When he first saw the rolling hills and forests at Mistwood, course architect Jerry Matthews was enchanted by its suitability for a golf course. Matthews carved 27 championship holes into this variegated topography, divided among three nine-hole courses that combine for challenging 18-hole rounds or play singly for golfers who need to save time for savoring the taste of victory. Whether playing the red course, blue course, or white course, golfers send their balls soaring over bent-grass fairways and spinning over fast, well-bunkered greens, aiming carefully to avoid the smattering of lakes that await stray orbs.
Adjacent to the final fairway of the white course, an executive course named the Little Nine completes the fairway buffet at Mistwood Golf Course. Here, players hone their short-game skills and strive to take just three strokes at each hole, ideal for three-toed sloths with poor counting skills.
After swinging their way past open fields and dense thickets, players make their way to the clubhouse, where Bogey’s Snack Bar awaits downstairs, and upstairs, Sunset Bar & Grill serves whitefish and ribs as diners lounge on its deck and gaze out over the blue course and the verdant practice range.
Course Combinations at a Glance:
Nestled along Northern Michigan's snow belt, Caberfae Peaks Ski & Golf Resort sends visitors careening down 34 different ski runs, offering a total of 485 feet of vertical drop. Its location near Lake Michigan helps the resort average more than 150 inches of annual snowfall per year. Beyond skiing and snowboarding, the frosty harvest enables the resort to offer other wintery activities.
Away from the slopes, visitors relax inside Blackmer Day Lodge, a cozy facility outfitted with cathedral ceilings, a two-story stone fireplace, and rustic exposed timber. Extended stays, meanwhile, unfold at Mackenzie Lodge, located right at the base of the slopes, where an outdoor heated pool and hot tub await to help guests relax or cook lobsters they brought with them in their suitcases. And, during months when a heated pool isn't necessary, Caberfae challenges golfers with a scenic nine-hole course peppered with wetlands, ravines, and fairways lined with 75-foot trees.
The course at Crystal Lake Golf Club is filled with wide fairways and a blend of doglegs that move both right and left to give advantage to golfers who can shape their ball flight off the tee. Eight holes bring water hazards into play, including a particularly meddlesome pond on the par-five tenth hole, where long-hitters run the risk of rolling their ball into the water (clearing the pond would take a Herculean tee shot). From there, golfers have to play their second shot from a tricky downhill lie as the pond ripples ominously in the foreground. Elevated tees and multi-tiered greens add extra challenges to the course, which nestles in the shadows of mature trees. Before embarking on their par-hunting odyssey, golfers can warm up their swings or practice their earthworm impersonations from the grass hitting bays at the driving range.
In 1964, the trio of Joe Balulis, Bill Kater, and Seth Bidwell hung a shingle that read "Marquette Trails Golf Club" amid the dense forest of Manistee National Forest. The nine-hole golf course was their verdant brainchild and source of nutritional fairway grass, but after three years of joint ownership the triumvirate elected to go their separate ways, leaving the family of Joe Balulis to take over. Joe’s sons would go on to oversee the addition of a back nine that opened in 1985, bringing the overall length to 5,847 yards and par to 70. In 1993 a new clubhouse and a restaurant (The View) opened. Today, the Balulis family invites players to venture through the forest groves with clubs in hand, pursuing their golf balls until they’re in the cups and safe from the course's forest-dwelling co-founders.
The revs of go-kart engines, the delighted shrieks of putt-putters, and the cracks of batting-cage chops have banded together in joyous harmony for more than 20 years at AJ's Family Fun Center. Each of the three locations caters to the entire family with a wide range of exciting attractions. Though activities differ slightly at each outpost, thrill seekers of all ages can participate in age-appropriate activities, such as Sprint Karts for ages 16 and up, mini golf for adults and kids, and arcade games for those old enough to have received the value of a token lecture from a wise elder.