Life. Liberty. And the pursuit of great golf.

GolfVisions 4th of July July 4th falls on a Monday this year, which means a bona fide 3-day weekend to celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of great golf! Throughout the GolfVisions Chicagoland family of courses, we are offering plenty of (Yankee Doodle) Dandy specials to enhance your celebration. Please click on course name below to view offers for that course and book online through the facility website. Or call the course to reserve your tee time! ** NORTH/NORTHWEST ** Foxford Hills Golf Club, Cary, IL 18 distinctly spectacular holes amidst an atmosphere that evokes Carolina resort golf, close to home in the NW suburbs. 847-639-0400. (more…)

A new look for golf instruction at Grand Traverse

[caption id="attachment_1275" align="alignnone" width="584"]Mark Hill Grand Traverse Golf Academy Mark Hill believes the most effective golf instruction is done on the course.[/caption] Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm ACME, Michigan – The structural changes at Grand Traverse were made last year when owners of the 30-year old resort spent $7 million to renovate the tower that is the facility’s centerpiece. Grand Traverse has three courses on its 1,400 acres and the resort features 660 rooms, diverse restaurants and lounges and 49,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space, unique shops, health club and spa, children’s center and beach club. Last year’s upgrades were – most understandingly – very well received and they’ll keep Grand Traverse in the forefront of U.S. golf destinations for many years to come. That was last year, this is now. (more…)

A big change is coming at Michigan’s Inn at Bay Harbor

[caption id="attachment_1267" align="alignnone" width="584"]The Inn at Bay Harbor is undergoing a three-stage renovation that will make it even more upscale. The Inn at Bay Harbor is undergoing a three-stage renovation that will make it even more upscale.[/caption] Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm BAY HARBOR, Michigan – This is anniversary time for Boyne Golf, the biggest golf course conglomerate in the Midwest. It has 10 courses among its three northern Michigan resorts and two are celebrating milestones in 2016. The Heather course at Boyne Highlands – the Robert Trent Jones Sr. design that got the golf boom started in the area – is marking its 50th season and the most upscale of the Boyne layouts – Bay Harbor – is marking its 20th season. (more…)

Here’s what’s new from some of our favorite travel destinations

[caption id="attachment_1241" align="alignnone" width="584"]Ziehm at LaCosta California’s famed LaCosta was one of our favorite stops during our coast to coast golf tour.[/caption] Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm Our latest, extended travels to golf destinations are over now, and they were unprecedented. We were basically on the road for six months - from Oct. 1 to April 10 - and made visits to destinations in Nebraska, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California. Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and Indiana. We covered about 14,000 miles on this all-driving odyssey and hit 18 destinations with a lengthy stay in Winter Haven, FL., in between - a period during which we tested a number of golf facilities in the Orlando area. All were chronicled in my reports and Joy’s photos. (more…)

America’s Golf Capital in Michigan? Why not?

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm THOMPSONVILLE, Mich. - Crystal Mountain Resort started as a community ski area in 1956. Golf didn’t come until 1977 when one of the owners, Bob Meyer, designed the first nine holes of what is now the Benzie Valley course. That course became an 18-holer a year later, and Bill Newcomb, a well-established Midwest course designer from Indiana, started work on the Mountain Ridge course 15 years later . It was also built nine holes at a time, and the 18-hole layout opened in 1994. It’s understandable that skiing would come first at such Michigan locations. Even now, golf staffers at Crystal Mountain point out that the resort can get 4,000 skiers through in one day compared to only 400 golfers. The numbers speak for themselves. [caption id="attachment_1043" align="alignnone" width="584"]There’s no snow on the ski slopes, but Crystal Mountain’s golf operation is in full swing. There’s no snow on the ski slopes, but Crystal Mountain’s golf operation is in full swing.[/caption] (more…)

Michigan’s Homestead could be ‘Most Beautiful’ for visiting golfers

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm GLEN ARBOR, Mich. – The Homestead is located in the heart of Michigan’s best golf areas, but it’s difficult to consider it a golf destination. There’s so many more attractions there, most notably Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. In 2011 ABC’s Good Morning America labeled that area "the Most Beautiful Place in America." It’d be pretty hard for a golf destination to compete with "America’s Most Beautiful Place," wouldn’t you agree? The Homestead welcome sign doesn’t even focus on golf. Instead, it proclaims itself as "America’s Freshwater Resort." Still, there’s good reasons to link The Homestead with golf. The facility has a 19-year history with the sport, dating to the creation of a nine-hole 1,200-yard par-3 course called Mountain Flowers. Bob Kuras, The Homestead’s owners, was one of its designers. (more…)

Next Tom Doak course is unique; it’ll play in two directions

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm ROSCOMMON, Mich. – The idea is at least intriguing. Tom Doak has designed a golf course that will have 18 greens and fairways but will play in two directions. The No. 18 green will always be the No. 18 green, but one day you play around to that green from a clock-wise direction, and the next day you do it in a counter-clockwise direction. Michigan’s respected Forest Dunes will get two new courses while building only one. Think about that — and a lot of people have. (more…)

Here and there: PGA happy with Harbor Shores’ changes

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm Golf courses generally get toughened up before they are used for a major professional tournament. That wasn’t the case at Harbor Shores, the Jack Nicklaus design in Benton Harbor, Mich., however. Harbor Shores has already hosted the Senior PGA Championship twice and has already been awarded that plum for 2016 and 2018. It’ll play differently for the future events. Bob McFeeter, managing director for the course, unveiled changes to six greens (Nos. 1. 2 and 6 on the front nine and Nos. 12, 14 and 16 on the back). Two fairways, at the sixth and 14th holes, also underwent some tweaking and beach sand at the No. 7 hole was replaced with regular bunker sand. (more…)

Gull Lake View Golf Club Brings a New Golf Experience to Southwest Michigan

[caption id="attachment_985" align="alignnone" width="584"]Gull Lake View & Renaissance Golf Design Left to right- Brian Schneider (Renaissance), Bill Johnson (VP, Gull Lake View), Charles Scott (CEO, Gull Lake View), Jon Scott (President, Gull Lake View), Eric Iverson (Renaissance), Brian Slawnik (Renaissance), Don Placek (Renaissance) not pictured.[/caption] Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort - known by golfers throughout the Midwest as a top stay and play venue - will be adding to the fun for all levels of golfers in 2016. It will open a new golf course on one of highest spots in Kalamazoo County with amazing views all around the course and vistas that rival those of northern Michigan or the mountains of Carolina. Traverse City-based Renaissance Golf Design will shape what has been tentatively dubbed Stoatin Brae (which means Grand Hill in Scottish Gaelic), adding to the 90 holes of memorable golf, practice facilities, restaurants and overnight lodging owned and operated by the Scott family at Gull Lake View Golf Club in Augusta, Mich. (more…)

New finishing holes enhance Michigan’s Crooked Tree

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm PETOSKEY, MI. - Boyne Resorts may be best known for skiing nationwide, but golf has never been just an afterthought. That was clearly evident this season when Boyne undertook two major projects simultaneously on its Michigan courses. [caption id="attachment_807" align="alignnone" width="584"]Crooked Tree’s No. 16 offers a spectacular view of Little Traverse Bay from the tee. (All photos courtesy of Boyne Golf). Crooked Tree’s No. 16 offers a spectacular view of Little Traverse Bay from the tee. (All photos courtesy of Boyne Golf).[/caption] (more…)