TRAVERSE CITY: Two resorts that have withstood the tests of time

By Len Ziehm

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Golf course openings are rare in these tough economic times. Three decades ago that wasn’t the case, but none back then were as celebrated as Jack Nicklaus’ The Bear at Grand Traverse Resort.

Grand Traverse tower at The BearGrand Traverse, then just five years old, took an extraordinary step when The Bear was ready for play. Virtually every member of the media covering the 1985 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills was invited to play the layout the day after Andy North won his second Open title, and most of them showed up.

That type of sendoff for a new golf course was unheard of, and media members from throughout the country found the layout appropriately named. It was indeed a bear. Continue reading

2013 Four Winds® Invitational

June 21-23, 2013

The Symetra® Tour: The Road to the LPGA® is returning to Blackthorn Golf Club again this summer, and it’s bringing up-and-coming women golfers back to South Bend! The Four Winds® Invitational features a field of professional women golfers from around the world, all chasing the $150,000 purse, the largest on the 2013 Symetra Tour.  If the last year is any indication, the competition will be tight and down to the wire. In 2012 Symetra Tour rookie Julia Boland headed into the final round three shots behind the leader. She shot a 3-under 69 to earn her first-career victory, giving her a one-stroke win. Continue reading

Golf Tips from the Experts – Jay Williams

Jay Williams, 25-year PGA Member &
Head Golf Professional at Briar Leaf Golf Club
LaPorte, IN

Question: I’ve decided to really make an effort to lower my handicap this year. What is the best way to reach my goal of consistently shooting lower scores?

Answer: This is an easy one. The ONLY answer is to IMPROVE YOUR SHORT GAME. Approximately 65% of all strokes played during a round are taken from inside 100 yards. Building a reliable short game will pay immediate dividends and provides the payoff of measurable results in the form of lower scores. Continue reading

Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club

By Len Ziehm

Back in 2002 it was hard to imagine that the Senior PGA Tour wouldn’t be coming back to Chicago the following year.  After all, the circuit for golf’s 50-and-over stars had been well-received for the 12 previous years and the players made it clear they liked coming here.

Sponsorship didn’t materialize, though, and the event known originally as the Ameritech Senior Open and then – in its last three stages – as the SBC Senior Open was gone forever.

On a more upbeat note, however, the most exciting feature of this golf season is the circuit’s return — for the June 17-23 Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club in Glenview. Chicago’s devoted golf fans, though, shouldn’t expect to see revival of the tournaments held here from 1991-2002. Lots of things have changed since then. Continue reading

Give a Gift of a Getaway for Mother’s Day!

Serenity Springs Michigan City

Serenity Springs is a unique getaway from the everyday.

A couple’s escape nestled on 85 acres in Michigan City, Indiana – and minutes away from the shores of Lake Michigan — which offers an intimate touch of class on a country setting where you can enjoy a getaway of pampering and unsurpassed service.

Serenity Springs Michigan City RoomsEnjoy fishing on their private lake, walking the wooded trails or enjoying a romantic carriage ride.  Each cabin is furnished with a king-sized bed, gas fireplace and TV/DVD entertainment system.  Relax in your sunken whirlpool tub for two while anticipating a surprise delivery in the exclusive “butler door”.  Step out onto your back covered deck where you will find your gas grill, campfire, and gliding chairs.  While on your deck you can enjoy feeding the waterfowl and roasting  s’mores.  In-room fine dining and massage therapy are also available. Continue reading