For Midwestern golfers, the summer months belong to northern Michigan. When the desert heat of the west and humidity of the south kick in, long days and cool breezes keep this destination's golf resorts packed to the gills. The outdoors are the main event in the Great Lakes State, and the area is home to plenty of golf courses and resorts where 36 holes, followed by a cold beer will be the daily norm.
Northern Michigan golf courses receive the majority of their play from in-state and Midwest, but its golf courses are rated as high nationally as any other destination from Myrtle Beach to Phoenix/Scottsdale. Resorts such as Treetops in Gaylord, Garland Resort, Grand Traverse, Boyne Highlands and the Inn at Bay Harbor are among it's most reputable. Practically every big-name designer, including Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Doak, Gary Player, Rick Smith and Arnold Palmer, has a golf course to his credit.
The golf courses of northern Michigan also provide great value versus other golf destinations. Few courses cost more than $100, while most times, that can include a night's stay somewhere too.
Here's TravelGolf.com's look at some of northern Michigan's most scenic and acclaimed golf courses.
Harbor Golf Club - hole 9
Harbor Golf Club near Petoskey is one of Northern Michigan's most upscale and dramatic rounds of golf.
Tullymore Golf Club in central Michigan
Tullymore Golf Club in Stanwood has quickly risen to the top of Northern Michigan's golf courses.
Forest Dunes golf course
Golfers who come to Forest Dunes in Roscommon will discover PGA Tour-ready conditions. They'll also receive a bonus, par-3 19th hole.
Grand Traverse Resort - The Bear
The Bear course at the Grand Traverse Resort near Traverse City is Jack Nicklaus' only public golf course in Michigan.
Cedar River golf course at Shanty Creek
Shanty Creek Resorts are experiencing a revival in Northern Michigan, including Tom Weiskopf's renowned Cedar River golf course.
Otsego Tribute golf course - hole 3
If Northern Michigan golf has a trademark, it's the elevated tee shot. The par-4 third at the Otsego Tribute is arguably Gaylord's most execiting downhill driving hole.
Black Forest at Wilderness Valley
One of Tom Doak's first designs is Black Forest at Wilderness Valley near Gaylord, Michigan. It's one of Northern Michigan's toughest golf courses.
Boyne Highlands - Arthur Hills golf course
Many golf courses in Northern Michigan share property with ski hills, like the Arthur Hills Course at Boyne Highlands.
King's Challenge golf course
King's Challenge, about a half hour's drive from Traverse City, can be hard to find, but that's part of the allure here. This Arnold Palmer signature is one of the area's most secluded golf courses.
A-Ga-Ming - Torch golf course
Northern Michigan is full of older golf courses that offer plenty of character and scenic beauty, like A-Ga-Ming's Torch course north of Traverse City.
Kingsley Club in Traverse City
One of Northern Michigan golf's newest additions is the Kingsley Club, a modern throwback to traditional links design.
Garland Resort - Fountain golf course
Garland Resort in Lewiston is the quintessential Northern Michigan golf retreat. The Fountains is one of four, soon to be five golf courses all located in the Lodge's back yard.