Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Makes a GREAT Golf Getaway

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By Fred Altvater

If you are truly looking for a golf getaway, “eh,” that will be the envy of your golf buddies, don’cha youse know. I suggest heading up I-75, cross the Mackinaw Bridge, turn left at St. Ignace and enjoy the gorgeous views along the north shore of Lake Michigan, until you reach Escanaba.

Island Resort & Casino

The Island Resort and Casino is located in the southern portion of the Upper Peninsula and is the perfect place to start your golfing odyssey. The Sweetgrass Course has long been known as an outstanding Paul Albanese design, plus it hosts an annual stop on the Symetra Tour. This year, with the addition of the new Sage Run course, Island Resort now offers two top-ranked courses in one location. 

Sage Run was also designed by Albanese and opened 10 years to the day after Sweetgrass. While the Sweetgrass course lays in the valley and offers a highly manicured track. Sage Run sits high above the resort on a ridge that provides miles of panoramic views. Albanese envisioned an alternative concept for the new course, with sharp-edged bunkers, lined with long grasses, making them even more challenging.

Most tees are elevated, as well as, many of the greens. Very few level lies are found even in the fairways. If Sweetgrass has the demeanor of a mature elder child, Sage Run has the verve and excitement of a youngster, pushing all of his parent’s buttons.

After your round at either Sweetgrass or Sage Run, Island Resort has everything necessary to occupy your time off the golf course.

The Casino offers every opportunity to test your luck at the slots or on the tables. The 5 Bridges Steak & Seafood restaurant offers the finest in cuisine. If want to be less formal the 5 Bridges Pub will serve your favorite beverage along with a delicious repast. Firekeeper’s Restaurant offers light fare, plus the Pizza and Sub shop make the perfect stop for a quick bite. There is even a coffee and pastry shop that features Starbuck’s.

The Island Resort and Casino also attracts big-name acts to entertain guests in their large auditorium.

Watch our video with Island Resort and Casino’s General Manager Tony Mancilla.


 Marquette Golf Club

Heading farther north across the U.P, to the shores of Lake Superior, sits Marquette, beautifully situated around the Marquette Harbor and nestled among the sharp ridges surrounding the town.

Marquette Golf Club is home for two wonderful golf courses, The Heritage and Greywalls.

The front nine of the Heritage course, designed by William Langford, opened for play in 1926. It sprawls over gently rolling terrain and is notable for its imaginative green complexes and classic beauty. The back nine was added in 1969, offering more dramatic slopes, plus views of Lake Superior. 

Over time the club grew and decided a second course should be added to a rugged piece of property the club owned atop an adjoining hill. Mike DeVries was contracted to design a course, atop a mountain of grey stone, somewhat different, yet acceptable to the membership.

The result was a masterpiece, which opened in 2005, that completely attests to the brilliance of DeVries.

Greens were cut out of the mountain leaving 20-foot high grey cliffs. Instead of sand, DeVries used the rocks as hazards, on fairways and in the rough. Some fairways are even stair-stepped with cliffs of rock separating the levels. Accuracy is a precious commodity at Greywalls.

The course offers a unique golf experience that caught the attention of the golfing world. GolfWeek has named it the No. 2 course you can play in Michigan.

This is a true work of art that needs to be played by everyone that calls themselves a Golfaholic.

Here is a video with Marquette Golf Club’s Director of Instruction, Marc Gilmore.


Landmark Inn & Presque Isle

While you are in Marquette visit the Lake Superior Shores at Presque Isles. The oldest rocks that can be viewed in North America are on display as you hike along the rocky ledges.

Also, we recommend staying in the Landmark Inn, centrally located in the heart of Marquette. The hotel has been completely remodeled and offers a variety of dining options.

The Landmark Inn’s 60 rooms and six suites are all individually designed and decorated, plus they offer  beautiful views of historic downtown Marquette and Lake Superior.



Pine Mountain Resort at Iron Mountain

A bit further west near the Wisconsin state line sits Iron Mountain and the Pine Mountain Resort, a full-service, four-season resort, which is also home to the highly-acclaimed Timberstone Golf Course.   

The course brings golf and nature together with lakes, streams, north woods and undulating greens. Golfers of all abilities will love playing golf in the U.P.

Timberstone has received 5 Stars from Golfweek magazine and rated as one of the top-10 courses in Michigan.

Plus, the resort’s restaurants and facilities can handle any group, with comfortable accommodations in the lodge or condominiums.


Perfect 4-Some

The Island Resort & Casino, along with the Marquette Golf Club and Pine Mountain Resort have teamed up to offer the “Perfect 4-Some” stay and play package.

Play all four of these wonderful golf courses, stay at the Island Resort and get it all for one affordable price.

To book your “Favorite 4-Some” for the “Perfect 4-Some” visit: https://www.islandresortandcasino.com/island-golf/perfect-4some


Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has long been known as an outdoor paradise, offering great fishing, hiking, camping and boating. With temperate climates in the summer, plus the four courses, offering wonderful accommodations.

Today, Michigan’s U.P. has also become a must-visit location for golfers,

Don’t cha know!

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