Golf Up North March Newsletter

Welcome to our March Newsletter!

Congratulations to the winner this month!

Joe B.

You are the winner of the February 1st newsletter.

You submitted the correct answer – Big Bertha 9 wood was my Christmas present.

Your Golf Up North Schwag is on the way!

If you would like a chance to win some Golf Up North schwag, you have to subscribe to the newsletter. Subscribe at Golf Up North Newsletter and be on the mailing list for the April 1, 2023 edition.

Courses Opening

Spring training has started, we are just starting March and there is a good chance there may be a course or two that opens for walkers in the next few weeks. As we did last year, we will monitor all the courses in northern Michigan for their opening days and keep that information on our home page. We should start getting notifications of area course towards the end of the month. Watch our Facebook and Instagram pages for the announcement that course openings are on the site.

Most Important and Most Used Clubs

I wrote an article last month titled The Most Used and Most Important Clubs in your bag. Like the Top 5 Golf Balls article I did in January, this is information from pestering golfers during the 2022 season. I was surprised at what the northern Michigan golfers felt was their most important club. Even more surprising is the club that 40% of the golfers at northern Michigan courses felt was their most important club, only 2% of golfers nationally picked that club. Find out what club that is by reading the article.

If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all

That was just one of the pearls of wisdom I heard from my mom growing up. Others were “two wrongs don’t make a right”, “turn off the lights I don’t have stock in Detroit Edison” and my favorite, “what the H*LL is wrong with you, shut the door you were not raised in a barn”. Eh, that could be debatable. Grew up on a lake in SE Michigan that was predominately summer cottages of Auto Executives from Detroit, we were one of the year-round residents. Come Memorial Day doors stayed open, and we were in and out of each other’s houses as the summer kids returned. Come fall, had to get back in the habit of shutting the door. 😊

Mistwood Red Course Hole 6I tell you this story because I love golfing in northern Michigan and I know so many of the courses struggle and I don’t want to do any harm, but I want to be honest. So I have sat on a course that although it was a fun and challenging course, there were issues. It is not like I don’t have something nice to say, it was more do I keep the bad out of the story?

I don’t know if what I see as neglect is because of finances, they don’t think it is important or they just don’t care. I was frustrated at times trying to play the course.

Not a dealbreaker

The issues I had were not dealbreakers for me. I want to go back and play, especially since I now know what I may encounter. Plus I want to see what the White course is like. My husband had played there knew about the signage and thought I may have been too critical. I disagree.

Certain level of care is expected and I decided I would share with my readers for them to decide. Plus if you visit you will know what to expect, because even at $72 a round (hopefully that was a holiday rate), we will go back.

The Course

Mistwood Golf CourseThe golf course we played at in September was Mistwood just outside the small town of Lake Ann in Benzie County in the Northwest part of the state. Mistwood is a 27 hole course in what looks like the middle of farmland.

The course is divided into three 9-hole courses named Red, White and Blue course. The Red and Blue Courses are on the same side of the road as the club house and the White course is across the road. We were assigned the Red & Blue Course.

Stopped in the bar area for a couple of drinks before heading out and the staff were great. The clubhouse is nice, and food and drinks are reasonably priced. It was clean and the restrooms were nicely maintained. I was excited to be there and finally play a course that I had heard the guys talk about.

There were only a couple other groups on the course which was nice for us. You have to wonder if their higher rate was a factor in the low numbers on a holiday weekend. There are many courses in the area that have much lower rates.

The Issues

Mistwood Golf Course ScorecardThe biggest issue we ran into was hole signage. Most of the holes did not have anything to indicate which hole you were on or which course. My husband said they used to have signage at all the holes, that as they deteriorated, there were never replaced. Add in the red and blue flags that were used that day for pin placement and it could get confusing. Thought it might have made sense to have two tone flags, the color of the course and the pin placement since the courses separation was not always clear.

The layout on the scorecard seemed easy enough, until you were actually on the hole. It was difficult to tell if it was the correct one or not. There were a couple of holes that you had to go back down the fairway. Then take a difficult to see path into the next hole. If I had been golfing by myself, I am not sure I would have found those paths. My husband having golfed there numerous times provided navigation.

Mistwood Blue Course Hole 3Difficulty at the turn

The clubhouse is on a hill and has a walkout. They used to have a bar/snack bar on the lower level facing the course. It looked like it was shut down for good. At the turn if you wanted to use the restrooms and get food and/or drinks it was not easy. You had to go around and enter from the main entrance on the parking lot side. Not that big of deal, other than there is a side door that leads directly into the bar area that was locked for some reason. Wasn’t a fan of leaving our cart down the hill and climbing up the hill and walking around. Again, that is me being a whiny brat more than a huge issue.

Mistwood Red Course Hole 2Playing our Round

We had a lot of fun playing Mistwood not a lot of water but where a few of the water hazards were located it was a little intimidating for me. Other than the signage, the course is maintained. I thought the greens were in great shape for September, my husband said the course used to be much better maintained.

For some reason on both the red and blue course, hole 1 were blow up holes for me. They were par 4s and I shot 8s on both. Might explain my whiny brat moment. 😊 The rest of the holes I did okay on. I had to rely on my irons on this course and that also set the tone for how it would end.

Would like to go back and play the White course and see how my 9 wood does. Excited about this upcoming season. I am going break 100 this year, I know it!!

You decide

Do you think having hole signage that tells you which hole you are on and gives you yardage is important? Email me at, let me know if I was a brat that overreacted or if my husband owes me a round at a course of my choice. 🙂

After typing this out, I do feel a little bit that maybe I should have taken a deep breath. Maybe should have not became easily frustrated when I could not find the hole. I should have trusted my husband that we were on the correct hole (I swear it did not look anything like the hole on the scorecard). But, I also think it is reasonable to expect a well-marked course.

My frustration should not deter you from giving this course a try. It is off the beaten path but that is part of its charm. For more experienced golfers, the lack of signage may be no big deal. I would also hope that if it is not a holiday weekend that the rate is a little lower.

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We hope you enjoyed our latest issue of The Golf Up North Newsletter.

Disclosure: We never tell a course who we are when we book and play a course. We do not ask nor will we accept free rounds to write about a course. We pay full price for our rounds for everyone in our group.

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