We’ve all been there when planning a golf trip: Scouring the internet or burning up valuable hours on the phone while looking for the best hotel rates, trying to determine which courses are right for your group and finding what tee times are available.

It’s tiring. It’s stressful. It’s frustrating. And it gets confusing as you accumulate more information.

With Michigan’s Central Swing, Ed Bauer scored a hole-in-one for his group’s fall outing while taking the emotions out of the equation.

Bauer called Michigan’s Central Swing representatives and they took care of everything, just as they have for “The Geezers” group that has traveled to Mount Pleasant every year for the last decade.

“I call them and then get out of the way,” said Bauer, who lives in Port Sanilac. “We just show up and golf.”

Bauer’s outing ranges from 12 to 24 people who live in Michigan’s thumb and play golf every Wednesday. The annual mid-September golfing retreat is a three-day visit that has the men playing three different courses.

“We get the best deals and we can have some fun,” Bauer said.

That’s a key benefit of using Michigan’s Central Swing – a service that allows organizers of groups of any size to enjoy themselves rather than sweat the trip details.

The Central Swing team assesses your request, which can be made online here, arranges the trip and makes all the reservations while also providing an easy online payment method. The team is based out of the Mt. Pleasant Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, making it a one-point-of-contact center of local knowledge and experience.

Michigan’s Central Swing’s Jake Schmittler is one of the members who provide the personal touch to make an outing exactly what you’re looking for. Schmittler can make recommendations from the region’s 11 diverse championship, links-style or classic courses. He can also guide overnight accommodations based on price points and desired amenities.

“I like to get a grasp of what the group is looking for and what they want to play,” Schmittler said. “We can provide a wide variety of unique courses and lodging options, all within 30 minutes of Mt. Pleasant.”

A second advantage of using Michigan’s Central Swing for booking is that the relationship with courses and hotels can lead to reduced rates, depending on the time of year. Schmittler notes groups can find lower costs by booking outings early in the spring and later in the fall. Mid-week trips can also bring better deals, he said.

Schmittler said group organizers who are unfamiliar with the region’s golf scene benefit from Central Swing’s expertise. The same is true for those who are leading larger groups. The organization and follow-up provided by Central Swing representatives provides choices and attention to details that could get lost in the planning shuffle.

“We are here to be a resource and we enjoy helping,” said Schmittler. “We’ll compile and send a list of package quotes with multiple price options for lodging and golf, and that lets organizers pick what works for them.”

Bauer praised Schmittler’s help: “They’ve gone out of their way to be good to us and every year is a success. We’ve played all the courses but the golf is so good, and the service is so good, that we keep coming back for more.”

To learn more about Michigan’s Central Swing, visit micentralswing.com, call 888-436-0001 or email golf@micentralswing.com. There is more to discover in Mid Michigan and Mt. Pleasant’s visitors bureau can identify fun things to do and events to check out.

Nate Reens, MLive/The Grand Rapids Press

Nate Reens is an accomplished news editor and reporter with 20 years of experience in media organizations as they transformed from standard print editions to a web-first, mobile environment.

Nate has served as a team leader for reporters covering government, education, and sports. He has also guided a team of multimedia journalists telling visual stories. Nate covered police and courts, municipal government, and politics while reporting for newspapers in Michigan and Georgia, and won multiple Associated Press and Michigan Press Association awards. He has also led reporting teams to state and national awards.