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The Loop at Forest Dunes


Packages Highlight What's New in Michigan Golf

By Leonard Finkel

Michigan's reputation as one of the top golf destinations in the country continues in 2017 with multiple new golf course developments opening while existing destinations make significant investments in their products and packages.

"With our championship courses and top notch destinations, Michigan is consistently named among the best places in the country for golf," said Dave Lorenz, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "As courses and destinations within the industry continue to make new investments, Michigan continues to be a destination of choice that offers world-class golf products and experiences that travelers come to expect."

Leading the way is a unique, one of a kind 18-hole reversible golf course designed by Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf Design, which opens to the public at Forest Dunes this spring after a limited launch in 2016. The Loop is an innovative, walking-only experience with two different layouts that alternate directions on a daily basis so golfers can have a distinct experience. It has been recognized as the Best New Public Course by Golf Digest and among the Best New U.S. Courses You Can Play by GOLF Magazine.

A second Renaissance Golf Design project opening this spring is the highly-anticipated Stoatin Brae course, which is the sixth golf course for Augusta's Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort. As part of Southwest Michigan's largest and oldest golf destination, Stoatin Brae is a dramatic departure from Gull Lake's other five courses. Third-generation owner Jon Scott worked with Renaissance Golf Design architects to create a championship-caliber, 18-hole, par-71 golf course that stretches more than 6,800 yards.

A third course at Island Resort & Casino in Escanaba will open this fall. Sage Run was designed by Michigan-based architect Paul Albanese and features mostly hardwoods with holes that run up and around a geographical formation known as a drumlin. A rugged rolling terrain is set off by earth tones, browns and tans. Albanese makes some comparisons to Royal County Down, a Northern Ireland golf club that is rated among the finest in the world.

Finally, Arcadia Bluffs, located on the shores of Lake Michigan near Frankfurt, has announced it will also develop a new golf course. Construction of the South Course at Arcadia Bluffs is scheduled to begin this spring, with completion anticipated for summer 2018.

In addition to these new courses, new programs and packages have been added to attract golf travelers to some of Michigan's most popular destinations.

America's Summer Golf Capital, featuring some of the leading resort destinations in Northern Michigan, is promoting the region to draw golfers from as far away as Texas. Working with the Gaylord Golf Mecca, and in conjunction with American Airlines, a new direct inbound and outbound flight service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport will begin June 2.

To help golfers of all levels improve their scoring game, the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa will host 15 clinics and instructional programs taught through The Dave Pelz Short Game School. Owned by renowned golf instructor Dave Pelz, the school's one-day clinics will be held June 28 and the two- and three-day instruction programs start Aug. 20.

Pelz, a former NASA scientist whose celebrated work with Phil Mickelson and many other top professionals has helped result in multiple major championships, founded his schools in the late 1980s and structured the program to meet the needs of all handicap levels, emphasizing individual attention to each student. Every Pelz school includes an analysis of each student's game, classroom theory sessions and outdoor execution sessions.


Revised: 04/20/2017 - Article Viewed 194,079 Times

Written By: Leonard Finkel

Leonard Finkel Leonard Finkel is the author of The Secrets to the Game of Golf & Life and former editor in chief of Golf Journeys Magazine. His work has been featured in almost 200 publications including Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Golf Illustrated, Golf Tips and Player Magazine. He has written more than a dozen cover stories for Golf Today Magazine. He has written extensively about golf and travel and added poker to his writing repertoire and also works as a marketing and public relations consultant. Prior to his career in golf, Finkel owned a chain of retail stores and a consulting and import company based in Asia. He attended the University of Utah.

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