By David Theoret
The Tullymore Golf Resort in Stanwood Michigan sits nestled amongst 800 acres of pristine Michigan forest, meadows and wetlands, the perfect venue for a golf resort in The Great Lakes State.
The resort features two golf courses, St Ives and Tullymore, a Jim Engh design. In addition to being named Architect of the Year in 2003, Engh is one of only five living course designers, who have courses listed in Golf Digest’s Top 50 Greatest Courses in America.
Tullymore has received several accolades, since opening in 2002, including being ranked by Golf Digest in their top 100 Greatest Public & Resort Courses in America. It’s easy to see why golfers keep coming back to this challenging course year after year.
Engh designed Tullymore with five par-3 holes and five par-5 holes. With five sets of tees, six counting the Combo tee, the course offers a suitable yardage for all level of players, as the course can play from 4,668 – 7,250 yards, with slopes that range from 120 – 150.
In creating the golf course, it’s like Engh took a painting and recreated it on natural surfaces. The white sand bunkers glisten against the lush green fairways and greens, plus every inch of the property is meticulously maintained. He did a fantastic job positioning greens in unconventional ways, many angled away from the approaching fairway, which means smaller landing areas requiring pinpoint accuracy on approach. The subtle undulations require good green reading skills as well.
The front nine plays to a par of 35 with one par 5 and three par 3s. The opening hole plays 495 yards from the blue tees and with a good drive down the left center of the fairway, it’s reachable in two. This dogleg right features woods and fescue grasses and long grass. There’s a large deep bunker fronting the green, as well as a large oak tree. If you’re not going for it in two, play down the left side, take the bunker out of play and make your par.
Number 3 is a short Par 4 that plays 284 yards from the Blue tees. This short hole is a great risk/reward opportunity, especially from the forward tees.
Number 4 at 160 yards is unique in that it is the first of two back-to-back par threes that couldn’t be more opposite. This hole requires a carry over water to a large green protected on the right with sand. Number 5, playing to 174 yards, plays slightly downhill and has a long narrow green situated between two mounds.
Number 8 is a long triple dogleg that plays 530 yards from the Blue Tees and requires an accurate layup. A grove of pine trees sit approximately 75 yards from the green, plus a large marshy area lies between the pines and the green, making it the second most difficult hole on the outward nine.
The back nine is considerably longer and has an extra par 5, playing to a par of 37. Number 10 is both beautiful and challenging, because of the large pond on the left side. Engh has helped players out by building a bail-out area on the right side.
The Par 3 Number 12 is very similar to the Dell hole at Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland, only with a much larger green. The right side of the green is partially hidden by the hillside.
The final three holes can make or break your round at Tullymore.
Number 16 is a three-shot par 5. To score here, you’ll need pinpoint accuracy with your approach shot, to avoid the sand and water, sitting below the green on the left.
Number 17 is a short par 4 that requires a tee shot of at least 210 yards to clear the hazard. The green sits between two long, beautiful bunkers and is deeper than it is wide.
Number 18 is all risk/reward with water down the left side. Bite off as much as you can chew for a shorter approach into the green. If you’re playing Number 18 as a three-shot hole, play up the right side. Find the run-up area so that the slope can feed your ball down to the left
Tullymore also has impressive practice facilities, including a driving range, as well as, separate areas for chipping and putting. Take advantage of this, a good short game will go a long way to scoring well here.
Stay and Play
In addition to fantastic golf, Tullymore offers impressive accommodations that are part of their stay and play packages. Lodging options range from hotel-style rooms at the Hideaway, perfect for a couple’s getaway. The Residence Club offers 3 and 4-bedroom condos, as well as, custom cottages that can sleep up to ten people. The Lodge also has 10 bedrooms and can sleep up to 24 guests.
All stay and play packages include a buffet breakfast in the Taproom, which also serves lunch and dinner. Tullymore is famous for throwing great events that are open to the public.
For golfers who develop an appetite while playing, there’s Tully’s Halfway House, conveniently located at the turn. Grab a bite of lunch or a few snacks and your favorite beverages as you head to the back nine.
Tullymore gives golfers a country club-style atmosphere in a full-service resort that is a worthy addition to any serious golfer’s bucket list. Conditions are spectacular, the staff is friendly, as well as, knowledgeable. If you’re part of a stay and play package, the accommodations won’t disappoint.
Relax and look around, you can’t help but enjoy the natural beauty and serenity of this property. For more information, visit their website at www.tullymoregolfcom.