Matt Ginella (left) teed it up at Forest Dunes with Course Superintendent Jim Bluck, one of the top grass growers and groomers in Michigan. (Courtesy of Golf Channel) The 14th hole is the shortest par 4 at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. (Brandon Tucker/GolfAdvisor) Water hazards, such as this one, make The Bear at Grand Traverse Resort one of America's toughest golf courses.  (Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor) Forest Dunes Golf Course's front nine plays through tall pines and has been compared to Augusta National. (Brandon Tucker/GolfAdvisor)

Top northern Michigan course experiences highlight Matt Ginella's Golf Channel journey

Golf Channel's Matt Ginella played with some of northern Michigan's most interesting people on some of its best courses during a recent journey.

Ginella teed it up at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon with Course Superintendent Jim Bluck, a man widely recognized as one of the state's best grass grower and groomer. Forest Dunes is moving forward with construction of a Tom Doak course to complement its spectacular Tom Weiskopf course. No doubt, Bluck will help it blossom during a grow-in that could start later this year.

Ginella and Rick Smith -- the managing partner at Treetops Resort in Gaylord, most famous for his days working with Phil Mickelson -- had fun on camera reminiscing about the nationally televised par-3 shootout held for many years at Threetops, the unique nine-holer Smith designed.

Smith, who still teaches a number of PGA Tour pros, also had a hand in designing the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club, Ginella's final stop along Lake Michigan. This majestic course has everything a true links should -- dunes, fescue, double greens, sod-wall bunkers and somebody to play the bagpipes. Just plug the ears if it's Ginella.

There are many other highlights in northern Michigan Ginella didn't have time to see. Grand Traverse Resort & Spa near Traverse City, Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, the three Boyne USA Resorts and several other properties in the area have banded together to promote themselves as "America's Summer Golf Capital."

Wherever you are in this rugged region four hours north of Detroit, there's always another tee-time waiting.

Aug 05, 2014

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.