Text: Brenna Buckwald
The greater Lansing area plays a distinct role in Michigan’s golf industry as it offers a number of golf courses in the city for visitors and residents to play, an abundance of shopping and dining options near the courses, and is host to events that draw travelers in, such as the 2021 NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championship. The Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau, or GLCVB, sets out to ensure visitors and community partners alike are fully informed about the many businesses and entertainment amenities the city has to offer, drawing people to the region to explore its many attractions.
“We are a nonprofit organization, and our mission is to attract visitors of all kinds to the region. Whether someone is coming for a weekend getaway to play some golf, or a sport tournament, or a convention or meeting, our team is charged with getting visitors to come stay at our local hotels, eat in our restaurants, and visit our attractions,” said Tracy Padot, CTA, vice president of marketing communications at GLCVB.
“We are a membership organization, so our members are those hotels, attractions, restaurants, and retail—anything a visitor might be interested in. We want folks to visit us,” Padot said.
Lansing is home to well-known courses like the Emerald Golf Club, Ironwood Links Golf Course, Groesbeck Golf Course, Eagle Eye Golf Club, and Hawk Hollow Championship Golf—the latter two of which are owned by Eagle Eye Golf & Banquet Center. The two courses sit right across the street from one another, providing golfers the opportunity to play both courses without having to travel far.
Closer to downtown Lansing, Groesbeck offers a great value with 18-holes designed by Jerry Matthews, ASGCA, available to play at an affordable price. Groesbeck, Eagle Eye, and Hawk Hollow golf courses are also all conveniently located to Eastwood Towne Center, a lifestyle complex in Lansing that features shopping, dining, and hotels within walking distance of each other.
Lansing is also home to Forest Akers’ West Golf Course and East Golf Course, which is where Michigan State University’s golf teams play. The women’s team recently secured their third Big Ten title since 2017 as it finished five shots ahead of three other teams tied for second place and now looks to the NCAA championships later this spring as Forest Akers’ West Golf Course hosts the 2021 NCAA Division III Women’s National Championship on May 11, 2021.
“The fact that we’re hosting the NCAA Division III Women’s Collegiate Championship is big for us; that is going to bring in teams from across the country, as well as their coaches and families. It is a nice boost for our local economy,” Padot said.
Visitors of the Lansing area can also get a taste for the city by doing the Makers & Shakers Trail, which is a map of the must-try craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries created by GLCVB.
“We have over twenty breweries, wineries, and distilleries in the community. We encourage folks to get out and do a little tasting tour, so they get a sense of locally crafted cocktails, beers, and wines,” Padot said.
Padot also noted that the Lansing community has adopted what is called The Greater Lansing Safe Pledge, which is a pledge taken by local businesses to ensure that they are putting the health and safety of visitors first in relation to COVID-19 protocol, by following CDC recommended guidelines.
“We just want our visitors to know that we’re taking it seriously and that if they visit, they should be in good hands. We are doing all we can to keep them safe,” Padot said.