Black Lake Golf Club in Onaway, Michigan
A Secluded Rees Jones Masterpiece
By Brian Weis
Whether you play a course 20 or more times a year, or you're looking to play somewhere new, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview I conducted with Black Lake's long-time General Manager Nick Aune, who shares valuable information about the course including his favorites holes, must eat treats after your round, and stay and play package details. I have been blessed to play Black Lake a half dozen times, and the Rees Jones gem definitely belongs in the category of properties I'd like to play 20+ times per season!
Please give the readers of Midwest Golfing Magazine an overview of Black Lake Golf Club.
Black Lake Golf Club is a golfer's paradise. Players will enjoy pristine course conditions and abundant wildlife amid a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Course architect, Rees Jones utilized every feature on the property, from cranberry bogs to a small sand quarry to produce what may be his most charming design yet. Black Lake's practice facilities include a double-sided driving range, four chipping and putting greens, and several practice bunkers. Finally, our certified PGA professional offers private instruction, playing lessons, and clinics.
If someone was looking to golf in Northern Michigan, why should they play your course?
As I mentioned earlier, I believe our biggest differentiator is the course is always in pristine condition. Also, there is no development on the golf course as it is carved out of nature. Rees Jones, known as the "Open Doctor," designed a spectacular golf course with many natural features and an abundance of wildlife. Northern Michigan's remarkable terrain is definitely on full display at Black Lake.
What tips or local knowledge would you provide to help players score better at Black Lake GC?
I always tell first time players to stay straight off the tee and always select enough club on your approach shot. If you leave it short, you could be in one of the bunkers that protect the green complex.
Has Black Lake GC won any recent awards you'd like to share?
We have been so blessed to win numerous awards from almost every media outlet in the nation. In fact, we list them on the home page of our website at www.blacklakegolf.com, so golfers can see they are in for a special experience. Some of our latest awards include:
2022 Golf Digest "The Best Courses You Can Play in Michigan"
2023 Golf Advisor "Best of Golfer's Choice Top 50 U.S. Golf Courses (#26)"
2023 Golf Advisor "Best of Golfer's Choice Michigan (#5)"
What is the signature, most talked about, or most photographed hole at Black Lake?
Our 5th hole is easily the most talked about one. In fact, the hole was featured within the Pure Michigan 18 golf campaign. It is a 236-yard par-3 from the tips and is nicknamed the "Sahara". A 200-yard bunker runs the length of the hole on the right side. Accuracy and length are at a premium on this hole!
What is your favorite hole on the property? Any tips on how to play it?
Black Lake Golf Club's 15th hole is a 515-yard par-5 with a risk reward option that few holes actually feature. If you can place a long drive down the left side of the fairway, you have the option of playing in a long second shot, which must carry the water feature on this hole. However, the layout of the hole gives options for shot accuracy playing around the water feature to still have an option of a birdie putt.
What are the must have dishes or drinks after the round at the 19th Hole?
The BBQ Ribs and Broasted Chicken are outstanding. Our clubhouse is enhanced by an outside patio and you can dine and drink outside while other groups are finishing up on the 18th hole. The patio also features two outside gas fireplaces.
For the traveling golfer, do you have lodging on-site or partner with any area hotels?
Black Lake lodging is located at the Black Lake Conference Center. It is located ½ mile from the golf course. The Conference Center offers resorts amenities such as a full-size gymnasium with basketball courts, a weight-training room, and plenty of relaxation on the shores of Black Lake. The resort features over 200 rooms with standard hotel accommodations to 3-bedroom condominiums. Also featured is a 51-site campground available with full hookup, which allows campers use of all of the Black Lake Conference Center amenities.
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Revised: 01/29/2023 - Article Viewed 242 Times
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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