Experience a Michigan Family Golf Getaway this Summer

No state offers more world-class golf opportunities, in quantity or quality, when it comes to summer golf. Golf buddies in America can find great Michigan courses designed by the leading golf designers in the game. Women and couples can find fun courses and resorts for great escape trips, and there are many choices for families who want their children to experience that first family golf vacation.

Read more on family golfing and some interesting courses to try via guest blogger Kevin Frisch.

I remember when I was first introduced to the game as a young teenager and my dad coming in and saying: “We are going to take a family golf vacation.” I wasn’t sure exactly what that was, but my brother and I were very excited.

Michigan's more than 650 public courses allow golfers to start at a young age

Michigan’s more than 650 public courses, with varying skill levels, allow golfers to start at a young age

We packed up the car with suit cases and golf clubs, mom included, and we made our way north to Crystal Mountain Resort. At the time Crystal Mountain was a larger-than-life ski resort, but it also had the Betsie Valley golf course, which was a fun old school parkland design that was easy for me and my brother to play, and fun for my mom and dad. It was a week that would change my life. I fell in love with the game of golf and created some long-lasting family memories.

Crystal Mountain is one of many pristine courses in Michigan

Crystal Mountain is one of many pristine courses in Michigan

Today, Crystal Mountain Resort has become one of the top golf and four-season resort destinations for families, and is still a perfect place to take the family and kids on that family golf vacation. The Betsie Valley is still that same fun golf course for the family, and now they have added the Mountain Ridge course and a Youth Golf Academy. Kids 17-under play for free when accompanied by an adult, and Wednesdays and Sundays feature Family Golf Events.

Add in the Water’s Edge Water Park, Edge Adventure Course, Alpine Slide, the Crystal Spa and many other family activities, and it is clear Crystal Mountain is a perfect family golf destination.

Boyne Resorts is also a leading four-season destination with its Boyne Mountain Resort being another perfect family golf destination. The Alpine course, which overlooks Deer Lake, is a fun parkland design, a fun course for the kids who can play the forward tees easily, as well as a challenge for dad from the back tees. The Monument course also offers a challenging experience with great views, elevation changes, and its popular 18th hole with the island green. Make sure to check out the Family Funday Sundays on the Monument course. The Mountain also offers a variety of junior programs, camps, and instruction for kids to learn the game, while mom and dad can enjoy some alone time.

Boyne Mountain offers many unique challengers for both beginners and experts

Boyne Mountain offers many unique challengers for both beginners and experts

In addition to golf, the highlight at Boyne Mountain for a family golf getaway will be Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark where kids can escape. In addition, the Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa offers a variety of other activities including chairlift rides, zip-lining, spa, and the beautiful Deer Lake with kayaking, a sandy beach, and lawn games.

There are a few golf resorts around Michigan that might not offer as many non-golf activities, but offer some fun golf for the family and kids. Gull Lake View near Battle Creek with its playable East and West courses are very family friendly. Lakewood Shores Resort features its Serradella course and its Wee Links course right behind the condos is fun for all ages, and in Cadillac, Evergreen Golf Resort offers 27 fun and playable holes for the family.

A family golf vacation to one of Michigan’s golf resort areas can change the life of a youngster while creating lifelong memories.

Kevin Frisch

Where is your favorite place to hit the links in Pure Michigan?

Kevin Frisch is the owner and CEO of Fusion Media Strategies, a Michigan based marketing and public relations company specializing in the golf industry serving golf clients nationwide. 

Lake Advice from Our Fans: What to Do in Mid-Michigan

All summer long, our amazing community of Facebook fans have been giving us advice on their favorite things to do around the different regions of Pure Michigan. Next on our series of Lake Advice is Mid-Michigan, home to such destinations as Mount Pleasant, Midland and Lansing

Still planning your summer vacation in Pure Michigan? Check out our Lake Effect planning page or view photos from around the state at our gallery.

Iargo Springs, Hartwick Pines, hidden dams in the center of Mt. Pleasant, hiking trails with a swinging bridge west of the city. Also the best natural sledding hill hidden in the woods is there. The natural springs swimming beach hidden in the Amish cornfields near Clare. The same Amish have pie stands in the summer. Picking strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apples and peaches on the many farm orchards of mid-west Michigan. – Cathy Kavanaugh

Clare has incredible fruits available during the summertime and fall, perfectly ripe for tasting

Clare has incredible fruits available during the summertime and fall, perfectly ripe for tasting

Crossroads Village & River Place Shops in Frankenmuth– Monica Masters Gomez

Frankenmuth! – Christine Snyder

A paddleboat floats along the river in Frankenmuth

A paddleboat floats along the river in Frankenmuth

In Clare you can still catch a movie without breaking the bank at the cozy Ideal Theatre. Musicians, check out Central Michigan Music for gear or lessons – it’s the only music store around and they’re good people who know their stuff. Go eat at The Whitehouse or Heart of Michigan Cafe which also features local singing talent weekly, or get a donut at Cops and Doughnuts.

Stroll out the back doors of any of these and check out the Art Alley. There’s live music every Thursday night in the city park all summer. Ride bikes on the Rail Trail. Lots of parks around for kids to play, or bigger ones for more hiking like Deerfield Park in Mt. Pleasant or Chippewa Nature Center in Midland. Get ice cream at Doozie’s in Mt. Pleasant on a hot night. Also in Midland: catch a Loons baseball game at Dow Diamond (with fireworks, if you’re lucky), explore Whiting Forest and Dow Gardens. – Heidi Schanhals Langley

The bridge at Dow Gardens in Midland makes for a spectacular view

A Bridge in Midland’s Dow Gardens, Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @he_lium

The campground at Paris, MI and Paris Pizza – Gregory Dault

The Dam Site Inn in Pellson on the Maple River! – John Ward

Is anything missing? Let us know below!

Nine Things You Might Not Have Known About The Soo Locks

Engineer’s Weekend in Sault Ste. Marie is the last Friday in June. There’s something for everyone, historic open houses, spectacular vistas and the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the great Soo Locks

Check out these nine interesting facts about the Soo Locks to inspire your visit from Sault Ste. Marie Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Photo courtesy of Sault Ste. Marie Convention and Visitor's Bureau

Photo courtesy of Sault Ste. Marie Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

A man-made marvel and the busiest lock system in the world, by cargo tonnage, yes the Soo Locks! On average, between seven and ten thousand ships come through the locks during the shipping season each year.  Built in 1855, these locks connect Lake Superior to Lake Huron and beyond.  We have repeat visitors every season; they call themselves Boat Nerds, that watch ships from all over the world use this free lock system.  Now here are some facts about the locking system and the St. Marys River.

$500.4 Billion value attributed to the iron ore shipped through the Soo Locks each year. An average of 80 million tons of cargo moves through them each year.

7,000 passages each year – Crews at the Soo Locks complete these lockages during the 42- week- long navigations season. They are open 24 hours a day.  Can you take your personal boat through the locks? Yes, as long as you have a motor and permission from the lockmaster.

2,342 miles- ships from all over the world visit this port as the locks are a part of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, which connects Duluth, Minnesota to the Atlantic!

22 Million gallons of water to lift a boat. The locks are powered by gravity itself!  Water moves in and out of the lock chambers by just opening and closing valves.

1000 foot boats- There are 13-1000 footers on the Great Lakes, and the largest boat that comes through the Soo Locks is the Paul R. Tregurtha, in at 1013 feet 6 inches which is larger than three football fields! The first vessels on the great lakes were 40 foot-long canoes.

Mikel B Classen

Photo courtesy of Mikel B Classen via Sault Ste. Marie CVB

9 hours between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, it takes a freighter about nine hours to pass through the St. Mary’s River system

21 foot drop- A thick layer of bedrock holds back the waters of Lake Superior where it joins the St. Marys River. This drop prevented boats from passing through. This reddish sandstone lines most of Lake Superior southern shores and is about 1000 feet-thick.   The Fairbanks Scale Company, which is still in business today, built the first permanent lock, State Lock.

3-4 cents per ton- From 1855 to 1881, this was the toll, but today it is free.

The propeller in Soo Locks Park is from a steamer named the Independence, which exploded just northwest of today’s locks.  One crewman is said to have survived a trip down the rapids on a hay bale from the ship.

Now that you know more about the Soo Locks, come and visit us during Engineer’s Weekend, when you can go into the locks and get up close and personal with this engineering marvel! Can’t make it that one day of the year? You can visit the Soo Locks Park anytime between late March and Mid-January to see the freighters go through the locks.

Engineer’s Day is always the last Friday in June, which falls on the 30th in 2017. See what Engineer’s Weekend is all about in the video below.

 

Have you been to the Soo Locks? Tell us about your experience!