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Shanty Creek Golf Resort

Bellaire: Northern Michigan's Next Great Golf Town

Award-winning golf, desirable stay & play packages, the Chain of Lakes and craft beer make Bellaire a popular summer destination for golfers and vacationers alike

By Brian Weis

The key elements of a great golf town are the quantity and quality of courses to play and places to stay. In addition golfers want a variety of off-course recreation, dining, and entertainment.

Over the past several decades northern Michigan has become one of America's premier summer golf destinations highlighted by great golf towns like Gaylord, Petoskey and Traverse City. Add to that list the lakeside town of Bellaire.

Located 30 miles northeast of Traverse City, Bellaire (pop. 1100) features seven golf courses amid the Chain of Lakes region, which includes Lake Bellaire, Elk Lake, and the nationally acclaimed Torch Lake, plus hip dining and entertainment venues such as Short's Brewing Company. Its golf epicenter is Shanty Creek Resorts, which is now open for the 2015 golf season.

Named among the "Top Golf Resorts in the World" (and Top Golf Resort in Michigan) by Conde Nast Traveler, its four courses are known for their variety of terrain and playability. This year the resort opens in the afterglow of being awarded Michigan's 2015 "Golf Course of the Year" for its Arnold Palmer masterpiece, The Legend, which was also a finalist for "National Golf Course of the Year."

The Legend lit the fuse on the northern Michigan golf craze back in 1985. The "legendary" course winds through beautiful hillsides and along ridges while offering spectacular views of Lake Bellaire. In 1999 Weiskopf, the former Open Championship winner turned award-winning architect, found the perfect site along the Cedar River for his first golf design in Michigan. Golf Digest rates Cedar River among the "Top 25 in Michigan," while Rolex ranked it among the "Top 1,000 Courses in the World." The one-two punch of The Legend and Cedar River are also listed in GOLF Magazine's "Top 20 Public Courses in Michigan.

When golfers finish their rounds, they have plenty of dining options between the resort's restaurants and Bellaire. The Lakeview Restaurant at Summit Village overlooks Lake Bellaire and the River Bistro at Cedar River Lodge provide outstanding on-property options complete with lighter fare, rich entrees, craft beer, fresh cocktails, and assortment of local and international wines.

For golfers looking to venture out, The Dockside on nearby Torch Lake is a northern Michigan institution. Dine on the patio while watching boats venturing in and out of Torch Lake while taking in the beautiful views of the water and region.

For those looking to compliment their round with a top microbrewery, make sure to stop by Short's Brewing Co. in Bellaire. The craft beer craze is alive and well across Michigan and Short's has become one of the largest breweries in the state with a devoted following.

Beyond the unique dining experiences and breweries, there are fun activities nearby including wine tours, boating, fishing, beaches, hiking and biking to compliment the top tier golf. Come check out Bellaire. It's a great golf town and so much more.

Shanty Creek makes it easy to stay and play. Check out the resort's "Golf Til You Drop" package, which features one-nights lodging in the Lakeview Hotel plus two-days of unlimited golf. This package, including breakfast and range balls, starts at $199 Sundays through Thursdays; weekend packages are also available.

Revised: 05/08/2015 - Article Viewed 32,640 Times - View 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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