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The Bear - Grand Traverse Resort and Spa


Getting To Know: The Bear - Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

An Insightful Interview With Scott Hebert, Head Golf Professional & Director of Instruction

By Brian Weis

Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Welcome to The Bear, every bit the bruin it was when Jack Nicklaus first unleashed the course on June 17, 1985. Celebrated as not only the toughest 18 holes in Michigan, The Bear was ranked as the 18th toughest course in America, according to Golf Digest. Nicklaus' signature design features Scottish terraced fairways, tiered greens, deep grassy roughs, moguls and mounds and deep pot bunkers. With rolling land, trees, lakes and streams, fruit orchards and a variety of wildlife, you have a mixture of different features that people will see in different places - but rarely on one course.

If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Thanks to three different designers, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, boasts a colorful palette of courses, each offering varying levels of challenge. Those courses include The Bear, The Wolverine , and Spruce Run. For 28 years the Resort was the host site for the Michigan Open, one of the most prestigious state golf championships in the nation.

Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
Through the years, the Resort has been honored with numerous golf awards recognizing it as one of the Midwest's finest golf experiences, in such publications as Golf Digest, Conde Nast Traveler, Golf Magazine, Travel & Leisure Golf and Links Magazine.

The Bear - 2012 Course of the Year

Top 75 Golf Resorts in North America
(Ranked #48)
America's 50 Toughest Golf Courses
(The Bear Ranked #18)
Top 40 Casino Courses
(The Bear & The Wolverine)

What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
The Bear has truly 18 signature holes; however if I was to pick one, #18! A great golf course concludes with a memorable finish. The Bear finishes very strong with a difficult split fairway par 4 demanding a great tee shot. From the fairway you are forced to hit a mid iron over water to a multi-terraced green in front a patio full of guests.

What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
The fifth hole par four requires control of your ball both off the tee and into the green. With water hazards protecting to the left and short of the green, a four feels like a birdie.

Challenge the tee shot for success on this hole. It will leave an easier second over the water and better chance of not washing your golf ball in the lake.

Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
After your round have a drink on the patio overlooking the 18th green. A great spot to add up your score and watch groups finish a true golf master piece.

Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
Brent Venstra - 62

Brent shot this terrific score during the Michigan State Open. It will never again be matched!

Back Tee Stats
Par: 72
Yardage: 7048
Slope: 148
Rating: 76.3

More Information
The Bear - Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
100 Grand Traverse Village BLVD
Acme, MI, 49610

Revised: 02/06/2013 - Article Viewed 23,968 Times - View Golf Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, 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 In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and 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.

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