Text: R. Collins // Photography: Gaylord Area Convention & Tourism Bureau
Of Michigan’s popular golf destinations—of which there are many—the Gaylord area is well-rounded with a total of 17 golf courses and 21 lodging facilities falling under the Gaylord Golf Mecca title of the region’s Gaylord Area Convention and Tourism Bureau.
From Gaylord’s location off Interstate-75 in northern Michigan, renowned resorts and championship golf courses designed by the greatest names in course architecture form a recreational network for golf and sport enthusiasts, sheltered by rustic woods and interspersed by walkable nature trails. This summer, the Gaylord golf scene is building on the theme of wide-open spaces to support a renewed fondness for the outdoors and an attention to healthy distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The theme fits well for Gaylord, because our courses are renowned for being built on large tracks of land with an abundance of woods, water, wildlife, and viewscapes. In city settings, courses are limited to smaller tracks due to the cost of land and limitations of land,” said Paul Beachnau, executive director at Gaylord Area Convention and Tourism Bureau in Gaylord, Michigan.
With 17 courses to choose from, the Gaylord Golf Mecca region is ready for a long summer well-traveled by new golfers and those returning to the game. Just a few courses dotting the Gaylord golf terrain include Black Lake Golf Club, Gaylord Golf Club, and Michaywé Pines Golf Course; and several like Otsego Resort and Treetops Resort double as comfortable lodging options accompanied by leisurely golf, wildlife preserves, and dining featuring regional flavors and wine selections.
Of course, the design and atmosphere of each unique course in the area is worth noting, with names like Tom Fazio, Jerry Mathews, Reese Jones, and Gary Koch comprising only some of the world-famous course architects that have left their mark on the Gaylord golf topography.
“What is most unique about Gaylord is that we have both a large quantity of courses and high quality of courses. Some of the top golf course designers in the world have designed courses in northern Michigan,” Beachnau said.
Fortunately, Michigan’s long summer evenings and temperate fall days allow passionate golfers plenty of time to get out and hit the greens, with extra time to grab dinner or a night cap in Gaylord’s quaint downtown.
“For those from out of state, we always boast that because we are on the western edge of the Eastern Time Zone, it stays light in the summer until 10:00 p.m., and it is very easy to play 36 holes of golf in a day,” Beachnau added.
Check out the Gaylord Golf Mecca website for information on its members’ many stay and play packages, and even an Ultimate Golf Giveaway. For general information about the group and the many Gaylord golf courses in the region, visit gaylordgolfmecca.com.