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Golfing The Lake Huron Shore

Michigan Golf

Golfing The Lake Huron Shore

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Michigan Golf Magazine | Golfing The Lake Huron Shore | Jason Deegan | 2012

I’m as guilty as every player in the state when it comes to ignoring U.S. 23, the road “less traveled by” when it comes to golf trips.

When Interstate 75 splits off into U.S. 23 just north of Bay City, I always stay to the left. This highway leads to golf riches as good as any in the country: Treetops Resort, Bay Harbor, Boyne, Shanty Creek, Grand Traverse, Crystal Mountain, Arcadia Bluffs … the list goes on.

But, for the first time in at least eight years, I explored the resorts and courses of U.S. 23 last summer. Along the way, I rediscovered golf playgrounds I had neglected and found some new ones. It was a memorable trip—and not just because I landed my first hole-in-one.

Logistics and time constraints prevented me from taking my intended path from south to north up U.S. 23’s lakeshore routing. Instead, I invaded from the west to follow a zigzag of stops in Hillman, Alpena, East Tawas and Oscoda before heading home.

I heard a constant theme during my travels. The recession of the past three years hit this “blue collar” region of the state pretty hard. Some people made it sound like the sun might never rise on the “Sunrise Side” of Michigan again. Several course owners even expressed regret for sinking their life savings into properties in communities that never really took off like the west side of the state.

But the survival mode the past five years meant they’ve had to work a little harder to keep guests happy. Why not take advantage of their hospitality? I found out first-hand they appreciate every visitor and treat them like family.

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