No matter which golf publication or website you read this summer, you saw Michigan golf courses continue to get high praise from the national press and reader’s polls. In fact, the Golf Word Reader’s choice Awards ranked Michigan as the 11th best overall golf destination in the country. Now that’s a piece of good news for Michigan.
Golf World readers really like our public courses. Forest Dunes in Roscommon was voted best in the country. Many say its Tom Weiskopf’s best work. Just down the list, Golf World readers chose Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course 16th, Cedar Chase Golf Course in Cedar Springs 23rd, Eagle Eye Golf Course in East Lansing 27th, Bucks Run Golf Course in Mt. Pleasant 30th, Pilgrim’s Run Golf Course in Pierson 31st and Shepherds Hollow Golf Course in Clarkston 49th.
The Resorts of Tullymore in Stanwood, which include the Tullymore and St. Ives Golf Courses, have the highest resort ranking in Michigan at 27th in the country. The Tullymore Golf Course, designed by Jim Engh has won a number of national awards including a spot in the Top 15 Public & Resort Course in America according to Golf Digest. St. Ives is their original course and is a Jerry Matthew design. It won its share of national awards when it first opened as well.
Treetops in Gaylord which has courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Rick Smith and Tom Fazio is ranked 32nd, Bay Harbor is ranked 38th with their Lake Michigan bordered course designed by Art Hills, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa near Traverse City is 45th featuring courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Bill Newcomb. Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs received a very high rating just outside of the top 50.
The good news is that quality equals stamina. According to the National Golf Course Owners Association Michigan still ranks fourth in the country for total golf courses. Out of 800+ courses only 10 have closed for various reasons over the past year. Some are now home developments, one closed down just to wait out the economic slowdown. Percentage wise though, the Michigan golf course business is more than holding it’s own. It reminds you of the famous line “if you build it they will come.” And if you build them well, they will keep coming in good times and in bad.
Tim Hygh has been involved in the Michigan golf scene from the early 80′s when the Michigan golf boom started. Hygh was a television sports director then before becoming the Marketing Director at Shanty Creek where he organized the grand opening of The Legend. Since then, Hygh has helped produced two television programs on Michigan Golf, managed tournament media centers for the past 20 years, and is currently a golf public relations consultant for Travel Michigan.