The Gaylord Golf Mecca in northern Michigan gears up for its 25th anniversary celebration at Treetops Resort and Spa
GAYLORD, Mich. - For the first time in my life, I actually said these words out loud while playing golf.
“Don’t go in the hole.”
I was standing on the 13th tee on the Tribute course at the Otsego Club & Resort. My tee shot was zeroing in on the hole before ending up less than two feet short. If it went in the cup, there would have been no witnesses, just me and several thousand blades of grass.
Visions of a hole-in-one probably came from my last experience on that very tee. Several years ago, I watched a Canadian radio journalist blade an absolute stinger that hit the top of the flag stick and crawled straight into the hole. Without the interference, his ball would have landed 30 yards past the hole. Such is golf.
I’ve played several dozen rounds in Gaylord over the years, but this round epitomized best what’s great about the region. The setting was spectacular (check out the view on the par-4 14th hole), winding through the back woods of northern Michigan. I played by myself in two-and-half hours, playing through a single threesome. When you get an empty course up here, there’s no better place to enjoy the spoils of Mother Nature.
Tomorrow’s round will be wildly different, filled with hoopla and plenty of players. I’m in town for the Gaylord Golf Mecca’s 25th anniversary celebration. The 81-hole Treetops Resort and Spa, just down the road from the Otsego Club where I’m staying, will be a worthy host. We’ll play the Masterpiece, the Robert Trent Jones Sr. design that put Gaylord on the map nearly 30 years ago, with a banquet to follow.
The Mecca (click here for its site) has grown from a tiny six-course collaboration to a recognized name in the industry on par with Myrtle Beach and Florida for marketing clout and creativity in branding. It’s the little destination that could. Today, there are 17 courses and 20 lodging properties part of the Mecca.
It’s not just one of the Midwest’s best golf destination but one of the best in the country. Don’t take my word for it. Come experience it for yourself. Plenty of the Mecca courses are available at golfnow.com here.
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