan, by any other name would smell as sweet, to reference the great literary playwright Shakespeare. The aptly named winery makes quality wines from locally grown, cold-hardy grapes, delivering well-balanced, fruity, and priced-to-please whites, reds, blends, desserts, and ports. The Rhubarb-Strawberry wine has been touted as a winner. COURTESY THE BOATHOUSE BEER CO.
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In Alpena, Michigan, the Stoney Acres Winery offers a wide variety of products using outsourced fruit through local farmers. Founded in 1999 by the Gagnon family, the winery delivers signature wines ranging from dry to semi-sweet in nearly all varieties. They will also help amateur vintners with supplies and ingredients. Harrisville, Michigan is also home to one of the six Modern Craft Wines tasting rooms on the East side of Michigan, and they are not your traditional wine stop. Call them a curve ball: They are designed to be mixed with other drinks and beverages to make cocktails or fusion drinks. Nicholas' Black River Vineyard & Winery in Cheboygan, Michigan brings approximately 14 wine products of their own to the table, including an oft-mentioned Black River Red. Tours of the vineyard and winemaking room are welcome, and the winery also has a tasting room in Mackinaw Crossings on Huron Street in Mackinaw City.
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The coaching BY GREG JOHNSON
g corner Golf lessons and instruction have evolved from the days of golfers simply plunking money down for about an hour of swing tips and new grips. The busiest and most successful golf instructors or teachers have become coaches, because they try to work with the student on a continuing basis to deal with all aspects of the game mentally and physically. The Golf Explorer: Michiganâ€™s Journal to Incredible Golf takes a look at five Michigan-based golf coaches and their modern approach to training, guidance, and development in the game of golf.
CHESTNUT HILLS Par Yardage Slope Rating
ARCADIA ARCADIA BLUFFS Championship Tees Back Tees Middle Tees Forward Tees
Par Yardage Slope Rating
72 72 72 73
7,300 147 75.4 6,702 137 72.8 6,244 129 70.3 5,107 121 70.1
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IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN
BEAR LAKE COUNTY HIGHLANDS
The variety of courses in Manistee County rivals those in the best known areas of the state. The tree-lined fairways that cut through the national forest and the vistas of Lake Michigan are what sets Manistee County apart. All within thirty minutes of one another, seven championship courses and one executive courses grace the hills and valleys of Manistee County and welcome golfers of all skill levels each and every year.
Par Yardage Slope Rating
Champ. Tees 72 6,477 124 71.1 72 6,114 120 69.4 Back Tees Middle Tees 72 5,359 111 66.0 Forward Tees 73 5,114 120 69.9
Explore all that golf and the summer season has to offer in Manistee County now:
Champ. Tees Back Tees Middle Tees Forward Tees
Par Yardage Slope Rating
72 72 72 72
6,569 139 72.3 6,030 128 69.1 5,336 120 65.1 4,437 112 66.4
MANISTEE GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB Par Yardage Slope Rating
White Tees Red Tees Gold Tees
70 5,614 130 68.1 71 4,942 126 69.3 71 4,316 115 64.5
CITY OF MANISTEE
MANISTEE NATIONAL GOLF & RESORT Canthooke Valley
Blue Tees White Tees Gold Tees RedTees
Par Yardage Slope Rating
71 71 71 71
6,517 6,127 5,288 4,767
131 128 121 116
71.2 69.2 65.6 67.5
Black Tees Blue Tees White Tees Gold Tees Red Tees
Par Yardage Slope Rating
71 71 71 71 71
6,654 6,321 5,819 5,301 4,571
149 144 130 128 125
73.9 72.0 69.1 67.6 68.8
PGA Professional, Instructor Grand Rapids, MI
Raquel Bryant has put her teaching philosophy to paper and it starts with a statement. Her goal as an instructor is to positively impact the life of every student she teaches. Bryant, 30-years-old, has been influencing students for almost 10 years at Thousand Oaks Golf Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She graduated from Ferris State University’s Professional Golf Management Program in 2009 and played on the nationally competitive women’s golf team. “As far as the mechanics of the golf swing, I have learned a lot from Charley Vandenberg that I incorporate into my teaching,” Bryant said. “I developed my teaching philosophy by learning from other teachers and from my own experience in teaching and learning. I always start with the fundamentals of grip, posture, alignment, and I teach the game comprehensively.”
Bryant, who is the 2015 Michigan PGA Youth Player Development Award winner, works with ladies, juniors, and high school players, and provides both individual and group lessons. She also is a PGA Junior League coach. Bryant said in starting work with a student she makes sure they learn the most practical things. “I have most students write down their clubs in order and we figure out their distances. For a beginner, this is monumental as they can now know what club to use where on the course without asking for help,” Bryant said. “For a junior tournament golfer, I have them go through their bag to make sure they have everything they need to be prepared. When I teach, I am not just teaching the mechanics of the game, and I offer a well-rounded approach to prepare a student for the course.” Bryant loves being able to work with
students long-term. “This goes for the beginner golfer who has never held a club, to the advanced player who wants to shoot their best scores ever,” Bryant said. “This year we have focused many of our programs on how to teach students to practice efficiently in a way that helps them transfer their skills to the course.” Bryant also noted the golf instructor should be just one of the coaches for a golfer. “As an instructor I can’t be there 24/7 to encourage a student to practice or watch them play in tournaments,” Bryant said. “I think golfers need other people in their life to do fill that role, such as a parent for a youth golfer.” Bryant said she has her dream job, and that her favorite part of teaching is building relationships with students throughout the years. “I love getting to know them and helping them to improve,” Bryant said. “I also love seeing a student improve and meet their goals, even if it’s something as small as keeping score for the first time.”
Butcher PGA Professional, LPGA Professional, Owner, Instructor | Grand Rapids, MI
Patti Butcher, owner, instructor, and coach at Patti Butcher Golf Enterprises—A Golf Channel Academy at Scott Lake Country Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is not surprised that more golf instructors have become coaches who stay involved with their students beyond the first lesson or two. “I’m mostly surprised by how many still aren’t doing it,” Butcher said. “The consumer used to expect the old hour package, and there was always that separation between what the consumer expects and what really helps them.” Butcher has been teaching golf for 30 years, with 25 of those years in the Grand Rapids area. She was doing club-fitting 25 years ago in her first Michigan job as Direc-
tor of Instruction at The Meadows Golf Club at Grand Valley State University. “Club fitting wasn’t being done back then, and the consumer didn’t expect it. The education process in golf takes longer than everyone thinks. Yesterday I was out with a young man for a good hour working just on par-3 strategies,” Butcher said. “He realized and said these are the nuances that will make him better. The clients today are starting to recognize what makes them better and that it takes time.” Butcher has also long been a proponent of getting her students off the practice range and on the golf course. “Even in our Golf 101 program we get the golfers on the course,” Butcher said. “When I
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was in college I had a job basically as a ball shagger, and I would watch the person who was on the range learning the game for hours then try to play. You could see that once they were on the golf course they became discouraged not encouraged, because what they had been doing on the range didn’t work. That was my wake up call.” Butcher’s favorite part of coaching the game is watching people accomplish things they didn’t know they could do. “It can be the woman who needed an emergency lesson, because she was playing in a corporate outing and needed help. Seeing her getting the ball in the air with the driver so she could play was great,” Butcher said. “Or seeing a guy like Max Rispler, a college golfer, make the elite eight in the Michigan Amateur. They are different things at different levels, but they give you the same great feeling.” She said the hardest part of coaching golfers is managing expectations of the students. “You have to set doable, incremental goals. Golfers think if I can do it once, I can do it every time and you have to get them to where they have one good shot for five medium shots and understand that is the reality,” Butcher said. “That’s how I know the Internet won’t replace me. They need somebody who can walk through the journey with them.”
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PGA Professional, Coach Petoskey, MI
Mike Fay, award-winning coach and director of player performance for Boyne Resorts in Michigan, said golf professionals used to give lessons. “Now we are coaches. We give more than just a lesson and say see you later. We become a support system through coaching and through our website; we keep in contact with students and monitor results of their playing and practice, and we can do it year around now with our indoor facility, Trackman, fitness room, and all those things,” Fay said. “It’s a holistic approach to helping people play better golf, help them enjoy the game more, and make their lives better. We help people with physical problems; all types of things.” Fay, 46-years-old, has been successful as a player and coach. He went through the Professional Golf Management Program at New Mexico State University and turned professional in 1997. He finds his job satisfying. “It’s quite rewarding to see people succeed and enjoy the game I love so much,” Fay said. “Whether it is kids or adults, it’s a lot of fun to work with them and do what I do. I’m a lucky guy, because I get to do what I love to do.” His favorite part of teaching is what he calls the lightbulb moment. “It’s when the golfer understands,” he said. “My job is not to watch them practice. I have to teach them to learn and how to learn, then take what they have been given and do it themselves. I can’t be with them all the time. They have to know, and when they realize what they are doing and they see what they can become with the game, that’s the reward for me.” The toughest part about teaching golf for Fay is that the game has many facets and levels. “Learning all the facets and the different shots required at different skill levels is a process. It’s like bringing them through windows one at a time, and then you add things on. They run into scoring barriers, and then have to get over the hump,” Fay said. “It’s difficult to get golfers to understand how much time it really takes to play better. Somehow you have to find a way to get them 54
to put the time in and understand that when they do put the time in, they will get better,” Fay added. Fay also said Boyne is committed to golf instruction and coaching to serve its current customers and members, while also building customers and members for the future. He is among several golf professionals who work at the Boyne Golf Academy at Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, and Bay Harbor in various capacities. “People like the game more when they play better, and it gives them a chance to fall in love with the game, and then they appreciate the great golf we have here that much more,” Fay said. “It’s not just coming to the Boyne Resorts, paying your money, playing, and then leaving. We want it to be so much more to our customers. We want to be their golf place, where they really learned to play and love the game, and they can’t wait to come back again.”
PGA Professional, Owner, Instructor | Bath Township, MI Jason Guss of Jason Guss Golf Academy could call his teaching method Whole Life Golf. “Ever since I started teaching and working with golfers, especially the juniors and the young kids, I’ve tried to help them grow up through the game,” Guss said. “I’ve always believed everything you go through on the golf course, you go through in life. There are bad days, good days, ways to recognize the problems, ways to deal with them, and most of them involve the way you carry yourself and believe in what you are doing.” Guss, 41-years-old, is in his 20th year of teaching. He started working for Rick Smith at Treetops Resort at the age of 21-years-old,
and said his teaching evolves with each year and student. Guss said his biggest job is being the skeptic to his golf students. “When things are going well and they feel like nothing can go wrong, I have to be the skeptic that tells them in golf and life something will go wrong,” Guss said. “I have to keep them working, and then when things go bad, I have to be the positive guy and keep them moving in the right direction, letting them know things are going to change and get better.” Guss also noted he is constantly holding up his fingers just an inch or so a part to get a point across to his students. “When you play good, you are this close
to playing bad,” Guss said. “I have to keep them balanced. This game is that hard.” Guss, now the director of the Jason Guss Golf Academy at the Hawk Hollow Properties near Lansing, Michigan said his favorite part of teaching is watching the golf struggle. “You watch them struggle, but then you get to see them have success after the struggle and realize that the battle was all worth it,” Guss said. “That’s my favorite part, because it is like life. You will go through bad times, dark days, and then you will emerge and be able to celebrate success with work.” Guss also insists golf fools people, and he considers it the hardest thing about his job. “In one feinting moment we all can hit
Jason Guss MICHIGANGOLFEXPLORER.COM
that one shot and look like a great player,” Guss said. “There isn’t a quick fix. You can’t go to a personal trainer on Monday and expect to have six-pack and be ready for a hot date on Wednesday, but you get people who come to a golf professional and expect that six-pack by Wednesday. The hardest thing is keeping the expectation level the same as the commitment level. Expectations get way higher than the commitment level.” Guss, whose academy staff also includes teaching professional Chris Mory, works
with some of the top Michigan golfers, such as Allyson Geer, the two-time Michigan Amateur champion and All-Big Ten golfer for Michigan State; as well as Web.com Tour player Matt Harmon. He said while they are at different places than the average golfer with their skills, that golf does the same things to them. “It fools them, too,” Guss said. “Part of my job is to help them deal with it and keep moving forward to where it fools them less.”
Just 30 minutes from Grand Rapids 56
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Schriber PGA Professional, Instructor | Traverse City, MI
Adam Schriber, PGA professional and director of golf instruction at LochenHeath Golf Club near Traverse City, Michigan is an internationally acclaimed golf instructor who teaches based on science and work in the gym—making him a coach in the purest form. “I train golfers as athletes. I get them to practice like you would run a business and use science for health; for statistics of your performance. We figure out based on the statistics where you need to put your time,” Schriber said. “Sam Ryder [PGA Tour player]: right now he is in the top 10 in ball-striking stats, but 184th in putting. It’s pretty obvious where the time has to be in practice, but it’s not always that obvious, and you can’t ignore the good things either. You balance it, like business. I try to teach young players how to run their business, and how to practice to get as much out of their games as possible,” Schriber added. Schriber, a former PGA Tour player, worked with The David Leadbetter golf academies for nearly a decade and was recently named the 2018 Michigan PGA Coach of the Year. He’s a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers selection and works with touring professionals, top-ranked amateurs, and LochenHeath members. “I was doing really well for a while out teaching the ladies [LPGA Tour, Symetra Tour players], but I wasn’t happy out there and some of them were not busting through like we hoped,” Schriber said. “I decided to roll the dice, and Lochenheath made that possible. Life changed. I’m working with young players, a lot of different people, and players that want to make the tour, and I have seen a couple of them bust through like Sam Ryder and Ryan Brehm [Web.com and PGA Tour]. Watching Ryan Brehm made the biggest check of his life four or five times has been great.” Schriber noted he plans to caddie for Ryder in an upcoming tournament. He said the ownership group at Lochenheath supports his efforts at the club, but also with the tour players he coaches. “They know more about my players
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sometimes than I do,” Schriber said. “It’s weird, but really nice.” Schriber, 56-years-old, long ago embraced technology, exercise science, and statistics to help players and has since developed a website known as tourprepgolf.com featuring workout tips. “It’s Moneyball Golf if you want to sim-
plify it. I love what I’m doing. The players are chasing a hard game, and it takes money. I’m helping them,” Schriber said. “I think I’m good as a teacher, but I need to get better as a coach. We all have to keep trying to get better: the players, everybody.” While a noted golf instructor, Schriber has also been through some senior golf
qualifiers for the U.S. Senior Open and the PGA Senior championships. “I’m still a competitor,” Schriber said. “I like it and I figure lightning might strike. I think competing helps me be a better coach, too. The golfer connects with you only if they believe in you.”
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BY GREG JOHNSON
Boyne Mountain, The Monument 60
COURTESY BOYNE RESORTS
More than 50 years ago, Everett Kircher decided he needed something to help keep his ski resort employees around and working during the snowless summer months in Northern Michigan. He decided to step onto the greens and into the golf business. Familiar with innovation and delivering a product that pleased the people coming to the resorts he initially founded in 1947, Kircher decided to seek out one of the most popular and successful golf course architects of the 1960s era: Robert Trent Jones Sr. Kircher commissioned Jones Sr. to design The Heather at Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs, Michigan as the very first golf course in the Boyne portfolio. When it opened in 1966, golfers started coming, and they have not stopped. The classic course continues to serve as the kickoff point for northern Michigan travel and golf, while being a part of the rich legacy of the multi-talented Kircher, who passed away at the age of 85-years-old in 2002. “[Kircher] had a passion for the sports and the facilities he created, and he had a great instinct in knowing what people would like and what they would pay for,” said Bernie Friedrich, senior vice president of golf and resort sales for Boyne Resorts. It could be argued northern Michigan’s development as an international destination for resort travel and the destination golfer can be traced back to Kircher’s foray into golf at the original two resorts in the Boyne Resort brand: Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands. Kircher’s vision has since been passed onto his son Steve Kircher, who developed a passion for golf at a young age and is an accomplished player. As President and Chief Executive Officer for the ever-growing ski-and-golf mountain resorts in Michigan, Kircher now oversees Inn at Bay Harbor, Bay Harbor Golf Club, Crooked Tree Golf Club, Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark at Boyne Mountain, Boyne Country Sports, and Boyne Realty, in addition to the initial two operations. In golf and in the state alone, Boyne represents 153 holes of golf on 10 courses at three resorts all within an hour drive of one another. “Boyne is one of the largest golf resorts in the country, and really the only one of 62
that size that can compare in quantity and quality would be Pinehurst [in North Carolina],” said Kevin Frisch of Kevin Frisch, PR and representative for Boyne’s golf public relations efforts. “Pinehurst has nine courses and is rightfully famous, but Boyne has 10, and they are great, award-winning courses by name architects,” Frisch added. The five-star Bay Harbor, with its 27 holes of dramatic golf designed by Arthur Hills on reclaimed land along the Lake Michigan shoreline, has been open for 22 years and yet still seems like the new kid on the block. Friedrich, who has been with the company for more than 40 years, has a clear understanding of what Boyne offers and how to keep it happening. “My purpose is to grow the game, create enjoyment for our guests, and be profitable,” Friedrich said. “We have a great group of people here dedicated to that on the golf side and the ski side.” As part of the golf effort, Friedrich and his staff have developed a competitive pricing structure. The resort practices tree maintenance, which helps maintain the incredible Lake Michigan and Northern Michigan vistas on the golf courses, and they have also reduced water usage on the golf courses for the environment—and in part for the golfer. “We want our courses firm; to give some roll, because people who are playing golf on vacation would rather hit a 7-iron than a 4-iron into a par-4,” Friedrich said. “We try to remove the barriers to having fun. We allow music on the course. We really want people to have fun, enjoy themselves, and come back.” Boyne has also offered a special promotion that has been bringing golfers back for more than 40 years, known as the Great Escape Golf Vacation. It was started to entice golfers to visit for an extended stay and help fill lodging midweek. Featuring five nights of lodging at Boyne Highlands Resort—with a Sunday check-in
and a Thursday check-out—welcome reception, gift package, breakfasts and dinners daily, unlimited golf on six of Boyne’s championship courses—Boyne Mountain’s The Monument and The Alpine, Boyne Highlands’ The Moor, Donald Ross Memorial, Arthur Hills, and the Heather, and Crooked Tree Golf Club—as well as preferred pricing at Boyne’s flagship property: Bay Harbor Golf Club. The packages start at just less than $900 per person. Golfers also have the option to custom-build the package. From selecting which golf courses to play, where to dine— Boyne Country Club, Bay Harbor Golf Club, or Young American’s Dinner Theatre—obtain Odawa Casino gaming vouchers, and merchandise packages, to spa treatments, custom club fitting, and instruction, stayand-players can tailor their getaway into a one-week Great Escape. The inclusive golf vacation package runs for about 19 weeks during the golf season from May 7, 2018 through Sept. 15, 2018. For Boyne, The Inn at Bay Harbor and Bay Harbor Golf Club has become the flagship property with 27 holes on three ninehole layouts that vary in style and dramatics. Each set of nine holes are designed by Hills and present three golf course combinations: Links and Quarry, Quarry and Preserve, and Preserve and Links. They surround an iconic hotel and overlook a five-mile stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline. Crooked Tree, which offers a redesigned course by Hills, is located across the street, perched high above the landscape. In Harbor Springs, Boyne Highlands brings 72 holes of golf rivaling any single area throughout the country for quality and quantity. The Heather is the linchpin—a timeless inaugural debut to the golf course industry—and located just around the snow hills are the much younger Hills Course by Arthur hills and the Donald Ross Memorial. The latter of the two is an interesting rendition of the legendary Donald Ross’ great holes from across the country. The Moor
BOYNE Resorts, Bay Harbor COURTESY BOYNE RESORTS
course, often considered the most challenging among Boyne’s collection of courses, features a notorious pair of par-5s to kick off the front nine holes, with the back nine opening with a tight-driving par-4 with three separate ponds. Boyne Mountain’s 36 holes of golf give players a chance to play down the mountain and the property itself is considered the most family-friendly—though all work in that manner. It not only has two 18-holes courses—The Monument and The Alpine— as well as the Mountain Grand Lodge, but also Avalanche Bay Waterpark, junior golf camps, biking, zip-lining, tennis, kid golf programs, a beach, and more. A trip to Boyne’s resorts offer much more beyond golf. Centered amid one of America’s most beautiful golf vacation spots, a quick trip to the bustling coastal towns of Charlevoix, Harbor Springs, and Petoskey are only a few minutes away. Frisch noted the passion to provide great golf comes from Steve Kircher. “When you put [Kircher’s] passion with [Friedrich], who has been a fixture for many years, you create a culture for outstanding golf,” Frisch said. “It trickles down from the top through the staff and all the properties.”
BOYNE Resorts, Crooked Tree
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just come together.
Long, manicured fairways meet up with natural dune grass. MICHIGANGOLFEXPLORER.COM
esort views from the 16th floor compete with 450-foot bluffs hovering Lake Michigan. This is a place where ancient glaciers left their mark in clear lakes and dramatic hills, today giving our 20 golf courses a natural, breathtaking setting. But then again, the finishing touches added by the modern powerhouses didn’t hurt either. Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jerry Matthews and Tom Weiskopf all left traces on their respective stomping grounds. Truth is, the world is full of well-designed golf courses, so a truly worldclass golf destination needs to offer something more. Something genuine. It has to be a real place with its own story, its own flavor, its own soul. It has to offer something special once you leave the course. And that’s what sets Traverse City apart, because it brings so much together. On a single morning, you can finish a round of 18, wander down a magnificent beach and amble through the shops and stores of a friendly lakeside village. You could cast your line into one of America’s most famous trout streams, paddle the shores of a forest lake, search for delectable morel mushrooms on the wooded hillsides, or just take a drive through the most gorgeous display of spring wildflowers you’ll see anywhere. Shoppers love our shady, pedestrian-friendly downtown with its quirky bou-
tiques, restaurants, coffee shops and galleries, and the Grand Traverse Commons — a former mental asylum — offers some shopping and dining adventures of its own. And when that summer sun finally goes down, there’s still plenty to do. Nightlife in Traverse City can be an evening of acoustic folk in a dim brewpub, pulsating electronic in a Union Street bistro, or some gaming fun in a local casino. And for the record, we make some pretty great cherries. Officially we are the cherry capital of the world, but we’re adding more to that resumé every day. That same land that’s ideal for cherries is also a famous wine-producing region with nearly 40 wineries as well as a fast-growing hops and craft brew scene. And you won’t go hungry, either. Traverse City’s many restaurants have also created a national reputation for their fresh, innovative regional cuisine. With abundant shopping, comfortable lodging and vibrant culture, it’s easy to see why this “Golf Coast” of the Midwest has teed up a list of awards. Named #12 in Golf Digest’s list of the World’s Top 50 Golf Destinations, named “America’s Summer Golf Capital” by Golf Magazine, and recently ranked among the Top 10 Golf Cities in the U.S., golfers seem to all agree that this is a pretty great place. Visit traversecity.com
Want to give it a swing? MICHIGANGOLFEXPLORER.COM
Fairfield We have had this plot of land in Northern Michigan for years. The transition from a small trailer to our dream home was a long time coming. When we met with Wayne, we knew he was the one to design our lake house. Sharing our ideas with him was an incredible experience. The beauty of the landscape is truly the main feature and now our home can house all of our guests, growing family, and celebrate all things lakefront living.
You dream it. Weâ€™ll draw it.
visbeen.com/fairfield Grand Rapids
Arrivals The moment the rubber touches the tarmac and the plane begins to slow, there is an inevitable pull causing passengers to sit at the edge of their seat. A slight anticipation often fills the cabin, and for those headed to the green it may be piqued by a curiosity of stepping onto a new course or excitement of returning to a cherished fairway. Regardless of the destination, there are a number of options for out-of-state travelers to choose from as they book their flight to the Great Lakes State. Take a look at some of the airports providing convenient access to incredible golf in Michigan. ALPENA COUNTY REGIONAL AIRPORT (APN) Alpena
Lakewood Shores. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 min. Black Lake. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 min. Forest Dunes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 hr. 40 min. BOYNE MOUNTAIN AIRPORT (BFA) Boyne Falls
Boyne Highlands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 min. Bay Harbor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 min. Boyne Mountain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 min. Black Lake. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 min. Bay Mills. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 hr. 15 min. GAYLORD REGIONAL AIRPORT (GLR)
CHARLEVOIX MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (CVX)
Bay Harbor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 min. Boyne Mountain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 min. Boyne Highlands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 min. CHERRY CAPITAL AIRPORT (TVC) Traverse City
Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. . . . . . . . . . 10 min. LochenHeath. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 min. Turtle Creek Casino. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 min. A-Ga-Ming Golf Resort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 min. Crystal Mountain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 min. Boyne Mountain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 min. Evergreen Resort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 min. Bay Harbor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1hr. 15 min. Forest Dunes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1hr. 20 min. Otsego Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1hr. 20 min. Boyne Highlands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1hr. 30 min. MANISTEE COUNTY BLACKER AIRPORT (MBL)
Manistee National Golf & Resort. . . . . . . 15 min. Crystal Mountain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 min.
Boyne Mountain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 min. Bay Harbor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 min. Boyne Highlands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 min. Charlevoix
PELLSTON REGIONAL AIRPORT (PLN)
Otsego Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 min. HARBOR SPRINGS AIRPORT (MGN)
Boyne Highlands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 min. Bay Harbor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 min. Boyne Mountain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 min. WEXFORD COUNTY AIRPORT (CAD) Cadillac
Evergreen Resort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 min. Crystal Mountain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 min. Manistee National Golf & Resort. . . . . . . . . . 1 hr. Forest Dunes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 hr. 20 min.
BAY MILLS CASINO & RESORT
BOYNE HIIGHLANDS BAY HARBOR CHARLEVOIX MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (CVX)
HARBOR SPRINGS AIRPORT (MGN)
PETOSKEY/ HARBOR SPRINGS BOYNE MOUNTAIN AIRPORT (BFA)
GAYLORD GAYLORD REGIONAL AIRPORT (GLR)
TURTLE CREEK CASINO GRAND TRAVERSE RESORT
FOREST DUNES LAKEWOOD SHORES
WEXFORD COUNTY AIRPORT
RN AT IO NA LA I
MANISTEE NATIONAL GOLF & RESORT
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LAKEWOO D SH
Arrivals MT. PLEASANT MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (MOP)
CAPITAL REGION INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
HAWKSHEAD GULL LAKE VIEW
EAGLE EYE HAWK/ HOLLOW GOLF CLUB
GUN LAKE CASINO
MBS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (MBS)
GERALD R FORD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (GRR) Grand Rapids
Thornapple Pointe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 min. Quail Ridge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 min. The Mines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Min. Gun Lake Casino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 min. Pilgrims Run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Min. Lynx . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 min. Ravines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Min. Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1hr. 5 min. Tullymore Golf Club and Resort . . . 1hr. 20 min. Hawkshead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1hr. 22 min. Bucks Run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1hr. 50 min. KALAMAZOO/BATTLE CREEK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (AZO) Kalamazoo
Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort. . . Lynx . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gun Lake Casino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ravines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hawkshead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
25 min. 29 min. 30 min. 60 min. 60 min.
CAPITAL REGION INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (LAN)
Eagle Eye/Hawk Hollow Golf Club. . . . . 15 min. MT. PLEASANT MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (MOP) Mt. Pleasant
Bucks Run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 min. MBS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (MBS)
Apple Mountain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 min. Bucks Run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 min. Lakewood Shores. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1hr 45 min.
LYNX GOLF COURSE | WEST | ALLEGAN COUNTY
Otsego | 18 Public | lynxgolfcourse.com | 269-694-5969 LYNX GOLF COURSE
QUAIL RIDGE | WEST | KENT COUNTY
Ada | 18 Public | quailridgegc.com | 616-676-2000 NILE YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHY
OTSEGO CLUB | TRIBUTE | N
Gaylord | 36 Public | otsegoclub.com | 800 COURTESY OTSEGO CLUB
EAGLE EYE AT HAWK HOLLOW | WEST | CLINTON COUNTY
Bath | 18 Public | hawkhollow.com | 517-641-4295 COURTESY EAGLE EYE
GRAND TRAVERSE RESORT | THE WOLVERINE
NORTH | GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY
Acme | 54 Public | grandtraverseresort.com | 800-236-1577 COURTESY GRAND TRAVERSE RESORT & SPA
LOCHENHEATH | NORTH | GRAN
Williamsburg | 18 Private/limited Public | loc BRIAN WALTERS PHOTOGRAPHY
THORNAPPLE POINTE | WEST | KENT COUNTY
Grand Rapids | 18 Public | thornapplepointe.com | 616-554-4747 COURTESY THORNAPPLE POINTE
A-GA-MING RESORT | SUNDANCE | NORTH | ANTRIM COUNTY
Kewadin | 54 Public | a-ga-ming.com | 800-678-0122 COURTESY A-GA-MING RESORT
EVERGREEN RESORT | NORTH | WEXFORD COUNTY
LAKEWOOD SHORES RESOR
Cadillac | 27 Public | evergreenresortmi.com | 866-291-8136
Oscoda | 54 Public | lakewoodshores.com
COURTESY EVERGREEN RESORT
COURTESY LAKEWOOD SHORES
NORTH | OTSEGO COUNTY
ND TRAVERSE COUNTY
chenheath.com | 231-938-9800
RT | NORTH | IOSCO
m | 800-882-2493
PILGRIMS RUN | WEST | NEWAYGO COUNTY
Pierson | 18 Public | pilgrimsrun.com | 888-533-7742 NILE YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHY
WILD BLUFF AT BAY MILLS RESORT |
UPPER PENINSULA | CHIPPEWA COUNTY
Brimley | 18 Public | wildbluff.com | 906-248-3617 BUCKO TEEPLE
THE MINES | WEST | KENT COUNTY
Grand Rapids | 18 Public | minesgolfcourse.com | 616-791-7544
FOREST DUNES | NORTH | CRAWFORD COUNTY
Roscommon | 18 Public | forestdunesgolf.com | 989-275-0700 BRIAN WALTERS PHOTOGRAPHY
HAWKSHEAD | WEST | ALLEGAN COUNTY
South Haven | 18 Public | hawksheadlinks.com | 269-639-2121 BRIAN WALTERS PHOTGRAPHY
MANISTEE NATIONAL GOLF & RESORT | NORTH |
Manistee | 36 Public | Manisteenational.com | 231-723-8874 BRIAN WALTERS PHOTOGRAPHY
SAVE YOUR LONGEST DRIVE FOR THE GOLF With six courses and "up-north" golf without the drive, why spend your time on the road when you could be on an unlimited golf package at Gull Lake View Resort. Just miles from everyday in Southwest Michigan. Packages start at $130 per-person.
HOLE 2, STOATIN BRAE Easily the most scenic golf course I’ve ever played in Michigan.
No other course in the area offers views like this. -- Brian P. Google Reviews
The Golf Explorer: Michigan’s Journal To Incredible Golf is an annual golf lifestyle publication delivering informative content and engaging...
Published on Jul 13, 2018
The Golf Explorer: Michigan’s Journal To Incredible Golf is an annual golf lifestyle publication delivering informative content and engaging...