Text: R. Collins
After a wildly successful last season, the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa’s three distinctive golf courses—The Bear, The Wolverine, and Spruce Run—have opened early in anticipation of another great season. After a 14-week off-season, the shortest in resort history, the courses have opened along with a plethora of events, packages, and other offerings to shape a well-rounded summer of golf experience for those new to the game and excited to return.
“I think [this season] will probably exceed in my opinion. Last year was great especially from the middle of June and we stayed open until December 11th, so it was really good,” said Tom McGee, director of golf operations at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, Michigan. “We also saw a lot of new golfers pick up the game or some people who had maybe gotten away from the game, were reintroduced to it, and are now starting to play.”
An indicator of the season’s success last year was certainly the enrollment in the resort’s golf academy lessons, and as McGee noted: when someone takes a lesson, it typically means they’re going to be playing more golf. Luckily, there’s plenty of opportunities for those new to the game to come out and get a piece of the action at the resort this summer, alongside more experienced players.
May’s golf events comprise a Derby Day Shootout on The Wolverine—including dinner and drink specials, and six holes of best ball, scramble, and alternate shot—and Mother’s Day and Memorial Weekend Golf Specials. The month of June brings more fun in the form of the Dave Pelz Scoring Game School, opportunities to spectate at the Turtle Creek Casino Michigan Open Championship at The Bear, and the resort’s annual three-week celebration of the summer solstice, Golf Your Daylights Out.
This last program takes advantage of the long summer days in northern Michigan by offering golfers the opportunity to get out and get in as many rounds as they please while the sun sets.
“Being on the western side of the eastern time zone, people can play golf as late as about 10:15 p.m. Those not from the region are always amazed at how light it is and how late they can play golf,” McGee said.
The current record for the annual Golf Your Daylights Out, McGee said, is 90 holes in one day, but golfers can also use it to spend an evening golfing among friends and enjoying the onsite amenities of the clubhouse’s food and beverage service. Of course, any visitor to the resort and its courses is generally treated to a set of amenities that is unique to northern Michigan, with an internationally renowned resort and spa and famous Michigan golf courses wrapped into one, just outside of Traverse City.
“At the resort we have so many amenities so it’s not just about golf necessarily. It can be about everything: the beaches and wineries and what Traverse City has to offer,” McGee said.
As a large part of the appeal, the resort’s golf offerings are made even more user-friendly with the plethora of stay-and-play packages included. Plus, with a pacing average that’s up 38 percent from last year and 19 percent from 2019, many golfers are excited to get in on the experience. Stay up-to-date on the rest of this season’s golf events and offerings through the resort’s golf events page, and check in on the rest of the resort’s packages and upcoming events being offered to golf and vacation lovers this summer.
Photography: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa