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Meet Matt McArdle: Garland Lodge & Golf Resort’s Director of Golf

By Greg Johnson –

Matt McArdle, the director of golf at Garland Lodge & Golf Resort, grew up a golfer in Tawas and many times drove past the grand entrance and was well aware of the popular resort that is part of the Gaylord Golf Mecca.

He just had never turned in and toured until he went through the hiring process to become the head golf professional in 2021, a post he held for two years before being promoted to director of golf one year ago.

“The first thing I noticed was there is so much great land and that all four courses give the golfer so much variety,” he said. “It was eye-opening to get on property and see all that we have to offer guests. I was so impressed and couldn’t believe I had not played here before. I really wanted to be a part of it.”

He’s a big part of it now and said his goal remains to create the best experience possible for guests and members.

“We do a lot of outings and I strive to make sure they have a good time and enjoy our courses,” he said. “We are always working to make that experience even better. We have many returning groups and it is beneficial and rewarding to see them return. I remember some of their stories and it’s great to chat with them and see them again. That also gives us a better understanding of what we do and ways to keep improving.”

Matt considers the Gaylord Golf Mecca, home to 16 courses and eight properties, still somewhat of a hidden gem.

“A lot of people know of the Mecca, but I still think getting them here to see just how good the golf is and how great the people are in this area makes them want to come back,” he said. “Life is a little slower in northern Michigan, and the golf courses are so good and really do not get the recognition they deserve. I’m going to continue to push that out so people can come enjoy the tremendous golf here and enjoy these courses at prices they really can’t find in other golf destinations.”

Matt, 29 next month, is a Ferris State University Professional Golf Management graduate (2017) and had internships, including resort work in Arizona, Colorado and California before returning to Michigan. He does all the instruction at the resort, including private lessons, special clinics for groups, member clinics and more.

Of the four courses at GarlandFountains, Monarch, Reflections and Swampfire – he admits his favorite is Fountains with Monarch a close second.

Fountains is a little more forgiving off the tee which I like, but then Monarch keeps coming at you,” he said. “I really like the six par 3s, six par 4s and six par 5s design of Fountains, too. It gives me extra looks at birdies.” Learn more about the Mecca and Garland at

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