About Treetops ResortWith 81 holes, Treetops Resort in Gaylord is one of the world's largest resorts and one of the Midwest's finest getaways. Treetops offers 226 guest rooms and suites among five separate locations on property. There's also a spa and 25,000 square feet of meeting space. The six different dining options range from buffets to casual dining serving 17 beers on tap and 100 craft beers. Architects Robert Trent Jones Sr. (The Masterpiece), Tom Fazio (The Premier) and Rick Smith (Threetops, The Tradition and The Signature) all took advantage of the rolling landscape to create memorable golf.
Golf courses at Treetops Resort
Images from Treetops Resort
Entrance to Treetops at Night Photo submitted by EricTee on 09/12/2019
Threetops. #3 "Devils Drop" Photo submitted by EricTee on 09/12/2019
Photo submitted by plumlord on 08/23/2019
Photo submitted by plumlord on 08/23/2019
Sunset on 18 after playing our round Photo submitted by steelersnotredame107 on 07/07/2019
Treetops Golf Resort Photo submitted by TheGolfinGuy on 10/14/2018
Photo submitted by u00000760482 on 07/06/2017
2013 Folds of Honor Patriot Golf Day Shooyout Photo submitted by ReneNorton on 08/25/2015
2014 Folds of Honor Patriot Golf Day Shootout Photo submitted by ReneNorton on 08/25/2015
Photo submitted by shane8691396 on 07/16/2013
Photo submitted by shane8691396 on 07/16/2013
Photo submitted by shane8691396 on 07/16/2013
The course this year is already in great shape. The greens were true, the grass is healthy. And the view around the course is off the charts. The 5th hole par 5 may be the hardest hole in Michigan. Highly recommend to anyone.
out of the 4 courses in Tree tops this is the worst of all 4.
The greens were too slow and putts were not rolling.
Need to improve the course conditions and though the lay out ws very good
A Beautiful, Rare Construct. Highly Challenging Course.
This was the second year in a row that I joined some buddies to play Treetops. They had been going for years and they claimed that I'd be in for something I've never seen before and that I would love it. They were right.
If you love golf, you will love all of Treetops for its views, variety, and above all, some of the most challenging greens that you will ever experience. The most difficult among them you will find at Rick Smith's Signature Course. How challenging? Well, One of the best golfers in our group who is about a 13 handicap took a 5 putt on the 1st hole and endured eight 3 putts on his way to shooting a personal worst (a certain number over 100). It just wasn't his day and he was left beyond frustrated.
He and others will call the Signature's greens "gimmicky" and I cannot argue otherwise. If out of position, you WILL find there are literally almost impossible putts that will absolutely run off the putting surface and far away from your intended target.
On the other hand — at a 15 handicap — I managed to shoot 90 on the same day. I did this by managing my approach shots, away from bunkers, and pitching/chipping close and leaving the ball in position beneath the pin. (Nine 1 putts and only two 3 putts) with only 6 fairways hit and just one green in regulation So go figure and make of it what you will.
At any time, a course just is what it is and it's the same for all players (from the same tee box) There is a very good reason why this par 70 course has a rating of 71 and slope of 139 from the blue tees at only 6,285 yards. It's just super difficult!
Just know that if you aren't a scratch golfer (or better), you're almost certainly going to take a bigger number here than you are comfortable with, and I hope that you are able to appreciate and enjoy the difficulty and the unique experience the Architect, Rick Smith, was able to deliver. These diabolical undulations are an incredibly rare treat that is immensely difficult to plan, build and maintain. So as you are taking your third fourth or even fifth putt, think about this, laugh about it as your friends laugh with you and enjoy!
A Par 3 Must-See Must-Play Experience
If you find yourself at Treetops, do the right thing; Take a couple of hours and add the Threetops course to your plans. This is pure joy in the form of a Par 3 golf course carved out of the side of Mountain. An hour here feels like minutes so take your time. Soak it in. Take some pictures and enjoy! It's a breathtaking experience that I will not ever forget.
Enjoyable but slightly underwhelming
I came into my round hearing great things about the Signature course, but I walked away feeling a little underwhelmed. There are some good holes, but there are also some that are pretty pedestrian. The par 3s seemed particularly weak. The par 4s, however, were pretty fun for the most part. The variety between them was good. If you're looking for a round with a cart and lots of downhill tee shots, you'd be happy playing here. If you're concerned with architecture, there are some better courses in Michigan.
So sick. Caught me by surprise. Top 100 Public You Can Play
If this course was appropriately rated, it would be my 11th top 100 course I’ve played. So legit. Conditioning is FLAWLESS.
I will say that you don’t have to be a bomber and the fairways are most definitely generous but you have to have a good idea of where the stick is on the green. Some of the toughest putting surfaces anywhere. But the course isn’t long so you are able to always have a shot. I shot a 78 and I’m a 7.4 handicap. Had 4 birdies hit 6 doubles and 8 3 putts. Once you’ve seen the greens you’ll know why. It’s a well manicured Tobacco Road. Just so sick.
For the second year in a row our group played the Tradition, Premier, and Masterpiece (in that order), and for next year I will be recommending that we skip the Masterpiece. The conditioning was quite bad this year, and when combined with some really poorly designed holes, it's just not an enjoyable experience.
My main issue with the course is some really bad holes. It starts with the 3rd hole, where the fairway in the driving zone is domed and ejects all shots. Playing less than driver off of the tee is really the only option, leaving a mid- to long-iron into a sliver of a green. Despite a rainy spring, the greens played very firm, and this green kicked every one of our approach shots to the back section. This green does allow for a run-up shot, though, unlike many of the other holes. However, it's still one of the more difficult approaches, which is forced by the lack of options off of the tee.
The next hole, the par 3 4th, has been altered with a new green, as the original green has been turned into a practice area. The shot into the practice green is beautiful and framed perfectly by the woods. The alternate green, on the other hand, is a 180+ yard forced carry uphill with no fairway or run-up option, and surrounded by condos. The hole is unfinished, exactly as it was a year prior. It's a bad hole, and even more disappointing that nothing has been done to it in a year.
Up next, the par 5 5th is among the worst holes I've ever played. The fairway is domed and ejects drives down the right side into the woods, and down the left side into a deep ravine. The amount of holdable fairway on a drive has to be less than 10 yards wide. There is more room if playing less than driver, however the layup area has the same features as the rest of the fairway, kicking balls into the woods right and a ravine left. Because there are so few options for landing a ball safely on the hole, the pace of play bottlenecks here.
That 3-hole stretch is by far the worst, but even some of the better holes have problems. After the confusing blind uphill second shot on the par 5 10th, the 11th is a nice looking hole with an interesting drive around a left-hand bunker. Drives down the right side near the woods provides the best angle into a lot of the pins on the left side of the green. The firmness and ridge in the middle of the green make it near impossible to hold an approach, though, even with a wedge, negating any advantage from playing a good drive. The massively uphill green prevents any run-up shots, which would be required here.
The greens were in brutal shape, making it near impossible to hit a true putt. Some of the blue tee boxes were also in rough shape, or laughably sloped and uneven. I don't recall it being in bad shape last year, so this may be a temporary thing and doesn't bother me that much. Combined with the bad design, though, and I was ready for the round to end early.
Like the Premier and the Threetops course, there are some holes here with large downhill drops and great views, including the par 3 6th, and the short par 4 15th. For an extended first-time stay, I would recommend seeing the course and deciding for yourself. One play was enough for me, though, and two plays was too many. I'm hoping we won't come back to this one.
This is the most inexpensive of the courses at Treetops. We played between bouts of rain. There were only a couple other groups on the course at the time, so we didn't have to wait for anyone. In fact, we were able to tee off about a half hour early, which was great. The fairways are wide and well groomed. The greens were fast. Everything looked good and I'd definitely come play this course again.
I'll make the trip to play this course again!
We played between rainstorms, so the course was wet. It didn't change the fact that this course is gorgeous and very challenging. People think par 3's are easy and most times they are, however, this is not a typical par 3 course. The elevation changes from tee to green will have you guessing on your club distances. The hazards on each hole will punish every miss hit. I shot a terrible score, but loved every minute of it. I'll definitely make the drive back to Gaylord to play it again.
The Tradition does not have the dramatic views that the Premier and Masterpiece do, but is easily the most playable and subtly challenging. Between those three, the Tradition usually plays as the 2nd toughest behind the Masterpiece.
The fairways are generous and can be deceiving, as you still need to play to the right areas of the fairway to approach the greens. Playing an approach from a bad angle makes it tough to get close to the hole, and the greens have enough movement to make putts difficult. Along with the generous fairways, the max length of 6300 yards says easy course, but it's challenging without bashing you over the head like some of the courses at Treetops (*cough cough Masterpiece*).
The lack of cartpaths does make for a bumpy ride through the rough, but that's the natural side effect of not having cartpaths. I'm not a fan of cartpaths, but on the other hand with the course being so far from the clubhouse and the overall resort being heavy on golf cart use, it seems like the decision to make a walking course didn't really fit the location here.
Other than that, the course was in beautiful shape, the best out of the three we played. I thought this course was subtly good the first time I played it, and it confirmed that opinion again this year. I haven't played the Signature, but out of the other Treetops courses I enjoy this one the most.
Great Layout, but the Greens are a Disaster
The short story here is something happened to their greens this year and they are terrible. It looks like a chemical mishap, but the greens are a dark brown/almost black color and many of them are very bumpy. An employee told us it was something they did on purpose and it would be fixed in a few days, but nobody in our group was buying that. It kind of ruins the experience of what is an otherwise beautiful course. f you're coming to Treetops in 2019, I'd highly recommend playing on of their other courses. The other three courses are on a different piece of property and don't appear to have the same issue as Masterpiece.
Best of the Treetops Courses
I've played the Treetops courses a few times now and Premier is consistently my favorite. They are all great courses, but Premier is the best combination of all the great Treetops features. It has multiple huge drops from tee to green/fairway, the views are fantastic, and the course is in perfect shape. It is difficult, but not overly punishing like some people feel about the Masterpiece. If you're going to play one course at Treetops, I'd recommend Premier.
An enjoyable beating....
They need to replicate the Bethpage Black warning sign on thef first tee here. Hardest course I've ever played... simultaneously the most fun I've ever had. Only complaint pace of play was impacted by difficulty.5 1/2 round... But the course was so astonishing I simply didn't care.....staff was awesome course was in pristine shape....I highly recommend this beating..
Everything N.MI Golf Should Be
First time playing the Masterpiece, and I will be back for sure. Cart staff was friendly and accommodating. I got to the course early enough to warm up on the range first, and the complimentary range balls were a plus. I played as a single, but was able to play through several groups ahead. Course was in great condition for an early spring round. Greens rolled very true. Bunkers needed some attention, but with a large group of old timers in a league ahead I suspect is was more the groups before not raking than the course. Great layout with scenic views on almost every hole. This track lives up to the hype.
Treetops Golf Resort in Gaylord Michigan – Some of Northern Michigan’s Best Golf.
Treetops Golf Resort is probably the most recognizable golf resort in Northern Michigan. With 81 spectacular holes of golf, over 238 hotel rooms and condos, a spa, salon and over 25,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, it’s no wonder Treetops Resort is a popular venue for business conferences, reunions and weddings. In the winter, it’s a fantastic ski resort, with 23 expertly groomed ski runs, exciting terrain and 20 kilometers of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. During the summer, it’s not all about golf, although there is plenty of it. There are plenty of other family activities include mountain biking, fly fishing, tennis, disc golf and horseback riding.
As a golf resort, Treetops Resort is not without its share of accolades from the golf world. Golf Magazine has awarded it their Silver Medal Award as one of the finest resorts in the United States, 7-times. In 2002, Treetops was ranked #32 in America's Top 75 Golf Resorts by Golf Digest and in June 2000, Conde Nast Traveler recognized them as one of the Top 50 International Resorts. Only Pinehurst and Pebble Beach were ranked higher for Golf Design by Conde Nast that year. Each year, Treetops has been consistently awarded at least 4 stars by Golf Digest Places to Play. Three of the industry’s top golf architects – Tom Fazio (Premier), Robert Trent Jones Sr. (Masterpiece) and Rick Smith (Signature, Tradition and Threetops) have all put their names on courses at Treetops.
The Jones Masterpiece Course is the only course located on the main resort property and was the first course built at Treetops. The Masterpiece Course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and is the most scenic of the group, which is saying something. Many people believe that if there was one course that put Gaylord on the map as a golf destination, this is the one. At 147, Masterpiece has one of the highest slope ratings in all of Michigan, so it’s going to require your strict attention, but not so much that you can’t take in the beautiful scenery as you make your way around. In fact, it’s the scenery that makes the Masterpiece such a hit with the ladies. Ask any woman you see on the course what she remembers most about the course and it will most likely have nothing to do with pin placement or forced carries, it will be about the scenery, specifically the leaves changing color if the question is posed in the fall.
If you keep the ball under control and don’t try and bite off more than you can chew, you can score well here, especially on the par 5s. From the White tees, they play anywhere from 435 – 500 yards, so getting there isn’t the problem. The problem is keeping the ball in the fairway. Number 6 is a memorable par three that plays 162 yards from the Blue tees, but actually up to 4 clubs less because of the 120 ft. drop and the wind. This is the hole that put golf in Northern Michigan on the map. Practice facilities at the Jones Masterpiece Course include a grass driving range, short game area with practice bunker, and putting green. Regardless of how you play, it’s hard to not enjoy your round on the Jones Masterpiece Course.
The other three courses can be found at Treetops North, about a 7-minute drive up the road.
The Signature was the second 18-hole layout built on the resort property. It was also the first golf course design of Rick Smith who then went on to design the Tradition Course and Threetops. All three courses are located at Treetops North. Smith used insight and knowledge from his trips to Scotland and Ireland to help him shape the Signature Course, giving it the feel of some of the world’s best courses. The Signature has received several honors, including recognition by Golf Magazine as one of the Midwest’s best courses. As with the other courses at Treetops, you’ll find rolling hills, sand traps, and elevation changes, both up and down. With all of its magnificent views, The Signature Course may be the most photographed course at the resort. It is the overwhelming favorite of both locals and visitors. At 420 yards from the Blue Tees, Number 13 is one of the most challenging holes on the entire property. It plays uphill making it even longer than the stated yardage. Favor the left side off the tee for the best angle into the green. Take at least on extra club to get there and avoid the two bunkers on the right side.
The Premier Course at Treetops Resort is the only Tom Fazio-designed golf course in the state of Michigan and is as challenging as it is forgiving. When asked which hole on the course was his favorite, Fazio, who was handpicked by Rick Smith to design The Premier Course, replied, “All of them!” The Premier is very “player-friendly” with many wide open rolling fairways, some of which are bowl-shaped, which helps correct errant tee shots. Such is the case on the par 4, 7th hole that plays 333 yards from the Blue tees. The slopes on either side of the fairway funnel the ball back to the middle. Don’t let the short length fool you; it will take 1 - 3 extra clubs to get to the green. Make sure you take enough to get there; you don’t want to be short. Water rears its ugly head on only one hole – the par 3 11th. Keep it left off the tee and the slope should bring it back to the green. Fives sets of tees offer yardages from 4,945 to 6,832 making the course playable for golfers of all levels.
Threetops: If you’re looking to take the kids to a par 3 course where they can learn the game, this isn’t that place! Threetops is the former site of the ESPN Par 3 Shootout and has challenged the likes of Nicklaus, Palmer, Mickelson, Couples and Floyd. The 7th hole is where Lee Trevino had his $1,000,000 hole-in-one. Designed by renowned teacher Rick Smith, every hole is unique, and course conditions are the same as any of the championship 18-hole courses on the property. Seven of the nine holes play downhill – some extremely downhill - and water comes into play on one hole, the 6th. From the back tees the holes play between 140 and 219 yards although the latter is straight downhill and plays more in the 155 yard range. Getting on the greens is the easy part; making a one – or in many cases a two – putt can be quite the challenge. Some of the greens are severe, there’s a lot of undulation and break that you may not see at first glance. Threetops is a must play if you’re on a golf trip to Gaylord, whether you are staying at Treetops or somewhere else. Stop by, relax and enjoy the best that God’s Country has to offer. You can get around Threetops in about 90 minutes.
Two other qualities necessary to qualify as a great golf resort are good dining options – preferably with a good assortment of adult beverages – and amicable accommodations. On either point, Treetops does not disappoint. As for dining options, Treetops offers three restaurants, all located within steps of each other: Legends on the Hill, Hunter's Grille and the Sports Bar. Between the three, they offer over 100 craft beers and are committed to introducing guests to Michigan craft beers and wines. The food is outstanding and, in many respects, unique. The Sports Bar serves Poutine, I’m sure to quell the appetites of their Canadian guests. Hunter’s Grille offers Irish Nachos, an appetizer that could be easily be considered a meal. Slices of crispy baked potato slices topped with corned beef, white cheddar, mozzarella, Thousand Island dressing and sour cream. Absolutely delicious.
As far as the rooms in the lodge go, I’ve never stayed in anything as large that wasn’t a suite. Rooms are equipped with a refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker as well as a work area and large flat screen TV. Bathrooms are extra large and feature a large, walk-in shower. Also in the lodge is an indoor pool, hot tubs and a fitness center as well as the Treetops Spa. Bar 81 is located on the main floor and has a number of TVs, making it a perfect spot to relax with your favorite beverage and watch your favorite sports team after a round of golf.
Pace of play biggest issue
This not normal for Treetops to have slow pace of play. Course easily played in 4 to 4:15 hours. It took 1 hour to play the first three holes and improved some only after we called the resort, in the end we played in 4 hours 40 minutes which caused us to rush to the Masterpiece. If the ranger had not got the group moving likely would have been over 5 hours. We did have late start due to weather was supposed to 15 minute delay was 45 minutes because the group in front of us couldn't decide on teams and get going. I would like to play this course again with better pace of play instead of hit and wait. Note the amount paid is unknown it was part of package.
Hotel not worth it
We stayed at Tree Tops Resort for our anniversary trip away and golfed two rounds of golf. The courses had some nice elevation views and shots. The staff at the 2 courses we played at were very nice. The ranger was really nice and informative about the pace as it was very slow. But that's about the nicest thing I've got to say about this whole place. The hotel rooms were clean but not impressive at all. The door jams on the outside belcony were falling off. The door to out room didn't shut all the way and you could hear everything from the hallways. The beds were not comfortable. The food at the three restaurants that are at the hotel was way overpriced and not good. The only good part of the food was breakfast because we had free vouchers. The waiter at the hunters had no clue about the products he sold and once he gave us one drink we never seen him again and had to go to the bar to get out tab. I could go on and on but I won't. I just know that for me to spend 1000.00 to stay and play I definitely do not feel it was worth that kinda money. Won't be back
It had been too long...
I hadn't played the Jones course since the late 90's. I will not wait that long again. This track was not only the first at Treetops, it was the pretty much the one that put northern MI on the golf map. I've played just about every course in and around Gaylord and this course and the Fazio Premier are still the two finest ones in the area. Unlike some other strong designs in the area (Otsego Club Tribute, Black Forest) this resort continues to maintain the course - conditions on Sunday afternoon of Labor Day weekend were outstanding. It is still very demanding, maybe the toughest course in the area, but the views tend ease the harshness of the layout. I had my best ball striking stretch of the season on the back nine and still posted a score that's higher than normal for me. Pace of play was ok - 4hrs 35 minutes on Labor Day Sunday, and they were booked solid. We paid retail - $80, but I still don't think that's a bad value considering the experience.
Good Course/Needs Maintenance/Rangers lie
First I like playing Premier very challenging course and excellent layout (second the amount is not correct since we paid past part of package). I would say Management needs to review the sand traps and have relined/repaired. They have large stones in them which too me is unacceptable for course of this quality and with how much they do charge. Second we had an encounter with Ranger saying we were 25 minutes off pace (hole 9) and we were 4 holes behind the next group, in addition there were three groups waiting on number 8 the hole we had just previously played.. Some minor protest by us we continued and sped up our play (which wrecked our game for awhile). After review we looked at our approximate start tee time and 4 hour 35 minute of pace of play we were off pace maybe few minutes. If we used the Ranger's time we were perhaps maybe at most 5 minutes off pace. In regards to the 3 groups waiting on the 8th hole that was false as our second group said no one came up on them when they were teeing off (which would be required if groups stacked up). We also waited for our second group on 18 and no one came on the tee why they were on the green or as we added up scores. We also spoke to group that played the Signature around the same time and received the same information word for word. My recommendation is mark your start of the first ball you hit on your scorecard and when you see them getting after you about pace of play you can in whatever politeness you would like to use tell them to leave you alone. If I play this course again and receive the same treatment I will let the Ranger know to leave and stop bothering us (I may consider slowing down). I may not be very kind with my rebuttal the next time approached by Ranger at Treetops with off pace of play if not off pace.