Island Resort Opens Sage Run on Sweetgrass Anniversary
Upper Peninsula of Michigan's premier golf resort destination adds second golf course
By Brian Weis
It was 10 years ago that the Island Resort & Casino, located in Michigan's scenic Upper Peninsula just outside of Escanaba, developed the award-winning Sweetgrass golf course and began a journey toward becoming a leading golf destination.
This week the Hannahville Indian Community, led by its Tribal Chairman Ken Meshigaud, Island Resort General Manager Tony Mancilla, and golf course designer Paul Albanese opened Sage Run, the resort's second golf course, in a ceremony with community members and leaders.
"We are very excited to be opening our second golf course on the 10-year anniversary of our first course Sweetgrass," Mancilla said. "Sage Run is exactly what we wanted - something different from the other courses in the region. It has a very rugged feel that was inspired by a trip Paul Albanese and I took to Royal County Down, including tee-boxes that are natural to the ground on simple land forms similar to how they built them back in the late 1800s."
Albanese, too, is elated with the final product.
"This was an inspiring project to work on," he said. "We spent months on different routings allowing us to experience the different landscapes including the drumlin."
The natural drumlin - an elongated hill or ridge formed by glacial ice long ago - is the primary feature on Sage Run. The golf holes meander over and around the hill offering a scenic variety of shots and creating a fun thrill ride for golfers.
"Sage Run has a very rough and tumble feel to it," Albanese said. "As Tony indicated, our trip to Royal County Down was very inspirational in this design and we incorporated some of the rugged design philosophy into it. Golfers will experience great holes through the trees, some in open areas and just a lot of variety in terms of landscape and feel."
Celebrating 10 years of excellence this year, Sweetgrass, also designed by Albanese, features masterfully crafted rockwork with a prairie links style. The course boasts an island green on No. 15 and a pair of breathtaking waterfalls that greet golfers as they play up the ninth and 18th holes to an enormous, shared green.
A Biarritz and a Redan green, and bridges rescued from other areas in the state are other compelling design components and part of the story of the course. Sweetgrass is also home to a future of women's professional golf tournament, the Symetra Tour Island Resort Championship.
"Not very many architects get the opportunity to come back and design a second golf course at a resort destination like Island Resort," Albanese said. "It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to design this second golf course and now have two very unique designs for golfers of all levels to experience."
MEDIA INVITATION - Members of the media are invited to experience the new Sage Run golf course and Island Resort anytime this season based on availability. Just let us know some dates and we will make the arrangements.
About Island Resort & Casino
Located in Michigan's scenic Upper Peninsula 13 miles west of Escanaba, Island Resort & Casino is one of the Midwest's largest golf, casino and entertainment resort destinations spanning over 408,000 square feet. The resort features 36-holes of championship golf, over 300 guest rooms and a 42-site RV Park. The casino offers a poker room, craps, blackjack, Spanish 21, three card poker, let-it-ride, roulette, bingo and over 1,200 slot machines.
The resort amenities also include the luxurious Drift Spa offering a variety of high-end spa services with access to the resort's salt water pool, steam rooms and sauna. Multiple dining options include the signature 5 Bridges Steak and Seafood House, 5 Bridges Pub, Firekeepers Restaurant, T. McC's Sports Bar, Coral Reef Grille, Signature Subs & Pizza and The Coffee & Custard Shop featuring items from The Bakery.
The Island also regularly hosts headline entertainment in the intimate 1315-seat Showroom as well as weekly bands and comedy entertainers in Club 41. The Island Convention Center provides the perfect venue for special events, business meetings and weddings.
Revised: 06/18/2018 - Article Viewed 10,050 Times
About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler