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Golfing Up North

June 25, 2020 at 5:43 pm

Golfing Up North

 

I have found that northern Michigan golfing is a totally difference experience than golfing a course outside the area. I have only golfed for a few years and admit my experiences are limited, but the courses I have visited outside of northern Michigan convince me that golfing Up North is hard to beat.

Alligator at Bayou Oaks Golf Course, New Orleans, Louisiana

Alligator at Bayou Oaks Golf Course, New Orleans, Louisiana

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 Up North. 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 Up North. 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 Up North. It doesn’t get any better than golfing Up North 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!

Golfing Up North

After I “learned” to golf and visiting courses throughout Up North 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 5 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! 

Interlochen Golf Course, Interlochen, Michigan

Interlochen Golf Course, Interlochen, Michigan

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 did not go 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 Up North 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; I am getting better every time I go out 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 and my love of golfing Up North gets stronger with every Up North course I visit! 

Are you looking for a course in northern Michigan or the Upper Peninsula to try out? Click here for a complete directory.

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