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Five things that make visiting the Gaylord Golf Mecca in the summer the best trip ever!


For 32 years the top golf courses in the Gaylord area have been marketed together as the Gaylord Golf Mecca and gained a great reputation. It’s because the area truly offers one of, if not the best, combination of quantity and quality of golf in the Midwest, right in the heart of Michigan’s beautiful land of lakes and trees. There are multiple courses in multiple places to fit any group from 2 to 202 or even more.  Check out The Loon Golf Resort, Treetops Resort, Otsego Resort, The Natural at Beaver Creek Resort, The Pines at Michaywe’, Black Lake Golf Club, Indian River Golf Club and Gaylord Golf Club (totaling 15 different courses).  Robert Trent Jones, Tom Fazio, Rick Smith, Jerry Matthews and even the legendary Wilfrid E. Reid designed holes in the Mecca. The Gaylord Golf Mecca is a true tour of great golf.


The Gaylord Golf Mecca has 20 lodging partners, who together count over 1,300 rooms, which means you can have anything you want or desire, from luxurious to rustic, from traditional to modern, from campfire to a fireplace that starts with the flip of a switch. Start with the resorts, where at Black Lake and Treetops Resort you will find recently remodeled rooms; the Loon Golf Resort, which offers perfectly designed options for golf groups; the Otsego Resort with its rustic elegant charm; the Natural at Beaver Creek Resort, where wonderfully modern cabins have the perfect fire pit out front and we can go on and on. Prefer hotels? Baymont Inn & Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn and the Holiday Inn Express among others are partners. Prefer something completely different? Just tell the folks at Pine-Cone Accommodations and they will make it happen.


In the handy Northern Michigan Golfer magazine you can pick up at the Gaylord Area Convention & Tourism Bureau, 319 West Main, there are over 30 restaurants listed in the dining section. Gaylord has it all, and the list includes the many options at the golf resorts and courses, along with the suddenly extra-large selection of downtown dining destinations. A quick five among my favorites in alphabetical order follows, though I must confess I have not hit all on the big list yet:  Alpine Tavern and Eatery is essentially a casual American fare sports bar, which fits a casual American like me. Big Buck Brewery, under new ownership, has returned as a perfect spot for a golf crowd or even a couple. Michaywe’ Inn The Woods, which is, well, back in the woods and perfect for a relaxing dinner. Snowbelt Brewing Company is downtown, offers multiple handcrafted beers and flagship beers, and some good eats, too. They had me at beers. The Summit Grill At The Ridge, part of the Loon Golf Resort properties, has hand-tossed pizzas, great wings and other options. On the deck is a perfect after-golf spot.


Michigan is the Great Lakes State, and Gaylord holds up its end of the bargain with Big Bear LakeBig Bradford Lake, Big Lake, Dixon Lake, Thumb Lake, Otsego Lake and of course short trips to Burt Lake, Black lake, Lake Michigan, Lake Charlevoix and more. Swim, water ski, do all types of fishing, relax on a pontoon, canoe, kayak or jet about on watercraft of all sorts. These are just some of the water sporting adventures available. Otsego Lake County Park and Otsego Lake State Park are sweet places to check out, too.  Of course, boat rentals are available.


Play golf until almost 10 p.m. We are not kidding. Gaylord is located in the heart of Northern Michigan and in the Eastern Time zone where Daylight Savings makes you wait just a little longer for a beautiful sunset over the many lakes and golf courses in the region. Those sunsets are worth it, especially if you are on the way in from a great round of golf or sitting on one of the decks that overlook the world-class collection of No. 18 holes at the member courses of the Mecca. Oh, and there is hiking on trails in the Pigeon River Country State Forest and even one called Deadman’s Hill. Yikes!  There are five campgrounds in the area, too, if that is your style. Come visit. Learn more AND PLAN YOUR TRIP at

By Greg Johnson

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