Golf Up North May Newsletter Heading

Welcome to our May Newsletter!

Congratulations to
Wayne A.

You are the winner of the April Newsletter – You submitted the correct answer –

The golf balls from Japan are called Kaede.

Thank you for including your address. Your Golf Up North Schwag is on the way!

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Kaede Ball?

This past weekend we played a round with the Kaede balls. My first drive went miles it seemed, just in the wrong direction. Ended up on the far edge of the fairway next to us. But did seem like it was showing some promise. As I got better at hitting with the wild wind, I was seeing an improvement on my distance for drives and fairway. I have mentioned before that my drives are typically 125-150 yards (closer to 125 usually). I definitely was gaining 20-30 yards a drive. One of my drives went over 160 yards. Pretty exciting for me.

One of my sons wondered it there was a placebo effect. Guy thought it had more to do with my working out over the winter and getting stronger. I wish I had played a few holes with my normal Callaway balls and see if there was a difference.

Heading to Virginia

We are headed to Virginia this month for both VA grandkids birthdays – my daughter-in-law was kind enough to have their first child on May 15 and 2 years later the second child on May 14. Makes visiting for birthdays easy.

Of course it will not be all birthday parties, T-ball games, and general mayhem, we are taking our clubs. It should be nice and warm in Virginia Beach in the middle of May and we plan to get a couple of rounds in. Since I always hit better when it is warm (hot) I may get a better idea of how the Kaede balls compare to my Callaway’s. Plus, for some reason I golf much better when I am trying to beat one of my kids. I will update you all in the June issue.

Guy realizing he got a hole in oneTHE BIG NEWS

Something very exciting happened while we were golfing last weekend. Nope, I did not break 100 again. This big news is all about Guy. He had tried the Kaede balls and did not really see much difference but kept using them until the 15th hole.

On the 15th hole (Fall picture in our heading) he decided he was going to switch back to his Pro V1s. It is a par 3 hole that is 155 yards. It is also the 6th hardest hole. Guy got a HOLE IN ONE!! He will never play with anything but Pro V1s again. 🙂

What makes this more amazing is that he is 2 months out from some extensive hand surgery and has been struggling to grip the clubs properly. League starts tomorrow (May 2) and he had to decide if he was going to be able to golf. I think he will be fine.

Image showing Northern lower and upper peninsula of MichiganOpen for the Season

Most of Northern Michigan golf courses are open for the season. We are still monitoring for the few remaining. Reminder that golf courses that are open are making decisions daily on whether they are accepting walkers and/or carts. This time of year, it is always best to call ahead. If we are missing anyone on the open or opening soon list, please email us at and let us know.

Direct Links for Regional Open for the Season Pages

Did You Know?

That golf was banned 3 times in Scotland between the years 1457 & 1744??

That is because the government believed it interfered with military training.
In the early days of golf, players would golf publicly, such as on the streets or on business properties.
This was seen as a nuisance. In addition, football (soccer) was also banned during this time.

Northern Michigan History!

Historical marker on Wawashkamo Golf Club for the 1814 Battle of Mackinac IslandI have mentioned in the past that I also author articles for several other websites, one of those websites is Northern Michigan History. I spend a lot of time on historical type of sites and golf related sites and Google is constantly suggesting sites I should visit.

Wawashkamo Golf Club has popped up several times when I have been researching for an article that included Mackinac Island. Not only was it one of the first golf courses in Northern Michigan, but it was also built on a battlefield. I found that so fascinating.

It never occurred to me what or who may have walked those fields before it was a golf course until I read about Wawashkamo and one of the bunkers being one of the original trenches that were dug by one of the soldiers during the 1814 Battle of Mackinac Island.

Golf Course Rabbit Holes

I wanted to learn more, well that took me down a lot of rabbit holes. I discovered there were several Northern Michigan courses that were developed and opened in the late 1890s. Decided that I would combine my love of golf with my love of history for the May issue.

I wrote an article for the Northern Michigan History website about the 5 golf courses that opened in Northern Michigan in the 19th century. This issue is a condensed version of the original. If you would like more information, I invite you to visit Northern Michigan History to read more about 19th Century Golf Course in Northern Michigan.

19th Century Golf Courses in Northern Michigan

Northern Michigan is not just a picturesque destination; it is also steeped in golfing heritage. From the region’s early days, it has been a haven for golf enthusiasts, home to some of the nation’s oldest and most storied courses.

Northern Michigan’s golfing legacy dates back to the late 1800s, with five courses leading the charge. In Northwest Michigan, Harbor Point and Wequetonsing in Harbor Springs, along with Charlevoix Golf Club in Charlevoix. In the Upper Peninsula, there’s Les Cheneaux Club in Cedarville, part of the archipelago of 36 small islands in Lake Huron, and on Mackinac Island, the Wawashkamo Golf Club, recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

There are a couple of courses downstate that opened around the same time as the 5 courses in Northern Michigan. Kent Country Club in Grand Rapids says it opened in 1896 and is the oldest Country Club in the Midwest. The Washtenaw Golf Club opened in 1899 in SW Michigan.

The claim to America’s oldest continuously operating golf course is a point of contention. While Foxburg Country Club in Pennsylvania opened in 1887 and still operates today, The Saint Andrews Golf Club in New York, which opened in 1888, argues it holds the title. Interestingly, Northern Michigan was not far behind, with its first course opening just nine years later.

Harbor Point Golf Club – Harbor Springs (1896)

Semi-Private – Open to the public in spring and fall seasons – The Harbor Point Association, formed by several Episcopalian businessmen from Lansing in 1878, initiated this historic course. It is one of the oldest in Northern Michigan, with records indicating a rough golf course was in play by 1896. Alexander F. Stevenson of Chicago later formed a stock company to develop the course, which remains an 18-hole layout designed by David Foulis, a member of the famous St. Andrews golfing family. David Gill revamped the course in 1972, and since 1941, the Harbor Point Association has managed it.

Wequetonsing Golf Club – Harbor Springs (1896)

Private Club – Donated land by Harbor Springs citizens led to the establishment of the Presbyterian Resort, renamed Wequetonsing in 1880. The club’s origins trace back to 1894-1896, with the formation of a Golf Committee in 1896. They utilized the Blackbird Farm for the links and built the Harbor Point Clubhouse in 1907. In 1920, the Brower property was acquired, leading to a redesign by Robert Foulis. Today, Wequetonsing remains a private course with a length of 5,201 yards from the front and 6,150 yards for club members.

Charlevoix Golf Club – Charlevoix (1896)

Public Course – Founded by Chicago businessmen John P. Wilson and Edward C. Waller, and co-designed by Herbert James Tweedie and Scottish Architect Willie Watson. Charlevoix Golf Club is recognized as one of the earliest regulation golf courses in the U.S. It expanded to 18 holes by 1903 and was lauded for its beauty. The City of Charlevoix took over in 1937, operating it as a nine-hole course since

Les Cheneaux Club & Golf Links – Cedarville (1898)

Public Course – Les Cheneaux boasts traditional links features. It was ready for play in May 1898 and remains Michigan’s oldest continuously played golf course. Despite some changes over the years, the course’s character has remained largely intact, with original fieldstone hazards and forest challenges still providing a test for golfers.

Wawashkamo Golf Club – Mackinac Island (1898)

Semi-private Club – Wawashkamo was designed by Alex Smith in 1898 on the site of the War of 1812 battlefield. Historical signs dot the course, from cannons to battle mounds and bunkers dug by soldiers. It is a nine-hole gem, largely untouched and reflecting 19th-century golf with its short holes, long rough, and traditional Scottish links design. The land is leased from Mackinac State Historic Parks, and the club has worked diligently to preserve the site’s historical significance while providing a challenging course.

Northern Michigan Golf Paradise

Northern Michigan is undeniably a golfer’s paradise, not just for its stunning landscapes but also for its rich history deeply interwoven with the sport. These early courses stand as a testament to the enduring appeal of golf in the region and the dedication of local communities to preserve and cherish their golfing heritage. Whether you are a history buff or a golf aficionado, a visit to these historic courses offers a unique and unforgettable experience, blending the thrill of the game with a journey through time.

I know this is a little deviation from our normal issues and that history is not everyone’s cup of tea. I do hope you enjoyed it though, I thoroughly enjoyed writing it. Golf is so steeped in tradition and I think we forget that sometimes. We are all out on the golf course having fun (mostly 😊) without any thought to those that played these same holes before us. Northern Michigan has 5 golf courses that have operated in 3 different centuries, That is amazing! It is hard to fathom how many rounds have been played on each, the number of lost balls and the cuss words carried off by the wind.

Golf Quote of the Month

Of course this months quote has to tie into Guy’s Hole in One. I could not find any I liked that were attributed to a specific person. But the first 2 that were attributed to anonymous really are perfect for this issue. Guy’s quote is included because I thought it was hilarious. 🙂

Golf Quotes

When we realized he did it, we were all so excited, I think he may have been in shock. He was just too calm, cool, and collected. Took him 40+ years to get one. I don’t think it fully sunk in until the next day.

Click here to see all the pictures we have taken of courses over the years.

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