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. 

6 Reasons to Make Central Michigan this Summer’s Golf Getaway Destination

Michigan is quickly becoming known as America’s summer golf capital, with courses and programs growing bigger and better with each passing season. Across the state you’ll find championship courses forged from the states beautiful landscapes and decorated with miles of natural forests, rivers, and breathtaking shore lines. With an entire state of amazing golf possibilities, how do you choose where to start when planning your summer golf trips? Megan Molloy from Michigan’s Central Swing shares why Central Michigan should be your next golf getaway destination!

1. Location, location, location: One aspect that makes for a great golf trip is heading somewhere that’s easy to get to for everyone in your group and doesn’t require extensive travel time. Michigan’s Central Swing golf program is run out of Mt. Pleasant, which is just about two hours from anywhere in the state, not to mention an easy drive from surrounding states and even Canada. Not only is it easy to get here, but once you’re here, all of our courses are within 30 minutes of Mt. Pleasant. Being centrally located in the state, you can spend more time golfing and less time traveling.

2. Course variety: Sometimes it can be difficult to find a course or courses that fit everyone’s needs and skill sets. Whether you’re looking for classic layouts, championship challenges, or a weekend oasis of golf, Michigan’s Central Swing has it all. The Central Michigan area offers 11 different courses, including Bucks Run, PohlCat, The Pines, Eagle Glen, and even the Mt. Pleasant Country Club. With so many options, it’s never been easier to plan something for everyone.

Bucks Run Club House, Photo Courtesy of Megan Molloy

Bucks Run Club House, Photo Courtesy of Megan Molloy

3. Lodging variety: Like our courses, Michigan’s Central Swing offers a wide range of lodging options. Our 12 properties range from resort style villas to charming bed and breakfasts and luxurious hotels. These properties offer amazing amenities ranging from breakfast and dinner service, pools, fitness facilities, casino shuttles and more!

4. Customizable packages: There are few things in this life that are more frustrating than trying to plan and coordinate a trip. Michigan’s Central Swing takes hassle out of planning your golf getaway so you can get back to practicing your swing. All you have to do is call or visit our website to request a quote. Tell us where you want to stay and play and we take care of the rest. Plus you can take advantage of discounts for customer appreciation weeks, returning golfers, and groups of 16 or more.

Photo Courtesy of Megan Molloy

Bucks Run Golf Course, Photo Courtesy of Megan Molloy

5. Golf with a twist: Central Michigan doesn’t just offer great classic courses, the area also offers a number of variations on the sport. While in the area, you can try your hand, or foot I should say, at the new, fun sport called FootGolf. Riverwood Resort offers a section of their course to be used for FootGolf, a game in which you kick a soccer ball down the fairway instead of driving a golf ball. You can also be a kid again at the area’s Golf Center putt-putt course or really practice your putting game on Bucks Run’s 18-hole natural grass putting course. Even in the winter months you can still keep your game strong at Bucks Run’s virtual golf simulator as well.

Photo Courtesy of Megan Molloy

Photo Courtesy of Megan Molloy

6. More than just golf: After a long day on the course try your luck at Soaring Eagle Casino or visit one of the area’s many bars and restaurants. Enjoy a fantastic night life in this Midwestern college town created by a combination of great local bars, unique dining, gaming options, and world class performances. No matter what your group’s interests, there’s something fun for everyone to discover! Use this website to plan your perfect Mt. Pleasant day!

MeganMegan Molloy is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a degree in English and Media Design and now works at the Mt. Pleasant Area Convention and Visitors Bureau as their Digital Marketing Coordinator. She is a native of Metro Detroit, loves drawing, good food, snowboarding, and of course anything Michigan made! Check out her Facebook page and website!

Growing the Golf Game in Michigan

Growing the golf game is a hot topic around the country, and many courses and groups in Michigan are doing their part to introduce the sport in new ways. Today, Janina Parrott Jacobs gives us an inside look at what opportunities are available for getting involved in the golf community.

For more on golfing in Michigan, visit michigan.org or take a look at our video on golf from the Pure Michigan summer video series.

Family golf at Shanty Creek Resort

With over 850 public facilities ready and waiting to serve all golfers regardless of experience, Michigan is in a prime position to show new members of the golf community what the sport has to offer.

Despite gorgeous surroundings, golf can be a difficult sport. That’s why new programs at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire are attracting major attention – especially for beginners and juniors.  How much fun would it be to putt at 8-inch cups, almost double the size of the current 4 and ½ inch hole?  From shorter tees?  The great Jack Nicklaus himself is promoting this type of participation, through recommendations for 12-hole rounds, larger cups, and Tee-It-Forward initiatives. Shanty has created a new set of forward tees ranging from 95-125 yards at its Summit course, which is already attracting entire families.

One of the first resorts in America to adopt such a permanent program, Director of Golf and PGA Professional Brian Kautz noted, “We have four golf courses at our resort, so this was the perfect opportunity to convert one of them to implement this program.”  To encourage more children, women, and families to play there this season, children 17 and under can golf for free on the Summit and Schuss Mountain courses with a paying adult all week. Kids can also play free on the Arnold Palmer designed Legend and Tom Weiskopf’s Cedar River layout on Sundays after 2 p.m. Visit www.shantycreek.com for more details.

Traveling to southwest Michigan, in Centreville, Island Hills has multiple loops of 5, 7, or 12 holes within their traditional 18-hole routing, depending upon the time of day. This stunning course, carved from hills and the peninsulas around Lake Templene, is ideal for golfers who do not have the time, stamina, or money for a full round. Junior programs abound and kids 13 and under play for free with a paying adult. Don’t miss lunch or dinner: the food is superb and goes far beyond normal 19th Hole Grill offerings.

At Treetops Resort, a member of the Gaylord Golf Mecca, the First Annual Women’s Golf Festival runs from August 11-15. Women can create their own free-form daily or multiple day package of lodging, golf, lessons, demos, pro tips, spa treatments, and more….all at discounted rates. Spouses and kids are welcome too. See WGF.treetops.com for details.

Other grow-the-game efforts around the state include Play Golf America’s ‘Get Golf Ready’ clinics which are designed to teach you everything you need to know to step onto a golf course with confidence…all five lessons range from $70-$100. Topics are: Get Rolling, Hit It Close, Swing, Swing, Swing, Driving School, and Ready, Set, Go Golf; many sessions are available through October so it’s not too late to begin. See getgolfready.com for site information.  All equipment is supplied; just bring yourself, friends, or family.

TGA Premier Junior Golf in southeast Michigan is a youth development golf program for PK-8th grade students which takes place primarily at elementary schools and youth centers. TGA’s curriculum was created by golf professionals and education experts to include lesson plans that are fun, safe and educational, utilizing fields, blacktops, gyms and even hallways.

According to Owner and Territory Director Dave Robinson, formerly a 22-year Detroit Free Press editor, “the kids are inspired most by the magic of being on a real golf course during our summer camps. They enjoy learning fundamentals, rules and etiquette in our after-school classes and during the instructional part of camp. But they are truly excited to be on the course.”  By partnering with Michigan golf facilities, TGA then gets the whole family involved through mom classes and parent/child events using the following components:

  • Golf instruction that is age-appropriate, effective and retainable
  • Character development lessons through our initiative “Play the Fair Way with TGA”
  • Physical education and fitness
  • Rules & Etiquette lessons utilizing our custom 2 Hole Teaching Aid
  • Academic lessons in math, science, history and English

Now at 75 locations with fall, winter and spring classes, summer camps are conducted at eight courses including Salem Hills, Heather Highlands, Downing FarmsSycamore Hills, and Glen Oaks. More local information is available at playtga.com.  Franchises throughout the state are also open for development. The program’s national link is www.golftga.com.

The Michigan Golf Course Owners Association is committed to maintaining great golf courses but its members are also consistently improving opportunities for play.  The Golden Passbook, offers free golf for 2-4 players at 88 top courses in Michigan along with other discounts on lodging and services. Many of these courses are highly rated in Golf Digest, GolfWeek, and Golf Magazine: Yarrow, Marsh Ridge, A Ga Ming, Michaywe, Manistee National, Black Forest, Island Hills, Grande Golf Club, Fox Hills, the Grand Hotel, Shanty Creek, Treetops, Hidden River Golf and Casting Club, Westwynd, Buck’s Run, Boyne, Gull Lake View, Red Hawk, The Fortress, St. Ives, McGuire’s, and more.  With another three good months of golf left, buy the Passbook now for $300 (regular price $550).  Go to mgcoa.org or call Executive Director Kate Moore at 800-860-8575.

Will you be taking advantage of one (or more) of these Michigan golf opportunities? 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.