Explore Michigan’s Golf Courses This Summer

Michigan offers a wide variety of golf courses with something for everyone. Offering over 800 public golf courses (plus the natural beauty of the state and the Great Lakes), Michigan is the perfect summer golf destination. With golf being one of the activities featured in the Pure Michigan summer video series, we spoke with Janina Parrott Jacobs to learn more about the sport.

See her in the video below and read more from Janina in the questions that follow. For more information on golfing in Michigan or to plan your summer vacation, visit michigan.org.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

A: I’m a lucky girl whose parents exposed me to everything, including golf. My amateur competitive ‘career’ began at age 9 and has taken me all over the world. In addition to my work as an international golf/travel/health writer, I own Capers Steakhouse in Detroit, am a professional musician, performer, and motivational speaker.  I hosted ‘Michigan Golf Weekly’ TV show on CBS-Detroit, ‘GolfWrap’ on WJR, wrote golf columns for the Detroit Free Press, and have been a course ratings panelist for Golf Digest for 30 years. I’m an advocate for many organizations involved with mentoring youth, women’s golf, the U.S. Navy and other military, Sea Cadets, veterans’ affairs, and health and nutrition.

Q: What makes Michigan an ideal destination for golfing?

A: Michigan’s climate is perfect for growing golf courses so conditioning on almost anywhere is superb…..and great conditions are one of the main ‘must-haves’ when selecting places to play. With over 850 public and resort courses available, there is no state with a greater inventory to choose from, no matter what price point you seek. Due to Michigan’s varied topography, you can play links-style clubs, courses with major elevation changes, and layouts with lakeside vistas, even some with mountainous granite outcroppings. The golf season usually runs from March until November, but hardy souls play year-round – which some courses allow.

Q: What are some of your favorite courses around the state?

A: That’s a loaded question….there are so many! Here’s a partial list: Elk Ridge in Atlanta, Greywalls in Marquette, Forest Dunes in Roscommon, True North in Harbor Springs, The Bear near Traverse City, Tullymore and Bucks Run in Mt. Pleasant, Pilgrim’s Run in Pierson, Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, The Grande Golf Club in Jackson, Island Hills in Centerville, Shepherd’s Hollow in Clarkston, Pine Trace in Rochester Hills, and any course at Treetops (Gaylord), Shanty Creek (Mancelona), Gull Lake View (Augusta), Fox Hills (Plymouth), Lakewood Shores (Oscoda) or Boyne.

Q: Are there courses in Michigan that appeal to people of different ages and skill levels?

A: The Huron-Clinton Metroparks and most municipal and county courses are very family friendly, affordable, and welcoming for any age and skill level.

Q: When would you say is the best time of year to golf?

A: Fall golf in Michigan is unsurpassed. After Labor Day, the courses are in the best condition, the crowds have lessened and if you wait until October, the leaves are exploding with color.  That, coupled with emerald green fairways, bright blue skies and bluer water on many courses along Great Lakes shores, makes for an artist’s palette sure to delight the eyes.  I don’t know why play drops off so significantly at that time, though ‘back-to-school’ applies to parents as well as kids; still, golfers are missing the absolute best playing conditions and weather.

Q: The Masters is happening this month in Augusta, GA. Which golfers are you cheering for?

A: Defending champion Bubba Watson is a feel-good choice but probably won’t repeat.  I’d love if he did because he’s simply an all-around nice guy with that go-for-broke style of Arnold Palmer and the late Seve Ballesteros.  Rory McIlroy is due for a green jacket, but Tiger Woods has had an early taste of victory at Bay Hill so he’ll be hungering for another major after a ‘Major’ drought.  Brandt ‘Sneds’ Snedeker, as winner of both the Tour Championship and Fed Ex Cup, is primed for a stellar 2013. Acclaimed as the best putter on tour, Augusta’s greens may prove to separate him from the pack.  Nostalgic favorite Ernie Els, who has never won a Masters, and Phil Mickelson are popular with the patrons.

Q: Are there any tournaments coming up this year in Michigan?

A: Here’s where great golf can be seen around the state this year: the SYMETRA (LPGA preparatory Tour) 2013 Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass, June 28-30; Sweetgrass is both a Golf Digest and Golfweek top-rated course in the UP; the Michigan PGA Championship is at Katke-Cousins/R&S Sharf Courses at Oakland University August 19-21; the Michigan Amateur will be contested at Muskegon CC June 18-21; The Legends Tour (LPGA Senior Tour) ‘Wendy’s Charity Challenge’ on August 11-12 at CC of Jackson; the Women’s Amateur is at Walnut Hills CC in Lansing August 12-16; all are free to watch except at Sweetgrass, where affordable packages can be purchased at sweetgrassgolfclub.com.

Q: Where can people go to learn more about golf in Michigan?

A: Consider joining the Golf Association of Michigan at gam.org.  Besides conducting amateur tournaments and events for both adults and juniors, GAM provides handicapping services, Swing-n-Save discounts, a ‘clearinghouse’ listing for charity golf events and associations, golf days with affordable access to private clubs, and much more.

Which Michigan golf course is your favorite? Share with us below!

Janina Parrott Jacobs is a lifelong Michigan resident but her passion as a multi-media golf and business specialist and international golf and travel writer takes her all over the world.  Her website, www.janinajacobs.com, features many other entrepreneurial adventures as a motivational speaker, professional musician and performer, owning Capers Steakhouse in Detroit, and volunteer efforts with the U.S. Navy where she advocates for and mentors young people concerning health, nutrition, and fitness issues. Contact Janina at Jjacobs2456@gmail.com.

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    Common Mistakes Parents Make With their Kids Unknowingly

    There are all sorts of hazards on the road of parenthood.
    Every circumstance is unique but there are a few mistakes that most parents do not understand
    that they are making. At some point they may realize what they were doing wrong, but
    by then the damage has already been done. It is much better
    to see your mistakes before the consequences of those mistakes have grown
    past your ability to control them. So let’s look at some of these typical parenting mistakes and how you can stay away from them.

    One of the greatest mistakes parents make is screaming or yelling at their children. Children quickly learn to tune out parents who are always yelling at them. Screaming does absolutely no good, even though you are severely perturbed and feel like raising the roof. As you may figure, the more frequent you raise your voice; the more apt they will be to ignore you. It also tends to create a feeling of hostility in the child, as no one likes to be yelled at. You will accomplish more with your children when you approach them with an even temperament. It does make sense to shout at your child for their own good; if there were some sort an imminent sense of danger lurking.

    Not listening or paying enough attention to your child is a serious mistake. Your child wants your time and attention and when they do not get it, they suffer. With a lot of conflicting schedules, sometimes families do not even eat at the same time and that makes talking to your children more difficult. If parents do not talk with their children on a regular basis, it will break communications with their child. Your child will recognize when you are just going through the motions and it will turn them off. A single mom has a very big job to do because she probably works outside of the home and has lots of chores to do, so it is important she finds time to talk with her children. One way you can tell if the children do not get enough attention is when they act out.

    Trying to be your child’s best friend is another common
    mistake parents make. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to build a close relationship with your child.
    However, you have to recognize that being a friend isn’t the same thing as being a parent. As a parent, you sometimes have to do things that will make you unpopular with your child, at least temporarily. Sometimes you have to say “no” and to make sure that the rules get enforced and followed. If you’re constantly
    seeking your child’s approval, you are not going to be able to fulfill your role as a parent responsibly. Your son or daughter need you to be a parent not a friend so get your act together and start acting like one.

    If you have fallen victim to any of the mistakes we have mentioned; you shouldn’t
    be too critical of yourself, it happens to the best
    of parents from time to time. Hopefully by discussing these points,
    you will be able to waylay a situation such as this before it occurs.
    Parenting is not a simple task and as we grow,
    we often find that it is necessary to change out tactics to achieve our goals.

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