Mid-Michigan Offers Great Golf Too

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By Fred Altvater

 

When talking about the great golf opportunities in Michigan, the middle part of the state is sometimes overlooked. Mt. Pleasant is conveniently located on M-127 and is an easy drive from Chicago, Indianapolis, Toledo, Cleveland or Columbus.

Mt. Pleasant is the home of fantastic golf, as well as, a full range of off the course activities.

Central Michigan University creates a vibrant city and has helped spawn a wide range of restaurants, as well as, other cultural interests in the area.

The Soaring Eagle Casino sits just east of town and not only provides a complete array of gambling options, but is a hot spot for some of the biggest names in the entertainment business. Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Jeff Dunham and Lady Antebellum are just a sampling of the star power acts that are performing on the Soaring Eagle stage this year. 

With all of these distractions you will easily forget about your last triple-bogey.

Even with the occasional double or dreaded other on your scorecard, the Mt. Pleasant area offers the very best in golf for travelers seeking new adventures.

Pohlcat

The Pohlcat Golf Course opened for play in 1992 and was designed by former PGA Tour Professional, Dan Pohl. Pohl grew up in Mt. Pleasant, played collegiately at Arizona University and competed on the PGA Tour for over 30 years.

He recorded two wins on the big tour and lost a playoff to Craig Stadler in the 1982 Masters to finish runner-up.

Watch this video interview with Pohl discussing the design and construction of Pohlcat: https://vimeo.com/284796519

Pohl worked closely with the Department of Natural Resources to preserve the natural wetlands along the Chippewa River, and create a challenging course for all skill levels. Driver can be used on nearly every hole, but the prudent play may be to drop back a club or two to position your tee shot for a suitable approach.

The greens are not severely undulating, but deceptive. Don’t be fooled by a putt that looks straight, nearly every putt at the Pohlcat has some break.

Pohl learned early in his designing career from Tom Weiskopf,

“Much can be achieved with a four-inch slope as with a four-foot elephant mound in the green.”

Pohlcat is close to the Soaring Eagle Casino & Lodge and offers a very enjoyable day on the links.

 

Buck’s Run Golf Club

Bucks Run Golf Club sits on a reclaimed sand and stone quarry. The property once served as a gravel pit. Mining at the site concluded in the 1990’s and the land laid unused for several years. In 1999, Michigan golf course designer, Jerry Matthews was contracted to lay out a course on the 290-acre retired mine. Matthews has designed several memorable courses in Michigan, but he outdid himself at Bucks Run. It is one of his best efforts and the course opened for play in late 2000, to rave reviews. 

Golf Digest rated it 4 ½ stars out of 5 on its “Places to Play” list and Bucks Run annually receives mention in the top-50 courses for service, condition, and pace of play.

Matthews used the Chippewa River and two small lakes to achieve a picturesque golf design, as well as, challenge even the best golfer. Every hole at Bucks Run offers a vista to please the eye, but beware disaster awaits at every turn for an errant golf ball.

When your round is complete enjoy a meal in the restaurant. The menu has something for everyone and the quality will satisfy any discerning diner.

An added treat at Buck’s Run is the ‘Putting Course.’ It is cut like real greens and offers a stern putting challenge. It is perfect for an ‘emergency nine,’ or fun for the entire family.

 

Tullymore & St. Ives

Just 45 minutes west of Mt. Pleasant, Tullymore and St. Ives sits in the Canadian Lakes region of Mid-Michigan, with a series of lakes that provide boating, fishing and swimming for off-course activities.

Jim Engh designed the Tullymore Golf Club, when it opened in 2002, it was named the No. 1 New Upscale Course in North America by Golf Digest. Engh is one of only a handful of golf architects that have five courses in Golf Digest’s Top 50 Greatest Golf Courses in America and was named that publication’s 2003 Golf Architect of the Year.

The Tullymore course meanders through 800 acres of woods, meadows, and wetlands. The greens are uniquely varied in both shape and size, plus multiple tee options let you pick the right yardage for your game. A unique feature of Tullymore is five par-3’s and five par-5’s on the scorecard.

At Tullymore you can play where the pros play, it has hosted a Symetra Tour event.

 

St. Ives

Jerry Matthews was responsible for designing St. Ives. When it opened for play in 1995, it was named one of the Best New Affordable Golf Courses in America by Golf Digest, plus it has continued to rack up awards and honors since.

It is also female-friendly. Golf Digest listed it as one of the Top 10 Women’s Golf Courses.

St. Ives and Tullymore are separated by only a few miles and “stay & play” packages are available.

 

Dining

There is a myriad of dining options in the Mt. Pleasant area. A couple worth mentioning are the Mountain Town Station, Italian Oven, Buck’s Run and the various choices at the Soaring Eagle Casino. 

Moutain Town Station offers a wide selection, plus a complete list of craft beers to wet your whistle. The barbeque ribs are the best, but also try the Macaroni & Cheese with Brisket (to die for).

The Italian Oven sits on the south end of the main strip, near CMU and offers every type of pasta, plus pizza.

The Soaring Eagle’s four restaurants offer everything from tender steaks, made to perfection in the Steak & Chop House, to burgers in the Legendary Grill, or Italian fare in Isabella’s. The Aurora Buffett has it all, plus as much as you can handle.

Accommodations

Tullymore has condos and cottages that offer sweet relaxation after a vigorous day on the links, with luxurious accommodations in pristine natural surroundings. Flexible sleeping options can be arranged to accommodate a romantic getaway for two, a celebration with a large group of friends, or family, plus everything in between.

Mt. Pleasant has a wide selection of hotel options and many include ‘stay-and-play’ options for the local golf courses. The Soaring Eagle Casino Lodge makes an excellent place to hang your hat for a golf vacation to Mt. Pleasant.

 

Midland

The home of Dow and Dow Corning, Midland, Michigan is near Mt. Pleasant. This company town has a variety of cultural options for after your round. It is also the home of the Great Lakes Loons, a Class A Minor League franchise associated with the LA Dodgers.

Beginning in 2019, Midland Country Club will host the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, a 72-hole, 2-woman team event on the LPGA Tour.

 

Mount Pleasant WOW!

As you can see there are many reasons to visit Mid-Michigan. Play a little golf, enjoy fine dining, catch a ball game, or big-name show. Fish, swim, boat, kayak, hike in the woods or just play a little Blackjack, Mid-Michigan has it all.

Even with the occasional double or dreaded other on your scorecard, the Mt. Pleasant area offers the very best in golf for travelers seeking new adventures.

For more information about any of the activities in and around Mt. Pleasant visit: https://www.mountpleasantwow.com/

 

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