Discover the Perfect Foursome with Golf in the Upper Peninsula

If you love cool autumn breezes, vibrant colors, and a great round of golf, there are a number of scenic courses in the Upper Peninsula for you to explore this fall. Today, Janina Parrott Jacobs walks us through some fall golf opportunities to take advantage of in the U.P. For more on golfing in Michigan, visit

Michigan golfers are well versed in the up-north golf treasures of Traverse City, the Gaylord Mecca, and the Sunrise Side but many don’t go far enough to experience the superb golf that lies beyond the mighty Mackinac Bridge. Fall is a great time to visit, certainly if you’re fond of cooler temps, blazing autumn colors, and offshore breezes reminiscent of golf in the British Isles.

With apologies to Michigan native and actor Jeff Daniels’ play ‘Escanaba in da Moonlight,’ ‘Escanaba in da daylight’ provides the gateway to spectacular golf and scenery via Island Resort and Casino’s version of the very affordable Stay-and-Play ‘Perfect Foursome’: three of GolfWeek Magazine’s ‘Best Courses You Can Play’ in Michigan: Greywalls (#2), Timberstone (#8), and Sweetgrass (#14)……and you.

Stay at Island Resort, owned by the Hannahville Tribe of the Potawatomi Indians, with its bustling casino and packed entertainment schedule. Walk from your room to first tackle Michigan-based course designer Paul Albanese’s Sweetgrass, a friendly and superbly conditioned links style layout, which has been a community-energizing stop on the Symetra Tour since 2011. Try to match the sub-par scores of future LPGA professionals, but healthy par-4’s coupled with feisty par-3’s – including the dramatic Biarritz green on #12 and the island green 15th- will hamper your quest. Learn about the legends and culture of the Potawatomi tribe by reading hole names and descriptions located on each tee sign. Snap a picture of the famous double eagles on ‘Eagle’, the 13th hole, all while taking in the fragrance from the namesake aromatic Sweetgrass, a healing herb spread throughout the course.

Drive north about 70 miles to Marquette for a wild ride at Marquette Golf Club’s Greywalls course – but you can walk – and should, simply to take in the spectacular surroundings and vistas. Architect Mike DeVries fashioned a deceptively playable roller coaster and picturesque layout from Lake Superior’s rugged bluffs. It looks hard but can be tamed, especially if you play it twice and learn the garden spots. On clear days, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is visible, over 30 miles away. Your final tee shot on 18 will float from incredibly clear skies toward majestic blues of the state’s largest and deepest lake….but don’t worry, you can’t hit it far enough to go in.

Finish your ‘foursome’ at nationally renowned Timberstone Golf Course at Pine Mountain, in Iron Mountain, where homegrown architect Jerry Matthews combines the best of northern Michigan elevations, wetlands, and hardwoods into a pastoral and pleasant course routing. All holes have names here too, like Sweetgrass, which can provide clues as to how to play them. Afterwards, stop for a burger, often cooked on an outdoor grill by the pro. A fire pit near the log cabin-style clubhouse provides a warm welcome after tackling two of the most dramatic finishing holes in the state: the 215-yard par-3 17th, ‘Sagola’ and the 600-yard par-5 ‘Double Black Diamond’ 18th, both straight downhill so don’t let the yardages scare you.

If your travel plans won’t mesh with a Fall excursion, why not plan for next year and visit when the Symetra Tour is in town for the 2014 Island Resort Championship, a 3-day 54-hole Stroke Play tournament during the week of June 23-29? This year, corporate hospitality and the Pro-Am sold out and over 4500 spectators watched the 144 women professionals in action. Or, consider being a volunteer caddy or marshal along with the 300 who took part during the 2013 event. Sweetgrass was highly regarded on the circuit, no surprise to Michigan golfers who know the quality of local courses. According to Hannahville Tribal Council Chair Ken Mesigaud, “The event puts a spotlight on the beauty and uniqueness of the course which many players regard as the best stop on the circuit.”

Will you be trying your hand at one (or more) of these Upper Peninsula golf courses this fall? Share with us below!

Janina JacobsJanina 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,, 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


Get Your Golf Game in Shape in Pure Michigan

Michigan golf is better than ever. From golf magazine rankings to People’s Choice Awards, Michigan is consistently named among the best places in the country to play golf. Whether you’re an experienced golfer looking to improve or a beginner looking to explore, there are plenty of ways to work on your game.

Learn about these opportunities from Janina Parrott Jacobs below and check out our video on golf from the Pure Michigan summer video series to see more.

For more information on golfing in Michigan or to plan your summer vacation, visit

Pure Michigan’s stellar golf courses are much more fun to play when your game is in shape.  Michigan’s status as a top golf state also includes quality golf schools, clinics, and events conducted by talented teaching professionals from all over the U.S. Statistically, tour players take anywhere from 6 to 30 lessons annually to keep their games sharp.  Most recreational golfers take none and it’s the one fix that could help the most. New golf clubs offer hope, but without proper guidance, the same swing problems haunt you.

If your game needs assistance, here are some opportunities:

Saturday, June 8: PGA Professional Brad Patterson will solve your swing problems, including simple putting fixes and ‘losing a slice in 3 balls’.  Two sessions offered at 10am and noon at Midway Sports, 22381 Van Born Rd. in Taylor MI, 48180. Call Brad directly at 315-405-5756. or visit the website. Cost is $30.

Saturday, June 8:  British Golf Professional Trevor Parkinson conducts a Demo Day featuring celebrated custom fitted Miura clubs at Greystone Golf Club, 67500 Mound Rd. in Washington, MI from 1 to 4pm.  Consider twilight play to tackle three difficult finishing holes meandering around a large rock quarry. Call 248-651-9580 or visit

Sunday, June 9: Nationally recognized LPGA Professionals Teresa Zamboni, Lynn Stellman, and PGA Host Professional Barry Pearce will headline a Ladies Links Fore Golf (LL4G)Fun Day’ clinic and 9-hole playing lesson at Brentwood Golf Club, 2450 Havenwood, White Lake, MI 48383. 8:30 registration, with clinic at 9am, golf at 10:30 and lunch following. Costs are $90 – $105 and all skill levels are welcome.  Visit or call 248-684-2662.

Monday, June 10: Golf Legend Nancy Lopez visits Michigan to share her expertise as she headlines the Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals 2013 Macomb Golf Classic at the Donald Ross-designed Detroit Golf Club.  Participants will attend a morning golf clinic taught by Nancy and other members of Ladies Links Fore Golf (LL4G). On-course instruction, autographed pictures, and video of the complete day will be provided as well as lunch and dinner. For information, contact Tina Lavinio-Mattinen at 586-263-2968 or, or visit the website.

If you can’t make it to the events listed above, there are some excellent golf schools at great courses around the state to check out:

The acclaimed Kendall Golf Academy, based at Ypsilanti’s Miles of Golf, will conduct golf schools at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon and Tullymore Golf Resort in Stanwood.  Top state PGA professionals Dave Kendall, Frank McAuliffe, and Hall of Fame members Jack Seltzer and Lynn Janson will teach nulti-day schools along with one-day schools June – August. Package rates are $595 to $1195, lodging included, for the multi-day schools. For registration at Forest Dunes, call 855-275-1222 or visit At Tullymore, call Scot Cucksey at 800-972-4837, ext. 251 or visit For the Kendall Academy, call 734-645-2322.

The Rick Smith/Jason Guss Golf Academy at Treetops in Gaylord: Nationally renowned instructor and principal Treetops owner Rick Smith hosts a world class learning center which has made GOLF Magazine’s Top 25 Golf Schools in America rankings an unprecedented three times. Swing methods come and go but the major philosophy here is clear communication, quality instruction, and individualized attention.  When ‘school’ lets out, 81 holes’ worth of fun begins, including the Fazio and Smith courses, also in GolfWeek’s Top Courses You Can Play’. Treetops hosted The Golf Channel’s inaugural ‘Big Break’ series; Threetops was the site for the ‘Par-3 Shootout at Treetops Resort’ featuring golf greats Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, and Lee Trevino, who aced the 7th hole, winning $1,000,000. For information on Smith, Jason Guss, and all programs, including a ‘Ladies-Only’ 4 day instructional retreat, visit or call 989-731-8485.

Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs and Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls’ complete play-and-stay instructional facilities feature six 18-hole championship courses and a lighted 9-hole Executive Course.  A wide variety of learning options are available: Nike Junior Golf Academy, BOYNE Golf Academy, Ladies-Only instruction packages, High School Coaching Academy, and Precision Fit Golf, which features custom fitting, repair, and launch monitor analysis. For details, see or call 1-800-462-6963.

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa’s programs are led by Director of Instruction Scott Hebert, a six-time Michigan Open Champion. Three courses, with views of the bay test what you’ve learned: Jack Nicklaus’ tough layout ‘The Bear’; Gary Player’s ‘The Wolverine’ and the original ‘Spruce Run’, re-designed by former U of M golf coach Bill Newcomb.  Choose from year-round offerings of multi-day golf schools, public clinics, junior camps and clinics, Ladies-Only schools, Team Builds, corporate clinics, and indoor league play on GC2-powered Golf Simulators.  For details, visit or call 1-800-236-1577.

Crystal Mountain Resort, also on GOLF Magazine’s Top-25 list, conducts over 100 clinics and schools targeted toward all skill levels. Former MI PGA Professional of the Year and Director of Golf Brad Dean has the knack for presenting difficult concepts in a manner that is easily understood; his skilled staff of professional have earned a myriad of teaching awards.  Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the resort’s signature course, the Bill Newcomb-crafted Mountain Ridge.  Owners Chris and Jim MacInnes invite you to enjoy Special Anniversary Rates of $20 per player, including cart and use of the practice range on: Tuesday, May 28; Friday, June 28; Sunday, July 14; Wednesday, August 28; Thursday, September 5; Wednesday, October 9.  Call the Pro Shop at 800-968-7686, ext. 4000 or visit

Will you be working on your golf game in Michigan this summer? 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,, 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