Lots of places have “good” golf, and a few have great golf. But the very best golf destinations always offer something more -- and Traverse City is one of these.
Even before this beautiful glacier-carved landscape drew the attention of big-name designers like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf and Gary Player, it captured the heart of golfing legend Walter Hagen. In 1954, after a career that included two U.S. Open victories, five PGA championships and four triumphs at the British Open, The Haig came to Traverse City to live. Since then, things have just kept getting better
What’s so special about Traverse City golf?
First, there’s the climate. In summer, it’s cool and comfortable when most golf destinations are sweltering in heat and humidity. Even the days are longer here; we’re on the western edge of the eastern time zone, and so far north that the light of a midsummer day can last until nearly 10pm. It's easy to get in a full 18 holes, visit a winery, dig your toes into the sandy beaches along Grand Traverse Bay, enjoy a world-class dinner, watch the sunset -- or even get in a second round -- and be ready to do it all again tomorrow.
Then there are the courses themselves. Ancient glaciers carved the deep clear lakes and dramatic hills that give golf in Traverse City its breathtaking natural setting, but the finishing touches on its 18 golf courses were added by some of the nation’s most talented architects. Situated on beautiful Grand Traverse Bay in Michigan’s wine country, this “Golf Coast” of the Midwest was awarded the #12 spot in Golf Digest’s list of the World’s Top 50 Golf Destinations.
Traverse City’s golf courses include two Arnold Palmer designs (Manitou Passage and The Legend), Jack Nicklaus’s groundbreaking layout at The Bear, the Jerry Matthews designs at Antrim Dells and Sundance, Tom Weiskopf’s award-winning course at Cedar River and Gary Player’s challenging The Wolverine. There are other gems among these hills, too – from Hawks Eye in Bellaire, Lochenheath (just opened to the public) and Mistwood to The Leelanau Club near Suttons Bay, user-friendly Elmbrook and The Crown.
But what about that “something more?” Well, this is Traverse City, after all -- the center of an outdoor paradise that’s beginning to attract new admirers who love its serenity and beauty, its surprising sophistication, and its mixture of relaxation, adventure and natural splendor. Celebrated as one of America’s up and coming “foodie” towns (Bon Appetit magazine just listed it among the top five) it boasts dozens of exciting new restaurants, award-winning wines and microbrews, two fun-filled casinos, and an unbelievable variety of shopping and lodging options.
To make your Traverse City golf vacation even more enticing, the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau offers a program that allows you to put together your own customized golf package, with great savings on golf and lodging at all 18 area courses and 21 lodging properties.