Ah, the Upper Peninsula; just saying the words conjures up visions of beautiful land, clean air and water. Our Upper Peninsula has 150 waterfalls, white water streams and rivers, 30 varieties of wild orchids, 19 state parks, 40 lighthouses, and 27 18-hole and 17 nine-hole golf courses. Our UP Golf Guide, offers a quick look at the courses available, with other information being available on their websites and listed on http://michigangolfer.com and online video at http://michigangolfer.tv The courses are arranged according to the county in which they are located.
Pictured Rocks Golf & Country Club
George Stanger, one of the original volunteers that started the first nine in 1965 and saw it open in 1968 was on hand to give us a tour. In 1995 they added the back nine, at a cost of $750,000 and a ton of volunteer hours. The membership worked hard to create a course that is challenging to them and also a draw for tourists. It is a bit over 6200 yards. They are proud of their course and want people to see and golf it. (http://www.algercounty.com/prgcc/)
L'Anse Golf Course
This is a wide open course that has a creek that comes into play on a number of the holes. There is the especially challenging sixth, a par-3 with a 190-yard carry and the ninth, where you cross the water twice.
Jenn Kangas, now Jenn Brody, formerly on the LPGA Tour and now with the Futures Tour, was born and raised in L'Anse. She attended MSU where she was a two-time All-Big Ten Team selection (1995, 1996).
Drummond Island Golf Course
This is a nice little nine-hole course that attracts mostly locals. However, if you have played The Rock and still need some additional island golf, this is a nice little course.
Kincheloe Memorial Golf Course
This is a beautiful 18-hole course with reasonable rates and good conditions. A former Air Force course, it has done well under the leadership of superintendent: Bill Palmer and course manager Jamie Davison. It is a par 72, 7218 yard tract. (http://www.kincheloegolf.com)
Munoscong Golf Course
Munoscong recently became an 18-hole golf course. It has plenty of water hazards and bunkers throughout the course. The 15th hole, a monster par-5, will give you all you can handle. Also, the par-3, 183-yard 16th hole has a pond that protects its green. The course is a little over 6100 yards and fairly open. (http://sports.yahoo.com/pga/golfcourses//michigan/pickford/2212.html)
Sault Ste. Marie Country Club
Sault Ste. Marie CC was started in 1903 and has remained one the finer courses in the UP. Jerry Matthews recently renovated a few of the holes and made it a much more enjoyable course. Nestled by the water, it is not unusual to look up from a shot and see an ore boat passing by. The clubhouse and pro shop have been upgraded. 906-632-7812
They didn't name this course after a marsh for no reason. Tanglewood Marsh definitely offers golfers a different looking golf course. The marsh comes in to play on 17 of its 18 holes. It definitely offers golfers an opportunity to use all of the clubs in their bags. In fact, on one par-5 you will most likely select an iron to use off the tee. 906-765-7651
Drummond Island - The Rock
John Archambeau, new general manager for the Drummond Island Resort, and his team of Chuck Hessel, resort golf professional and Craig Huffman, course superintendent ,are ready for a great year. The resort has a relatively new ownership with Clif Haley, former CEO of Budget Rent-A-Car and Dennis Bailey, owner of other commercial properties on the island. The resort boasts a championship golf course designed by Harry Bowers, a rustic looking but totally modern lodging facility, fine dining at its Bayside Restaurant & Lounge, grill food at Pins Bar and Grill and a touch of Frank Lloyd Wright style architecture here and there. The course was in great shape during our visit. We enjoyed the famous waterfall at 15 and also noted some new lodging being built on the 18th hole. This is one of the places you need to golf in the Upper Peninsula. (http://drummondisland.com)
Spectacular views of Waishkey Bay, Whitefish Bay, the St. Marys River and Lake Superior await you at Wild Bluff. The course has quickly become one of the favorites in Northern Michigan. Mike Husby, who also designed Gaylord favorites Marsh Ridge and The Loon, did an outstanding job with Wild Bluff. Mike also designed a new nine at Newberry CC and Indian Lake CC in the UP. Wild Bluff has memorable holes and spectacular views along with immaculate care. It is a true championship course and has the credentials to back it up having hosted the GAM Womens' Senior Amateur Championship in 2001 and the Canadian Tour's Bay Mills Open this year.
In addition to the course, Bay Mills Resort and Casino offers an exceptional lodging and gaming complex. The golf packages at Wild Bluff are the most generous in Michigan. Husby, the director of golf, is assisted by Judy Mason, one of Michigan's outstanding golf instructors. A tour of the golf course with Bill Shelton and Mike Husby is available on the Michigan Golfer TV Show: http://michigangolfer.tv/2002shows/show6/. (http://wildbluff.com)
Degrand Country Meadows
Country Meadows is a 9-hole course. They have recently added an alternate 9-holes. No tee times are necessary. (http://www.gladstonemi.org/cityparks.htm#golf)
Escanaba Country Club
Escanaba CC is the oldest in the area. It is known for its fairly flat greens, tree lined fairways, doglegs and a plentiful supply of traps. There seems to be water everywhere on the new back nine. The lakes showcase water fountains that dance with color at night. They recently changed their ninth hole and made it their 18th. It is a 428-yard par-4 hole with an uphill green. "When the wind is in your face it is really tough to get there on two shots," said John Lancour, Director of Golf. (http://www.gladstonemi.org/cityparks.htm#golf)
Highland Golf Club
Highland Golf Club is a nice little course that lies West of Escanaba and East of that greatly expanding casino, Chip Inn's Island Resort. The 6,237 yard course is on flat ground which allows many players the opportunity to walk it. It is a nice place to spend a couple of hours lowering your score. They have a great Friday night fish fry. (http://www.gladstonemi.org/cityparks.htm#golf)
Gladstone Golf Club
The Gladstone Golf Club is undergoing a lot of changes this year according to club spokesman Shawn Howe and local scribe, Dennis Grall. They have widened fairways, cleaned up a lot of undergrowth in the woods, made hole No. 11 a par-3 and turned hole 12 into a par-4. The revised course is the brainchild of director of golf, Casey VanDam and superintendent Bruce Clein. Their goal was to soften up the course a tad. The highly scenic course is virtually cut from the forests of the Upper Peninsula. The 6,456 yard course has huge greens and very narrow fairways that put tee shots and putting at a premium. The majestic Days River runs through five of the holes. (http://www.gladstonemi.org/cityparks.htm#golf)
The Nahma Golf Course
A wide open course located on Big Bay de Noc, this little gem is somewhat challenging. It has small greens, flat terrain and a number of tree-lined fairways. This nine hole course plays to 2812 yards. 906-644-2648
Terrace Bay Golf & Country Club
Terrace Bay is part of the Terrace Bay Resort and Convention Center. They have a nice lodge right on the bay and solid golf packages. The course sits on a high bluff overlooking Little Bay de Noc. I really enjoyed the views from the course, which is extremely user friendly. The facility includes a 71 room motel on the bay with a restaurant, lounge, indoor pool, and large banquet room. The clubhouse features a snack and cocktail bar, tennis, volleyball, horseshoe court and outdoor pool. Instructors, driving range and putting green are available. Dave Douglas is the director of golf. (906) 428-2343 (http://www.terracebay.com/)
Tri Valley Golf & Country Club
Tri Valley has had a lot of change since we were last there. It has added a new nine and now have 18 holes that play to 6000 yards. Tom Ranquette and owner John Lucas were the designers of the course and they also added watered fairways, a driving range and a new grill to the place. (http://www.trivalleygolf.com/)
Oak Crest Golf Club
Fred Flink has been at Oak Crest for 20 years and is excited about what is happening in golf in that area. "We have some excellent golf with Timberstone and Pine Grove being right next to us, he added. Golf just does not get much better up here. Pine Grove at one time was rated one of the best courses in the state." Its clubhouse is a spectacular building that really showcases the community and its Nordic heritage. When entering the town you will note a huge Viking ship on Highway 2. This year the area will host the Upper Peninsula Mens' Championship. 906-563-5891
Pine Grove Country Club
Pine Grove CC is starting its second century of golf with a brand new multi-million dollar club house. It compares in quality with Wild Bluff's club house in Bay Mills. With its fine golf course, it is certainly the finest country club in the north. Built in 1902, it features spectacular vistas, towering trees lining the fairways and a course that has everything to match your game. Mike Healy is the golf professional. 906-774-3493
Suzie Fox has been the head golf professional since Timberstone opened. She was a two sport phenomenon in high school, twice winning the Michigan High School slalom and downhill ski championship. She later played some professional golf, before taking on the job at Timberstone.
One of the best if not the best course in the Upper Peninsula, Timberstone was designed by Jerry Matthews. The course has some fascinating holes with a double green on No. 7 and No. 12, a nifty par-4 at No.11, the "Treetops" hole at No. 17 where they have seven tees to hit from, and the 18th, a massive par-5, 625-yard hole that drops down the mountain. Matthews took the ubiquitous boulders on the course and blended them into the course design. It is just a spectacular course.
Ron Whitten, of Golf Digest, indicated that, "the par-3 17th, where the twisting turning cart path has been dubbed 'Lombard Street,' is an Upper Peninsula alpine treat." It was rated No. 3 "Best New Upscale Public Course 1998" by Golf Digest. http://timberstonegolf.com
Mike and Joe Cameron designed and opened their course in 1998. Currently, a nine hole course, they hope to build the other nine in a few years. It has a clubhouse, two bars, a driving range and a pavilion as part of its amenities. 906-932-9066
Gogebic Country Club
The 18-hole Elks Gogebic Country Club is Michigan's western most course. It has been offering Ironwood citizens great golf since 1922. It is a fairly hilly course. with tree-lined fairways. Gogebic is a real old timer and a nice getaway place for a round. The clubhouse is just spectacular. Brian Rigoni, the director of golf is in his fourth year. They have a new superintendent, Stacey Thiede. 906-932-2515
Indianhead Mountain Resort
Indianhead is noted more for skiing than golf. However, the resort would like to become more involved in golf. Its 955-yard executive course has nicely kept greens and tee areas. (http://www.indianheadmtn.com)
Lac Vieux Desert Resort
This is a nice, well irrigated, nine-hole course that sits right beside the new Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino in Watersmeet. The course features five ponds and a stream that comes into play on five of the holes. There is on-site lodging for the course at the American Inn Hotel and Suites. For reservation call 800-634-3444 (http://lacvieuxdesert.com/)
Perttu's Big Spruce Golf Course
Another one of the U.P. nine holes courses. A flat layout, that does its share of summer business.
Calumet Country Club
Known more for their Keewenaw Trail Running Festival in July than golf, this little nine-hole golf course will prove to be a nice way to spend some time. There was a time in our history, when this town had a 100,000 people in it. 906-337-3911
Portage Lake Golf Club
Built in 1902, it is the home course of Michigan Technological University. As the story goes, the school bought it for a buck in 1945 and rescued it from becoming a weed farm. It is challenging and enjoyable. (http://www.aux.mtu.edu/golf/SITEcontent.shtml)
Wyandotte Hills Golf Club
Wyandotte is a nine-hole course located at Twin Lakes that plays to 2655 yards. 906-288-3720
Crystal View Golf Course
The course is owned and operated by the City of Crystal Falls and located on the banks of the beautiful Paint River and overlooking the city. They have one of the more unusual tee-off rituals in all of golf. After you tee off on No. 5 you need to go to the 6th tee and tee off from there as well. You then finish the fifth hole and then move on to your drive at six. (http://www.crystalfalls.org/golfing.htm)
George Young Recreation Complex
One of the longest 18-hole championship courses in the UP at 7,041 yards, it also received a four-star rating from Golf Digest last year. It is in a pleasant setting and has a ton of things to do while there. Pool, spa, sauna, hiking trails and mountain biking await you in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter.
George Young and family donated the conference center complex, located on 3300 acres of Upper Peninsula wilderness, to the people of Iron River. (http://www.georgeyoung.com/)
Iron River Country Club
The story of these nine holes is the 28 sand traps that seem to be everywhere. There is also water on the eighth and ninth holes. It also has a driving range. (http://www.skibrule.com/summer.shtml)
Keweenaw Mountain Lodge
The lodge was built in the 1930's and still has that aura. The course is extremely friendly, very hilly and sans sand traps. The lodge has 42 units and includes a tennis court, hiking trails and a nice restaurant. http://www.keweenawmountainlodge.com
Newberry Country Club
Mike Husby came in and built nine new holes and renovated five of the older holes to give this sleepy little nine-holer a championship look. Dan Alto, who worked for Husby and Wild Bluff for three years, is in his second year at the club. The locals love the course and it has attracted many downstaters as well. The finishing holes, No. 9 on the original course and No. 18 on the new course, are the local favorites. 906-293-8422
(Editor's Note: Mike Terrell has written a history of the Grand Hotel elsewhere in this issue)
Certainly the gateway to the U.P., Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel have featured golf since the original course opened up in 1901. Jerry Matthews did some renovation in 1987 to the Jewel and also designed the new Woods nine that was added in 1994. It features bent grass tees, greens and fairways, majestic woodlands and nearly five acres of ponds. Golfers will enjoy the horse drawn carriage ride between the two courses. (http://grandhotel.com)
General manager Paul Hitchens and office manager Joan Gilchrest are looking forward to a great golf season. Hessel Ridge, a contoured layout, is cut out of the northern woods and features tree-lined and expansive fairways. It has water on three of its holes and 28 bunkers scattered around the course to challenge your game. Hessel Ridge, designed by Jeff Gorney, has developed a solid cadre of repeat customers. Gorney has designed a number of courses: The Dream, Sparrow Hawk, Little Traverse Bay, The Colonial Golf Course and Scott Lake CC for openers. As a result, many golfers track down his courses to play them.
Hessel Ridge provides food, beverages and a modest pro shop at the clubhouse. The oversized deck is particularly attractive for a little relaxation while watching other golfers finish their rounds. The nearby airport, casino and the town, provide additional amenities for the golfing public. (http://hesselridge.com)
Les Cheneaux Club Golf Links
Now 104 years old, Les Cheneaux GC probably is looking as good as it ever has. It was built to accommodate the turn of the (20th) century boating crowd. The road to the course was opened in the 1950's and to celebrate its 100 year anniversary, a new dock to accomodate boat-traveling golfers was added in 1998. The course is a real step back in time. Dusty Athey is the course contact. 906-484-3606
St. Ignace Golf and Country Club
There was talk of expanding this nine-hole course that features a couple of the holes on Lake Michigan. Perhaps, some day that willhappen. For now though, it offers a great view of the lake, nine solid holes of golf and a quick golf fix.
This nine-hole course provides one of the great views of the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge. Its modern clubhouse sits on top of a bluff overlooking the course. It is definitely worth a stop. 906-643-8071
Wawashkamo Golf Club
Wawashkamo Golf Club is listed by Golf Magazine as one of the top 10 nine-hole courses in the world. It is also the first nine-hole course designated as a Historic Golf Landmark by Golf Digest.
Built on the site of the 1814 Battle of Mackinac Island, the course has turned into an archeology dig this year. Approximately 250 artifacts were found during the dig. Wawashkamo was founded in 1898 by Chicago cottagers. They hired famed golfer and golf course architect Alex B. Smith to design the course. Wawashkamo Golf Club is Michigan's oldest unchanged private nine-hole golf links. It is an absolute delight to play. 906-847-3871
Joe and Pat Gibbs are ready to "Gibb" it up at the soon-to-be 27 hole layout. They got into the golf business when they had Bruce Matthews design and build Crystal Lake GC in Beulah. Later they worked with Jerry Matthews and then the grandson of Bruce Matthews, W. Bruce Matthews III, to build this 27 holes. The Gibbs want to return to Interlochen, however, to be near their son and grandchildren. They have a nice 18-hole layout, which gets a lot of play in the summer. It is built on sand and has great drainage. 906-249-3683
Marquette Golf & Country Club
Marc Gilmore has been the host professional at Marquette for years, with Pete Chevrette being the superintendent. The big news here is that their board of directors have voted to build a new 18, nine of which will be constructed immediately. They have hired Mike DeVries as their designer. Currently the club does not allow public play, but with 18 new holes, this may change.
Red Fox Run
Frank Guastella has become more of a real estate broker than golf course pro of late. Gustella and his partner sold 25 homes on the former Sawyer Air Force base last year and have 75 remaining. They have sold their interest in the hotel and restaurant property there to concentrate on real estate and golf. They continue to upgrade the course with yearly improvements. The city of Gwinn with its storied layout and the former base make this a most interesting stop in the UP. (http://redfoxrun.com)
Wawonowin Country Club
Wawonowin CC, a semi private club, does allow public play. Kevin Manninen is the golf professional and Glenn Rochester is the superintendent. Wawonowin CC is a nice golf course that was built by its membership in the '70's. The front nine is rather open, with the back being a little tighter because of the trees. There are a number of ponds on the course that also contribute to its challenge. The Detroit News ranked this as the fourth best course in the U.P. 906-485-1435
Indian Hills Golf Course
This is a hilly little nine hole course that you might look up if you are nearby. It has tree-lined fairways, is well bunkered and has a creek running throughout the course. 906-753-4781
North Shores Golf Club
This is a short par-71 course that features tree-lined fairways, medium sized and generally flat greens and very few bunkers. It has some scenic holes, particularly the par-5, fifth hole. 906-863-3026
Ontonagon Golf Club
This is a relatively flat nine hole course, with a couple of hills that could produce some uneven lies. 906-884-4130
Indian Lake Golf Club
Scott Bellville, club manager and Phil Villemur gave us a nice tour of the course. The members pride themselves on the playing conditions on the course and well they should. They are about ready to build a statue to the superintendent there. He has done a wonderous job. They have integrated a new nine, by architect Mike Husby, into the original nine. The routing really works. You can see the 35 square mile Indian Lake from each hole on the front nine. We have all heard that line, "best kept secret", but in this case it fits. This is really a nice little jewel. 906-341-5600
Well, there you have it, a brief look at the UP. We will have a video on Upper Peninsula golf later this summer. MG
July 2002 Issue Table of Content
HomePage | Courses & Resorts | Course Reviews | Golf Architects | Golf Business | Destinations
Golf Travel | Lodging | Golf Guides | Michigan Golf History | Tournaments | Michigan Golf Real Estate
Golf Academies & Schools | Warm Weather & Out of State Golf | Calendar of Events
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