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The bell has to be rung after leaving the green on the 4th hole at Elk Rapids Golf Club
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SNOW?? WTH???!!! #@&%#@&%
The other night the first few flakes of snow fell in Northern Michigan. As I sit here writing this newsletter and giving candy to the trick or treaters it is snowing again! I am not okay with this. One of my kids owns Snowblitz (yes, shameless promotion for his snowmobile rentals out of Traverse City) and I know I should be doing a snow dance for him. But darn it, I was not done golfing here this year.
I am still holding out hope that there are a few more rounds left this year. Most of the courses have closed but there are always one or two that are the first to open and the last to close. Counting on them this year.
Early Fall Golf Weekend
Last month I told you that we were going to be returning from a golf trip as the newsletter was sent out and I promised details. I am here to deliver the goods.
We went to the Loons Golf Resort in Gaylord for their last weekend open for the year. Sunday was their last day of the season. I will talk about the courses in a minute, first the resort and the stay and play package we booked.
We packed up and headed out early Friday morning. I was excited the whole drive there and the weather for the weekend looked like it was going to be perfect for early fall golf.
We planned a 2-night trip arriving early afternoon on Friday. We were booked into the Ridge Hotel, which is not a traditional hotel. The lodging consisted of 3 lodges that had 11-20 guest rooms with large common/recreation areas. These common areas included large screen TVs, furniture, etc. should groups want to have a space to socialize (our room has the door cracked open).
We were in the Bergen Lodge which was next to the clubhouse and restaurant which meant we parked our car on Friday and it didn’t move until we left on Sunday. Our room included a TV, microwave, bed, desk, and comfortable chair. A standard hotel room. The lodges are a little dated, but we were there to golf not hang out in our room
We were scheduled to play The Ridge Course on Friday and The Loon Course on Saturday. Besides the 2 rounds of golf for each of us, our package included dinner Friday and Saturday night and breakfast buffet Saturday and Sunday morning.
There was complimentary shuttle service between the Loon Golf Resorts (we used it on Saturday), free practice range balls, free use of the short game practice area and 20% discount on all apparel.
I always try to get Guy a golf shirt wherever I golf and usually getting something for me is hit or miss. Many pro shops have limited woman apparel options. The Loon was different, and I had many options. Guy got his new polo, and I was able to get a nice light weight pullover perfect for spring and fall golf.
Total cost for this great package you ask? Only $475 per person (based on double occupancy), the cost for the two of us with all taxes and fees only $950.00. I thought this was a great deal for everything that was included.
The staff were top notch. From booking to checking out every single staff member we encountered provided 5-star service. Truly left feeling very well cared for.
Our dinner choices that were part of our package included fish, steak, burger, chicken, ribs and more. The breakfast buffet had the standards you would expect, scrambled egg type of casserole, French toast, sausage and gravy, various breakfast meats and and one of the better cinnamon pastries I have had. The only thing I was surprised not see on the buffet either of the mornings was bacon, which may have been because of the resort shutting down for the season.
The prices for the extras (appetizers, cocktails, etc.) were very fair, even splurged and had a mimosa with my Saturday breakfast (I think I shocked Guy LOL). I viewed it as being on vacation and that it may be my last time on a course for the year, so I was living large! 😊
The Ridge Golf Course
We were told that The Ridge Course was going to be the more difficult of the 2 courses that were playing that weekend. I really do not worry about how hard a course is for the most part, I know how I play will be how I play. Regardless of hard holes, hills, bunkers, etc.
The Ridge Course has 4 tees, blue, white, gold, and red (I played the red based on the yardage 😊) and is a par 71 course. The course has some pretty crazy elevation changes and many of the fairways were treelined. The back nine is built around wetlands and some rough ground, some interesting holes back there.
I found the course a lot of fun to play, and Guy felt it was challenging. Every hole has very clear signage along with a pro tip. I love courses that do not expect my old eyes to be able to read the small print course notes on the scorecard.
The Front Nine
The front nine I did as you would expect. Shot a few double bogies, a triple, and the rest of the holes I bogeyed. Hole 7 was my triple and of course there was water that stood between me and green. You all know where my ball landed. I got a 52 on the front nine, not the way for me to break 100!
After having to ring a bell leaving the green at Elk Rapids Golf Club I figured that was something I wouldn’t see again. I was wrong. Hole 9 is a 458 yard par 5 and there is a sign at the tee box telling you not to tee off until you hear the bell.
About midway down the fairway is a bell on a pole with the instructions to ring bell after clearing fairway. One of the courses I play regularly has a blind hill and has a mirror up in a tree by the tee box. I like the bell better.
The Back Nine
Turned the corner, stopped in the clubhouse, replenished “Marisa’s golfing cup”, and headed for the 10th hole. An interesting par 3 with an elevated tee box below a house.
I bogeyed that hole and the next 7 holes after that. Salvaged the round by parring the last hole!
After the 10th hole there was a path/boardwalk past a fork and through wetlands and scruff to the 11th tee box. After the 12th hole we took that same boardwalk back to the fork and turned right to hole 13. Felt like we were on an adventure.
From hole 14 you have a leisurely cart ride past more wetlands, past hole 17s green, more wetlands on your way to 15s tee box. Everything was well marked and easy to follow.
I love courses that add interesting non golf related twists like this boardwalk. Always a fun surprise.
Were you paying attention?
You read my score on the front nine, right? Did you notice I said the back nine was full of bogies and 1 par? Did anyone do the math? Par for course is 36/front, 35/back. Figured out where I am going yet?
And not just by a stroke or 2, but by 5 whole strokes!!! I broke 100 with a score of 95!!
I am ready for the LPGA! Who wants to sponsor me? 😊
I really liked this course and not just because I finally broke 100. It had interesting holes, pace of play even with the pathways to holes was reasonable. It is obvious that they cater to a lot of groups (Guy’s group played there years ago). The lodging options for a group are perfect. That said, we had a group of guys that were staying in our lodge, and they were right outside our door for the Notre Dame game and the sound proofing was exceptionally good. We did not hear a thing.
If you have a large group of 20 or so golfers plan a weekend, take over one of the lodges and make memories!
See all the Pictures from our Trip
Make sure to visit our website for all the pictures we took of the resort and the Ridge Golf Golf Course and Loon Golf Course. Since it was early fall there are some glimpse of the color that was to come! If you have not played it, you should give it a try, we had a lot of fun.
December’s issue will be about the Loon Course, the supposedly “easier” course we played that weekend. Lots of twists, turns and and unexpected surprise on the course.
Golf Quote of the Month
Colleen Ferrary Bader is the founder of Small Business USA LLC and Employment Tutors. There are a few more golf related quotes attributed to her. Going to assume that she is also a golfer. This quote sums up our golf weekend – perfection and frustration. Did I mention I broke 100 on this trip? 😊
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