Text: Greg Johnson
In Cadillac, Michigan there are eight golf courses located within about a 20-minute-drive of the downtown area that not only share the inherent beauty of the landscape, but also feature well-cared greens and friendly, welcoming service, according to the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau.
With each course easily accessible from area freeways, the Cadillac area can offer a golf weekend in which a player can cover all eight courses in a matter of three or four days.
To hit each experience in an area often described as a playground for the taking, the Bureau has structured a golf weekend that begins with a ride in an Eldorado, after a fashion. From Eldorado Golf Course, the tour takes players on to Lakewood on the Green Golf Course, Evergreen Resort, Missaukee Golf Club, Emerald Vale Golf Club, Antioch Golf Course, Cadillac Country Club, and then Caberfae Peaks Golf Course.
The tour, which begins with inspiration from a Cadillac Eldorado and traverses rolling countryside, takes players from Bruce Matthews’ designed work to renovated and historic clubs alike.
At Eldorado Golf Course, Bob Meyer had a plan. Meyer, who had Cadillac Eldorados, created a 27-hole course that is visually stunning on the western side of United State Route 131 as drivers roll into Cadillac. As Owner, Meyer did the design work on the course that requires some shots over water, and good shots to maintain a good score. Visually the course is stunning, and well-maintained like the vintage cars on display in and around the clubhouse. Meyer was going for the northern Michigan golf look often found at the resorts farther north of Cadillac, and he was also aiming for better playing rates.
At Eldorado golfers pick the nines and tees carefully, because there are multiple options. The suggestion is play 27—Red, White and Blue nines—from the middle tees for men and forward tees for the women. The forced carries are not as daunting from those tees, and yet there is more than 6,000 yards of golf to be played for men and 5,500 yards for women on any of the 18-hole combinations. Longer and shorter options are available as each hole has seven tee options.
Another highlight is the nearby Evergreen Resort—formerly McGuire’s—that offers visitors a chance for a golf-and-lodging combination. Golf at the resort features the 18-hole Spruce course, and the nine-hole Norway course and improvements have been made in recent years across the board on the courses and in the lodging at the popular family resort.
The Spruce course is on a hillside overlooking Lake Cadillac and winds through a pine forest with challenging smaller greens from the classic era of golf architecture. The Norway course is played most often by casual golfers or beginners. Various packages are available through the golf season.
The dining at the resort also includes two options: regional cuisine in Passage North—The Grill at Evergreen Resort; and the casual tavern called Curly’s Bar. Curly’s is named for the McGuire’s co-founder. Curly and his wife Velma started the resort when they purchased a roadside restaurant in 1949.
In all, the eight courses have a combined 153 holes of golf and offer special deals and events, such as stay-and-play packages and free play.