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Where to Golf while staying on Mackinac Island

If you’ve never been to Mackinac Island, it’s known for its beautiful, lush scenery along with a variety of different activities for all ages. However, if you’re looking for a...

If you’ve never been to Mackinac Island, it’s known for its beautiful, lush scenery along with a variety of different activities for all ages. However, if you’re looking for a way to combine the two, whether you’re an avid golfer or someone who just likes the view, look no further. Following is a list of the best places to golf while visiting Mackinac Island. Some of the courses are more tuned to those looking to challenge themselves, but most of the courses can be enjoyed by all ages.

The Jewel

Part of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, one of the most noted hotels in America, the Jewel is one of the most gorgeous courses the island has to offer and certainly one of the most unique. The course is comprised of two separate nine-hole courses, one called “The Grand” and the other named “The Woods” that together create “The Jewel.” The Grand is located right off the premises of the hotel with views stunning views of Lake Huron that will make you want to sight-see instead of playing golf. If you do make it past the breathtaking views however, once you step off the ninth green of the Grand nine, you and your group will be escorted by a horse-drawn carriage through the interior of the island with views that are rarely seen by other visitors. The Jewel is the only golf course in the country to provide a horse-drawn carriage ride. As you can tell, there are a lot of firsts to experience if you decide to play a round at the Jewel. The course’s season begins May 2 and ends around the middle of September. 

Pro-Tip: This course offers FootGolf, a mixture of soccer and golf, every day from 3-5 p.m. and costs only $15.

The Grand Hotel Golf Mackinac Island Michigan

The Jewel Golf Course at The Grand Hotel. Photos courtesy of The Grand Hotel

Wawashkamo Golf Club

Waswashkamo is where beauty and history come together to create an experience that will be unforgettable. Created in 1898, it is one of the oldest, yet still very well maintained, “links”-style golf courses around. For those golfers who are unsure what a links-style golf course is do not be alarmed, instead be prepared to embrace it and challenge yourself while doing so. Links-style courses are all about being in-tune with the nature that surrounds the golf course and are created with that same idea in mind. There are very little artificial obstacles. Instead, the course was designed around what the landscape has to offer. Its rugged, yet charming and deceivingly challenging. Waswashkamo is only comprised of nine holes but can be played as an 18-hole course by repeating the front-nine, something done by many courses around the country. Wawashkamo was voted one of America’s Historic Golf Landmarks in 1996 by Golf Digest and celebrated their centennial in 1998. Even if you don’t enjoy golf, being able to take in the views Wawashkamo has to offer and walking on a piece of history more than one hundred years old is well worth your time.

Pro-tip: If you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck, and keep a some money in your pocket visit the course during ‘twilight hours’. During May, June, and September this falls between 3-6 p.m. and during July and August it moves up an hour from 4-7 p.m..You’ll save around $20-25 depending on how many holes you play, whether or not you walk or ride, and if you rent clubs.

Mackinaw Club Golf Course

If you couldn’t tell from the name, Mackinaw Club Golf Course isn’t technically on Mackinac Island but is just a short hop on the ferry away and very much worth your time. Of the two courses mentioned before, this one is the perfect compromise of playability and difficulty. The course, located off Mackinaw highway about three miles south of Mackinaw City, is home to an 18-hole course that offers a wonderfully picturesque experience along 300 acres of natural wetlands and streams. The course is consistently listed by Golf Week as one of their “Best Courses to Play” and is the area’s largest professionally designed and constructed course. The course recently came under new management and has made several upgrades to the course including: replacing the entire fleet of golf carts, re-doing all the golf cart bridges, planting over a thousand new trees, and much more. Another great advantage this course offers is that it’s open later in the season, going well past September into October. The course chalks this advantage up to being built on a sandy, uphill landscape instead of on clay or heavy loam soil like many of the other courses in the area. It drains quickly and easily and can be ready to play after hard rains or inclement weather.

Pro-Tip: You can bring your own alcoholic beverages to this course and they will provide you with ice and coolers because they currently don’t have a liquor license.

The Grand Hotel Golf Mackinac Island Michigan

The Jewel Golf Course at The Grand Hotel. Photos courtesy of The Grand Hotel

The Greens of Mackinac Putting Course

The last course, but certainly not the least, is The Greens of Mackinac located on the premises of Mission Point Resort. Yes, you read that correct. The last course is a full, 18-hole putting course that is unlike anything you’ve played before. The greens are made of Bentgrass, which is a professional grade grass, and are maintained with the same standards of a professional course. If that doesn’t sound like enough fun, on Friday’s and Saturday’s from dusk until midnight the course offers Glow Golf. Everything glows, the balls, flags, tees, cups and even you — with the help of a glowing necklace given to every player! As you can tell, this putting course is suitable for the whole family and will no doubt have you competing to take home bragging rights.

Pro-Tip: This putting course is so laid back that they allow you to stop by the bar while you’re playing, grab a drink, and then take it on-the-go to finish out your round! Additionally, if you go during ‘Glow Golf’ you can buy drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) that glow along with the rest of your items.


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