Two New Golf Courses Debut in Pure Michigan This Summer

Since the frenzied building of new golf courses in the 1990s, Michigan golfers have in large part been unable to contemplate new places to play. As the 2016 golf season opens, however, the Great Lakes state golfers can eagerly look forward to a pair of projects in the grow-in stages and planning debuts this summer.

Renaissance Golf Design of Traverse City has a hand in both, though Renaissance proprietor Tom Doak is involved in just one.

Doak found the perfect client in Lew Thompson, who was open to his idea of a reversible course that can be played one way one day, and another way the next, and the result is The Loop at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon. Four other architects who work for Doak’s firm, meanwhile, teamed up with the time-tested successful Scott family at Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort in Augusta and created the new Stoatin Brae course. It promises to be a dramatic departure from the other five courses that are part of Gull Lake View.

TheLoop

Meanwhile, golfers can get excited for not only new courses, but the new ideas behind the courses as well. The reversible golf course idea that resulted in the design of The Loop was something Doak has contemplated for years.  When Thompson showed him the property and asked for a course that would make people choose to stay and play again, Doak knew the contemplation could end.

Doak’s team, which included the lead associate for the project Brian Slawnik, as well as design associates Brian Schneider and Eric Iverson, completed the 18 holes last summer. The first reversible design in the U.S. is set to open June 27. He borrowed some ideas for the design from the links courses in the United Kingdom, including the Old Course at St. Andrews. It used to be played backwards for a few weeks each winter so that the areas where divots were concentrated would have time to heal. Garden City in New York, which he has long thought would work well in reverse, also gave him ideas.

StolenBrae

Meanwhile in southwest Michigan, the Scott family has provided a golf destination for over 50 years,  growing from one 18-hole golf course to 90 holes on five courses as well as overnight lodging, practice facilities and restaurants. Make it 108 holes with a soft opening by the end of July planned. Stoatin Brae, which means Grand Hill in Scottish Gaelic, is only the second course of the six that is not designed by the talented family and cut through the trees and hills on the area’s natural rolling land.

Iverson, Don Placek, Schneider and Slawnik, senior associates for Renaissance, collaborated, and the new course sits atop an open grassland bluff overlooking the Kalamazoo River valley. Iverson said they knew instantly it had all the elements for a great golf course. Jon Scott, a third generation of the family to own and operate Gull Lake View, said the family sees an opportunity to grow the business with customers who seek out new golf. It will play to par 71 over 6,800 yards.

What is your favorite course to play in Pure Michigan? Share with us by commenting below!

4 Southwest Michigan Golf Courses to Explore this Summer

Warm weather has finally arrived in Michigan, and with it, another inviting season of golf. If you’re looking to knock the dust off your favorite clubs, or are just looking to hit the links for the first time, here are four Southwest Michigan courses to try this summer:

1. Island Hills Golf Club – Centreville, MI

Island Hills is a gorgeous 18-hole course located on one of the largest lakes in Michigan, Lake Templene. Each hole is very different with some being in hardwood forests and others being in meadow prairies with a lake view. Want to “Play and Stay?” Island Hills has beautiful onsite villas for you to rest your head after playing the links.

Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

2. Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort – Augusta, MI

Gull Lake View is made up of 5 courses: Gull Lake View East, Gull Lake View West, Bedford Valley, Stonehedge South, and Stonehedge North. All are 18-hole championship golf courses and are ranked 4.5 stars or higher by Golf Digest. Each course has its unique set of challenges like hills, bunkers, water holes (East has 10), huge greens and forested holes. At Gull Lake View you can also “Play and Stay” in their onsite villas.

Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

 3. Binder Park Golf Club – Battle Creek, MI

Binder Park Golf Club is made up of 27-holes with 3 distinctive 9-hole tracks. The course is right next to Binder Park Zoo and you can even see parts of the zoo while you golf on certain holes. It is a great, user-friendly course for beginners and a challenging one for experience golfers.  Close to downtown Battle Creek and FireKeeper’s Casino, there is a lot to do when you are done golfing.

Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

4. The Medalist Golf Club – Marshall, MI

Golfing at the Medalist is like playing on a course in Northern Michigan. This premier championship golf course has hosted multiple statewide championships and U.S. Amateur qualifiers. It is close to FireKeepers Casino and Hotel so you can golf during the day and get your Vegas on at night.

Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

Want to try these courses but do not know the next step? The program, Michigan Southern Swing, will book your tee times for you along with your lodging. Call 1-877-MI-SWING or go to www.misouthernswing.com to get your FREE quote.  

BeccaF

Becca Freybler is the Digital Media Marketing Manager for the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau, handling all of their digital platforms.  She has worked for the CVB since 2010. Becca is a Michigan State University graduate and a lifelong Battle Creek resident. Outside of work she enjoys sports, cooking, being outdoors, and owns a Collie named Simba. 

5 Reasons Golfing in Charlevoix is Above Par

Charlevoix is known for its picturesque views of Lake Michigan, Round Lake and Lake Charlevoix. Nestled between these lakes, Charlevoix boasts of five renowned area golf courses. This region of northern Michigan offers interesting course diversity and easy access to multiple courses. Read more on the incredible golf scene in Charlevoix and a few courses to explore when you visit the area.

Proximity to the courses

Charlevoix boasts of five renowned golf courses. Each of these five courses is located no farther than 20 minutes from downtown Charlevoix, making it easy to play multiple courses in one day.  If you are looking for panoramic views, consider golfing at Antrim Dells. This golf course has amazing views of Lake Michigan while offering a challenging course for every skill level.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Charlevoix

 History in the making

History comes alive at two of the oldest golf courses in the state of Michigan. The Belvedere Golf Club and the Charlevoix Golf Club were both founded by renowned Scottish architect William Watson over 100 years ago. Both of these courses exhibit classic beauty and are known for their attention to detail and preservation.  If you are looking to relive history, the Belvedere Golf Club hosts the annual Belvedere Hickory Open in June, drawing in golfers from around the United States for games dressed in historic apparel and using hickory shafted clubs.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Charlevoix

 Variety is the Spice of Life

Diversity of courses, amenities, and degree of difficulty are extremely important aspects to the sport of golf. Charlevoix offers a variety of courses meeting all needs and skill sets. Whether you are looking for a 9-hole course, a classic layout, or championship challenges, Charlevoix has it all. The Dunmaglas Golf Course provides a pure and unspoiled golfing experience while the Heatherwoods Golf Course at the Charlevoix Country Club offers bent grass fairways with 4 of the most challenging end holes in Northern Michigan. The Charlevoix Golf Club is a 9-hole course that offers gentle terrain that is good for beginners, families, or if you’re looking for a quick round of golf.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Charlevoix

Deals and Discounts

Everybody likes a deal, right? Each Charlevoix area golf course offers group packaging and specials. Check out each of these golf courses to see about special group discounts and outings. Insider tip: Plan to golf in Charlevoix during the off season (beginning of May or end of September through mid October) to enjoy greatly discounted rates as well usually good weather and gorgeous fall colors.

 Stay and Play

After spending a day (or two) on the golf course, take in the happenings of downtown Charlevoix. Enjoy one of the many great restaurants, take a stroll through unique stores, stop for an ice cream cone or fudge, and top the night off with Michigan craft beer. No matter what your group’s interest, there is something fun for everyone. Use this website to plan your trip to Charlevoix!

Katherine

Katherine Forrester is a graduate from Hope College with a degree in communication and works at the Charlevoix Convention and Visitors Bureau as the Sales & Marketing Coordinator. She is a native of Charlevoix, loves skiing, kayaking, going to Detroit Red Wings games, and craft Michigan beer. You can follow the Charlevoix Convention and Visitors Bureau on Facebook and Twitter.