Grand Traverse Resort & Spa - The Bear Course

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Ratings Index
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4.7
6
5 Stars
5
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Staff Friendliness
5.0
Pace
5.0
Amenities
5.0
Conditions
5.0
Value
3.7
Layout
4.7
100.0%
Recommend this course
6 out of 6 reviews
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Ratings Index
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4.7
6
5 Stars
2
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Staff Friendliness
5.0
Pace
5.0
Amenities
5.0
Conditions
5.0
Value
3.5
Layout
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
2 out of 2 reviews
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Golf Advisor Icon
Ratings Index
Tooltip Information Icon
4.7
6
5 Stars
2
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Staff Friendliness
5.0
Pace
5.0
Amenities
5.0
Conditions
5.0
Value
3.5
Layout
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
2 out of 2 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Par 72
Length 7078
Slope 150
Rating 76.1
Type Resort
Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Black 72 7078 yards 76.1 150
Blue 72 6601 yards 73.3 147
Blue/White 72 6347 yards 72.0 144
White 72 6122 yards 71.1 139
White (W) 72 6122 yards 77.8 150
White/Yellow 72 5688 yards 69.2 134
White/Yellow (W) 72 5688 yards 74.9 145
Yellow 72 5281 yards 67.0 128
Yellow (W) 72 5281 yards 73.1 139
Scorecard for The Bear
Metrics:
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Black M: 76.1/150 393 451 528 194 413 532 423 386 181 3501 505 421 413 167 390 543 451 220 467 3577 7078
Blue M: 73.3/147 364 407 528 151 376 532 364 386 168 3276 505 364 367 150 390 543 391 188 427 3325 6601
Blue/White M: 72.0/144 364 390 472 151 376 471 364 386 168 3142 505 364 355 150 347 543 367 188 386 3205 6347
White M: 71.1/139 W: 77.8/150 340 390 472 135 376 471 364 351 142 3041 446 364 355 134 347 494 367 188 386 3081 6122
White/Yellow M: 69.2/134 W: 74.9/145 340 346 472 135 336 435 364 351 117 2896 446 304 301 134 347 427 324 155 354 2792 5688
Yellow M: 67.0/128 W: 73.1/139 301 346 425 98 336 435 328 271 117 2657 375 304 301 93 291 427 324 155 354 2624 5281
Handicap 11 3 15 13 1 17 5 7 9 18 4 6 12 16 14 2 8 10
Par 4 4 5 3 4 5 4 4 3 36 5 4 4 3 4 5 4 3 4 36 72
Handicap (W) 13 3 5 17 7 1 9 15 11 6 12 10 18 16 2 8 14 4

Course Details

Year Built 1985
Fairways Bent Grass
Greens Bent Grass
Golf Season Open: 4/15 Closed: 10/31
Architect Jack Nicklaus (1985) Wadsworth Golf Construction (1985)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes - included in green fees
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Golf Simulator Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Indoor Practice Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard, Amex Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Dress code Slacks, shorts and collared shirts are permitted. Denim, tee shirts and cut off shorts are not allowed.

Reviews

4.7
6

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
19th Hole Scenic Views 3
Drinks 3
Patio Dining 3
Course Challenges Include:
Bunkers 3
Elevation Changes 3
Forced Carries 3
This course/club is great for:
A Bucket list/Top 100 Pick 3
A Weekend Splurge 3
Group Getaways 3
This Course's Location is:
At a Resort 3
Convenient to the City 3
Near Local Attractions 2
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

BIG Bear

Played this as our opening round of a 16-man, 5-round weekend and I must say it was tough. The name "The Bear," though signifies distance, and this course was not overly long (we played at the 6500 tees, the tips were roughly 7000), maybe a name along the lines of Loki would have been more appropriate as the Bear was the trickiest course we've seen. The fairways are not too difficult to stripe one down to good position, but the greens are like a medieval fortress daring you enter and then ambushing you with hidden traps, false fronts and sand-traps that seemingly eat-up every shot that isn't perfect. The facilities are some of the nicest out there (aside from a metropolis-looking hotel that does not fit with the scenery) and the staff was fantastic. If you normally shoot in the 90s, your mental health may be better served playing The Bear's little brother in the Wolverine. Players in the 70s-80s should expect to hit outside of their handicap, but it is definitely worth the challenge.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Excellent
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Good
Course Layout Excellent
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 1000 Contributor
Previously Played
Windy weather
Used cart

Beautiful and long course

The Bear will challenge you in many ways, but the conditioning and views will make your experience here wonderful. It's a tough test, playing much longer than average courses, but if you're able to hit your long irons and avoid the pot bunkers, this course gets a little easier. The greens are always in fantastic shape and will roll true. There are a lot of protected greens and forced carries, penalizing inaccurate players. I've never paid full price to play The Bear (I've always found deals) and I'm not sure that I would. It's a fantastic course, but there are courses I could have much more fun at for less than this rate. I would definitely recommend everyone play this course at least once. It's fun to work your way through this puzzle Jack Nicklaus has laid out in this beautiful city.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Excellent
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Average
Course Layout Excellent
Played On
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Fair weather
Used cart

Tough course with lots of variety

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.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Excellent
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Good
Course Layout Good
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Illinois Advisor
Top 250 Contributor
First Time Playing

Must play in Traverse City

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.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Quality of food & beverage Excellent
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Excellent
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Excellent
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Used cart

It's right up there...

... 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.
Staff Friendliness Good
Quality of food & beverage Good
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Excellent
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Average
Played On
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Golden Bear Does it Again

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.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Quality of food & beverage Excellent
Pace of Play Good
Off-course amenities Excellent
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Excellent

Stay & Play Offers

$110 Starting price
Valid dates: Aug 13, 2018 - Dec 31, 2019
The Penn Ohio Golf Trail consists of courses mainly in Western PA and Northeast Ohio. What sets us apart is that we offer 29 different courses; including 4 private, members-only country clubs, 2 former LPGA courses, and many of the top courses in Ohio and Pennsylvania (including Pennsylvania’s #1 public course – Olde Stonewall). We offer 4 Mansions (for groups of 2 to 36), 10 hotels and customer service beyond any major resort. Our Mansions feature large common areas, pool tables, poker tables, big screen TV’s with the luxury of the entire group together in a large home setting.
Course Layout
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