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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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.