Golf Travel News May 5, 2022

Golf Travel News May 5, 2022

In golf travel news this week are items from Myrtle Beach, Island Resort and Casino, Grand Traverse Resort and Crystal Mountain

The fourteenth at Caledonia is a 415 yard par 4.

Five Myrtle Beach Golf Courses Welcome Players After Winter Renovations

Two Layouts Have Major Summer Renovation Projects Planned

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. –Golfers pouring into Myrtle Beach this spring are being greeted by a host of courses that spent the winter months upgrading in anticipation of their arrival.

Five Grand Strand courses enjoyed winter upgrades while two others have major renovation projects planned for this summer. Here is a look at the work that has been completed in recent months and what is planned:

● Prestwick Country Club replaced the bulkhead that helped maintain the greens on holes 9, 16 and 18. The new bulkhead supports the putting surfaces and provides the trio of holes with more visual appeal. General manager Jay Smith’s team also added a new bunker on No. 16 that runs the entire left side of the green, helping keep some balls out of the water. Prestwick’s clubhouse is one of the area’s best and it has received new floors and patio furniture, part of an ongoing effort.

● Caledonia Golf & Fish Club is a consensus top 100 public course and a $250,000 project to enhance playability and pace of play will leave golfers smiling. Fairways and landing areas were widened via a scrub and non-feature tree removal effort in the interior of the layout. The work will improve turf condition, enhance sightlines and make it easier for golfers to locate their ball, more reasons to play one of America’s most popular courses.

● True Blue, Caledonia’s sister course, is being restored to architect Mike Strantz’ original specifications thru scrub and non-feature tree removal. Thousands of native grasses are being transplanted to accentuate natural areas while opening up sightlines. True Blue is also replacing asphalt cart paths with concrete around selected tee and greens complexes, in addition to expanding the practice area.

● One of the area’s most scenic courses, Rivers Edge is reshaping the green surrounds on the stunning 18th hole, which plays along the Shallotte River. Among the enhancements is a rock feature that includes a set of stairs leading from the 18th green to the clubhouse. The first stage of a comprehensive bunker project has also been completed. Bunkers on holes 1, 6, 7, 9, 14 and 18 have undergone a complete renovation that features new shaping, drainage and sand. The bridges at Rivers Edge were also improved, making for a smoother ride.

● Thistle Golf Club, inspired by its namesake design in Scotland, is installing new, PermaEdge stacked sod bunkers, enhancing the experience at the 27-hole facility. The stacked sod bunkers will provide players an additional taste of what golf in the Olde Country is like.

In addition to the winter work, a pair of courses have already announced plans for substantial summer renovation projects.

● Grande Dunes Resort Course, one of the area’s premier layouts, will close on May 16 for a greens, bunker and clubhouse renovation project. Architect John Harvey, who worked with Roger Rulewich on the original design and construction of the course, will restore the new TifEagle bermudagrass greens to their original size, adding nearly 40,000 square feet of putting surface. Every bunker on the course will be renovated and have a Capillary Concrete bunker-liner installed, significantly enhancing drainage and playability. As part of the clubhouse project, the pro shop will be expanded by 400 feet and an indoor/outdoor bar will be installed. Grande Dunes plans to reopen on September 15.

● River Hills Golf & Country Club plans to close on June 20 for a two-month project that will see new TifEagle bermudagrass greens and Capillary Concrete bunkers installed. At the heart of the effort will be the restoration of the greens to architect Tom Jackson’s original specifications, which will expand the total putting surface on the course by 40 percent.

For more information on Myrtle Beach golf, visit

Island Resort & Casino – Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Golf Destination Opens for the Season

Escanaba, MI – Island Resort & Casino, Michigan’s premier Upper Peninsula golf destination located just outside of Escanaba, will open its golf courses, weather permitting, on May 6. Home of the award-winning Sweetgrass and Sage Run golf courses and a new $33 million renovation, the resort is primed to host golfers with new lodging, dining and gaming opportunities in 2022.

Island Resort Renovations Caters to Golfers

Golfers booking a golf vacation in 2022 will love the new hotel addition and renovations. The new tower, connected to the south end of the resort’s Palm Tower, features 138 guest rooms and suites, with some special attention for golfers who visit — fresh, expansive golf suites. The spacious 675-square-foot suites are complete with a king, double queen and common area, all with breathtaking views of the Sweetgrass Golf Course — perfect for foursomes seeking added space and a fun environment. Horizons Steakhouse, the new high-end dining venue, located on the top floor and features some of the region’s best views. It’s the perfect gathering place for golf groups after a day on Sweetgrass or Sage Run.

Award-winning golf has become the centerpiece of the Island Resort & Casino

Designed by Paul Albanese, Sweetgrass was named the 2022 National Golf Course of the Year by the NGCOA. The prairie links-style course features an open layout with some of the game’s most fun greens to putt (Redan, Biarritz, Island, and Double-Green), as well as some wonderful strategic holes that include No. 15’s famous island green and spectacular finishing par-five holes on each side. The course, which hosts the Epson Tour Island Resort Championship June 24-26, is also ranked among Golfweek’s Best Courses, and has been recognized by GOLF Magazine and Golf Digest as a Best in State selection.

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa Announces 2022 Golf Events, Packages, Specials, and More

May 27-30, 2022: Memorial Day Weekend Golf Special

$89 The Bear & The Wolverine; $59 Spruce Run

Kick off the summer season with Memorial Day weekend golf specials.

June 13-16, 2022: Hall Financial Michigan Open Championship Presented by Turtle Creek Casino

105th tournament played on The Bear

The Michigan Open Championship, the most prestigious PGA tournament in the state, returns to The Bear. Spectators are welcome and media can register with Caroline Rizzo at

June 17-19, 2022: Wolverine Weekend

This inaugural event is for those who bleed maize and blue. Join us for Wolverine Weekend featuring golf on The Wolverine, a meet and greet with star athletes, plus dinner with keynote speaker John U. Bacon.

June 17-23, 2022: Golf Your Daylights Out

$119 for Resort guests, $149 for non-Resort guests

This special is perfect for golfers who can never get enough time on the links! Play as many holes as you can squeeze into a day as we celebrate the summer solstice and extended daylight in northern Michigan. Try to conquer each of our three courses or hone your craft on one.

July 2-10, 2022: National Cherry Festival Golf Special

$109 The Bear & The Wolverine, $69 Spruce Run

National Cherry Festival week is the time to come play at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. With events happening on property and in town, you will get the full Traverse City experience on and off the course.

July 8, 2022: Cherry Golf Scramble

$110 per team, includes golf, cart, and prizes

Join us for a “cherry” good time at our National Cherry Festival Golf Scramble on Spruce Run.

September 2-5, 2022: Labor Day Weekend Golf Special

$89 The Bear & The Wolverine, $59 Spruce Run

Say goodbye to the summer season with special pricing all Labor Day weekend. Exceptional course conditions make for a day of golf you will never forget, and our special pricing makes it easy to try out each of our three highly acclaimed courses.

October 1, 2022: 12th Annual Big Hole Golf Tournament

$195 per team, includes golf, cart, and prizes

This three-person scramble on Spruce Run features gigantic, impossible-to-miss 10’ cups!

October 16, 2022: 14th Annual Tuff Enuff Golf Tournament

$130 per team, includes golf, cart, and prizes

Play one of Michigan’s toughest courses, The Bear, at its absolute hardest. We turn The Bear into 7,000+ yards of long-range tee boxes, aggressive greens, and challenging hole locations.

Golf Package

One-night Golf Package (midweek and weekend options available – can be booked more than one night)

· One night of accommodations

· One day of unlimited golf per person (midweek), one round of golf on any course per person (weekend)

· One medium bucket of range balls per person

New PGA Head Golf Professional

Tyler Jablonski, PGA is now serving as the Resort’s PGA Head Golf Professional. Jablonski started with Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Fall 2018 overseeing the Pro Shop and golf tournaments and was promoted to Assistant Golf Professional in 2019. In 2020, Jablonski also worked as the buyer and merchandiser for the Pro Shop and oversaw a record-setting year in retail sales. To Host First “Social Scramble,” Bringing Paige Spiranac And Golf’s Leading Influencers To The Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – will be hosting the inaugural “Social Scramble,” a three-day event that will bring some of golf’s leading social media influencers and their fans to the game’s most popular destination.

The Social Scramble will be held September 23-25 and a field of 24 social media stars will be highlighted by the presence of Paige Spiranac, the game’s most popular influencer with more than 7.5 million followers.

A 36-hole event, the Social Scramble will tee off with a pairings party that includes a buffet dinner and open bar on September 23 at Crooked Hammock Brewery, followed by golf at Grande Dunes Resort Course and Pine Lakes Country Club, two of Myrtle Beach’s most prominent facilities.

Registration for the event, which is $5,000 per foursome, is open to the public. Entry deadline is August 1.

For more information or to register, visit  

In addition to the pairings party, where golfers will be able to participate in a draft day pairings party to determine who they play with, entry into the event will include a gift bag valued at more than $300 and open beverage cart during play.

Among the stars who have committed to join Spiranac are former collegiate golfer and fitness influencer Michelle Rodriguez, instructor Colin McCarthy, and Myrtle Beach golf ambassador Charlie Rymer.

The chance to play Grande Dunes, a layout that has been ranked among the nation’s top 100 public courses, and Pine Lakes, known affectionately as “The Granddaddy,” certainly enhances the event’s appeal.

A Roger Rulewich design, Grande Dunes, which is undergoing a greens, bunker and clubhouse renovation project this summer, features five holes that play along the Intracoastal Waterway, making it one of the area’s most scenic layouts. Myrtle Beach’s first golf course, Pine Lakes was the birthplace of Sports Illustrated, and the classic design underwent its own greens and bunker renovation project in 2021.

For more information on Myrtle Beach golf, visit

Registration now open for the Crystal Mountain Scholarship Invitational

Two students receive scholarships from the Crystal Scholarship Foundation

THOMPSONVILLE, Mich. (April 28, 2022) – The Crystal Scholarship Foundation (CSF) is continuing to help deserving, local students further their education beyond high school. Now in its second year of awarding scholarships, two students have been chosen to receive up to $5,000: Megan Gydesen and Craig Seger. The scholarship is open to Crystal Mountain employees and their dependents.

Applicants for the 2023 scholarship can start applying the first week of November. Pickell said there is no set number on how many students can receive a scholarship – it is solely based on funds raised and number of deserving candidates selected through the application and panel interview process.

The Crystal Scholarship Foundation searches out candidates, through an application and panel interview process, who exemplify solid character, strong work ethic, community service and academic proficiency.

The Crystal Mountain Scholarship Invitational is one of the biggest fundraisers for the scholarship. This year’s golf event will take place Aug. 12-13 on Betsie Valley and Mountain Ridge courses. The deadline to register is Aug. 1.

Registration for a four-person team includes food, music, golf challenges and prizes.

For non-golfers, there will be a watercolor painting class with local artist Lauren Everett Finn, as well as special promotions at Crystal Spa. In addition to funds raised through golf, generous community donations and merchandise sales, Crystal Mountain has pledged to donate $5,000.

For more information about the Crystal Scholarship Foundation or Crystal Mountain Scholarship Invitational, email

Megan is a senior at Bear Lake High School and the daughter of Kelly Gydesen who works at Crystal Spa. In addition to excelling as a student-athlete on the Bear Lake volleyball and softball teams, Megan manages the girls’ basketball team and serves on the Manistee Youth Advocate Council, among other extracurricular activities. Her plan moving forward is to study Neuroscience at the University of Michigan.

“Going to college has always been a dream for me, an expensive one at that, and this scholarship was a chance to help make this dream come true,” Gydesen said. “Growing up, Crystal Mountain was like a second home with fun opportunities at every corner – from being a lifeguard to this very scholarship. I’m excited about all the experiences I will get in college.”

The second recipient was a lifeguard at Crystal Mountain for three years. Craig graduated from Benzie Central High School in June of 2021 and is now attending Edgewood College in Madison, Wisc. studying Theatre, Music and Psychology. As a first-year student at the independent liberal arts college, Craig has made the honor roll, track and field team and earned the leading role in the college’s performance “Sister Act.”

“I really enjoyed working at Crystal Mountain,” Seger said. “My coworkers were incredibly kind, we had fun times at work and outside of work and my managers were very understanding about work-life balance. If it wasn’t for them, I may not have known about this scholarship, so I’m grateful for their encouragement to apply and I’m thankful to be a recipient and to use the money to help with tuition.”

Established in 2020 by Crystal Mountain property owners and community leaders, CSF has raised thousands of dollars through generous community donations, as well as the Crystal Mountain Scholarship Invitational.

“We know how expensive furthering a student’s education can be – we have two kids,” said Kim Pickell, Crystal Mountain property owner and community member. “This scholarship isn’t tailored towards a certain income level, it’s designed for anyone in the Crystal Community who is dedicated to working hard and making a difference, whether it’s through trade school, community college or four-year university.”

“Our 2021 scholarship recipient, Reagan Thorr of Frankfort, now attends Alma College studying Allied Health Sciences representing the Scots on both the volleyball and basketball teams,” Pickell said. “She continues to demonstrate the four pillars of our scholarship program daily, and in return will receive a scholarship stipend this year.”

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