In the News

Ultimate Golf Giveaway Winner

By: Greg Johnson

Jim Holderman of Belding, Michigan, retired at the end of 2022 with plans to play more golf, and to play it on courses he hasn’t experienced in the past.

That makes being the most recent winner of the Gaylord Golf Mecca’s Ultimate Golf Giveaway a perfect fit for him, even if he didn’t believe it when he was first contacted by the Mecca via email.

“I was shocked, I’ve never won anything in my life,” he said. “I thought ‘I’m going to respond to this but I don’t believe it for a second.’ What are the odds?”

The odds were great, as in aces, birdies and eagles, and Holderman, 64, and his wife Tina, who is also recently retired, are making their Mecca pilgrimage plans.

Their prize: six rounds of golf for four people, as well as four nights lodging and two dinners. The golf rounds will be played at Garland Lodge & Golf Resort (two rounds), Indian River Golf Club, Black Lake Golf Club, The Pines at Michaywe and The Classic at Otsego Resort. The lodging will be at Garland Lodge & Golf Resort and with Mecca lodging partners, the Fairfield Inn & Suites and the Hampton Inn (two nights). The dinners will be at popular Gaylord destinations, Alpine Tavern and Big Buck Brewery.

They plan to have their close friends Robert and Kathy Kohn, also recently retired, join them on the Mecca trip.

“I’m really looking forward to playing some course that I’ve never played before,” Jim said. “For about the last 12 years I’ve been part of a group of buddies who go up to Treetops (a Mecca resort) each fall as our last golf trip of the year. We’ve been a few other places, but we like Treetops so we’ve been going there for the last several years. The thing is, I’ve never played any of the other courses in the Gaylord area. I’ve heard about them and can’t wait to play them.”

Jim was on his annual trip to Treetops when he saw marketing regarding the Ultimate Golf Giveaway.

“What the heck, I entered,” he said. “I still can’t believe I won.”

He has played in a golf league for several years at the golf course he lives near in Belding, Candlestone Golf & Resort, with Robert Kohn. Jim and Tina have also made golf trips to other states, including Hawaii.

“We want to do more of that travel golf, and we want to play some of the great Michigan courses I’ve always heard about but never played,” he said. “This is the perfect opportunity to get started on that.”

He said fun will be the mission. He plans to buy Tina new golf clubs while they winter in Florida so she is ready to go on the Ultimate Golf Giveaway trip in the spring.

“I used to be a lot more competitive with golf, but as I get older and have some health issues, I try to just enjoy the game as best I can as well as try to score as best I can,” he said. “I like to look around and enjoy where I’m at. I love Treetops so I’m excited to see the other courses up there.”

The Mecca’s resorts and courses regularly receive accolades from national publications like Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Golf for Women. A Golf Digest poll from 2020 ranked Gaylord and Northern Michigan as the 12th best golf destination in the world and 8th best in the United States. Golftime Midwest readers voted the Mecca the No. 1 Best Golf Destination in the Midwest in 2019, too.

The Ultimate Golf Giveaway is an annual promotion of the cooperative marketing group that includes 17 courses and 21 lodging partners. Learn more and enter at

Recent Posts