Welcome to our July Newsletter!

Congratulations to

Charles Hoch

You are the winner of the June Newsletter – You submitted the correct answer – I had golfed 7 round so far.

I emailed you requesting the address you would like your Golf Up North Schwag sent to!

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 August 1, 2023 edition.

Experience the game through the eyes of your child

National Family Golf MonthThe Professional Golfers Association celebrates Family Golf Month every year in July. An idea that came out of a charity event in the form of National Golf Day, is now celebrated for a whole month. It encourages family and friends to try their hand at golf and have a good time.

Golfing at least weekly

So far, I am sticking to my commitment to golf at least once a week and to visit courses at which I have not golfed. I have come close to breaking 100(102), a personal best. I am having par holes more consistently than in past years. So much so that I have lost count for the year.

The bigger news is I GOT A BIRDIE!!! Almost makes breaking 100 not as important (I said almost 😊)

Iron Game is Coming Along

Of course, after investing in the 7 and 9 woods, my irons are starting to work for me. That is okay, I still love my Big Bertha special woods. They do provide me with options when the 3 is too much and the irons are too little. My pitching is still sucking this year, but I have faith I will get it back.



Checked a Course off my Bucket List!

I love Sleeping Bear Dunes, the views, the big sand hill, Pierce Stocking Drive, the history, everything about the Dunes. I knew there was a course out by the dunes, and I have been wanting to play it. When you are married to someone that has been golfing in Northern Michigan for 40+ years, chances are they have played most of the courses withing a few hundred-mile radius. That was the case with The Dunes Golf Club. He was not in a hurry to make the drive over to Empire when he had already played it. Well, I twisted his arm, and we played The Dunes earlier in June.

The Dunes Golf Club Northern Michigan Hole 6 & 7 view from the green at hole 6

The Dunes Golf Club Hole 6 & 7 view from the green at hole 6

To be honest, The Dunes Golf Club was not what I was expecting. I assumed that it was built in the dunes and there would be a lot of sand and the spectacular views I have come to expect when in that part of the Northern Michigan.

Just because it was not what I was expecting, it does not mean that we did not like the course. I actually fell in love with this 18-hole course in the middle of farmland. There were not any dunes or spectacular views, but the minute I stepped out of the car I knew this was going to be fun.

The Essentials

The clubhouse offers a few nonalcoholic beverages, steamed hotdogs, and a few golf accessories. Nothing fancy, but met our needs. They do allow outside coolers which also met our needs 😊.

The area around the clubhouse has a putting/pitching area and a pond with a fountain and benches to sit and watch. They were working on another pond, and it looked like they were adding a waterfall feature. The signage at each hole is well maintained and there are benches at most holes as well. I commented to Guy, you could tell that the course was well loved; somebody was putting their heart into it. I wondered how old the course was and Guy didn’t think it was that old.

The Dunes Golf Club Northern Michigan Hole 13

The Dunes Golf Club Hole 13

As we were turning the corner we stopped in the clubhouse and Guy asked about the course and its age. He was told that it was built in the 80’s and had a great history. I am still trying to confirm the story and I really hope it is true cause it is a awesome story. I will update you all on what I find out one way or another. Below is the story he was told:

A family moved to Empire in the 80’s and bought a bunch of land to build a golf course. A year into the construction the father died, and it looked like the course would not happen. Supposedly the 14-year-old son convinced his mom to complete the course with his help. The course was finished, and that 14-year-old boy is still the owner of the course. As I said you could feel the love that goes into this course.

A quote from Ben Hogan that fits how I felt after my drive and 1 putt on Hole 11.If you golf, you have heard of Ben Hogan. He is considered one of the best ball strikers who ever played golf.
He had 64 PGA tour wins between 1938 and 1959. 9 of those were major championships.
Hogan died in 1997 at the age of 84.

The Dune Golf Course

The Dunes Golf Course Northern Michigan Hole 1 Momma deer and baby

The Dunes Golf Course Hole 1 Momma deer and baby off in the difference

The course was a lot of fun to play and was the perfect course for me. The fairways are tight with heavy woods lining them. I was fine, I drive straight, Guy on the other hand, LOL. As it turned out those woods were very forgiving and generous. Any drive Guy took that went far right would hit a tree and come back to the fairway. He would end up with a great lie in the middle of the fairway darn near every time. Never seen anything like that. I do not think we lost one ball.

For the most part the fairways were in good shape, a few dry spots but nothing that stuck out. The greens were very well maintained with minimal issues.

Most holes had sand traps near the greens, and I was able to avoid most of them. The only water hazard was the pond mentioned earlier. The part of the pond was in front of the 18th green, but with the right angle it is easy to avoid. Well easy for me to avoid (bahahaha)!

To see all the pictures from our round click here.

About that Birdie


The Dunes Golf Club Hole 11

The Dunes Golf Club Hole 11

Maybe my love of this course is a little colored by the birdie I got on hole 11 (par 3). Watching my normal 125 yard drive land on the green and roll the 14 yards towards the pin, it looked like a hole in one. Although it hit the hole, it did not drop in and rolled a few more yards stopping close enough for an easy birdie putt. But even with that birdie I scored 109.

Guy was taking a video of my drive on that hole for our family video chat. I will be studying that and heading back to The Dunes to see if I can do that drive again but this time have it drop in the hole.

Is everyone getting hole in ones this year?

Because of Golf Up North I follow a lot of Northern Michigan golf courses on social media platforms. I am seeing so many posts about folks getting hole in ones, a couple of them even getting 2 in the same round. There was one where it was the lady’s first- or second-time golfing, and she got a hole in one that was witnessed by more than her boyfriend.

It seems there is something in the air in Northern Michigan besides the smoke from the Canadian wildfires that people are getting the shots of their lives. A couple of weeks ago there was a couple golfing behind Guy’s league and the girl got a hole in one. Apparently, she has only been golfing for a couple of years, crazy right?

The Boy’s Golf Trip

The guy’s trip went well. They golfed the Mackinaw Club in Carp Lake and The Rock on Drummond Island. I do not think there are many pictures and that is probably for the best. 😊

They were a bigger group this year as 2 of Guy’s brothers went as well (one traveling from New Orleans). From what I heard of the trip they were all having too much fun to make sure they took pictures for me to share.

Checking a few more courses off my list

As I said at the beginning I am sticking to my commitment of golfing more often. I have crossed a few more off my list with plans in the works to get several more.

One of the courses we checked off the list was a flat 9-hole course in a small Northern Michigan town that will be celebrating its 100th birthday next year. Be sure to watch our newsletter for pictures and story about our round. Also watch for an update on their 100 year celebration as we we get closer to July 2024.

If you have a special course I must add to my list, please share it with me at


We will talk about all the courses we hit in future issues. Stay Tuned!

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.

Golf Up North is part of the Up North Entertainment Group.
Our family of sites also includes Up North Entertainment, Up North Wineries, Up North Breweries, Up North Distilleries, Golfing Northern Michigan, Adventures in Northern Michigan, and Northern Michigan History.