Two New Golf Courses Debut in Pure Michigan This Summer

Since the frenzied building of new golf courses in the 1990s, Michigan golfers have in large part been unable to contemplate new places to play. As the 2016 golf season opens, however, the Great Lakes state golfers can eagerly look forward to a pair of projects in the grow-in stages and planning debuts this summer.

Renaissance Golf Design of Traverse City has a hand in both, though Renaissance proprietor Tom Doak is involved in just one.

Doak found the perfect client in Lew Thompson, who was open to his idea of a reversible course that can be played one way one day, and another way the next, and the result is The Loop at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon. Four other architects who work for Doak’s firm, meanwhile, teamed up with the time-tested successful Scott family at Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort in Augusta and created the new Stoatin Brae course. It promises to be a dramatic departure from the other five courses that are part of Gull Lake View.

TheLoop

Meanwhile, golfers can get excited for not only new courses, but the new ideas behind the courses as well. The reversible golf course idea that resulted in the design of The Loop was something Doak has contemplated for years.  When Thompson showed him the property and asked for a course that would make people choose to stay and play again, Doak knew the contemplation could end.

Doak’s team, which included the lead associate for the project Brian Slawnik, as well as design associates Brian Schneider and Eric Iverson, completed the 18 holes last summer. The first reversible design in the U.S. is set to open June 27. He borrowed some ideas for the design from the links courses in the United Kingdom, including the Old Course at St. Andrews. It used to be played backwards for a few weeks each winter so that the areas where divots were concentrated would have time to heal. Garden City in New York, which he has long thought would work well in reverse, also gave him ideas.

StolenBrae

Meanwhile in southwest Michigan, the Scott family has provided a golf destination for over 50 years,  growing from one 18-hole golf course to 90 holes on five courses as well as overnight lodging, practice facilities and restaurants. Make it 108 holes with a soft opening by the end of July planned. Stoatin Brae, which means Grand Hill in Scottish Gaelic, is only the second course of the six that is not designed by the talented family and cut through the trees and hills on the area’s natural rolling land.

Iverson, Don Placek, Schneider and Slawnik, senior associates for Renaissance, collaborated, and the new course sits atop an open grassland bluff overlooking the Kalamazoo River valley. Iverson said they knew instantly it had all the elements for a great golf course. Jon Scott, a third generation of the family to own and operate Gull Lake View, said the family sees an opportunity to grow the business with customers who seek out new golf. It will play to par 71 over 6,800 yards.

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

5 Reasons Golfing in Charlevoix is Above Par

Charlevoix is known for its picturesque views of Lake Michigan, Round Lake and Lake Charlevoix. Nestled between these lakes, Charlevoix boasts of five renowned area golf courses. This region of northern Michigan offers interesting course diversity and easy access to multiple courses. Read more on the incredible golf scene in Charlevoix and a few courses to explore when you visit the area.

Proximity to the courses

Charlevoix boasts of five renowned golf courses. Each of these five courses is located no farther than 20 minutes from downtown Charlevoix, making it easy to play multiple courses in one day.  If you are looking for panoramic views, consider golfing at Antrim Dells. This golf course has amazing views of Lake Michigan while offering a challenging course for every skill level.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Charlevoix

 History in the making

History comes alive at two of the oldest golf courses in the state of Michigan. The Belvedere Golf Club and the Charlevoix Golf Club were both founded by renowned Scottish architect William Watson over 100 years ago. Both of these courses exhibit classic beauty and are known for their attention to detail and preservation.  If you are looking to relive history, the Belvedere Golf Club hosts the annual Belvedere Hickory Open in June, drawing in golfers from around the United States for games dressed in historic apparel and using hickory shafted clubs.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Charlevoix

 Variety is the Spice of Life

Diversity of courses, amenities, and degree of difficulty are extremely important aspects to the sport of golf. Charlevoix offers a variety of courses meeting all needs and skill sets. Whether you are looking for a 9-hole course, a classic layout, or championship challenges, Charlevoix has it all. The Dunmaglas Golf Course provides a pure and unspoiled golfing experience while the Heatherwoods Golf Course at the Charlevoix Country Club offers bent grass fairways with 4 of the most challenging end holes in Northern Michigan. The Charlevoix Golf Club is a 9-hole course that offers gentle terrain that is good for beginners, families, or if you’re looking for a quick round of golf.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Charlevoix

Deals and Discounts

Everybody likes a deal, right? Each Charlevoix area golf course offers group packaging and specials. Check out each of these golf courses to see about special group discounts and outings. Insider tip: Plan to golf in Charlevoix during the off season (beginning of May or end of September through mid October) to enjoy greatly discounted rates as well usually good weather and gorgeous fall colors.

 Stay and Play

After spending a day (or two) on the golf course, take in the happenings of downtown Charlevoix. Enjoy one of the many great restaurants, take a stroll through unique stores, stop for an ice cream cone or fudge, and top the night off with Michigan craft beer. No matter what your group’s interest, there is something fun for everyone. Use this website to plan your trip to Charlevoix!

Katherine

Katherine Forrester is a graduate from Hope College with a degree in communication and works at the Charlevoix Convention and Visitors Bureau as the Sales & Marketing Coordinator. She is a native of Charlevoix, loves skiing, kayaking, going to Detroit Red Wings games, and craft Michigan beer. You can follow the Charlevoix Convention and Visitors Bureau on Facebook and Twitter.

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!