Text: Brenna Buckwald // Photography: The Links at Bowen Lake Golf Course
The Links at Bowen Lake Golf Course in Gowen, Michigan, provides a country getaway with an 18-hole bentgrass, public golf course sweeping over wetlands and rolling meadows—and a dining destination at Bowen Lake Bar & Grill.
Vicki Korson, co-owner of The Links at Bowen Lake, noted that the course, which spans 150 acres of land and surrounds the 30-acre Bowen Lake, is unique because it embodies a quiet country golf course, within close proximity to the Grand Rapids area. There are many benefits to playing a golf course immersed in nature; one of the favorites among guests at The Links at Bowen Lake is the wildlife that accompanies the serenity of the quieter gameplay.
“One of the things that is exciting right now is we have a couple pairs of sandhill cranes that return every year to the course. We always have a new baby, but this year one of them just had twins and they’re so little and so cute when they have them,” Korson said.
“We had a naming contest a few years back to name them, and the one set is called Johnny and June, so when they had their baby that next year, we have called that Baby Cash. That has been kind of fun; people always love seeing the new ones,” Korson added.
Korson and her husband purchased The Links at Bowen Lake in 2017, rounding out the onsite experience a year later with the addition of a clubhouse, and restaurant located inside the clubhouse, in 2018. Bowen Lake Bar & Grill is open during afternoon and evening hours, presenting a menu of American fare such as wings, burgers, wraps, baked subs, salads, and specialty pizzas. Guests can enjoy the summer warmth from the covered patio that extends the entire length of the clubhouse.
“Our clubhouse now is three years old, so relatively new still. I had someone tell me yesterday that the first time they saw the new clubhouse they were like ‘this is too nice for Gowen.’ They expected this to be more of a Grand Rapids clubhouse, not a Gowen, Michigan clubhouse,” Korson said. “It has a sports-bar feel and has great food. We get people coming to eat that are not golfers, and a lot of takeout also.”
The Links at Bowen Lake has multiple options for existing leagues to join as a summer activity including men’s leagues, women’s leagues, and mixed leagues, available to play at varying times of day from Monday to Thursday. For the 2021 season, the list has been expanded with the addition of an afternoon mixed scramble league that plays on Mondays and is perfect for couples, coworkers, or friends to join in on the fun.
Membership packages to play at The Links at Bowen Lake all season long are also available with options for individuals, couples, and senior players.
“People are still just discovering us,” Korson said. “We just are doing what we do good, and enjoying people discovering us.”