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Golf Travel Guide To Central Michigan

An Interview With JD Copus, Sales Coordinator at Mt. Pleasant Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

By Brian Weis

Looking to plan the perfect golf trip to Central Michigan? Planning a buddies trip or a romantic golf getaway can be a full time job not to mention pressure filled to deliver a memorable experience. Below is an interview with JD Copus, Sales Coordinator at Mt. Pleasant Area Convention & Visitors Bureau who shares some insider information about golfing and traveling to Central Michigan, must play courses, a sample itinerary and where you can go for more planning tools.

Give our readers an overview of your destination and why they should consider it for their next golf trip?
Whether you're looking for championship layouts and challenges or a relaxing weekend of oasis golf, the Central Michigan area has it all. Spend your days enjoying rolling links and wooded fairways, while spending your nights exploring the Mt. Pleasant dining, shopping and nightlife, or experience the world-class entertainment and gaming at the Soaring Eagle Casino.

With more than a dozen courses within a 35-minute drive of Mt. Pleasant, there's no better (and no easier) way to experience the hidden treasures of Central Michigan golf. Featuring a variety of courses and course styles to choose from, the Central Michigan area will give you the memories of a lifetime and a permanent place for all of your future golf getaways. From Championship, Links, "Up-North", and relaxed styles of golf, Central Michigan will have something different for you each and every trip.

Lower your scores and land the ace in Mt. Pleasant!

What are the must play courses in Central Michigan?
Bucks Run (Mt. Pleasant, MI) is regularly ranked in the top courses in Michigan and is a must-play when in Central Michigan. Offering Championship tees, undulating greens, fluffy sand-traps, pristine grounds, and majestic scenery, Bucks Run is one of the best courses you'll ever play, period.

Similar to Bucks Run, the Mt. Pleasant Country Club (Mt. Pleasant, MI) offers championship tees and immaculate grounds, while still being challenging yet enjoyable for all levels. The Chippewa River flows through this course creating many peninsula holes and water lined fairways.

PohlCat (Mt. Pleasant, MI) is a Championship level links course designed with the help of former PGA touring pro, Dan Pohl, of which the PohlCat gets its name. Rolling hill fairways, lined with fescue grass and protected marsh-lands, punctuated with undulating greens makes this course a treat to play. With so much movement in the fairways and greens, you'll never play the same shot twice and will want to keep coming back.

What is the hidden gem(s) and/or best value course(s)?
The Pines at Lake Isabella (Lake Isabella, MI) has a long-standing history in Michigan golf, being a regular host of amateur qualifying events and GAM tournaments. The Pines at Lake Isabella offers pristine and long fairways, well-placed sand-traps, and beautiful Pines throughout the course. If you're looking to forget your score and enjoy time with your group, this is the place for you.

Pine River Country Club (Alma, MI) offers wide and gentle fairways with smaller, yet fair greens, creating a forgiving yet pesky round. The maple trees throughout the course reminds you of a big reason you love this game; just being outdoors with family.

Riverwood Resort (Mt. Pleasant, MI) offers the perfect setting for a trip with the fellas or gals. Enjoy the laid-back and open course design and then head inside the resort for bowling, drinks, and great food.

Maple Creek Golf Club (Shepherd, MI) offers the perfect setting for large groups. With an open landscape and condensed course, Maple Creek makes it easy for large groups to travel between holes and to have a great time. When you're done with the round, head inside for an international themed lunch at the renowned Fireside Grille.

Can you provide our readers with an ideal itinerary for a long weekend?
Here is the ideal itinerary for a Friday-Sunday golf trip:

Friday Afternoon: Start off playing a more "relaxed" style of course at the Riverwood Resort to get you loosened up for your golf getaway. This laid-back and open course design is the perfect way to start off your golf getaway!

Friday Evening: After you check into your hotel at one of the many convenient lodging options, head to dinner at a local favorite, The Brass Café. This staple located in Downtown Mt. Pleasant will offer your group a wide array of delectable options. They offer a wide variety of entrees and if you're into something a little spicy, definitely check out the rajun cajun chicken sandwich!

Saturday Morning/Afternoon: Now that you've warmed up, tackle the championship style links of Bucks Run Golf Club. The majestic scenery will have you thinking you're in northern Michigan, while being smack down in the center of the state. After your first round at Bucks Run, you can stay right on the course and grab lunch at the Quarry Grill. They offer amazing burgers, sandwiches, and salads to refuel you after a long morning of golf. Then you're ready to tackle the back nine that afternoon as you officially complete one of the top ranked courses in the state!

Saturday Evening: Head back to the hotel to shower and change as you prepare for another fun filled evening. For this evening's dining, try one of Mt. Pleasant's newest restaurants, Summit Smokehouse. This BBQ joint has phenomenal smoked meats, delicious craft brews, and amazing desserts like the chocolate avalanche cake! After dinner experience the Mt. Pleasant nightlife like testing your luck at the Soaring Eagle Casino or visit one of the famous Mt. Pleasant landmarks like The Bird or Rubbles Bar.

Sunday Morning: Close out your amazing golf weekend at the famous PohlCat that has been carefully designed by former PGA touring pro Dan Pohl. This course will test your skill as each hole is very unique and begs you to come back to play again!

Sunday Afternoon: Before heading home grab a sandwich at Freddie's Tavern or Max and Emily's. If you have a little time to spare before getting on the road, take a kayak trip down the Chippewa River or hike one of our breathtaking parks or a nature preserve.

After golf, what are the "must do" things or attractions to see?
Pair the quantity of impressive courses with the endless options of world-class entertainment and your group will need more than one weekend to experience the full Central Michigan effect. While your group is here plan to explore:

* The Soaring Eagle Casino (Michigan's Largest Gaming Floor, High Stakes Poker Room, Modern Sports and Betting Lounge)
* Cheer on the Central Michigan University Chippewas (Home to Division 1 athletics and more than 500 events annually)
* Enjoy locally-owned fine dining at Midori Sushi and Martini Lounge or The Brass Café
* Indulge in delicious, handcrafted brews at Summit Smokehouse & Tap Room (home to Mountain Town Brewing Co. beer), Mountain Town Station and Hunter's Ale House

Now that you've decided on the Central Michigan region for your next getaway, the challenge is deciding how long you're able to stay.

Check out our comprehensive list of Lodging Accommodations, Things to Do, and Transportation, to help you create the ultimate golf getaway!

What is the best time to travel?
Anytime during the main golf season of April-October is great time to travel to the Central Michigan area. Most of the courses will offer deals and promotions during summer holidays (Memorial Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, Labor Day). Golfers should check out our courses as the golf season starts to wind down in late September/October, as many courses will offer deals and promotions to close the season out.

Anything else you would like to share about the Central Michigan?
Great location in Michigan! Located in the center of the state, the Mt. Pleasant area is easy to get to and an easy drive. Only one hour from Lansing and two hours from Detroit, golf in the Central Michigan area and have the up-north feel without the up-north drive.

Where can golfers go for more information to research and plan their trip?
There are few things in this life that are more frustrating than trying to plan and coordinate a trip. That's why the Mt. Pleasant Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is here to help! We will start by helping to guide you to courses that offer golf packages that fit your style and offer a variety of lodging options. Visit to help start planning your golf getaway.

Mt. Pleasant Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Revised: 09/03/2020 - Article Viewed 2,373 Times

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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