Trip Report – Pure Michigan Golf in Gaylord – WoW – What a treasure!

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There are so many reasons I live where I do. I love being a drive away from Chicago, Indy and Detroit motor city. Another great treasure is the state of Michigan. To me, the feel of Northern Michigan is like a short visit home to Sweden. The trees and wildlife are just stunning and so beautiful. And guess what, you can mix all that in with some of the most outstanding golf on the planet.

This time my buds and I headed back to the Otsego Club. I burned 32,500 Skymiles to fly one of my friend in from Las Vegas last minute. I could have found low level seats, but they did not work well for work/travel/departure times so I bit the bullet (grrrr) and spent the extra 7,500 Skymiles to pick the perfect flights at a mid-level award in coach. After swinging by SBN to grab him, we drove up to Cadillac for a round at El Dorado. The clubhouse, as you can see above, is amazing (btw please take the time to click on some of these photos in the post to see them full screen). The golf, as you can see below, is equally challenging.

The first day we played the Tribute designed by Gary Koch. This property offers breathtaking views and privacy with the course laid out through the hills and forest. You do not return to the clubhouse for 18 holes. There are par four holes that, with a good drive, down hill, you can reach off the tee due to the extreme elevation changes.

There is also an abundance of wildlife all around the area. While we were finishing up at 18, during our second round of the day, a red fox strolled by us on the cart path.

The next day was off to Elk Ridge in Atlanta (no not that one, the one in Michigan about an hour from Gaylord). Again we were treated to stunning views and challenging water holes.

Some days you can actually hear the elks neighing in the background. While that did not happen on this visit, we did get to see wild turkeys strolling across the fairways.

 And on one of the closing par 3’s we came across some large cranes on the green taking a stroll.

The final day we were at the “Lakes”, part of the Loon resort and a Butch Harmon training facility. This course has 9 holes through the mountains and 9 holes around a large lake. Just breathtaking!

And our last night for dinner we had to go to one of our favorite stops and a great local steak place and micro brew called the Big Buck Brewery. The food was great (love the beer cheese soup) and beer even better.

Bottom line we had a great time. With so many points it is great to be able to just send a ticket & burn some Delta Points to fly a buddy in to town. This is the freedom points can give you. And trust me when I say you need to come to see and play in Michigan. It is truly a treasure to behold! – René

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  1. Hi Rene – Great golf trip report. One time we saw a Doe deer with her fawn on the green. She looked like she didn’t want us to make our birdie puts 🙂 so we picked up on the hole and moved on. Have to watch out for Turkey’s and Cranes too.

  2. You really were treated well up there with all that wildlife in view! BTW, those looked like Sand Hill Cranes..large and usually very noisy.

    Did you try the pumpkin cheesecake at Big Buck Brewery?!

  3. @TWF – yes, it was a blast – and I must say some of the rest of my buds are a bit “foul” too!
    @Kate – Yes the Sand Hill Cranes were VERY LOUD – ( I talked to them and they talked back it was funny ) and no I had no room for the pumpkin cheesecake after beer, soup & steak! Gosh I am hungry now! – Rene 😉

  4. We live in the summer about 45 minutes north of Gaylord. Next time you should try TreeTops – one of the best around. It is beautiful here, particularly in the summer when we are escaping the heat of the South. We also come north in January for some snow 🙂

  5. @Charles – Oh I like playing golf in your area too! I just have to fly to get your great state of NC but can drive to MI 😉 (but I do like to fly a little) – Rene

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