There’s no shortage of great golf courses in Northern Michigan competing for your golf dollar. With three championship courses on property, The Bear, The Wolverine and Spruce Run, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa is an easy first choice for a golf getaway.
The newest course of the trio, The Wolverine, is the only Gary Player-designed course in the state of Michigan. Appropriately named for the cunning Michigan forest-dweller, Gary Player’s signature course, The Wolverine, offers a true north woods golfing experience where each nine presents its own challenges. The course winds through water and wetlands on the front nine, and highland terrain with hardwoods and views of Grand Traverse Bay on the back nine.
Thanks to the versatility and playability of the track coupled with four sets of tees on each hole, more players can enjoy golfing this certified member of the Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program.
After playing The Wolverine, the helpful attendants will store your clubs overnight so you can tackle the famously tough Jack Nicklaus’ Bear course the next day.
The first hole on The Bear, a 364 yard par 4, is an easy par if you stay out of the moguls but after that, pars are hard to come by. Visually intimidating forced carries and water hazards on 14 of 18 holes make this course a challenge. The beautiful finishing hole plays downhill back to the clubhouse with another carry over water to a large green.
Even if you’re leaving the next day, the golf staff will store the clubs overnight so you can take off and grab a swim before dinner. The Grand Traverse Resort also offers a fast,free shuttle service to their private beach club on Lake Michigan, just minutes down the road.
The perfect antidote to a grueling workout on The Bear is the popular 100-minute Grand Traverse Body Renewal massage/exfoliation combo that starts with a gentle exfoliating scrub followed by a Vichy warm water shower. Next comes a relaxing massage, that combines hot stones with a signature massage oil, infused with the calming benefits of wild birch and wintergreen grown in Northern Michigan. As you drift away in a warm linen wrap, the therapist provides a soothing neck, scalp and face massage.
The third course on site is Spruce Run, designed by Bill Newcome and named for the many spruce trees lining its long fairways. The par 70 course, renowned as a Michigan Open tour venue from the early 1980s, plays 6304 yards from the blues with a slope rating of 134. All three courses are meticulously maintained and the Player Assistants keep the groups moving smoothly.
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa Packages and twilight rates offer exceptional value while themed golf events throughout the year add to the enjoyment of the rounds.
If you’re looking for a break from golf, downtown Traverse City is well worth a visit for good local dining, craft beers and shopping for local goodies. Further afield, check out the clear waters, high sand dunes and beautiful walking trails of Sleeping Bear National Park on Lake Michigan. If you’re a U.S. citizen over 62, pick up a lifetime US National Parks pass for $10.00.