Escape the heat with cool Northern Michigan golf


CHARLEVOIX, Mich. – While much of the country is playing its golf in record high temperatures, Northern Michigan is, well, a little warmer than usual. And that's still pretty good.

Temperatures around 80 degrees in the daytime and upper 60s at night are pretty comfortable compared to much of the country and perfect for shorts and swimsuits. Great golf, festivals and the best cherries in the country can be found in the Traverse City area, for example. And if you like Walleye perch and whitefish, you'll be hard pressed to find better any better than at eateries such as the historic Weathervane Restaurant, which offers waterfront dining in Charlevoix.  

Of course, for us, it's mostly about the golf, and Northern Michigan declares itself to be America's summer golf capital, and it has good reason to lay that claim. The state is golf crazy with more courses (830) per capita than any other state. But in Northern Michigan, it's downright spectacular.

Most golfers have heard of Bay Harbor, which has three nines, including its Links Course that sits on the bluffs above Lake Michigan. But that's only the beginning. The region has six courses that are ranked on Golf Digest's America's top 100 public courses -- including the state's top ranked Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course on the Lake Michigan shoreline -- and scores of others that should probably receive consideration.

The resorts are pretty special, too. For example, there's the Inn at Bay Harbor, a Victorian style resort that evokes images of the Great Gatsby on the shores of Lake Michigan, and the Grand Traverse Resort, which boasts The Wolverine course and The Bear course and recently underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation.

And if you're thinking it might be too late this year, think again. Prices typically go down in September, which is a great month to visit northern Michigan. And if you're like me, you're probably ready for a few 50- and 60-degree days, which are common as fall approaches.