New Courses, Packages Highlight What’s New in Michigan Golf for 2017

Michigan’s reputation as one of the top golf destinations in the country continues strong in 2017 with multiple new golf course developments opening for the first time in years and existing destinations making significant investments in their products and packages for golfers nationwide.

Leading the way is a truly unique and 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 in Roscommon 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.

The 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 golf holes that run up and around a geographical formation known as a drumlin, as well as a rugged, rolling terrain that 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, one of the premier courses in the country 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. The 310-acre site is located approximately 1.5 miles South of Arcadia Bluffs, directly off of M-22.

“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.”

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.

And 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. For more information on the Pelz school, clinic schedules and how to enroll, visit