Golf News for Wednesday, February 20, 2013 | Courses

Michigan's Sweetgrass Golf Club prepares for robust 2013 after record growth

HARRIS, Mich. -- Sweetgrass Golf Club in Michigan's Upper Peninsula realized a 10 percent sales increase in golf rounds and packages last year, providing strong momentum as it opens its 2013 tee sheet this month.

Bucking the national flat-to-negative growth trend among public courses, Sweetgrass has maintained the double-digit growth pattern for the third year in a row.

"We're seeing significant gains in groups of 8, 12 and 20 looking for a cool summer spot to play, at very favorable rates," says Tom McChesney, CEO of the Island Resort & Casino that owns and operates the golf course. "With the ability to play, stay at the resort, and enjoy the dining and entertainment options at the casino, it's an easy sell to many Midwest golfers."

Outstanding course design by Michigander Paul Albanese, rankings by national golf publications and positive reviews by professional golfers and spectators during the Island Resort Championship (A Symetra- Road to the LPGA tournament held at Sweetgrass) have sparked the course's success, the resort reports.

Return visitors cite favorable rates (found at, a dedication to quality course conditioning, and the resort's overall offering as reasons to book a stay again in 2013. The Perfect 4-Some golf package, which includes golf at Sweetgrass and play at two other local courses with overnight stays at the resort, is repeatedly listed as one of the best golf deals in Michigan.

"At a time when competition is at an all-time high, it's great to see the ongoing support of Sweetgrass and our packages," says McChesney. "We're happy to continue our program to offer quality golf at a fair price, knowing golfers have many choices and they remain loyal to us."

Sweetgrass-bound golfers will enjoy early spring and late fall value packages via the resort's new seasonal rate system. Golf groups benefit from a dedicated on-site golf concierge and VIP room, and can use the new 5 Bridges Restaurant and Pub as their own 19th hole.

In addition, the resort has begun renovations to 100+ Sun Tower guest rooms to update decor, bathrooms and in-room entertainment features. The Palm Tower rooms, which opened in early 2010 and include a series of suites, will serve as the main lodging option during the renovation.

In the past year, Sweetgrass was named a top-20 public course in Michigan by GOLF Magazine and Golfweek, among hundreds available in the golf-rich state, and is widely recognized as a top golf-and-gaming facility in America.

For more information regarding Sweetgrass, including online yardage guides, rates and course information, see

About Sweetgrass and the Island Resort & Casino
Owned and operated by the Hannahville Indian Community, a band of the Potawatomi Nation, Sweetgrass Golf Club and the Island Resort & Casino are located in the unspoiled beauty of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The Sweetgrass Golf Club, site of the 2011-13 Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass (a Symetra Tour stop), was designed by Paul Albanese, a Michigan-native. It was named a Top 20 Courses You Can Play in Michigan by GOLF Magazine in late 2012, and Best New Course by Golfweek magazine in 2009. For more information, see or via Facebook.

Boasting more than 1,200 slot machines and 24/7 Vegas-style gaming, the Island Resort & Casino ( offers craps, Blackjack, roulette, poker and more. The Island hosts top musical acts from a variety of musical genres. Dining options include the Firekeeper's Restaurant, 5 Bridges, and Coral Reef Grille. Live music in the lounge, the Club Four One nightclub, a swimming pool and conference center are other popular resort offerings. The property is easily accessible via a pair of regional airports in Escanaba and Marquette.

Dan Shepherd
Buffalo Communications

Janeen Driscoll
Buffalo Communications