The stay-and-play freeway

The stay-and-play freeway

In western and northern Michigan, three golf courses located along U.S. Route 131 created a collaborative package for the traveling player.

By Greg Johnson

Each year the leadership from Katke Golf Course at Ferris State University, Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club in Pierson and Eldorado Golf Course in Cadillac would see each other at various winter golf shows, and it quickly became clear they were hoping to attract some of the same players using similar rate structures.

Pilgrim’s Run

“We finally realized together that we are conveniently located off U.S. 131, we all have good golf and affordable fees, and that we could do something together,” said Ian Ziska, manager and head golf professional at Katke Golf Club.

“We came up with this Stay-and-Play 131 package where the lodging is here at the Holiday Inn in Big Rapids right next to us at Katke, and then 40 minutes south you have Pilgrim’s Run, and 40 minutes north you have Eldorado. Both of them are easy 40-minute drives without much traffic,” added Ziska.

He also noted central to the stay-and-play package is that the partner Holiday Inn, much like Katke Golf Club, is busiest in the spring and fall when students are at Ferris State and the campus is bustling. In the middle of the summer, an affordable rate is available at the Holiday Inn, according to Ziska.

“Then we package that rate with the rates for us, Pilgrim’s Run and Eldorado; and it is an affordable option for the traveling golfer that the resorts and other stay-and-play destinations have a hard-time matching in those summer months,” said Ziska.

The weekend 54-hole option is currently offered for June and July at $249 per person, which includes two nights of lodging and a round of golf at each course with cart. In September the price is $259.

Ziska said the golfer benefits beyond the price as well. The three golf courses involved are distinctly different, yet all outstanding.

“The Eldorado has big fairways and big greens and some different looks that are unique and fun. Pilgrim’s Run has the modern green settings with traditional fairways you find in Northern Michigan, and we have the more traditional, parkland, rolling hills golf course. Everybody maintains a great condition,” said Ziska. “It’s a blend of three styles of golf courses that really tops off the package.”

To book, call 231-591-3765 or email Ian Ziska,


photo by Nile Young Photography