Here’s a list of interesting golf courses, resorts and trails from the 2011 Michigan Golf Show. It’s more memo to myself than anything of interest to the readers—although a few may get some mileage. If any resort managers are reading this, I’d be more than happy to make arrangements to come out to your course to do a playing review, complete with photos at any time this summer. Contact me here.
Dummond Island Resort Accessible only by boat, Drummond Island is at the northern tip of Lake Huron. They’ve got a course called “The Rock,” driving range, instruction. Non golf activities include a beach, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, eco tours, bikes, kayaks, tennis, volleyball, fitness center, scandinavian sauna, heated pool, bowling alley and some very nice looking cabins and hotel.
Rouge Park Golf Course a Donald Ross Course in Detroit now is under new management. The representative for Vargo Golf Company told me that the course is a favorite of the CEO, and that they intend to pump a lot of money into it. Play in August, he said, and you’ll be amazed. Vargo now manages a number of Detroit area courses, including the venerable Donald Ross design, Rackham.
McGuire’s Golf Resort in Cadillac (a place named for the French pioneer, not the car) is relentless in their marketing (if you happen to get on their email list), and have constant deals. Here’s one: to claim a free night, visit http://www.golfshow2011.com
Antrim Dells, which got a five star rating from Golf Digest in 2002 is just south of Charlevoix and east of Traverse city. The photos look pretty and they offer a variety of greens fee discounts, depending on the time.
The Garland Courses are high on my list. They’ve got 72 holes and a full resort, including a spa and after hours entertainment. My sense is they’re a bit pricey, though, so I’m going to have to hold out for a steep discount. Maybe they’ll see this and offer me a deal if I do a review.
Tullymore and St. Ives are running some preseason specials, with a night’s stay and 36 holes of golf for as low as $107. Tullymore is one of the two or three best courses in a State full of outstanding courses. See my appreciation (it’s too good for a review) here.
Hawks Eye and The Chief, in Bellaire are offering free greens fees April through May 8, and then September 26 through close. Just pay the $20 cart fee. They’ve also got some nice deals on 2 nights, 2 rounds and 2 breakfasts from $180.
The Legend at Shanty Creek is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Shanty Creek Resorts is between Traverse City – Petosky – Gaylord. They’re offering $25 golf after 4pm through the season. There’s more than enough light to complete 18 holes up there if you start by 5 pm. They’ve got a $109 stay and play deal for the summer if you book by the end of June. I may take advantage of that. Shanty Creek also has a Weiskopf design called Ceder River which is on my to-play list.
Red Hawk in East Tawas is gotten some good press.
In the West Branch/Ogemaw County area, several courses were in attendance, including the Green Briar Golf Course, in Lupton, The West Branch Country Club, The Dream and the Nightmare. I pass by these several times a summer on the way Up North, but haven’t yet found an excuse to stop and play. Maybe this year.
True North is a Jim Engh design in Harbor Springs that Golf Digest said in 2009 was the fourth best public play course in Michigan. I am absolutely going to play there this summer.
The Crystal Mountain Resort runs a highly respected series of golf schools in addition to the usual resort activities. Of particular note are their women-only schools and golf fitness programs. Wednesdays June through August, they have a family program: 9 holes with cart, hot dog with chips and soda for $12 a person. Sundays after 2 pm, you can get 18 holes for $30 an adult and $15 a junior.
Facebook friends of Forest Dunes, again one of Michigan’s top courses, get a buy one get one free green fee in May. This course is really out-of-the-way, but I recommend you play. Read my appreciation here.
The Polo Fields Country Club is looking for members and have some decent deals, including a May preview membership for $80. They’ve got two courses in the Ann Arbor area: the original Polo Fields, and the former Washtenaw Country Club. I used to belong to Washtenaw. It’s a terrific course. I never had a chance to play the Polo Fields.
Osprey Recreational Properties had a huge display at the golf show, but didn’t seem to be offering any real deals. They own a number of golf courses in Michigan, including The Otsego Club, Black Forest (which I reviewed here), Manistee National, The Medalist and Ridgeview.
Michaywe, just south of Gaylord, is a four seasons resort. They’re offering spring and fall rates of $25 for 18 holes. They were handing out pins, which if you wear, apparently entitle you to some sort of discount. No general discounts on summer rates, though.
Longaberger Golf Club in Ohio says its already open. Hard to believe. Two days, one night packages are available for $137 a person.
I’ve passed the Gaylord Country Club several times, not realizing that it was available for public play. It is. They were at the show promoting their track. Midsummer rates are $49—so if the course is nice, that’s a good deal. They had a coupon for $35 a person on weekdays.
If you book at Boyne before March 21, you can get some good deals on golf packages. Use the booking code NOVI. Of interest to me: the 100th Amateur package, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Michigan Amateur that includes lodging at Boyne Highlands, a round of golf on The Heather and a commemorative gift—a CADDY is just $35. I’ve always wanted to play with a caddy.
Island Hills Golf Club in Centerville, Michigan looks intriguing. They had a $30 coupon that included a bucket of range balls, a cooler of ice and bottled water. It’s on my to-do list for the summer.
Candlestone Resort in Belding, Michigan (about 35 minutes north of Lansing) has some nice looking and reasonable packages. Register at http://www.novi.candlestoneresort.com to get a free greens fee. Register at espnovi.candlestoneresort.com to get a $59 per person stay and play deal.
The representative for Arcadia Bluffs told me that they have expanded their caddy program. You can play at the Pebble Beach of the Midwest for $165, plus $50 for the caddy. I might take them up on that.
Yarrow Golf and Conference center has interested me for several years. I almost played there last summer, but I was in the mood to walk and they told me it was cart only. I ended up playing another area course. It’s located in Augusta, Michigan and has a $79 stay and play deal.
Jackson County’s golf and convention bureau was at the show promoting the TWENTY ONE courses in the area. I’ve played most of them, and they’re all decent courses at great prices. I particularly recommend Concord Hills, Calderone and The Grande.
Indianwood Golf and Country Club is promoting the fact that hosting the 2012 US Senior Open. They’re looking for volunteers.
Several courses in Southern Michigan have banded together as “Michigan’s Southern Swing.” I recommend several of the courses on the list, including Bedford Valley, Angels Crossing, Binder Park and The Medalist.
If you live in the Brighton area, The Jackal at Mt. Brighton has a pretty good deal going with the Players’ Pass. After paying $199, you just pay $15 for a cart on the weekdays, and $25 weekends (not such a good deal).
I’m pretty sure that Gaylord is the gravitational center of the golfing universe. That little town has 21 absolutely outstanding golf courses and resorts.
The Loon Golf Resort in Gaylord had coupons for a $30 round with cart at the Lakes and $35 at the Loon good anytime over the sumer. That’s another one of those courses I’ve driven past dozens of times, each time thinking I ought to stop and play. The Loon is a Butch Harmon redesign, and apparently they have Natalie Gulbis as their figurehead pro. They’ve got a $169 midweek deal with unlimited golf, 2 dinners and 2 nights lodging.
The Petosky area Visitors and Convention bureau was promoting its eighteen golf courses and resorts, including the legendary Bay Harbor. I can recommend Dunmaglas in Charlevoix, Little Traverse Bay and Hidden River.
Elk Ridge in Atlanta, Michigan east of Gaylord has $50 Tuesday and Wednesdays throughout the summer, plus 2/1 deals on Mother’s and Father’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day. More important to me: they allow walking Monday – Thursday until 10am. It’s long been on my play list.
Manitou Passage reopened last year to some good reviews. They’re billing themselves as a destination resort, and as such, their prices are a bit high—$79 midweek in the summer. No deals that I could see. It’s going to be hard for them to establish as a destination in an area with so many destinations.
Thunder Bay Resort has something the others don’t: Elk viewing carriage rides. Mention the “Novi Golf Show Special” when you make your reservation, and get a third night free with a two night package. It’s on M-32 east of Gaylord.
Grandview Golf Club in Kalkaska looks nice.
The Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury, Michigan has had a bit of a revival. The Dude Ranch was bankrupt and closed when it was bought by some people with deep pockets and improved. They’ve got a wild west town, horseback riding, stagecoaches, lessons, an indoor water park, sledding, archery, pools, horseshoes, dog sledding—and of course, a golf course. I had some friends go there over the winter and they had a lot of fun.
The A-Ga-Ming Golf Resort—between Charlevoix and Traverse City—has several courses and some nice packages. Until May 19, you can get two nights and three days of unlimited golf for $199. Their Sundance course, located with views of both Torch Lake and Grand Traverse Bay, looks particularly nice.
I won 18 holes at the Fox Classic on the spin of a wheel of fortune.
The Huron Clinton Metroparks are holding a Super Golf Day on June 7. Players get 18 holes with a cart for just $10. Reservations required.
Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island—the setting for the cult movie Somewhere In Time (although the book was based on the Hotel Del in San Diego)—has lots of packages including dining, golf, swimming, tennis, croquet, horseback rides, carriages, and so on. Here’s one: Tea for Two: golf, tea, breakfast dinner and entertainment for $239 a night. Mackinac Island is an amazing place. The whole island is car-free.
Way, way Up North across the Bridge, Sweetgrass, Timberstone and Greywalls courses have lodging deals. The golf show early booking (by April 10) has 54 holes of golf and two nights lodging from $219. Use the booking code NOV.
In Belding, northwest of Lansing, Candlestone Golf and Resort has a stay and play offer starting at $79.
The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is a complete deal. They’ve got three highly thought of courses—The Bear, The Wolverine, and Spruce Run, a golf academy, spas, an indoor water playground, tennis, fitness rooms, shopping, babysitting, a beach and much more. A midweek golf package with 2 nights and 2 days of unlimited golf are $351 per person. High end. How big is this? They’ve got their own magazine: Barefoot, with three staff writers. That’s what I want to do after I retire from teaching.
Away from Michigan, there’s the Raspberry Golf Trail, a consortium of courses in Western Maryland and Northern Virginia. It looks like they’ve got some good deals and some good courses. Experiences has told me, however, that a good price in that area is a great deal more expensive than here in Michigan.