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Published: Monday, 5/15/2006

Golf: Numerous venues offer stay-where-you-play opportunities

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Water can become a factor on No. 8 at The Legacy in Ottawa Lake, Mich. The Island Resort there can provide golfers with lodging as they attempt to conquer the course.
Water can become a factor on No. 8 at The Legacy in Ottawa Lake, Mich. The Island Resort there can provide golfers with lodging as they attempt to conquer the course.
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With gasoline prices pretty much stuck at three levels high, higher, and highest golfers may be having second thoughts about lengthy trips to feed their habits this summer.

Filling the tank for drives to Pinehurst, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, the Outer Banks, the Poconos, and maybe even the marvelous collection of resort courses in northern Michigan might be biting off more than most care to chew.

How about some golf get-aways closer to home, maybe so close that one tank of gas will get you there and back?

Maumee Bay State Park, of course, is no secret to area golfers with its championship golf course and various forms of lodging. Neither is The Legacy just north of the Ohio-Michigan line, although its complex of cottages may be a better-kept secret.

The Island Resort at The Legacy features 20 two-story cottages, each of which can sleep up to 12 people. The cottages are built in a horseshoe around a lake in the southwest corner of the property, near Nos. 13 and 14 on the Arthur Hills-designed golf course. For information on stay-and-play golf packages, visit legacyislandresort.com.

Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon features another Hills-designed course, this one offering a taste of Scottish links golf, as well as beaches, trails, fishing and boating opportunities. The park s lodge has 120 guest rooms in addition to cottages and campsites. Lodging information is available toll-free at 1-800-282-7275.

A bit farther east near Huron, Ohio, is Sawmill Creek. This resort features a par-71, Tom Fazio-designed golf course nestled amid marshes just off Lake Erie. The lodge at Sawmill Creek offers 240 rooms and suites as well as dining facilities.

For information on overnight golf packages, visit sawmillcreek.com.

Two other Ohio destinations merit mentions, although they are not quite as convenient to the Toledo area.

Quail Hollow Resort near Painesville, northeast of Cleveland, features two fine golf courses wrapped around a Marriott Renaissance Hotel. Atwood Lake Resort in Dellroy, southeast of Canton, has a 104-room inn as well as lakeside cottages to go along with a hilly, well-forested 18-hole golf course and a nine-hole, lighted par-3 course.

As for Michigan, there are alternatives to driving as far north as the golf-rich Gaylord, Traverse City, and Charlevoix County areas.

Plus, you ve always wanted to play Augusta, right?

They don t award green jackets and this Augusta is barely a dot on the map between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, yet it is the address for two splendid golf resorts.

Gull Lake View Resort offers 90 holes of golf with all five courses receiving at least four stars by Golf Digest s rating system.

The two oldest courses, Gull Lake East and West, meander through woods and hilly terrain and turn back the clock to when 6,000 yards from the tips was considered a long test.

Newer courses Stonehedge North and South both max out at more than 6,600 yards. The fifth course, Bedford Valley, has hosted every major state PGA and amateur tournament through the years.

The Fairway Villas are nestled in the woods overlooking the Gull Lake East course and offer affordable stay-and-play packages that include unlimited golf on all five courses. For information, visit gulllakeview.com.

Also located in Augusta is the Yarrow Golf and Convention Center, featuring the Golf Club at Yarrow that stretches to 7,005 yards and owns a formidable 133 slope rating from that distance. Opened in 2002, it was designed by Raymond Hearn, who also did the well-regarded layout for The Grande course near Jackson, Mich. Yarrow is challenging for skilled golfers and playable for high-handicap golfers with middle tees at about 6,200 yards to go with wide fairways and large greens.

Yarrow s lodge has 42 standard rooms and three suites with one-night packages that start at $99 per person and include overnight accommodations, breakfast, and one round of golf. For information, visit yarrowgolf.com.

Closer to home is the Eagle Crest Conference Resort in Ypsilanti.

The golf course and conference center are owned by Eastern Michigan University and are adjacent to the Ypsilanti Marriott Hotel. For golf package information, visit eaglecrestresort.com.

Contact Dave Hackenberg at: dhack@theblade.com or 419-724-6398.



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