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THE WRITE STUFF: Golf Writers Wowed by Tour of Gaylord Golf Mecca

They played nine of the 15 Gaylord Golf Mecca courses in just six days, and while a bit weary, they left for home smiling.

A group of nine golf writers from around the country recently toured the Gaylord Golf Mecca, visiting the eight properties that are home to the 15 golf courses in the Mecca. During their visit, they enjoyed several of the dining and lodging experiences of the Mecca partners in the Gaylord area, too.

The group played in this order: The Tradition at Treetops Resort, Gaylord Golf Club, The Tribute at Otsego Resort, Threetops at Treetops Resort, The Signature at Treetops Resort (while taking part in a special Mecca Challenge event involving all the partner courses), Black Lake Golf Club, Indian River Golf Club, The Loon at The Loon Golf Resort, Michaywe’ – The Pines and The Natural at Beaver Creek Resort.

Dinner stops included Big Buck Brewery, Alpine Tavern, the Vista Room at Treetops, the Duck Blind Grill at Otsego Resort and Bennethum’s Northern Inn.

The tour was arranged through the Gaylord Golf Mecca Marketing Group by Let’s Golf Travel of Atlanta, GA.

The writers on the trip: Rich Styles of Golf Aficionado in Georgia, Ed Stone of Go Golf & Travel/Tennessee Golf, Rich Skyzinski of Chicago District Golfer, Danny Freels of GolfTime Magazine, Mike May of Golf Central Magazine, Brian Weis of, Cheryl and Mark Justak of Golf NOW Chicago and Pat Mullaly of Indiana.

It was the first tour of the Mecca for each of them, and they liked it.
“I had heard that northern Michigan had a reputation for good golf, but until I took this media tour I did not realize how rich this area of the country is in great golf!” Pat Mullaly of wrote the week after returning home to Massachusetts. “With such a wide variety of challenging courses, Gaylord, Michigan is what they claim — a fabulous Mecca for golfers. Be sure to add it to your bucket list of great places to play.”
Check out Pat’s article at:

Rich Skyzinski of the Chicago District Golfer plans to pen an article for their digital edition this month on the trip. He said on the last day at The Natural that he was impressed by the variety that the Mecca collection of courses offers.

“Each course was different from the others,” he said. “I really like that.”

Mike May of Golf Central Magazine said the golf and people at each stop were friendly and welcoming.
“It makes it easy to recommend the Gaylord Golf Mecca,” he said. “Every day has been great, and each day we played some great golf courses. There really is something for everybody here.”

Ed Stone of Tennessee Golf and Go Golf & Travel said he was tired, but a happy tired.

“You can’t go wrong coming to Gaylord, Michigan, to play golf,” he said in a coffee-smooth southern drawl.

Stone, 79 years young and feeling all of it as he said after playing the Signature course at Treetops, also had many of the funniest lines of the week and was asked by others each day to read the pairings for the rounds because he did it with wit, enthusiasm and that drawl.

When told he didn’t look 79-years-old, he remarked, “Guess I’ve been around a while – 79 years. Somehow I thought it would take longer to get here.”

Rich Styles of Golf Aficionado magazine, and a golf radio show host in Georgia, had been to Michigan previously, but had not played the Mecca collection.

“The golf here is impressive,” he said. “I really enjoyed it and I’m amazed how much great golf there is in this one area.”

Styles also styled great wit and did an uncanny imitation of Ed Stone’s drawl. His funny and colorful tee introductions on the course of fellow players has already been bowered with great effectiveness. It’s perfect for the first tee with the right audience.

Cheryl Justak of Golf NOW Chicago has made many trips to Michigan but had not been all the way to the Mecca area. She was impressed, and her husband and photographer Mark was wowed by the place. He was especially taken with the visit to Black Lake Golf Club in Onaway.
“I keep thinking the next course can’t top the one we just played, but they do,” he said while riding around taking photos after playing the course. “Every hole is a good picture here.”

The overriding opinion of the writers was two thumbs up, a 10, five stars, all that.

As their articles appear we will share them in e-blasts, on the Gaylord Golf Mecca Facebook page and other social media channels.

The best part was this author was able to play many of the rounds with the group, laugh with the group and even drive the limo bus one day.

The Gaylord Golf Mecca made new friends. We figured that might happen.

Greg Johnson

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