Fore families: Leisure courses

In relaxed, natural settings, golf’s next generation can putt without pressure.
Bucks Run 9 Putt
Photography courtesy Mission Point Resort

While Michigan’s array of courses make it a golf mecca, not all are ideal teaching grounds for young players due to pace of play requirements, says Eric Fink, head golf professional at Bath’s Hawk Hollow course. Luckily, Michigan is also home to several 18-hole putting courses where multiple generations can play together in a relaxed setting. 

“We get many, many families,” Fink says. “I have grandkids and have brought them. It’s a great introduction to golf, but more than that, it’s just fun.”

For starters, swing easy at these inviting putting sites.

Hawk Hollow. This Jerry Matthews design located just five miles from MSU was rated 4 out of 5 by Golf Digest and listed among “Top 200 Places to Play.” Here, the 18-hole Little Hawk putting course has no age minimum, says Fink, adding that, “It’s natural grass in a beautiful natural setting and has to be maintained like the rest of the course.” ($9 per person; 

Mission Point Exterior OverviewMission Point Resort. Alongside this Mackinac Island resort, Greens of Mackinac offers 18 bent-grass putting holes that rival the state’s championship courses. Players who get thirsty can even visit Mission Point’s nearby bistro bar and enjoy beverages during their round ($10 for adults, $5 for children; 

Bucks Run. Situated on a two-acre island between the clubhouse and main course’s third green, this public putting course in Mount Pleasant features 18 holes, full grass and bunkers, as well as babbling rock streams.

“You can pretty much play at any time,” says golf pro Jon Conklin. “It’s a neat natural setting with lots of woods and water.”

Bonus: Kids can check out the fish under the bridge between rounds and everyone can relax afterwards over bites to eat on the outdoor patio. ($7 adults, $5 children;

— Khristi Sigurdson Zimmeth, Michigan BLUE Magazine.

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