Text: Greg Johnson
Fall golf at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, Michigan along Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay begins with a room with a view in the resort’s glass Tower.
From its 17-story vantage point, the golfer can look out over a choice of three manicured sets of fairways and greens framed in spectacular northern Michigan colors, such as a rainbow selection of leaves on the trees, blue water, and pure sand bunkers.
It’s irresistible golf amid irresistible beauty.
The three courses include the Jack Nicklaus-designed The Bear, The Wolverine by Gary Player, and Spruce Run by William Newcomb. The Bear is a signature Nicklaus course that opened in 1985 and has been home to the Michigan Open Championship about 26 times, including the last two years.
Gary Player, another golf legend, was brought into design The Wolverine. It opened in 1999 and is a kinder, gentler round of golf designed to accommodate players of all levels, and yet is long and strong enough to host many tournaments, such as the Michigan Open rounds.
Spruce Run is the resort’s original course, which was redesigned by William Newcomb in 1979, and since then additional changes have been made as well. Currently, the 18-hole, par-70 layout winds along the hills overlooking East Grand Traverse Bay. The Michigan Open was played on Spruce Run prior to the Bear. It was known then as The Resort Course and hosted the state’s top players from 1981 through 1984.
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa also offers year-round golf instruction, carts with USB charging ports, custom on-course lessons by PGA professionals, and special events and program for golfers of all ages. In October, two such special events will take place: the 9th Annual Big Hole Golf Tournament and the 11th Annual Tuff Enuff Golf Tournament.
On Oct. 5, the 9th Annual Big Hole Golf Tournament will take place on Spruce Run. It is $70 per person, which includes golf, cart, prizes, and more. The superintendent cuts 10-inch cups at the hole locations on all 18 holes just for fun. It’s a three-person scramble, which means birdies will be plenty, and eagles, too.
Later in the month on Oct. 20, the 11th Annual Tuff Enuff Golf Tournament will take over one of Michigan’s toughest courses: The Bear. It is set up at its absolute hardest for this event, with all 7,000-plus yards of fast greens and tucked hole locations. This is a two-person, best-ball event and may require a plentiful supply of golf balls. It’s as advertised, a tournament to see who is Tuff Enuff. At $70 per person it also includes golf, cart, prizes, and more.
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa also offers a number of other amenities for those visiting during the fall season, such as: tennis, indoor pool, spa treatments, shopping, adventures for kids, casino trip at its nearby sister property Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel, and dining. The resort is conveniently located a short distance from Cherry Capital Airport, or TVC, in Traverse City; and also provides a licensed day care center known as the Cub House, as well as a day camp for kids. The resort not only has 900 acres of landscape, about 86,500 square-feet of versatile meeting space, a 7,000-square-foot Spa Grand Traverse, and nearly 600 guest rooms and condominiums; but also a Gallery of Shops, and multiple food and beverage outlets—including Aerie Restaurant & Lounge on the 16th floor of the Tower.