COURSE OF THE WEEK: Treetops Golf Resort

Situated just east of I-75 in Gaylord, Treetops
Resort is the closest major resort to the metro Detroit area and the
rest of the I-75 corridor and allows visitors easy access to all of the
great attractions in Gaylord.

Treetops Resort is a truly unique property with
81 holes spread across five distinctly different courses. It is the only
facility in the world that boasts courses designed by Robert Trent
Jones, Sr., Tom Fazio, and Rick Smith. According to Treetops Resort
Director of Golf, Kevin McKinley, all five courses at the resort “give
you a different feeling when you walk off of them, giving us the best
variety of golf in the Midwest.” That sentiment is reflected in the
golfers’ reviews of the course, as McKinley went on to say, “the quality
on each is so high that in past surveys when asked what our customer’s
favorite course is, we often get five different answers from five
different people.”

The first course is the Masterpiece and was
designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The Masterpiece is the most
challenging course of the five and was built in the 1980’s when everyone
was trying to build the hardest course. Many of the fairways slope away
from the middle and towards trouble; and elevation changes throughout
the course make it very challenging. The course is located at the
headwaters of the Pigeon River and takes full advantage of natural
valleys, ravines, and broad plains. The signature sixth hole features a
120′ vertical drop and a panoramic view of the Pigeon River Valley.

The second course is the Premier and is the only
course in Michigan designed by Tom Fazio. According to McKinley, Fazio
built the Premier to “complement the Masterpiece as many fairways slope
in towards the middle and the course is much more playable for the
average player.” The green complexes are large and do provide a great
challenge as well.

The third course on the property is the Signature
course and was created by Rick Smith. There are also many elevation
changes in this course and the beauty is astounding. McKinley says that
“landing areas are very large but the challenge here is also in the
green complexes as often players do not know if they are putting up or
downhill and have a difficult time reading the greens.” The Signature
course has been rated as a Top 50 Course for Women.

The fourth and final 18-hole course on the
property is the Tradition and was also designed by Rick Smith. The
Tradition was originally designed for walking, and it is certainly the
most playable course as elevation is not as much of a factor. McKinley
says, “although it is our youngest course in age, it is our most
historic course in playability as it brings you back to golf’s roots
with wooden pins, pennant flags and a parkland design with a links feel
lacking a whole lot of trees.” Th
e front nine wraps around the starter house, allowing for nine-hole play.

The fifth course on the property is the famous
Threetops course, which has received national recognition since it
opened, consistently ranking as the #1 par three course in America by
multiple sources. Threetops may be what Treetops is best known for, and
for a number of years the course hosted the ESPN Par 3 Shootout. The
course provides a great challenge to players as elevation change makes
club selection a premium. The third hole is accurately named “Devil’s
Drop” as it features the largest tee to green elevation change on
property at 145 feet. According to McKinley, “club selection depending
on the wind can be as much as 4 clubs less than you would normally hit
for the distance and you never know how good your shot is going to be
until it hits the ground.”

All five courses come together to create one of
Michigan’s best golf resorts. In addition to being a great golf resort,
Treetops is a full-service facility that offers something for everyone.
Treetops has a spa and salon, five different dining options, state
licensed child care, 238 hotel rooms, 2 pools, disc golf, skiing, and so
much more. For golfers looking to improve their game, Treetops Resort
even has a golf academy for all ages, genders, and abilities. The
academy features state of the art equipment such as V1 Video analysis
and Foresight Sports launch monitor technology, which doubles as a golf
simulator, allowing guests to play indoor golf year-round.

The Treetops culinary team has been the leader in
the industry in terms of unique dining experiences for many years. “Our
summer experience includes Farm to Fork meals with beer pairing for
each course,” says McKinley. “We partner with a local farmer to put
everything fresh from the farm on our guest’s plates and the farmer is
actually there to describe what they are eating and what went into its

If you are looking for some friendly competition
this golf season, Treetops offers multiple tournaments that cater to
golfers of all experience levels, including the Toughman/Princess
Scramble and the Treetops Cup. For a full list of the tournaments and
other events at the resort, click HERE

Treetops Resort is one of eight clubs that make up the Gaylord Golf
Mecca. The Gaylord Golf Mecca is a beautiful, rustic woods and lakes
paradise where long, warm summer days continue into early evening,
allowing extended play on 15 of the finest golf courses in northern
Michigan. The list of courses includes Treetops Resort, Indian River
Golf Club, Gaylord Golf Club, Otsego Resort, and many more.

To book your next tee time or to experience everything that Treetops Resort has to offer, call (866) 348-5249 or visit today.

-Sal LaFata, Membership Services Associate