By Charlene S. Mixa
An Unknown Golf Gem in the Michigan’s Mitten!
Shh! Can you keep a secret? Hidden just outside of Kalkaska, MI is a little known golf course, Grandview Golf Club. With a 4-star rating by Golf Digest as “Best Places to Play”, we find this out of the limelight course. Grandview is recommended to us by Scott, an Assistant Pro at the Cedar River Golf Course, as a must play while in the area. Scott brags that the course is in great condition, with terrific views and the best “catfish” in the area, plus only 30 minutes from Shanty Creek. Michigan lauds superb golf courses all over the state but especially in northern Michigan with many exceptional golf resorts. Playing many of Michigan’s famous courses at resorts of Treetops, Shanty Creek, Otsego and Boyne, we feel we are experiencing Michigan golf. Can a little course in Kalkaska be a hidden gem?
Before scheduling to play Grandview we do our reconnaissance stopping by one afternoon. Driving into the course we are quickly impressed with the views and condition of the fairways. It looks excellent! Taking Scott on his word that they have the best Catfish, we stay for dinner. Delicious! Bubba’s Catfish with fries and coleslaw is only $7.95. There is even a choice of types of fries either regular or seasoned. Chatting with couples who had just finished playing the Grandview, they tell us to play it. With all the recommendations, we schedule to play on a Saturday morning with some relatives.
The day arrives with clear blue skies, despite a huge storm the night before. Grandview has good practice facilities of driving range and putting green. Our relatives arrive and we prepare to find out if Grandview meets the claims of “Best kept secret in Northern Michigan”. Hole No. 1, a par-4 is a 90 degree dogleg right to a huge green. Each of us comments on the terrific condition of the course and the green. Each hole brings more respect for this phenomenal course that covers 240 acres of rolling terrain among hardwood forests of oak, maple, ash and birch trees. Following the first hole, the course starts to show off its significant elevation changes with dramatic views above the forested countryside. The opening holes with their huge fairways are downhill or over slopes to large contoured fantastic greens. The greens are some of the best we play in all of our golf in Michigan. No. 5 a par-3 is all downhill with White Tees at 208 yards and the Red Tees at 189 yards. Downhill or not that’s a long drive for ladies! The front nine has the most dramatic continuous elevation changes. No. 10 sits atop the mountain by the Clubhouse and Restaurant with its awesome view. Then the back nine has several valley holes with wetlands.
After golf we all enjoy a delicious meal at the Restaurant. While Bubba’s Catfish was excellent earlier, we opt for the Perch basket with fries and coleslaw for only $8.50. Great food and great golf at economy prices!
Grandview is fun, fantastic and a true hidden gem. It meets all the claims of excellent pace of play for 18 holes, great value for the money, awesome condition of the course and a wonderful overall golfing experience. Local golfers should be standing at the door to play this course. Visitors to the resorts close by in Bellaire or Traverse City, should add Grandview as a course to play then stay for a bite to eat.
If you go: Grandview Golf Club, 3003 Hagni Road, Kalkaska, MI 49646; 231.258.3244; www.grandviewgolf.net