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Travel With 517Golf: Northern Michigan Gaylord Golf Mecca

Growing up in southern Michigan in the late 90s and early 2000s. It was an ultimate goal of mine to Travel the world and get out of Michigan. "Anywhere but Michigan," was the theme for most of my life. I was always searching for a way out, yet still always finding my way back here. Since I've picked up the game of golf again in my mid 30s, it has brought many amazing things into my life. Golf has allowed me to travel more this year than I have in the last ten years combined. It has given me a new perspective on travel, hospitality and overall what the word "experience" actually means. Golfing northern Michigan is something I have always dreamed about doing. I have camped up state numerous times in my life, however, I have never been able to experience the golf courses in the northern region of my home state until recently. This summers media trip to northern Michigan has made me regret wanting to leave this state. It has also made me regret not being able to take advantage of everything this state has to offer. Northern Michigan has some of the best freshwater lates, rivers, ponds, streams, hunting and fishing. Gaylord, Michigan provides a walking/running/biking/snowmobiling trail over seventy miles long that stretches all the way to the Mackinaw bridge. All of these features are top notch, but nothing compares to northern Michigan golf. The Gaylord Golf Mecca located on the 45th parallel provides over seventeen bucket-list championship golf courses. Although northern Michigan provides more than just seventeen golf courses. The Mecca is the ultimate collection of every different type of golf course you can dream of. Legendary course designers, Rees Jones, Wilfrid Reid, Gary Koch, Robert Trent Jones, Tom Fazio and Rick Smith all display amazing courses that are offered within the Gaylord Golf Mecca. The Mecca is also famous for its ThreeTops Par 3 course at the legendary TreeTops Resort. ThreeTops is rated #1 Par 3 course in the country. This is one of the most beautiful laid out Par 3 courses I have ever had the pleasure of playing. The famous #7 is where Lee Trevino sank his hole-in-one for over a $1 million in prize money. There is a plaque in the spot where Lee Trevino teed off commemorating that moment. Next season TreeTops resort will open up newly renovated villas that will be able to host golf trips of big and small sizes. These special villas are comfy and give a nice northern Michigan cabin feel. The villas are conveniently close to the course only a few minutes car ride. The Mecca is also home to Indian River Golf Club which is over a hundred years old. Golf Digest has rated Indian River one of the best golf courses to play in northern Michigan. Every course we visited was unique in it's own way. Next on the list, Gaylord Golf Club, which has beautiful country club-style setting. Most of the course is forgivable and easily had some of the best greens I've played on all summer. This course, for me personally, was my favorite course on this media tour. I am looking forward to visiting this place in 2023. One of my other favorites is Black Lake Golf Club designed by Rees Jones. This place is special. It is owned by the UAW. The course is immaculate. If you are a long hitter, you won't be needing your driver very much. Everything is very tight and yardages are between marsh landings. Bring your iron game or it will be a long day. In 2012 & 2013, Golf Digest rated Black Lake Golf Club #69 of the top golf courses in the country. The Otsego Resort is another amazing place to visit. Not only does it have championship golf available, it has access to the Tribute, which has some of the most beautiful elevation tee box views I have ever experienced. It felt like we were playing on the side of a mountain. The Tribute tee box elevation offers views up to twenty miles, as well as a personal view of the Sturgeon River Valley Basin. This course and its resort give you the true feel of northern Michigan. Otsego Resort was a beautiful spot to lay our heads for a few days. The spot we ended up occupying had individual rooms with multiple beds, bathrooms, tables and chairs. It also shared a common room with couches, a fireplace, kitchen, and dinner table. If you are looking to book a small group, this is a perfect place to book your stay. Personally, I think the best time to book your stay weather-wise would be in the months of July, August, September or October. While the rest of the country is usually suffering from heat stroke, northern Michigan usually has spot-on perfect weather for the summer. As far as the beginning of the fall months, they are peak weeks for the color change Michiganders witness on our amazing trees. After being fortunate enough to be hosted by the Gaylord Golf Mecca, I now understand why Golf Digest named Gaylord and northern Michigan the 12th best golf destination in the world and 8th in the United States. While summer doesn't last long up north, it's also a great place to visit when the snow flies. Most of the golf resorts also have ski lodges that operate in the winter time. Gaylord is also home to the nation's largest free roaming elk herds east of the Mississippi. In addition, there are over 90 inland lakes in Otsego County. These factors make the tip of the mitten the perfect rustic getaway for summer and winter months. The older I get the more I will certainly take advantage of what Gaylord, Michigan has to offer. As a matter of fact, we are already taking advantage of it as we are announcing our Fore 20 Golf tour at TreeTops Resorts and Gaylord Golf Club in June 2023. We can't wait to utilize one of the best destinations in the country. Stay tuned, but in the meantime, explore all there is in this great golf destination at

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