Summer Solstice in Michigan, A Golfing Nirvana for Players

Now that the summer golf season has kicked into full-swing, golfers are getting out all over the state to take advantage of this great game. With more than 650 public courses to explore, it’s easy to see why Michigan is one of the premier golf destinations in the nation. As the summer solstice approaches, read more on why you should hit the links on the longest day of the year.

One of the highlights to golfing in Michigan are the long summer days allowing golfers to play into the evening hours. Nothing exemplifies this better then on June 20, the Summer Solstice, ( or the longest day of the year) as it will stay light enough for golf until nearly 10 p.m. Imagine teeing off at 6 p.m. and still getting 18-holes in. Even better, imagine teeing off at 7 a.m. and golfing all day and into the evening playing possibly 54 holes or more!

There are beautiful views to be seen at the Otsego Club in Gaylord

Beautiful views at the Otsego Club in Gaylord

Now, imagine taking it even one-step further and golfing one of our great resorts in Northern Michigan where golfers can  play three or four courses in one day and only leave the golf cart to hit shots. If you’re interested in a day on the greens unlike any other, America’s Summer Golf Capital has a few resorts to experience during those great long days of summer. Treetops, located in Gaylord, and the anchor to the Gaylord Golf Mecca, features 63-holes on its Treetops North site. Golfers can tee it up early on the Tom Fazio Premier, Michigan’s only Tom Fazio course, followed by the Rick Smith Signature, The Tradition, and cap it off with America’s No. 1 Par 3 Course, Threetops. Whatever order you do it in, it promises to be an amazing one-day golf experience.

The Frazio Premier Course at Treetops Resort is a local favorite

The Frazio Premier Course is recognized as a top course across the state

A little further north at Boyne Highlands up in Harbor Springs, part of the massive Boyne golf resorts, golfers can get in the cart early and play the Moor, The Donald Ross Memorial, featuring a wonderful rendition of great Donald Ross holes from around the country, and then cap it off with the Hills course, which features one of the best views from the 13th tee in all of Michigan. In Traverse City, The Grand Traverse Resort offers a great 54-hole combination lead by the Jack Nicklaus designed “Bear”, which has always been one of Jack’s tougher, but also most popular golf courses. Complimenting Jack’s course is the more player friendly Gary Player-designed Wolverine course, and the challenging Spruce Run course. If 36-holes are enough, there are several top facilities around the state where you can play 36 and never get out of the cart.

Greens at Grand Traverse Resort

Beautiful greens found at the Bear course at Grand Traverse Resort

In Northern Michigan top spots include Shanty Creek Resorts offering the Legend and Summit courses, as well as Crystal Mountain Resort with Mountain Ridge and Betsie Valley. At Manistee National, you can play Cutters Ridge and Canthooke Valley. Of course, golfers can head over to the sunrise cost play the Gailes and Serendella courses at Lakewood Shores Resort. In Gaylord, golfers should check out the Otsego Club with the Tribute and Classic courses. Don’t leave out the Upper Peninsula where golfers can challenge themselves with Greywalls and Marquette Country Club.

Greywalls Golf Course in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

The Greywalls is one of the Upper Peninsula’s finest courses

In the southern part of the state, there are destinations offering the 36-hole experience and more. Gull Lake View Resort offers options with its East and West courses or Stonehedge North and South. Golfers can experience two Donald Ross courses at Warren Valley in Dearborn, and check out Lakeview Hills in Lexington. Where ever you might play on the Summer Solstice, make it a full day of Pure Michigan golf! Where is your favorite course in Michigan? Share with us by commenting below!

Five Ways to Enjoy Michigan Golf This summer

Memorial Day Weekend is the annual kick-off to summer in Michigan and June 1 is the official beginning to Michigan Golf Month, which celebrates the game and its impact on the state’s tourism and economy. With over 650 public golf courses and a variety of golf resort destinations around the state, there are plenty of golfing options to take advantage of this summer. Read more on five fun golfing experiences to try this season:

1. Tee-it-up where the professionals play.

It’s not very often that golfers can play the same golf courses that the pros play, but at Harbor Shores Golf Club, site of the recent Sr. PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, you can drive the same fairways and hit the same shots into the greens on this public Jack Nicklaus designed layout. Also checkout the new Inn at Harbor Shores and make it a golf package.

Sand traps at Harbor Shores Golf Club

Sand and water traps present skill challenges at Harbor Shores

2. Play a golf course forwards and then backwards in reverse.

Inspired by the Old Course at St. Andrews, where over 200-years ago the course was designed to be played in reverse during the winter to help with maintenance, world-renowned golf course architect, Tom Doak, has designed the first reversible golf course of its kind in the U.S. The Loop at Forest Dunes in Grayling is a reversible routing that will alternate directions on a daily basis allowing golfers to play it clockwise (Black) one day, then counter-clockwise (Red) the next day. Combine the original Forest Dunes course and this will be a one of a kind 54-hole golf package experience.

The Loop at Forest Dunes in Grayling

World-renowned golf course architect Tom Doak designed The Loop, a reversible course

3. Play nine holes or a short course

With golf looking for ways to grow the game and get more people to participate, playing nine-holes or shorter courses has become a popular thing to do. Below are ten fun 9-hole and shorter courses around Michigan to experience.

  1. The Miners Short Course at The MinesGrand Rapids
  2. Threetops – Par 3 Course at TreetopsGaylord
  3. Mountain FlowersHomestead ResortGlen Arbor
  4. Woodside Golf Course – East Lansing
  5. Wawashkamo Golf ClubMackinac Island
  6. St. Ignace Golf & Country ClubSt. Ignace
  7. Elk Rapids Golf ClubElk Rapids
  8. Strategic Fox at Fox HillsPlymouth
  9. Les Cheneaux Golf ClubCedarville
  10. Charlevoix Golf ClubCharlevoix
  11. Shadow RidgeIonia

4. Take a lesson or visit a golf school.

Golfers looking to improve their game have plenty of options for golf instruction in Michigan. Golfers in metro Detroit, make sure to check out Carl’s Golfland and its Performance Center for both lessons and club-fitting. Golfers will find a similar experience in Ann Arbor at Miles of Golf. Other top instructors and academy’s in southern Michigan include Jason Guss at Hawk Hollow, one of Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers, Steve Brady at Oakland Hills and the Rick Smith Golf Academy at Oakland University.

Golfers looking to combine some golf instruction with a golf trip can check out some of the resorts in northern Michigan like the Dave Pelz Short Game School at the Homestead, Crystal Mountain Golf Academy, Boyne Golf Academy, as well as the golf schools at Grand Traverse Resort and Treetops.

The Treetops Golf Course in Grayling

Treetops Golf Course in Gaylord is immaculate all season long

5. Make golf part of your family vacation this summer.

Golf is a great family activity to get outside and do together and there are some great resorts that offer great family golf experiences. Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville offers family golf scramble events this summer and Boyne Mountain provides special pricing for junior golfers, as does Treetops with juniors playing free on overnight golf packages.

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

Schedule Your Tee Time at These 5 Ann Arbor Courses

Forbes recently identified Ann Arbor as a destination with “great golf and great food.” Such high praise has golf enthusiasts looking at the area with renewed interest for their own game. As the Ann Arbor area prepares to host the Volvik LPGA Championship from May 23-29, VisitAnnArbor.org shares information about some of the local greens.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

One of the more scenic courses in the Ann Arbor area is Eagle Crest Golf Club, designed by golf architect Karl Litten. Nestled along Ford Lake, the stunning waterfront par 72 course is a delight to experience and the 16th hole has been named one of the toughest in Michigan. With a four-star rating from Golf Digest, golfers vying for one of two qualifying positions will tee off at Eagle Crest for the 2016 LPGA Volvik Local Qualifier. Nearby dining recommendations: Check out the great dining in downtown Ypsilanti including Red Rock Downtown Barbecue, Sidetrack, and Haab’s.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Another nationally ranked course is The University of Michigan Golf Course. Designed by world renowned golf architect Alister MacKenzie, it is recognized as one of the most fun courses in America. Built in 1931, this course just recently opened to public play and attracts golfers from across the globe to experience this classic course widely considered one of the best of all college layouts (not to mention the amazing view of the Big House!). Nearby dining recommendations: Stick with the university theme and dine downtown at The Pretzel Bell on Main Street or Pizza House on Church Street.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

 

Stonebridge Golf Club is a great destination for golfers looking for a more affordable championship course and driving range. Designed in 1991 by Arthur Hills, a renowned golf course architect and University of Michigan alum, the meticulous course is surrounded by natural beauty. Stonebridge also offers a practice putting green, driving range with bent grass tees, and a large chipping bunker. Nearby dining recommendations: Head into Saline for great food and craft beer at Salt Springs Brewery or the fresh catch at Mac’s Acadian Seafood Shack.

Leslie Park, Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

If you’re looking for a more casual golf outing, there are a number of options that will suit your needs including Huron Hills and Leslie Park Golf Courses. These two municipal courses are all located very close to downtown Ann Arbor, perfect for a weekend of golf and dining! Nearby dining recommendations: Zingerman’s Deli is always a hole-in-one. For a lighter dining option, consider tapas and sangria to share at Aventura.

To start planning your trip, go to VisitAnnArbor.org for a full listing of Ann Arbor area golf courses and more information about nearby attractions, restaurants, and events.