Golf notes: Michigan places six on latest Golf.com rankings; Shanty Creek expands
Golf is booming again in Michigan, after a surprising surge in rounds played in 2020 thanks to a pandemic that limited activities.
On Tuesday, Michigan also placed a whopping six courses on Golf.com's latest list of the "Top 100 Courses You Can Play," i.e. the public options.
Under-new-ownership Forest Dunes in Roscommon has placed two courses on the list, with its unique Loop course — which is reversible, playing one way one day, the other way the next day — ranked No. 34, highest in the state, and the Tom Weiskopf course checking in at No. 73. Arcadia Bluffs along the Lake Michigan coast also had two, with the Bluffs at No. 46 and South at No. 56.
The other two Michigan courses on the list were Greywalls in Marquette at No. 65 and Stoatin Brae in Augusta at No. 96.
Stoatin Brae has continued to pile up the buzz since opening in 2017, having been named Michigan course of the year in 2020 by the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association. It's been recognized by Golfweek and Golf Digest rankings, too.
Only California (nine) and Oregon (seven) had more courses on Golf.com's list, sorted by state. The list also includes international courses in North America. Canada, for instance, had seven courses on the list.
Arcadia Bluffs, Forest Dunes and the Inn at Bay Harbor, part of the Boyne resort, also recently earned recognition from Golf Digest as top resorts in the Midwest.
Expansion at Shanty
Shanty Creek Resort in northern Michigan expanded its golf portfolio this week, expanding to five courses and 90 holes.
Shanty Creek officials announced Tuesday their resort had acquired Hawk's Eye Golf Club, the 90 holes now making them one of the nation's 10-largest golf resorts.
“The addition of Hawk’s Eye is huge — literally and figuratively,” said Mike Mooney, director of golf for Shanty Creek. “Having five courses within an 8-mile radius adds significant appeal and prestige for golfers looking for a world-class getaway.”
Said Shanty Creek CEO Pete Bigford in a statement: “In the wake of the coronavirus, this is a testament to the successes we’ve been experiencing here at Shanty Creek.”
The resort also includes Cedar River, Arnold Palmer's Legend, Schuss Mountain and Summit courses.
Chips & divots
►Lake Orion native Tom Gillis made his 14th hole-in-one Tuesday during a pro-am ahead of this week's Champions Tour tournament, the Regions Tradition, at Greystone Golf and Country Club in Hoover, Alabama. This is Gillis' fourth tournament this calendar year and 12th of the season, which was combined with 2020 because of the pandemic.
►Steve Braun, 76, a Flint native, Charlevoix resident and Michigan Golf Hall of Famer, was named the 2021 Distinguished Service Award winner by the Golf Association of Michigan. Braun, former head pro at Belvedere in Charlevoix, is a past GAM president.
►Michigan State alum and LPGA Tour player Sarah Burnham, playing with an incoming MSU recruit, won her U.S. Open qualifier by a stroke Monday at Bradenton Country Club in Florida, and will tee it up at The Olympic Club in San Francisco in June.
►Petoskey's Joey Garber had his best finish on the Korn Ferry Tour since September, tying for 13th at the Huntsville Championship in Alabama. A third-round 76 cost him a chance to win. Garber was a PGA Tour member in 2019.
►Funny quote from Jack Nicklaus at the opening of American Dunes in Grand Haven this week: "As my steps get shorter, the courses get longer."
►The NCAA's Division II women's golf championships are set for May 11-15 at TPC Michigan in Dearborn.
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