How’s this for an introduction? Play 72 holes of championship golf without ever having to move your car! Caught your interest yet?
Garland Lodge & Resort boasts four championship golf courses that all start from one pro shop. Just park, check in and never get back into the car until you are ready to head home. Imagine the convenience of having your golf, lodging, restaurants, bars and an outdoor patio all within stumbling distance of each other. My kind of place!
I must admit, I am a weak man. I like the idea of enjoying myself (sometimes too much) when I am away on a golf vacation. The last thing I want to do after playing 18 or 36 holes is drive my car at all, let alone 15 to 45 minutes to get back to my room.
Everything here is centered on the main lodge, a magnificent log structure that is touted to be the largest log lodge east of the Mississippi. Garland is gracefully set on 3,500 acres and surrounded by unspoiled wilderness where you get to stay in unique rustic accommodations with all the modern amenities. Here you can truly get away from the madding crowd and appreciate the rugged beauty of northern Michigan. Garland has been under new ownership and they have made some dramatic improvements to this already great resort. To start with, the front lobby has been completely renovated, as have the dining room, pro shop, bar, outdoor patio and many of the rooms.
The courses are in the best shape that they have ever been with new sand in the bunkers and some course redesign. The new owners have invested in brand new golf carts, paved the cart paths and the fairways and green are immaculate.
The four courses at Garland have been designed in such a way that each has its own unique look and feel. Play amongst rolling fairways with an abundance of lakes, streams, meadows and mature trees with dramatic elevation changes and the untouched wildlife of northern Michigan.
Swamp Fire certainly earns its’ namesake and will test your will and patience. At almost 6900 yards it has a slope rating of 138 where 16 out of the 18 holes have water that comes into play. Definitely a shot-makers course!
Reflections is strangely named as it has the least amount of water. Even though it is the shortest of them all at just under 6,400 yards, it still has bite. With a slope rating of 127, this unique combination of 6 par 5’s, 6 par 4’s and 6 par 3’s offers a variety of terrain with numerous doglegs and tight driving areas where accuracy over distance is needed to tame this layout.
Fountains is the newest and arguably the favorite sibling of the quadruplets. Utilizing some of the original nine holes of this resort, Fountains has a unique layout consisting of a six-pack of par 3’s, par 4’s and par 5’s. At nearly 6,800 yards, Fountains is aptly named for the numerous fountains and water hazards that adorn the rolling terrain and when you drive from the first green to the second tee you will cross the longest single span golf bridge in the world.
Monarch is a just moniker for the majestic and regal feeling that you get from the towering white pines that line these fairways. Not short on stature as well, this is Garland’s longest test at almost 7200 yards with a “Kingly” course rating of 75.3 and a slope of 143 from the Black throne. If that’s not intimidating enough, Monarch could humble you from the get go as the first two holes are the toughest on the front nine. The back nine is just one great hole after another and the finishing holes are one of the strongest you will find anywhere. Pull out your driver here but be careful of the fourteen holes where water will come into play. No matter how well you are playing this day, make sure you take the time to look way up to the left, halfway down the 11th fairway. Bring your camera with a zoom lens because on my last visit, I actually got the rare pleasure to see a pair of mating adult bald eagles feeding a nest full of “youngins”. A magical moment indeed!
Garland has many types of accommodations to choose from to satisfy any group size or budget so that all enjoy this rustic sophistication. There are hotel rooms, suites and even a penthouse in the main lodge. There are also double villas with a fireplace, single villas with a fireplace and Jacuzzi tub, condos with a full kitchen and golf cottages with 4 beds, full kitchen and a private deck. If you have a larger group Garland offers luxury accommodations at the French Country Villas with 3 or 4 bedrooms, full kitchen and even a pool table.
Whether you are considering a reclusive golf getaway or planning a corporate outing for your staff or customers, Garland has it all. They have a Conference Centre for your meetings and extra curricular activities like outdoor and outdoor pools, tennis, pontoon boat rental, mountain biking, nature trails to keep you busy when you are not golfing. The staff will also be delighted to arrange canoeing, charter fishing, big game hunting and horseback riding.
If you want to truly get away from it all, this is the place. Garland Lodge & Resort is located about a 3 ½ hour drive north of Detroit or Sarnia. For more information visit www.garlandusa.com.