GolfBlogger’s Gift Guide: Give A Round Of Golf

GolfBlogger’s Gift Guide: Give A Round Of Golf

Experiences are the best gifts. This year, get the golfer in your life a round of golf — or even better, a season pass/membership.

Here are a few Michigan recommendations:

Washtenaw Golf Club

In SE Michigan, I’d recommend a round at Washtenaw Golf Club (website). Dating to 1899, Washtenaw was a private club for most of its long history. In recent years, however, it has been open to the public. Washtenaw is always in great condition and its staff works hard to make each golfer’s experience a good one.

For what it’s worth, 2021 US Amateur Champion James Piot plays there on a regular basis. And if anyone cares, it’s The GolfBlogger’s home course.

Stoatin Brae

The fifth at Stoatin Brae

Stoatin Brae would be my choice in south-central Michigan. (website). Created by Tom Doak’s Renaissance Design, it’s a links-style course on the highest point in Kalamazoo County.

Stoatin Brae is one of six Gull Lake View golf courses. I actually don’t’ think you can go wrong with any of them.

Diamond Springs

In south-west Michigan, my recommendation is Diamond Springs (website). It is an early Mike Devries design — before he went on to international acclaim for courses like Kingsley Club, Greywalls and Cape Wickham in Tasmania. With teeing grounds rather than tee boxes, Diamond Springs flows organically from one hole to the next.

In fact, a great weekend in the Grand Rapids area would be to go for the Mike DeVries hat trick: Diamond Springs, The Mines and Pilgrim’s Run

Eagle Eye

The thirteenth at Eagle Eye is a 479 yard par 4.

In central Michigan, near Lansing, the course to play is Eagle Eye (website). It full of tantalizing holes that require both precision and creativity. The course was designed by Chris Lutzke, a Pete Dye protege and the 17th at Eagle Eye is a replica of Dye’s famous 17th at Sawgrass.

Forest Dunes

Forest Dunes

North Central Michigan’s Forest Dunes is a special place. The golf resort features Golf Digest’s #28 course, Forest Dunes; the #45 course, The Loop Black; and the #47 course, The Loop Red. The Loop, of course, is Tom Doak’s innovative reversible course that plays clockwise or counterclockwise on alternate days. (website)

Three courses in the top 50 of the Golf Digest list. Add to that an acclaimed short course, The Bootlegger and an 18 hole putting course. It’s a trip that can’t be matched.

Boyne Golf

The thirteenth at The Hills Course at Boyne Highlands is a 570 yard par 5

In Northern Michigan, I recommend a round of golf on any of the ten Boyne Golf (website) properties. Bay Harbor gets the most press, but your golfer will be thrilled to play any of them. If you can’t make up your mind, try The Hills course and The Heather. Hills is a masterwork by Arthur Hills; Heather is a Robert Trent Jones design that dates to 1966.

Belvedere

A view of the green on the ninth hole at Belvedere.

I’m a fan of classic golf architecture, so I can’t let Northern Michigan go without suggesting the gift of a round at Belvedere. Located just outside Charlevoix, Belvedere is a William Watson (Interlachen, Olympic Club, Harding Park) design that dates to 1927.

Belvedere is a true championship course, having hosted the Michigan Amateur 40 times. It was the summer golf home of Tom Watson as he was growing up, and has hosted such greats as Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen.

Sweetgrass

Sweetgrass Hole 2, a 400 yard par 4.

In the Upper Peninsula, I’d recommend a round at either Sweetgrass (website) or Greywalls (website). Even better: gift Dad an entire weekend of golf, with an overnight stay at Island Resort & Casino and rounds on both those courses.

Sweetgrass is a links style course that is beautiful and immaculately kept. It is adjacent to Island Resort. Greywalls, in Marquette, is a spectacular Mike DeVries design on rocky bluffs overlooking Lake Superior that is listed as #54 on Golf Digest’s Top 100 public courses.

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