What you may not know is that the Gaylord Golf Mecca is also one of the top golf destinations in the Midwest. In the last 25 years they have hosted more than 3,600,000 golfers, according to the Gaylord Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“There’s no other group around the Great Lakes doing what we are doing,” Paul Beachnau, CVB Director, told SnoCountry.com. “We are the only true Myrtle Beach-like operation, and it works well for our regional concept.”
There are 17 courses scattered around the Gaylord region. Three are on the fringe; Black Lake Golf Club near Onoway, Black Bear near Wolverine, and Elk Ridge near Atlanta. Gaylord courses include Treetops’ four courses, Wilderness Valley and Otsego Club two each, and Gaylord Country Club, The Loon, Marsh Ridge, The Natural, The Lakes, and Michaywe. Twenty one lodging properties around town offer stay and play packages in addition to the resorts.
Some of the best golf course architects in that green art have stamped their names on the region; Robert Trent Jones, Tom Doak, Rees Jones, Tom Fazio, Rick Smith, Gary Koch, Rick Robbins Don Childs, and Michigan’s most prolific designer, Jerry Mathews, to name a few.
The awards and accolades from leading industry publications – Golf, Golfweek, Golf Digest, and Great Lakes Golf – have been numerous; America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, Top 50 Modern Public Courses in the U.S, America’s Top 75 Upscale Public Courses, and Top 50 women can play in America. The list goes on.
“Golf Digest has selected our region as one of the 12 best golf destinations in the world,” the long-time tourism director proudly pointed out.
This summer the Gaylord Golf Mecca is celebrating with lots of daily specials and golf packages. Otsego Club May golf packages start from $79 per person, per night and are based on double occupancy. The package includes an overnight and an 18-hole round on Gary Koch’s Tribute, Tom Doak’s Black Forest, The Classic or Wilderness Valley. The same package is available midweek through June, July and August. You also can get 36, 54 and 72-hole packages.
Treetops’ stay and play packages start from $92 per person, per night, based on double occupancy, which include a round of golf and a breakfast voucher. A couple’s package starts from $299 per person and includes a nights lodging, breakfast and dinner for two, and one round of golf. Treetops is home to the Robert Trent Jones Masterpiece, Tom Fazio’s only Michigan course, two Rick Smith 18-hole courses and Threetops, one of the nation’s top par-three golf courses. It hosted the ESPN Par-Three Shootout for years.
Other packages include Gaylord Golf Getaways, which offers three rounds of golf, two nights lodging including one dinner starting from $230 per person, per day, based on quad occupancy.
Marsh Ridge Resort offers a stay and play package starting at $179.95 per person, based on double occupancy. It includes two nights lodging, two days unlimited golf, two breakfasts and one dinner.
Golf is the big draw, but the region also has plenty of natural attractions.
“Yes, we’re on the national golf map, but it’s the true ‘up north’ experience with forests of white pine and hardwoods, lakes and wetlands, the largest free-ranging elk herd east of the Mississippi River, deer, wild turkeys, and an occasional black bear. Scenic rivers, the Au Sable, Pigeon and Sturgeon with world class fly fishing flow through the properties. There’s the 100,000-acre Pigeon River State Forest,” Beachnau gushed.
“It offers a lot of choices in addition to just a golfing getaway, which is nice for families,” he added. “And, for golfers, there are wide fairways, drop shots galore and views that stretch to the horizon. What ‘s not to like?”
You can add to that the normally lower humidity, cooler temperatures and longer daylight hours that you have up here compared to the lower Midwest.