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The Pines at Michaywe’: Celebrating 50 Years of Golf, Relaxation

By Greg Johnson

The typical summer morning at The Pines Golf Course at Michaywe’ has seemingly 50 things going on at once, not to mention golfers headed out to have fun.

Everybody, except perhaps the busy employees, seems relaxed.

This place knows how to lower blood pressure with their classic manicured golf course, friendly, hustling staff and beautiful Northern Michigan mornings.

The Pines is celebrating 50 years of making golfers feel welcome and relaxed. The main celebration event was June 30, but more is coming. It was just one of the things they are doing to mark half a century.

“We had a scramble outing and we followed it up with a nice dinner and awards, 50-year celebration presentations, a band, entertainment and we had a blast,” said Judy Mason, the director of golf at Michaywe’. “Over the summer we’re doing more. We’re going to have luau party at the Lake Beach House as kind of another celebration and we’re going to follow that up with an ice cream social in our park, you know to show were about the community here at Michaywe’ and not just golf. We have a lot of families and non-golfers that we want to include.”

The luau party is being held for the first time in a few years because of COVID.

“We anticipate that selling out like our first party,” Mason said. “People have been great and enthusiastic about the 50th anniversary.”

The Gaylord Golf Mecca travel golfers have been enthusiastic as usual about The Pines, which is an original member of the cooperative marketing group formed 35 years ago.

“We’re busy, great traffic and the Mecca golfers with our lodging partners has been great,” Mason said.

The message about the 50 year anniversary welcomes golfers with a large sign adjacent to the path toward No. 1 tee. It’s a logo that has been used on various things, from clothing to coasters.

Also obvious to the golfers who have played The Pines before are the renovated greenside bunkers across the course. They were renovated last fall by Michigan-based Dozer Construction and look as if they have been part of the course for, well, 50 years.

“We have a few places where he had to seed but everything is coming and blending in well,” Mason said. “We’re having a great summer. The course is in great shape. The golfers are having fun.”

And they are relaxed.

Designed by Don Childs in the early 1970s and renovated by him almost 20 years ago, The Pines remains a favorite Mecca stop as part of the Michaywe’ four-season residential and recreation community.

Childs designed a parklands style course that is tree-lined, walkable, pretty, accommodating with six sets of tees, and fun to boot. Here’s the thing, it can be all the challenge a more talented golfer needs as well. The Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) has chosen it twice over the years to host the best golfers in the state in the Michigan Amateur Championship.

Recently another tee was added as Mason recognized a segment of beginning golfers and junior golfers who want to play slightly less yardage. The tee is marked by a yellow disc in the fairway and the GAM recently re-rated the course with the tees measuring about 4,200 yards. Those ratings will go into effect next spring.

The Pines offers something a little different from its Mecca counterparts at the big resorts where dramatic elevation changes and vistas abound. The Pines has one of the most walkable courses with gentle terrain and is serenely beautiful. Some great dogleg holes keep it especially interesting in terms of golfer strategy.

Oh, and the place will help you will relax. It’s been one of the results here for 50 years.

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