Yooper land golf: Fall bargains in N. Michigan outshine Motor City woes
It seems like every time Michigan pops up on the national news, it's for all the wrong reasons: Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick faces jail time, Ford and GM are hemorrhaging cash and jobs, the Lions are out of the playoff race by the first quarter of week one ...
You know when John McCain and Barack Obama are around here seemingly every other day, the populous is a little edgy.
One shining star, however, is that Northern Michigan's best golf courses and resorts, which stack up with about any golf destination in the country, are practically giving away rounds right now.
I'm in "Yooper land" right now, a.k.a. Michigan's upper peninsula. It's sometimes forgotten because Michiganders can't point out its location on the back of our hand to others. That said, it's got a threesome of standout golf courses that offer a microcosm of everything Northern Michigan golf is about.
And check out this deal: $225 gets you two nights at the recently renovated Island Resort & Casino near Escanaba, plus three rounds on it's brand new Sweetgrass Golf Club and nearby stunners Greywalls Golf Club and Timberstone Golf Course.
They aren't alone.
This fall, Boyne Highlands will let you golf free if you book a hotel room between Sept. 21 and Oct. 9. That includes golf on some of it's best, like the Heather Course, Hills Course and the Donald Ross Memorial.
Shanty Creek Resorts wants to show off it's $10 million facelift. As little as $99 gets you a stay-and-play at the resort and on any of their three golf courses, including the beautiful Tom Weiskopf-designed Cedar River Course, and a $20 food credit.
Timber Ridge Golf Club brings about the kind of elevation change you expect to see in a Las Vegas or a Tucson. But this is central Michigan, though, minutes away from Michigan State's bustling campus, an area where everything is flat. If you're in the area for business or to see a Michigan State game, you'll want to make time to play Timber Ridge.
This Saturday the top-ranked USC Trojans host No. 5 Ohio State at Los Angeles Coliseum. If you're heading to L.A. for the game, consider getting in a round at Trump National (for high rollers) or Griffith Park (on a budget). You could also get out of town a bit and try Rustic Canyon or Pelican Hill in Newport Beach.
Scotland has around 3,000 castles, and it's possible to see some of the more impressive on a tour through the country's many golf courses, including the Old Course at St. Andrews, Gleneagles, Carnoustie and Cruden Bay. Here are some excellent castles close to excellent golf courses ...