Golf here offers more than just pristine beauty and cool summer breezes. The best of the best in Michigan have something for everyone - at least, everyone with the dough for it.
Luckily, when it comes to cost up-north upscale isn't the same thing as Las Vegas or Scottsdale upscale. Far from it. The golf, however, is second to none. Here are some prime places to spend your summer-golf-trip stash.
Arcadia Bluffs: In its short time on the golfing map, Arcadia Bluffs has won national acclaim. There's no better public course in the state than this Rick Smith design perched on the northern edge of Lake Michigan.
The rugged coastal landscape offers a perfect setting for Smith's greatest achievement. The par-5 11th is one of prettiest holes in Michigan, playing 600-plus yards down a bottleneck that eventually opens out onto lakefront.
After your round, dine on the clubhouse patio and watch the sun set over Lake Michigan. Green fees: $175.
The other half is gazing out the window of your suite in the Grand Traverse Resort Tower, 14 stories up, looking down on the course and environs. It will likely be the only time you rise above The Bear all day.
Everything at the Grand Traverse is world-class, from course design and conditions to the recently renovated (to the tune of $18 million) resort facilities. Make reservations for a sunset dinner at Trillium on the 17th floor of the tower and drink in the best view in northern Michigan along with a selection from the award-winning wine list. Greens fees: $140.
Forest Dunes Golf Club: Officials at this new gem in Roscommon put their course in elite company.
"It's been written about us that we're a mix of Augusta National and Pine Valley," says GM Chris Bronson. "We've got a great contrast of dunes and wooded holes."
Don't miss these Travel stories
Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors
With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.
- Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
- Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
- MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
- Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year
- Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors
While Augusta and Pine Valley would likely scoff at the comparison, this Tom Weiskopf design is one of northern Michigan's most unique courses, with outstanding hole variety. Conditions, from tee to green to driving range are flawless.
Opened only eight years ago, Forest Dunes has already gone through an ownership change and even a short closure, but now it's ready to shine. The upscale ambitions are manifest in the formal dinners the soon-to-go-private club every Friday and Saturday. Greens fees: $120.
Bay Harbor Golf Club: Located near the posh resort town of Petoskey, Bay Harbor opened to high anticipation in 1999. With the club announcing plans to go private shortly, golfers hastened to get their shot, at nearly $300 a round.
Seven years later Bay Harbor remains public (although talk of going private is still in the air), and the initial gouging makes the current $199 green fee more palatable (if still the highest in Michigan). The club offers three Arthur Hills nines, Links, Quarry and Preserve. Each has its own character, but the Links is the most stunning, playing out to a 150-foot bluff over Little Traverse Bay. Greens fees: $199.
Treetops Resort: Perennially ranked as one of the Midwest's finest golf destinations, Treetops in Gaylord offers 81 holes spread among contrasting layouts from Robert Trent Jones Sr., Tom Fazio and resort co-owner Rick Smith. The diversity is sure to satisfy any golf appetite.
Each course plays over dramatic landscape and features many elevated tee shots. The par-3 6th on Jones' Masterpiece is one of the north's most photographed holes and spawned a generation of courses with steeply downhill par 3s. Smith's par-3 course, Threetops, hosts the annual Par-3 Shootout, usually attended by his student and Treetops partner Phil Mickelson. There's also an on-site Rick Smith Golf Academy. Greens fees: $120.