Thoughts on Northern Michigan

I wanted to take a quick minute to get my thoughts down about my most recent excursion.  We got back from Northern Michigan this past Saturday night after a long drive.  I like driving because it gives me time to think and spend time with the wife.

During that drive I contemplated just how good Northern Michigan golf really is.  It reminded me a lot of New Hampshire, which made it extra special to me due to my family connections.  The golf was super fun and different at each course.  From old school tracks like Boyne Highlands Resort (Heather) to newer courses like Forest Dunes and Arcadia Bluffs there is something for everyone.  The scenery was spectacular along the lake that due to it’s size looks more like an ocean.  Lakeside golf is awesome!

We stayed in the charming town of Petoskey and I can highly recommend it.  There is plenty to do and the surrounding food spots were great.  Michigan has a craft brewery culture and it was excellent.  I have plenty of food recommendations if you need them!

Another tip I will mention relates to when to visit.  Since we were there in May, you might have some cold temperatures.  You will be ok if you pack accordingly, which is easier if you’re driving.  Additionally, May is black fly season so you should probably bring some bug spray.  We only encountered them at certain spots, but they could be overwhelming at times.  Thank God they don’t bite!

All in all the trip was really fun.  We love to see places we have never been and Michigan fits the bill.  Their slogan of Pure Michigan rang true the entire time.

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California 2016 Trip Report

  • Time – 2016
  • Courses Played – The Links at Spanish Bay, California Golf Club of San Francisco, Monterey Peninsula Country Club (Shore), Rooster Run Golf Club
  • Travel – I am changing it up here.  You guys don’t need exact distances so I will give you the general idea.  We flew into San Francisco and drove to Salinas to stay one night.  I played Spanish Bay the next morning then we drove up to Sonoma which was our home base for the rest of the trip.  I used the rental car to get back to San Francisco and Monterey.  It was a lot of driving, but well worth it.
  • Overview – A trip to celebrate some family birthdays, we went with my in-laws and my wife’s aunt and uncle.  We stayed in a great hotel called the Lodge at Sonoma.  I highly recommend it.  I was there for the golf, but the wine tastings and downtown are well worth your time.  It is beautiful out there.
  • Food – In Sonoma I would recommend Rossi’s for BBQ and Saddles for steak.  We took one day and drove over to Bodega Bay where we had crab sandwiches and clam chowder at Spud Point Crab Co, which was really good!  Check out some pics of Bodega Bay below.

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Georgia/Florida 2016 Trip Report

Georgia & Florida

  • Time – 2016
  • Courses Played (bold = favorites of the trip) – Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside), Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort, World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens), Trump National Doral (The Blue Monster)
  • Distance – Approximately 325 miles to Sea Island with a drive time of a little over 5 hours.  The next leg of the trip to Hammock Beach was just under 150 miles and a little over 2.5 hours followed by another leg of about the same length to Brooksville and World Woods.  The final leg to Trump National Doral was a shade over 300 miles and 5 hours.  A good bit of driving, but well worth it.
  • Overview – This trip was for my wife’s birthday, much like my trip the previous year.  Luckily for me, she is so supportive of this quest that the first part of the week could be devoted to playing some golf.  She rode along on three of the rounds which made it more fun for me since I was playing as a single.  It’s always good to have someone else take the photos!
  • Suggestion – We bounced around a lot in the beginning part of the week as we made our way down to the Florida Keys for my wife’s part of the week.  If you decide to do that, I suggest playing the courses in the order I did.  It was a nice way to maneuver down the state.  I went to Trump National Doral from the Keys, but you could do it on the way down.  Sea Island is very ritzy and I didn’t stay there (out of my range), but do it if you can.  Palm Coast and Brooksville are normal American towns.  Miami is a whole other world, but we spent most of our time in the Keys.
  • Tidbits – I played by myself every round, which kept the pace of play up.  That could be a different story for you, but that is the benefit of playing in the middle of the week.  Take a stroll around at Sea Island and Trump National Doral to see how big time money can be spent two polar opposite ways.  Very interesting!

Florida 2015 Trip Report

Florida

  • Time – 2015
  • Courses Played – Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club, Streamsong (Red), Streamsong (Blue)
  • Distance – Approximately 528 miles from home with a drive time of 7 hours and 20 minutes to Orlando.  It was about an hour and a half to Streamsong from where we were staying.
  • Overview – The wife had a conference for work.  That was good news for me because I could tag along.  Every time we had been to Florida in the past had been in the summer, so I was looking forward to more pleasant temperatures.
  • Suggestion – We stayed in the town of Celebration.  It is a planned community and was easily walkable and had some good food!  We went to Café D’Antonio for some good Italian food.  We also went to the Celebration Town Tavern twice for solid seafood.  We took in a Patriots game here one night.  It is a Boston inspired bar and I was with plenty of fellow Pats fans!
  • Tidbits – The wind was relentless at Streamsong both days, but that only added to the experience.  The service at Streasong was top notch.  They treated me like a VIP.  I carried my own bag and both courses were easy walks.

Kansas 2015 Trip Report

Kansas

  • Time – August 18-21, 2015
  • Courses Played – Prairie Dunes Country Club
  • Distance – Approximately 1,115 miles from home with a drive time of 17 hours
  • Overview – Got invited by a member and the group he was going out with.  We played 63 holes of golf and couldn’t have had more fun.
  • Suggestion – I didn’t see a ton to do in the area so you may want to research that before you go.
  • Tidbits – We stayed in the cabins onsite.  That allowed us to hang in the clubhouse and not worry about having to drive anywhere.  The food in the clubhouse and men’s card room was very good.  It was fun to meet some new guys and hear about all the wonderful courses they had played.  It really gives me inspiration to hear about them.

Look for the post on Prairie Dunes Wednesday!

Past Trip Summaries

In the past I wrote about short golf trips you could take.  Check that out here.  What I want to do with this post is summarize some of my past trips related to the Top 100 quest (some will repeat).  In the future, I plan to give a trip report similar to the ones below on each trip if it is involved enough to warrant it.

Some details I will cover include when I went, the courses played (bolded one is my favorite of the trip), travel time to the destination (based on Google since I didn’t do this at the time), trip overview, possibly a suggestion, and an interesting tidbit about the trip.

Let’s go!

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Bandon Dunes Trip Report

I wanted to dedicate a post to summarize my trip to Bandon Dunes.  It was such a wonderful experience from start to finish.  This is meant to showcase my experience, not to be a trip planner.  I am by no means qualified to do that after one trip.  I would suggest checking out golftripper.com for an in-depth review of what you need to know for a trip to Bandon.

Continue reading “Bandon Dunes Trip Report”