HARRIS, Mich. -- Following years of design and development, the much-anticipated Sweetgrass Golf Club – the newest amenity at the Island Resort & Casino – has been unveiled along the rolling, windswept hills of the Upper Peninsula.
Owned and operated by the Hannahville Band of the Potawatomi Nation, a blessing highlighted the opening ceremony, which also included recognition to all involved with the development and a traditional lighting of the flame that sits next to the 10th tee. Known as the Keepers of the Fire, the Firekeeper will be honored by a flame on cool mornings – one of many subtle and indirect references to their proud history to be found on this championship layout.
Designer Paul Albanese honored Tribal legend throughout the process. An island green, which fit within the parameters of the land and jibed with the resort’s name, pays homage to the turtle – a creature Indian legend holds in high esteem for its longevity and wisdom.
Wispy native grasses wave in the breeze at Sweetgrass and sand bunkers and water hazards are strategically positioned to defend the course. Historic bridges “rescued” from around the region and beautifully crafted rockwork lend a unique look and feel to the design.
The course stretches to 7,300 yards from the tips, promising to challenge the best golfers, while the beginner-friendly forward tees measure a modest 5,000 yards. In all, five sets of tees accommodate golfers of all levels.
“Sweetgrass Golf Club is truly a unique experience and we’re extremely proud to introduce the course to our guests here at the Island Resort & Casino,” says General Manager Tom McChesney. “Paul Albanese and his team did amazing work and the finished product is not only beautiful, but also a true test of golf.”
In addition to an island green, Biarritz and Redan greens await golfers and fans of golf course architecture alike. Sweetgrass also features a pair of majestic waterfalls splitting the fairways of the ninth and 18th holes, which culminate on a massive shared green – measuring nearly 22,000 sq. ft.
Golfers can be among the first to enjoy Sweetgrass Golf Club via the Perfect 4-Some, which starts at $229 and includes three rounds of championship golf and two nights at the Island Resort & Casino. This value-laden package allows golfers the opportunity to play nearby Greywalls and TimberStone golf clubs, as well.
Off the golf course, the resort recently introduced the luxurious Palm Tower that adds 162 spacious, well-appointed rooms and luxurious penthouse suites to the existing Sun Tower’s 113 rooms. Additionally, the Island Showroom hosts national acts, Club Four One nightclub and the Beachcomber Restaurant & Bar welcome guests looking to dine or quench their thirst, and the Vegas-style gaming floor was expanded with an additional 500 slot machines.
Located in the unspoiled beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Sweetgrass Golf Club is easily accessible via a pair of regional airports in Escanaba and Marquette.
For more information on Sweetgrass Golf Club and Island Resort & Casino visit www.islandresortandcasino.com or call 800-682-6040, ext. 2125.
About Island Resort & Casino
Offering Las Vegas-style gaming, the Island Resort & Casino – located 1 hour south of Marquette, Mich., and 2 hours north of Green Bay, Wisc. – is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and features Craps, Blackjack, Let-It-Ride Bonus, Spanish 21, Roulette, Three-Card Poker and Four-Card Poker. In addition, there are more than 1,400 slot machines, Live Poker and Live Keno. The Bingo Hall is open 7 days a week. The Island Resort and Casino offers 275 rooms, ranging from standard to luxurious suites. The Island Showroom seats more than 1,300 people for headliners such as Martina McBride, Gretchen Wilson, Trace Adkins, Blues Brothers and Michael Bolton. Dining options include the Firekeeper’s Restaurant, Beachcomber Restaurant & Bar, Coral Reef Grille and Bingo Snack Bar. Live music in the lounge, a swimming pool and conference center are other popular resort offerings.
Rob Thomas; Buffalo Communications
Dan Shepherd; Buffalo Communications