This year's trip to northern Michigan was pretty much a Jerry Matthews marathon.
We played four courses he designed, and they were all good. The trip was in August which is the perfect time to be in northern Michigan. However this year it rained a lot back in Kentucky so I fell WAY behind on my mowing chores at home.
These are excerpts from a more inclusive write up of the trip, so they may be disjointed.
I've never gotten much interest in my dining reviews so I've deleted them.
We spent our first night in Goshen, Indiana, visiting our grandkids who were hauled up their by my son and his wife. On future visits I hope to play and report on both the Warren Course at Notre Dame (Coore & Crenshaw 2000), and Blackthorn (Michael Hurdzan 1994)
After our hotel breakfast we headed up the road to Michigan for our 11am tee time at St. Ives (Jerry Matthews 1996). It was a warm muggy day, but we got to play at our own pace at just under 4 hours on the well conditioned course cut thru the Michigan hardwood forest. Moe gave the course 4 excellent and 14 good holes for design. Moe had 87 but lost the match by 1 shot to Joyce’s 106. I think we paid $65.
We thought we were almost an hour early for our tee time at Bucks Run (Jerry Matthews 2000) when actually we were 5 minutes late. We hustled to get ready and got out at 10 am.
Moe gave this Jerry Matthews designed course 5 excellent and 13 good holes for design.
Moe had another 87 but this time won the match 5&4 because Joyce had a 118. $75
After another Full British breakfast we suited up and headed up to Elk Ridge (Jerry Matthews 1991) for our 10:30 tee time. Gracie Garmin took us down several gravel roads until we were completely lost! We called the course, returned to Atlanta, and drove north on 33 right to the course. We were 10 minutes late, but raced to the tee, and never saw anyone ahead or behind us all day! The rushing around got Joyce off to a poor start from which she never recovered. She had another 118, while Moe had 86, and won the match 1up. Moe gave the Jerry Matthews design 4 excellent and 14 good holes for design. It was great to be in the northern Michigan woods for 4 hours on a beautiful 83 degree day! We paid the $45 senior rate which is a big bargain!
After our final FBB we loaded the car and headed down the road for our noon tee time at The Majestic (Jerry Matthews 1994). We got out just before noon. The course makes a big circle thru the woods around Lake Walden, so you never see another fairway. We played at our pace for 10 holes, then we caught a pretty slow foursome and they never let us play thru. Moe gave the course 1 excellent par 3, and 17 good holes for design. The greens were large and difficult. Joyce shot a 104 to win the match 3 and 2 (Moe 86). $50
We also played a few other courses during our stay in the woods near Mio. Look that up on your map.
We had breakfast at the cabin and headed toward Lake Ontario for our 10:50 tee time at the Gailes Course at Lakewood Shores Resort (Kevin Aldridge 1992). We got right out and struggled with the wind, bunkers and burns on this Scottish Links Style course. On the 5th hole we caught the group in front of us who were actually following a much larger group and our fun day turned into a 5 hour round. The only good news about playing so slow was the wind died and Moe shot a little better on the backside to finish with an 85 and win the match 6&5. Joyce had a terrible day and shot 122. $68.
We awoke to a cloudy sky that began to sprinkle as we had our breakfast, but the forecast was for afternoon rain, so we suited up and headed to White Pine National for our 10:30 tee time.
We got right out at 10:10, on the mostly flat, but wooded course with small slow greens.
Moe rolled in a 30 foot birdie on number 2, and was 1 under par after three holes, when it started to rain. The radar showed a large patch of heavy rain, so we quit, got our rain check, a 10:30 tee time for Monday, and drove back to the lodge.
After another FBB (Full British Breakfast), we suited up for golf and headed south for our 10:30 tee time at The Dream (Jeff Gorney 1997). We got out at 10:10, but on our third hole we caught the crowd, and it was slow all the way around. Joyce started with 5 bogies and a birdie, to shot a 45 on the front, which beat Moe actual (46)! She won the match 8 & 7 and shot 96 – Moe 89. The course was wooded and rolling, with large undulating fast greens. Moe gave the Jeff Gorney design 1 excellent, 16 good, and 1 poor hole for design. The poor hole was a very clumsy downhill hole with a blind tee shot. It was actually dangerous, and took a long time to play it safely. We paid $55.
We were up at 7 am. FBB, then suited up for golf at White Pine National using our rain checks from Friday. The temperature was down in the 40’s overnight, and it was still in the 50’s when we left for the course. It was clear and sunny however, and was almost 70 when we teed off at 10:10. We were all alone on the front nine and Moe played well for a 39 and was up 3 at the turn. He shot an 82 and won the match 4 & 3 (Joyce 115). Moe gave the course 1 excellent for a short par 4 with a well bunkered elevated green, and 17 good holes. The bunkers all needed work, but there was good grass everywhere and the greens were slow but smooth. It is a nice $40 course.