It’s springtime and that means Northern Michigan golf. Here’s a quick rundown of the courses soon to open in Northern Michigan:

Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

Traverse City, Michigan

Home to Michigan’s oldest and most prestigious golf tournament, the Michigan Open, Jack Nicklaus’s The Bear is where scratch golfers go to test their mettle. Credit the links-style course’s menacingly deep pot bunkers, ten holes’ worth of water hazards, deep grassy roughs, moguls, mounds and the highest slope rating in the state. Surviving a Bear attack isn’t easy, but the resort makes it worth your while, offering at day’s end a retreat into a resort that’s fresh from a fabulous multi-million dollar renovation. Fine and casual dining, shopping, meeting spaces that can accommodate 10 to 2,500 people, and a 100,000-square-foot spa complex are on site.

April 21 Spruce Run opens April 25 The Wolverine opens April 25 The Bear opens

Shanty Creek Resorts

Bellaire, Michigan

Working with Cedar River’s natural glacier-carved terrain may have been an odyssey for famed golf course architect Tom Weiskopf, but for golfers (and photographers), its breathtaking vistas, deep ravines and rolling terrain are an inspiration. Fives sets of tees and expansive, undulating greens accommodate golfers of all abilities. Likewise, while some holes demand accuracy and control at the outset, several offer a wide landing area to keep newbie spirits up. Bring clubs and a camera for this one. Cedar River Village, Shanty’s newest lodging offering, serves up 72 elegant suites and studios, 14 condos and 7,100 square feet of meeting spaces that come complete with Internet-connected task tables. A complimentary shuttle provides access to additional services and facilities at Shanty’s nearby Schuss and Summit Villages.

April 19 Summit Golf Course opens (weather permitting). April 26 The Legend Golf Course opens (weather permitting). May 3 Cedar River and Schuss Mtn. Golf Courses open.

Boyne & Boyne Highland Resorts

Harbor Springs, Boyne Falls

Credit its gracious curves or the thick forest and blueberry bog it wends through, but beauty isn’t the only reason Golf for Women magazine named Boyne Highlands’ The Heather one of the world’s top 50 courses for women. Exemplary conditioning, fair play from the forward tees, and course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s ruthless demand for accuracy all played roles in the ranking, as did Boyne Highlands’ 415+ luxury accommodations. Hotel rooms, suites, condos and cottages are available here, though business groups may appreciate the recent hotel upgrades most: ultra-plush bedding and wireless Internet is available in each room, the latter in most common areas as well.

April 26 Heather-Hidden River Golf & Casting Club open May 3 Alpine-Crooked Tree-Links/Quarry opens
May 7 Moor opens
May 10 Ross-Monument-Hills opens May 17 Quarry/Preserve-Preserve/Links  (Weekends only May 17-May 30)

Crystal Mountain Resort


Two championship golf courses. The panoramic Mountain Ridge course and the tree-lined (recently renovated) Betsie Valley course. When courses open next week, Low Season rates will apply to both golf courses. In addition, April 28th is the first day of the season-long Mountain Ridge 20th Anniversary celebration. Anyone playing the Mountain Ridge course on Sunday, April 28th will pay $20. That includes green and cart fees and range use prior to the round. One heck of a deal! Get more information here.

April 26 Betsie Valley and Mountain Ridge Course opens (weather permitting) Crystal’s driving range, practice facility and golf school are already open for the season.

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