Posted by: Kath Usitalo | August 2, 2012

Pure Michigan Golf Trivia For National Golf Month

Summit Golf Course, Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire (Shanty Creek photo)

Golf is not my bag. Years ago I took a swing at it. Bought clubs. Took lessons. Even played a few rounds. Living in a state with more than 800 golf courses, I looked forward to learning a new sport while enjoying the outdoors and some of Michigan’s beauty—albeit manufactured, manipulated or enhanced beauty.

Fine golf course designers, including big names like Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Rick Smith, Tom Weiskopf, Donald Ross, Tom Fazio and William Diddel (responsible for the Summit, above), have made the most of natural features like dunes, forests, wetlands, walls of rock and incredible views to create settings that pop up on all sorts of “best of” lists.

My brother Gordie (left) and his buddy Doug, visiting from Florida, like the course at Tullymore in Stanwood

Surrounded by golfing family members and friends, my taking up golf seemed like a good idea at the time. It was not.

Oh, I had fun enough, the few rounds I played with other women with slightly better ability. The foursomes behind us, however, didn’t seem to be enjoying themselves. I remember one group expressing their impatience loudly and in less than civil terms even though we invited them to go ahead of us.

While I may not have mastered the art of sinking a little white ball into a tiny cup (after cup after cup) I learned there are a lot of guys in pique polos and plaid shorts who need to work on their anger management. It didn’t take long to appreciate Mark Twain’s assessment that, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.”

I thought it best to store my clubs and perhaps, try again in another life. In the meantime, in honor of National Golf Month, I salute those who enjoy the sport.

I’d say I’ll see you at the 19th hole, but they don’t have those at the putt-putt golf courses I know.

Pure Michigan Golf Trivia:

  • Wawashkamo Golf Club, which opened on Mackinac Island in 1898, is the state’s most historic course. The 9-hole links style course is on land where a War of 1812 battle with the British took place in 1814.
  • Harbor Point Golf Club and Wequetonsing Golf Club, both in the Victorian resort area of Harbor Springs, opened in 1896.
  • In 1985 Grand Traverse Resort & Spa near Traverse City opened The Bear, designed by Jack Nicklaus, and launched the Great Lakes State’s reputation as “America’s Summer Golf Capital”
  • At one time Chocolay Downs Golf Course in Marquette claimed the “Longest Golf Hole in the World” at 1007 yards (Par 6). Northern Michigan University acquired the course and redesigned the 6th hole to measure just 440 yards. Satsuki Golf Club in Sano, Japan now has the world’s longest title with a 7th hole par 7 at 964 yards.
  • The state’s northernmost course is at Keweenaw Mountain Lodge in Copper Harbor.
  • Walter “The Haig” Hagan, a blacksmith’s son from Rochester, New York who won the U.S. Open in 1914 and 1919, followed by four British Open wins. He moved to Detroit and lived at the Detroit Athletic Club and Book Cadillac Hotel until settling at East Long Lake near Traverse City in 1954. He died in 1969 and rests at Holy Sepulchre Mausoleum in Southfield.

    Dapper golf hall of famer Walter Hagan chose to call Michigan home

Related Links:

Pure Michigan Golf:Travel Michigan’s listing of public and resort courses

Michigan Golf Tee Times: Book your tee times at select courses online

Gaylord Golf Mecca: Promotional organization for 17 courses in the Northern Lower Peninsula

Upper Peninsula Golf Association: 55 courses in the U.P., plus Wisconsin and Ontario

Golf Association of Michigan: Promoting amateur golf since 1919


  1. At least your clubs are stored. I ended up getting rid of mine though I still like the “thought” of playing one day. In the meantime, I’ll be happy to meet you at the l9th hole.

    • We could do putt-putt first

  2. Lots of information here that I’ll share with my sister, who is a golfer. Beautiful photos, too.

    • It would be beautiful just to walk some of those courses without having to worry about hitting that ball 😉

  3. Amazing Michigan. Lots of golf courses to choose. I am fortunate so play some of the finest golf courses in Michigan. I’m really happy to go back.

    • Cool! You need more Michigan courses at
      Thanks for checking in at Great Lakes Gazette.

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