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Northern Michigan Vacations: Take a swing. Listen for the pin-dropping sound of club striking ball, the brief, muted echo as you look up into the stunning countryside. Add a sunset over the big lake and I guarantee you'll be hooked at these award-winning Leelanau courses.
Set adjacent to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and redesigned in 2009, this challenging layout made Golfweek’s list of 2010’s Best New Courses. The Craftsman-style clubhouse features memorabilia recognizing the remarkable career of course designer Arnold Palmer. 4600 Club Dr., Cedar, 231.228.6000, manitoupassagegolf.com.
Leelanau Club at Bahle Farms
Built to integrate working cherry orchards into a design that winds amid rolling hills and woods toward stunning Lake Michigan vistas, this championship course is a true destination. 9505 E. Otto Rd., Suttons Bay, 231.271.2020, leelanauclub.com.
Sugar Loaf, The Old Course
Old does not mean outdated here, but instead a classic mid-20th century design by architect C.D. Wagstaff, nestled between cherry orchards and rolling countryside. The most memorable rounds are timed to take in the sunset over Sugar Loaf Mountain. 4512 S. Townline Rd., Cedar, 231.228.2040, sugarloaftheoldcourse.com.
This casual, affordable course is perfect for relaxing vacation play. Hone your skills on the driving range before playing the course located near the headquarters of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 6489 W. Empire Hwy, Empire, 231.326.5390, dunesgolf.com.