I have found that northern Michigan golfing is a totally difference experience than golfing a course outside the area. I have only golfed for about 10 years and admit my experiences are limited, but the courses I have visited outside of northern Michigan convince me that Northern Michigan golf is hard to beat.
Golfing downstate and out of state
Outside of Michigan, I have golfed in Virginia (numerous courses) and Louisiana (1 course). They were all beautiful and well maintained courses, but it always surprised me how different the fairways are in these southern states, nothing like Northern Michigan. The grass was denser, spongier, and seemed to grab the ball and stop it where it landed. There was not much of a chance to get extra yards on a nice roll, I count on those rolls for my drives! The tee boxes and greens are not much different other than they dry out quickly in the heat of the day. In Louisiana I encountered my first and hopefully last alligator hanging out on a course, as you can see from the picture, we kept our distance from each other!
I have also golfed at several courses in SE and Western Michigan, again all were genuinely nice and well maintained and courses like they are in Northern Michigan. The biggest difference for me is that they just do not feel the same. You know you are close to larger cities and a lot more traffic than in Northern Michigan. It doesn’t get any better than golfing in Northern Michigan and looking out and seeing one of the big lakes, or an orchard, maybe a ship going by, or a deer stopping by to say hi!
Northern Michigan Golfing
After I “learned” to golf and visiting courses throughout Northern Michigan the one common theme for me was the tranquility, the spectacular views and familiar wildlife. As frustrating as the game can be, I always come home feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Never thought I would be a golfer until I picked up that club for the first time several years ago and played 9 holes at Interlochen Golf Course and lost 2 balls in the water trying to not hit the bird. I scored an 84, not great, but still I made it through 9 holes and had fun!
After that experience I knew I wanted to learn more and needed to replace the mish mash bag of my husband’s old clubs and get a decent used women’s set. I figured with the right equipment there would be no stopping me! I played my first 18 holes at Crystal Mountain on the Betsie Valley Course. What a difference having clubs that were designed for ladies! Second time out and golfed 18 holes and I only went a little over 100! It was a huge improvement over the last time and now I was really hooked!
I golfed that first season at numerous courses in Northern Michigan making sure this sport was for me. I kept thinking I was getting the hang of it because of one great drive or a 30 foot putt. Every golfer knows it is those amazing shots that keeps you coming back for more.
Time for new clubs!
Once I knew I would stick with it, I did buy an intermediate set of clubs that were meant for someone under 5’3” the following season. Now I had clubs that were an inch shorter than my previous ladies’ clubs, a year under my belt and I was ready to play with the pros! I wish I could say I have become a scratch golfer with those clubs but I didn’t.
What I did find is that good equipment does make a difference and as much as I liked my first new set I decided that I needed to switch it up. Recently bought a set a step up from my last ones and about 1/2″ shorter shaft and lighter weight than my previous petite clubs. I have used them a few times and am still getting use to the differences. The 1/2″ is make a difference in my stance. I am not having to stretch out my arms to reach the ball. The more I play with them the more I am getting the hang of it.
I know I will never be a scratch golfer, heck, I may rarely get under 100, but I am getting better every time I play and if I never have a par game, I am okay with that. It has not diminished my obsession with the game or my excitement when I chip in for a par on that hole, hit a spectacular drive (for me) or make the impossible putt. My love of golfing gets stronger with every Northern Michigan course I visit!
Watch for more facts and adventures in Northern Michigan!