Which part of the northern US has the best fall golf

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 14, 2010, 5:41 pm

As the season transitions from summer to fall, the northern U.S. becomes soaked in the colors of the changing season. In this edition of Travel Punch Shots, TravelGolf.com senior writers Mike Bailey and Brandon Tucker uncover areas where you'll find the best golf at the best rates this fall.


Between the fall foliage and cooler temperatures, golf in the north this time of year is a real treat.

It's also a prime time to score some good deals in northern climes. Upstate New York and Maine boast some pretty spectacular golf courses in deep forests, but I don't think there's a better combination of both affordability and superb autumn sights than northern Michigan.

No matter the time of year, playing golf on Lake Michigan is always a treat at courses like Bay Harbor Golf Club and Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. But there are scores of golf courses in Michigan – both nationally ranked ones and hidden gems – that overlook large, scenic bodies of water like Torch Lake or Grand Traverse Bay.

Many of the top courses to take in long views are on one of the many courses at resorts that double as ski resorts in the winter time. This means you'll get plenty of tree-lined holes, elevated tee shots and long views.

Treetops Resort, which got its name for the view that goes on for miles from the sixth hole of the original Signature course. Treetops North, a few miles up the road from the main Treetops facility has three championship courses that offer beautiful elevated tee shot views regularly.

Golf vacation packages in the $100-or-less range become the name of the game heading into September and October. Shanty Creek Resorts, home to four courses including its two marquee courses, The Legend and Cedar River, is offering unlimited golf packages for less than $100.

Some great non-resort courses to take in the fall colors are Dunmaglas Golf Club, True North Golf Club and Black Lake Golf Club. Even Pinecroft golf course, a little family-run bargain play near Crystal Downs, is a wonderful spot that plays over Crystal Lake you can play as little as $20-35.

Michigan isn't as mountainous as the Rocky Mountain west and northeast, but it also means you can usually stretch the fall season a little longer into late October compared to destinations at higher altitudes.


Shoulder season in the north means lower rates and better package deals as vacationing families are back to school. As it turns out, it can also mean the best time of year to book a golf vacation.

Last fall I experienced two stellar northern golf trips on opposite sides of the country. The Pocono Mountains and Delaware River were the backdrop for the historic Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort in northeast Pennsylvania about 70 miles from New York City, while the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park provided an ideal environment in the Kalispell, Mont., area.

For decades, Shawnee Inn served as the playground of the rich and famous, such as Jackie Gleason, Bob Hope and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and it was the site of the 1938 PGA Championship won by Paul Runyan over Sam Snead. Today, the Kirkwood Family operates the 27 holes on the banks of the Delaware in conjunction with a wonderful inn that also features new condo units, terrific dining, fly-fishing and an excellent micro-brewery.

In addition to the championship course – 18 holes of which were designed by none other than A.W. Tillinghast – there's also the Tillinghast Golf Academy and the lighted Tillinghast Approach Course. The best part is that the resort is currently offering mid-week packages that include accommodations and golf for as little as $99 a night.

Northern Montana, on the other hand, has a wonderful collection of public and resort courses that never fail to blow away first-time visitors. Last week, in fact, I got a glowing report from some pros who recently took a group of members to the area. They agreed with me that the North Course at Whitefish Lake (not the higher-rated South) was their favorite among the Flathead Golf Association layouts. But they also liked the other seven or so layouts all within a half hour or so of one another.

The best part is that these courses, for the most part, are very reasonable in the fall. Most are under $60, and the accommodations, hospitality and food – especially the huckleberry pie and the steaks at Whitefish Lake – are pretty special as well. Just don't wait too long, because in Montana and the Poconos, it's not uncommon to see those first snowfalls in October.

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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.