Grand Traverse Resort & Spa - The Bear Course

4.7500000000 4.8 stars from 5 (4)
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 7078 yards
  • Slope: 148
  • Rating: 76.3
  • Layout

  • 100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd, Acme, Michigan 49610, Grand Traverse County
  • (800) 748-0303, (231) 534-6000
  • (231) 534-6474
  • grandtraverseresort.com
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Year built: 1985
Architect(s): Jack Nicklaus (1985)
Type: Resort
Style: Links
Greens: Bent Grass
Fairways: Bent Grass
Golf Season: Open: 4/15 Closed: 10/31

Rentals/Services

Carts: Yes - included in green fees
Clubs: Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving range: Yes
Pitching/chipping area: Yes
Putting green: Yes
Indoor practice facilities: Yes
Simulator: Yes
Teaching pro: Yes
Golf school / academy: Yes

Policies

Metal spikes allowed: No
Dress code: Slacks, shorts and collared shirts are permitted. Denim, tee shirts and cut off shorts are not allowed.
Credit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard, Amex Welcomed

Tees | Layout | Full Scorecard

Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Black 72 7078 yards 76.3 148
Blue 72 6601 yards 73.2 144
White 72 6122 yards 71.2 140
Red 72 5281 yards 73.4 139

Rating Snapshot

Average Rating 4.8 stars from 5
Off-Course Amenities: 5.0 stars from 5
Value: 4.2 stars from 5
Pace of Play: 4.8 stars from 5
Staff Friendliness: 4.8 stars from 5
Course Layout: 4.0 stars from 5
Course Conditions: 5.0 stars from 5
Rating Breakdown 4 Reviews
5 stars:
3
4 stars:
1
3 stars:
0
2 stars:
0
1 stars:
0

recommend this course

4 out of 4 reviews


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Reviews


Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender

"Tough course with lots of variety"



4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/05/2016
First time playing Used cart Played 18 holes Fair weather

Reviewed on

After playing The Wolverine Course here at the Grand Traverse Resort, I was surprised at how much more difficult The Bear course played from its neighbor - even from the forward tees! Every hole seemed quite different from the last with different challenges to boot but even struggling through hot temperatures , the variety of hole layouts kept it fun. The first hole on The Bear is the only somewhat easy par, but only if you can avoid the moguls. After that, pars are much trickier to come by thanks to multi-tiered greens, deep, difficult bunkers and lots of thick waste areas and water, The forced carries and /or water hazards are visually intimidating on most holes but particularly on 14 and 18. This beautiful finishing hole plays downhill back to the clubhouse with another carry over water to a large green.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Must play in Traverse City"


Iamdiesel18's avatar
Top 500 Contributor
Illinois Advisor
Age:  25-34
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/11/2015
First time playing

Reviewed on

The staff was extremely friendly and helpful with booking the tee time over the phone, checking in, preparing the cart, and getting me started.

I golfed as a single with a tee time around 4 in the afternoon. I checked in early (over 1 hour early) and was informed by the starter that the course was wide open and I could head out as soon as I wanted. The starter was very helpful and knowledgeable. I told him what my handicap was and asked him which tees he would recommend I play from (14 handicap and he recommended the white tees). He also recommended having some type of range finder or gps device in order to play The Bear. He was 100% correct about that.

The course is as difficult as advertised. Look up reviews all over the Internet and they all say it is one of, if not the hardest golf course in all of Michigan. Every hole on this course has lots of danger whether it is water, waste areas, or huge, deep bunkers. Thankfully I had my rangefinder with me so that I could figure out distances to bunkers, water, etc. if you don't have a rangefinder, download a gps app before playing this course. You WILL need to use it in order to save yourself lots of lost balls and penalty strokes.

The course itself was in great shape. Each hole has character and no two holes are the same. Almost every hole has some type of forced carry whether it is off the tee or into the green. The greens were the best I have played on all year. They are fast and each green has tons of character with multiple tiers. If you land on the right tier, plenty of 1 putts are there for the taking. Likewise, if you are on the wrong tier, expect a lot of 3 putts.

If you want to play a course that has wide fairways and you can hit your driver off of every tee, go somewhere else. I probably hit my 3 hybrid off of the tee more than anything else in my bag. I spoke to the starter again after my round and he called it a thinking man's course. If you want a course just to hit driver off of every hole, he recommended The Wolverine, calling it a "true resort style course."

I will definitely play this course again when I come back to Traverse City. I got in my round in about 3 hours. The rates drop and are reasonable around 3:30 in the afternoon. Based on the other courses I have played in the Traverse City area, this was in the best shape by far.

Friendly tip/heads up: It was very windy and got more and more windy as the day went on. The starter advised it is always relatively calm in the morning but the wind will start whipping off of the lake in the afternoon.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Quality of food & beverage: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"It's right up there..."


pmymdac's avatar
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/14/2015
First time playing Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes

Reviewed on

... with the best courses I've played in Michigan. We played on a drizzly day so the course was wide open and we got round in 3.5 hours. Greens are excellent and you will do well to average 2-putts or better. Fairways extremely generous and rough not so difficult as long as you stay out of the thick stuff. It's not as difficult as its reputation (the Bear didn't bite me) and it makes for a very enjoyable round.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Average

Quality of food & beverage: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Golden Bear Does it Again"


Dylan2614308's avatar
Michigan Advisor
Age:  Under 25
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  0-4

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 05/24/2014
First time playing Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

Jack Nicklaus does it again. he never stops amazing people with his golf talent, now this time in golf course architecture. The design is perfect. Many of these up north courses have some filler holes here and there to get you to their sigature hole. This one however, has none. EVERY hole is a picture hole.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Quality of food & beverage: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



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