Hole 9 at St. Ives

Summertime in Michigan means golfers of all levels, from the beginners to the veterans, are trying to make the most of what is a limited season for the sport. The state features abundant opportunity, with more than 650 public courses, ranking in the top five in the entire country.

From renowned clubs to 9-hole “mom and pop” courses, Michigan golfers are fortunate to have a gamut of courses to play in their own state. But with limited time, how should they prioritize their game to maximize their season? Two passionate Mt. Pleasant golfers, Jon Conklin, PGA professional, and Erik Rodriguez, public relations manager for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, tee off some reasons why golfers should make their next outing in Mt. Pleasant and share tips on how to make the most of it.

1. Getting there is not a Par 5 distance

If you prefer the short game, then Mt. Pleasant’s central position is perfect for you. Its proximity to many locations throughout the state situate it as an intrinsic meet-up spot for group gatherings such as bachelor and bachelorette parties.

“No one is going out of their way to get to Mt. Pleasant,” said Conklin. “It’s an easy drive from anywhere.”

And if golf is a central focus for your getaway or group outing, Mt. Pleasant is within 30 minutes of 11 golf courses. With it as the hub for your trip, you can spend less time in the car and more time on the course.

“It’s nice to be in a smaller town with big city amenities,” he said. “It doesn’t take a while to get around to everything once you’re here.”

2. A pleasant championship style experience

The 11 courses in the area offer a spectrum of skill levels and styles to find a suitable place to golf. Conklin said courses like Riverwood and Pines at Lake Isabella are appealing to families and Rodriguez suggested Pleasant Hills for recreational golfers just looking to leisurely enjoy their time with a cocktail.

Advanced golfers looking for a challenge have their options too. In Mt. Pleasant resides two championship level courses that regularly receive recognition: Bucks Run and Pohlcat.

“Bucks Run and Pohlcat provide a championship experience in the heart of Michigan,” Rodriguez said. “Both courses are well taken care of and managed, offering pristine conditions. The courses play into each style of golfer’s eye and what they like to see. At Bucks Run, the layout goes in and out of the Chippewa River, so it sets up well for a lot of golfers to enjoy their experience — just for the beauty of it.”

At Bucks Run, Rodriguez recommended paying special attention to hole 17. At this par 3, you tee off from an elevated box that overlooks the river for a picturesque view. He said a hole-in-one is also attainable at this hole, for those hoping to really make their golf getaway memorable.

Rodriguez said St. Ives and Tullymore, located in Canadian Lakes to the west of Mt. Pleasant, are additional championship level courses that are only 35 minutes away.

3. Entertainment that extends your stay

While getting your hands on some clubs is your focus, a golf getaway to Mt. Pleasant doesn’t solely revolve around the action out on the course. Entertainment options galore anchor the area, notably with Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort.

“It’s an experience to enjoy yourself out on the golf course but here you can get some nightlife as well,” said Rodriguez. “It’s about figuring out what you are looking for cause there’s lots to do. You can golf in the day but then keep the fun going all night.”

In addition to casino gaming, Soaring Eagle hosts a summer concert series that brings artists ranging from Chris Stapleton to G-Eazy to the area, provides delectable dining experiences and offers exciting sports bars where you can place a wager on a game and settle in to watch.

For those family golf adventures, Soaring Eagle Waterpark & Hotel is an excellent add-on that is flowing with aquatic attractions and dining suitable for all ages.

Additionally, downtown Mt. Pleasant — close in proximity to lodging suitable for families and adult groups — is itself an attraction. Restaurants, specialty shops, art galleries and more line the historic streets that can keep you occupied with amusement following your round. And depending on when you visit, you can also attend one of the many festivals or events in town.

“You can play a lot of these courses and have a great experience by adding additional recreation opportunities and staying at an area hotel or resort,” said Rodriguez.

4. Swing for the Stay and Play packages

And with all the additional activities and entertainment influencing you to extend your stay, you can utilize Stay and Play packages to help you budget and better plan your Mt. Pleasant golf experience.

Bucks Run offers a Stay and Play Package Program that partners area lodging facilities and golf courses so that groups of four or more have the flexibility to select the courses they want to play, dates of travel and more.

Conklin said an additional benefit of the packages is it enables you to play at Mt. Pleasant Country Club, which is otherwise a private course.

Hole 17 at Bucks Run

5. Your trip spreads the dollars among the community

Conklin said one aspect of golfing in the area some may not think about is how it supports the entire community.

“When you come into town to play golf, all these courses are independently owned and operated,” he said. “When you go somewhere like a resort from start to finish, all the dollars are spent in one place. It’s unique that the money is being spread around in our community, which we appreciate.”

Mt. Pleasant’s diverse, clustered roster of courses drives its growing notoriety as a golf destination. Pair that with nightlife entertainment, a historic downtown, outdoor recreation opportunities and ample dining options and you have an experience that no one will ask for a mulligan on.

“There’s something that caters to everyone’s needs,” said Rodriguez. “And you can make a weekend out of it or a week. We’re a unique community with an inviting atmosphere. Come and enjoy great golf and great amenities.”

“It would be a mistake to not at least think about the Mt. Pleasant area for your next golf trip,” said Conklin.

Learn more about the Mt. Pleasant area at meetmtp.com.