6 Golf Trips Perfect for Long Weekends in Michigan
Michigan is consistently named among the best golf destinations in the country and the long summer days allow for golfers to tee off at sunset and play late into the evening taking advantage of incredible twilight rates and sunset views over lakes and hardwoods.
Here's six premier Michigan golf itineraries to take advantage of during the long summer days.
1. Southwest Michigan – Manistee National Resort and Arcadia Bluffs
Lake Michigan has always been known for its great beach towns, but it has also become spectacular sites for golf courses. The shoreline town of Manistee is home to Manistee National Golf & Resort and a few minutes up M-22 to Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club.
Arrive at Manistee National (one-nights lodging) and plan an afternoon round on the day of arrival on the Canthooke Valley Course. A fun parkland style course with challenging greens but fun for all levels of players. Make sure to head into Manistee to find some nice fare for dinner.
On your second day, begin your morning at sunrise by teeing off on the Cutters Ridge course at Manistee National. The Jerry Matthews designed course features strategic holes that meander through the hardwoods around scenic wetlands and diverse terrain. After lunch, drive 30-minutes up M-22 to Arcadia Bluffs (two-nights lodging). Play twilight at Arcadia Bluffs that afternoon.
Set on 240 acres above Lake Michigan, Arcadia Bluffs brings to life the real Irish links golf experience. All 18-holes overlook the water with the most scenic holes of 11-13 meandering right along the bluffs making it one of the most scenic golfing sites in America, and one of the most spectacular golfing sunsets found anywhere. Dinner at the clubhouse is a must and the lodging experience is second to none.
On your third day, play a second round on Arcadia Bluffs and consider taking a caddie or a forecaddie to take in the full golf experience. Lunch on the patio before heading home caps off a great golf getaway. The new South course will also be an option when it opens in late 2018.
2. Mid-Michigan – Tullymore Resort, Pohlcat and Bucks Run Golf Club
Mid-Michigan is not always the first golf destination to come to mind when thinking about places to experience, but when you combine Tullymore Resort, Pohlcat, and the Soaring Eagle Casino, it becomes a pretty cool golf and gaming experience.
Arrive at Tullymore Golf Resort for two-nights, and make sure to stay in the cottages or the Lodge at Tullymore. An afternoon round on the St. Ives course is the perfect opening golf experience. St. Ives, designed by Jerry Matthews is a beautiful and scenic layout carved through hardwoods and wetland area. Dinner in the St. Ives clubhouse caps off a fun first day.
Next, spend a day at Tullymore, designed by Jim Engh. The unique design of Tullymore has been described by Golf Digest architectural editor, Ron Whitten, as “having an Art Deco flavor with its greens and fairways that follow precise and parallel zigzags, its artistically shaped bunkers and its symmetrically repetitive mounding.”
An early morning round on Tullymore followed by an afternoon round where golfers will experience subtle ups and downs over 800 acres of woods and water on this tranquil course. Lakes dot the landscape and the Shinglebolt Creek meanders through the course. Dinner on the patio at the Tullymore clubhouse tops off a great day of golf.
On your third day, depart Tullymore for a 30-minute drive East to Mt. Pleasant. A mid-morning round at the PohlCat Golf Course, designed by Michigan native and 1980 Master’s runner-up Dan Pohl. The well-designed course plays over, and around, the scenic 100-foot wide Chippewa River.
Depart Pohlcat and drive nearby to the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort for a nice relaxing afternoon of gaming and dinner.
The final golf day takes you to nearby Bucks Run Golf Club. Bucks Run sits on 290 acres with 18-holes spread across natural wetlands, wooded areas, river frontage, and picturesque lakes. Make sure to check out the Putting Island for one final game with your group.
3. Northern Michigan – Treetops, Forest Dunes and the Loop
Home to America’s Summer Golf Capital, this region has lured the world’s finest golf architects in search of the perfect setting to create 29 championship golf courses.
America’s Summer Golf Capital offers a variety of options and resort combinations you can pair together for a great golf vacation. Below are a couple of options.
Two of the top resort destinations in northern Michigan are only 45-minutes apart. Treetops Resort in Gaylord, with its 81-holes including Michigan’s only Tom Fazio design and the No. 1 Par 3 course in America, combines pretty well with the nearby Forest Dunes Golf Club with its scenic Tom Weiskopf design and Tom Doak’s new reversible course, the Loop.
Arrive at Forest Dunes (2-nights Lodging) with an afternoon round on the Loop (Red)…consider taking a caddie to the best experience. Dinner in the clubhouse following.
On the second day, do a morning round on the Loop (Black) playing the same course backwards from the day before. Golfers will quickly realize this reversible course plays and looks completely different going in the other direction. After lunch, a round on Tom Weiskopf’s original Forest Dunes course, followed by dinner out on the patio.
The next day, drive 45-minutes north to Treetops for one-nights lodging. Tee-off on Threetops Par 3 course for the most fun one can have in 9-holes. Follow that by a round on the Tom Fazio Premier. Dinner that evening in either Legends or the popular Sports Bar is perfect for any size golf group.
Lastly, a final morning round on the Rick Smith Signature, which features bold slopes and ridges providing tremendous views of northern Michigan hardwoods.
4. Upper Peninsula – Sweetgrass at Island Resort, Timberstone and Greywalls
Wherever summer takes roost, a golf course is certain to follow. Despite the short season, dozens of golf courses have been built throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Known more for hunting, snowmobiling and meat pies called pasties, the U.P has joined in on the state’s golfing craze as a top golf destination.
One of the best ways to experience a U.P. golf adventure is with the “Perfect 4-Some,” a value-laden stay-and-play package that combines Sweetgrass Golf Club, with TimberStone At Pine Mountain, and Greywalls at the Marquette Golf Club.
Arrive the Island Resort & Casino (2-nights lodging). Golf an afternoon round on Sweetgrass, followed by dinner and gaming fun in the casino. Sweetgrass is masterfully crafted around rockwork, and cedar posts are prevalent throughout the design, which also boasts an island green on No. 15 and a pair of breathtaking waterfalls which greet golfers as they walk up the ninth and 18th holes to an enormous, shared green. A Biarritz and a Redan green, and “rescued” bridges from the state, are other compelling components of the course.
On your second day, golf Sweetgrass in the morning, followed by lunch, then drive 45-minutes to play an afternoon round on Timberstone in nearby Pine Mountain, which offers tremendous scenic mountainside vistas.
Lastly, take a day trip up to Marquette, Michigan and experiencing one of the most scenic courses in all of Michigan with Greywalls. The nationally award-winning course is part of the Marquette Golf Club, which has been a traditional place for golf in that region for many decades. Greywalls is the most unique golf layout in the region. Spanning over 230 acres the course combines views of Lake Superior with several natural rock outcroppings. The course is already being mentioned in the same light as the top golf courses from the Northern lower-peninsula as well as the entire Midwest.
5. Southwest Michigan – Gull Lake View Resort
Located between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek is one of the premier affordable golf vacation destinations in the Midwest. Gull Lake View Resort has been making sure golfers have great experiences for nearly six decades with its now six championship courses, including the East and the West, Bedford Valley and the much-talked-about Stonehedge North and South courses.
The latest addition, Stoatin Brae, is a dramatic departure from the other five courses that are part of Gull Lake View Resort. Stoatin Brae, which means Grand Hill in Scottish Gaelic, cuts through an open meadow with natural rolling hills and sits atop a grassland bluff overlooking the Kalamazoo River valley.
Arrive Gull Lakeview Resort (3-nights lodging). Golf either the East or West course on the opening afternoon.
On your second day, tee-off on the Stonehedge South in the morning with lunch in between, then play the Stonehedge North course in the afternoon. A trip to downtown Kalamazoo for dinner at Hopcat and drinks at fun places like Bells Brewery, Eccentric Café and General Store or the Beer Exchange top off a great day.
Next, spend the day at Stoatin Brae, teeing off in the morning, followed by lunch on the patio. An afternoon round on Stoatin Brae with dinner afterwards in the clubhouse is the perfect setting.
On your last day, play a final round on the Gull Lake East or West course before departing.
6. Southeast Michigan – Motor City Golf and Gaming
The Southeast region of Michigan has become a hot bed for great golf courses in recent years along with exciting casino venues. Over the past 15 years, many great public golf facilities have been built in the region, which will provide some great options for golfers. It all began with Pine Trace Golf Club and The Orchards Golf Club in the early nineties. Pine Trace is a watery and woodsy track in Rochester, while The Orchards Golf Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., features 93 bunkers, plenty of trees, and wetlands.
Shepherd's Hollow, a 27-hole Arthur Hills design located on dramatically rolling and wooded land 40 miles north of Detroit, instantly became one of Detroit's top public golf facilities when it opened. One of Metro Detroit's more opulent private golf clubs, The Wyndgate, has lent some of its' flavor and elegance to a new public facility, Westwynd Golf Course, which opened adjacent to The Wyndgate in Rochester Hills. The course flows across a broad tract of hills, tall fescue plots, and wetlands.
Variety of golf in one location is rare, but Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center in Plymouth has done it. Fox Hills is a 63-hole public golf complex that caters to every golfing demographic and players of varying skill levels. The Classic Fox, Golden Fox, and Strategic Fox courses, each with a separate clubhouse and banquet facilities have made Fox Hills a genuine gathering place. Strategic Fox was developed primarily as a way to grow the game of golf and make it fun for beginners. Other daily-fee courses in Southeast Michigan include Cherry Creek Golf Club, Blackheath Golf Club, Fieldstone Golf Club, Northville Hills Golf Club, Twin Lakes Golf Club, Moose Ridge Golf Course, and Boulder Pointe Golf Club & Conference Center.
On your second day, experience Ann Arbor golf with the UM golf course at the University of Michigan, followed by an afternoon fun round at Strategic Fox at Fox Hills. Dinner that evening downtown in Greektown will be the perfect end to a great day.
Next, drive out to Shepherds Hollow for an AM round of golf up in the northern suburbs followed by lunch in the southern designed clubhouse. That evening head over to Comerica Park to experience a Detroit Tigers baseball game. Have dinner at the stadium, then experience more gaming that night.