Hidden River Owner Follows Dad’s Customer Credo for ‘Best Kept Secret’ in Northern Michigan

Hidden River Owner Follows Dad’s Customer Credo for ‘Best Kept Secret’ in Northern Michigan


(Brutus, Mich.) A son of a  P.G.A. golf professional, Tom Foster knew early on the importance of customer service.


“My dad (Joe) was the longtime pro at Oceana Golf Club and he always told me to treat people with respect,” said Foster, a former PGA club professional, manufacturer’s rep, and now the owner with his wife Lisa of Hidden River Golf & Casting Club in Brutus, Michigan. “Owning and running a golf course all gets back to my dad’s core values and making sure our golfers are all treated well.”


From the day it opened in 1998, Hidden River—located north of Petoskey off US-31 was a favorite course of Foster, a former head golf professional at Spring Lake CC after serving as an assistant at Muskegon CC and Bloomfield Hills CC. “I knew the management and owner of Hidden River and played there on many occasions,” said Foster. “The layout was so appealing with such a variety of holes and settings that I fell in love with it.” When the W. Bruce Matthews III designed-course came up for sale in the summer of 2007, Tom and Lisa Foster became interested. “The price was right and we believed in northern Michigan’s future as a golf destination.”


Almost three years later, Foster doesn’t regret his decision to purchase Hidden River, also known for its popular Rainbow Room Restaurant and its impressive log cabin clubhouse, in spite of the challenging times for the state and the golf industry as a whole. “Yes, this is a tough economy but we’ve learned to adapt and to work harder,” said Foster who also spent 13 years as manufacturer’s rep for a number of leading golf companies, including Nike, Ben Hogan and Lynx. “And whenever we hear our golfers tell us they want to go right back to the first tee after holing out on 18, we know how lucky we are to be the owners of Hidden River. As many people remind us, it’s one of best kept secrets of northern Michigan.”


When Hidden River opened twelve years ago, it quickly became widely known for its distinctive design and how it respected the Maple River, a blue ribbon trout stream, that meanders within sight of the picturesque clubhouse terrace. “It’s a beautiful piece of land,” said course architect Matthews who counts Hidden River as one of the “underrated gems” of northern Michigan. “There are five sets of tees that will test golfers without embarrassing them. And the surroundings just make you feel good being there with the wild turkey and deer and the sense of isolation.”


Awards and accolades for Hidden River include a 4 ½ stars (out of 5) rating by Golf Digest, “Top 100 courses in U.S. under $100” by Travel & Leisure Magazine and “Top 4 Golf Course Restaurants in the Midwest” by PGA Travel.


A member course of the Golf Association of Michigan and a charter participant in the GAM’s  new “Exclusive Tee Times” program (, Hidden River also is a partner in the Big Fore Golf Package (  Along with Black Lake GC, Dunmaglas GC, and Little Traverse Bay GC, Hidden River offers a stay-play-and-dine golf package which includes accommodations at Hamlet Village and Trout Creek Condominiums. Hidden River also works with a number of area motels and hotels in the Petoskey area for special golf packages.


For more information about Hidden River Golf & Casting Club call 1-800-325-4653 or visit


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