ESCANABA - Upper Peninsula golf has received another notable boost from a national publication.
Midwest Golf, based in Sun Prairie, Wis., touts the midwest with four issues a year. Writers frequently visit U.P. courses, along with the rest of the midwest layouts, and provide glowing coverage of each trip.
The staff used the latest edition to offer the 6th annual Editor's Choice Awards, which gives some raves to U.P. courses.
Wild Bluff Golf Club in Brimley is called "the best back nine" by staff writers. Called one of the "all-time favorites" for MGM staff, the article says Wild Bluff's back nine features "immaculate conditioning and stunning elevation changes. ...The front nine is pretty spectacular as well."
Wawashkamo Golf Club on Mackinac Island was cited as "best course we can't believe we didn't play until 2011."
The writers say it "harkens back to a simpler time when hickory sticks and knickers roamed the fairways."
In another article of best nine-hole courses, Wawashkamo receives honorable mention from the MGM staff. It is the oldest continuously operated nine hole course in America and has been featured by the Daily Press.
"A peaceful setting, the occasional clip-clop of equines, and a raw golf course is what this experience is all about," says MGM.
Mackinac Island itself receives honorable mention as best weekend getaway, with Door County, Wis. taking top honors.
Schloegel's Bay View Restaurant in Menominee gets the nod as best off course food.
Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris, The Jewel on Mackinac Island and Wild Bluff are mentioned in two categories regarding triumph and terrible experiences on the same trip. Writer Glen Turk laments a series of misfortunes on holes 9-10 at Sweetgrass, then recounts how he just missed an ace at The Jewel but finds the hole at Wild Bluff.
I've enjoyed MGM course reviews and articles for many years and respect their opinions. However, I was burned by one review earlier this year in which The Prairie Club near Valentine, Neb. was described as a "bucket list" stop.
Returning recently from a visit with my brother in Colorado Springs, we stopped at The Prairie Club and had an enjoyable time, overall. However, it was not worth the exorbitant cost and we learned to further appreciate the tremendous golf available in the Upper Peninsula.
We played the Tom Lehman designed Dunes course, a rugged British Open style layout, after two inches of rain washed out the planned round on the Pines layout, where we did get to walk six holes before tackling the Dunes. We also had fun on the 10-hole Horse Course and its elaborate bunkers and undulating greens.
The rolling prairie hills and immense bunkering amidst almost complete silence from the rest of the world made for a unique experience, but it definitely was not a "bucket list" outing as reported.