Welcome to our May Newsletter!

Congratulations to the winner this month!

Carl H.

You are the winner of the April newsletter.

You submitted the correct answer – Bear Lake Highlands was the previous name of Wolf River Golf Park.

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 June 1, 2023 edition.


It is May 1st, I was shocked to see snowflakes hitting my deck and sticking! In the first few years of living Up North we did get snow on Mother’s Day a few times, so I guess I should not be complaining too much… yet.

With the crazy weather we have been having, we highly recommend verifying that a course is open before heading out.

Honesty is the best policy

Going to be honest with you all, I forgot I had a newsletter to send out today until yesterday at 4pm. I apologize if it is lacking.

We have been getting some feedback on our newsletters and golf in general. A few folks have asked who I am. In past issues I have mentioned a husband, kids, and grandkids and that I started golfing later in life, but other than that I had not shared much. This newsletter will rectify that.

I also received an email from Diana that asked about woman friendly courses and if I could talk about those courses. We will do that in this issue as well.

Who am I?

I have a short bio that I use in many of my blog posts that pretty well sums up who I am. Today you get the long version. 😊

My name is Marisa (you all probably figured that out from my email LOL), and I moved to Northern Michigan in 1995 from SE Michigan with my husband Steve and our 4 children. Prior to moving north, we vacationed here a lot and always dreamed of moving “Up North.” After moving north, we still vacationed up here taking the kids on mini and long adventures.

I really came to appreciate Northern Michigan and the beauty of what the area had to offer after Steve died. I discovered many amazing trail networks that I could walk for miles screaming and crying while I looked for ways to cope with my loss.

A few years later I met Guy who would eventually become my second husband. We actually got married on the golf course after we hosted a 9 hole scramble with friends and family.

Guy convinced me to give just 9 holes a try and I was hooked. He has golfed for 40+ years and is the contributor for the guy golf trips I talk about.

I know I have mentioned Mother’s Day at the driving range with Steve and the kids, which was true, I just never wanted to try golf back then. Something clicked in my 50’s and I tried it and LOVED it! Discovering golf provided me another place outdoors to spend time. I enjoy all sports and spent years watching various sports on television with the kids.

My Family

At this point we have my 4 kids (1 girl, 3 boys), Guy’s son and 8 grandchildren that make up our family. My 3 boys golf as does 2 daughter-in-laws and one granddaughter and one grandson. Having a lot fun golfing with my kids and their kids and introducing the younger ones to the game.

For as long as I can remember I have been the family writer and poet. Creating the Golf Up North website with the purpose of my easily finding courses to golf at has led to several other websites providing entertainment or information and giving me a creative outlet for my writing.

If you would like to read some of my stories not about golf you can visit Adventures in Northern Michigan and Northern Michigan History.

In future issues we will introduce the other 2 key members of the Golf Up North Team, Josh and Arianna.

Women in Golf

Last week on Facebook I shared an article (you have to sign up for a free trial to read the entire article) about Nancy Henderson’s work to increase female golf participation.

It reminded me of my first-year golfing. I have talked about Guy stressing etiquette and pace of play to me a lot. If I saw someone coming up behind us I would worry that they would see me drive only 100 yards. Would they make an assumption and make a snarky remark? I was concerned not only about holding folks up, but nasty attitudes as well. Early in my golfing career I was lucky to not have experienced that. I did however experience it later.

I have always played rounds fast and do not do practice swings. Figuring out which way the wind is blowing or looking for my ball for more than about 60 seconds is not something I have patience for. If I am not being held up, I can golf 18 holes in about 3 ½ hours or less.

My first year golfing a couple came up behind us and we apologized and asked if they wanted to play through, that I was still new to the game. Both of them stressed that it was okay, and they loved seeing other women on the course. They came by to encourage me, not to complain.

Since that first year I had not had anyone be rude to my face on a course. I have always felt welcomed and encouraged for the most part until last summer.

There can be jerks anywhere, even the golf course

I mentioned this incident in my newsletter about Northport Creek Golf Course. We asked 3 guys if we could go ahead and tee off since they were waiting for their fourth (their tee time was in 5 minutes we were after them).Their knee jerk reaction was to look at me and ask with a just horrible tone and facial expression if I would be playing slow. My knee jerk reaction was forget it, we would wait. As it turned out their foursome were holding up our twosome and never would let us play through. Was it an A-hole move on their part? I thought so.

Of course, whether you are a man or woman I am sure at one time or another you have had the evil eye sent your way, heard the grumbling behind you or have been hit up on. Folks make judgements based on age (young and old), gender and even the quality of the clubs they see on the cart. One of the best golfers I have ever met was 80+ years old, recently recovered from back surgery and was crushing them from the black tees. Looks can be deceiving.

Ignore the Haters

Diana, I believe all courses are women friendly, even the high-level ones and you should golf where you want and have fun. You have just as much right to golf there as they do. I would recommend that you keep practice swings to a minimum, don’t try to find a truly lost ball, and play ready golf. If you do those things the folks behind you have no reason to complain. Plus, you can always let them play through if they are riding up on you or you are slowing them down.

There will always be jerks no matter where you golf, just depends on whether they are there the day you are.

My recommendation to all is to not make assumptions about how things are going to go based on preconceived ideas. Remember what they say about assuming. I have to admit though I thoroughly enjoyed them seeing that I was very capable of maintaining pace of play and if we had gone head-to-head, I may have even beaten a few. 😊

Virginia Golf

I mentioned in our last issue my plans to head to Virginia to get some golf in and try out my new 9 wood. Well, we did exactly that over Easter and of course that was the week it was in the 80’s in Northern Michigan. It was in the 60’s in Virginia Beach.

Regardless of the temperature we were able to get 2 rounds in with one of my boys and I put the 9 wood to the test. Slow start with the 9, but it started coming through for me and I am excited about golfing this season!

Pictured above is Virginia Beach National Golf Course

Northern Michigan Courses are Opening.

Many courses are open, and more are announcing their opening daily. We are keeping our website updated with the latest information.

Visit Golf Up North and scroll down the home page and you will see where you can choose a region and it will take you to a page that lists courses open and courses opening soon with anticipated open dates for that area.

We are monitoring all the courses websites, social media and emails they are sending and updating our website as information comes in. We encourage area courses to either post on our group page or email me at marisa@golfupnorth with opening information.

Remember this is Northern Michigan and the weather can and does change frequently (snowing May 1st!). Verify with the course that they are open and offering the services you are interested in before heading out.

Things have changed in the 50+ years Since Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse lived. Seeing as we were talking about women and golf I thought I would share this quote. 🙂

Golf is only a game.

Follow us on Social Media

Join the discussion on Golf Up North Facebook Group

Let us know your favorite course, tips or anything golf related! We encourage golf courses to share their news and specials with our group.

You can also like and follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram where we share information on golf courses Up North and what we think are funny or interesting tidbits about golf.

Share Your Favorite Course With Us

We would love to hear about your favorite Course in the Upper Peninsula or Northern Lower Michigan. Send pictures of golfing your favorite course and a couple of sentences about why you love the course. We will share your pictures and recommendations with our readers and on our social media accounts. If you include a mailing address, we will send you some Golf Up North schwag as a thank you!! Send your pictures and comments to marisa@golfupnorth.com

Find your Up North Golf Course

If you would like to find your perfect Up North golf course visit Golf Up North.

We hope you enjoyed our latest issue of The Golf Up North Newsletter. Click here to see all the pictures we have taken of golf courses over the years.

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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