Golf you won't find anywhere but Up North.
Mar 4, 2008 Lynda Twardowski
Courtesy Forest Dunes. Courtesy Travel Michigan. Courtesy Murray Hotel.
God's Green Course
Only six golf courses in the world have earned the gold stamp of approval - the Certified Gold Signature Development distinction - from Audubon International, and one of them is in Roscommon. Forest Dunes Golf Club is a place developed to Audubon's exacting environmental standards and committed to sustainable resource management and long-term stewardship.
What's that mean to you? When you play a round here, you're not just playing a course, you're playing a natural sanctuary. Make a tee time to take in Forest Dunes' rolling glacial sand dunes, endless tracts of fern and wildflowers, 400,000 acres of Huron National Forest surroundings and, oh yeah, the 7,104-yard, par 72 Tom Weiskopf signature course. You won't want to leave. So don't - book a bedroom lakefront cottage at the club and stay the night. 866-DUNESMI.
Odds Are Good
At the Black Bear in Vanderbilt, a course styled with Scottish rolling hills, undulating greens and gorgeous corridors of Northern Michigan hardwoods, 18 holes simply isn't enough. Which is why the Black Bear offers golfers a bonus 19th hole - the only course in Michigan that does. The bonus par-3 is actually the warm-up hole, a precursor to the course's 18 championship holes, which are modest in length but renowned for offering some of the most diverse golf terrain in the state. Afterward, try your luck at some other odds with a night at Victories Casino and Hotel in Petoskey. Call for golf and hotel package rates. Victories, 877-4GAMING; Black Bear, 866-983-4441.
Golf is a Battlefield
Weekend golf warriors, swing some stick at Mackinac Island's Wawashkamo, Michigan's oldest continuously played golf course and a former War of 1812 battleground. Your aim will be far better than that of the Brits' Brown Bess muskets - famous for misfires and inaccuracies - if you storm the storied 9-hole grounds with the help of this secret weapon: the island's historic Murray Hotel, which hooks up you and a pal with tee times for 18 holes, roundtrip horse-drawn taxi to and from the course, a picnic lunch, plus a night of lodging downtown. For rates and reservations: 800-462-2546, 4mackinac.com.
All Greens, All the Time
If you're staying and playing Mackinac, hit another island sweet spot: Mission Point Resort's The Greens of Mackinac, an executive putting course of 18 bent grass greens and the perfect place to put a new putter to the test. The on-site pro shop lets you try before you buy. 906-847-3312, missionpoint.com.
Lynda Twardowski is travel editor at Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine
Note:This article was first published in September 2006 and was updated for the web February 2008.