With nearly 900 golf courses throughout Michigan, many of those fine tracks can be found in the eastern Upper Peninsula, specifically in the Sault Sainte Marie area.
RVers will appreciate the three parks within Sault Sainte Marie city limits. You’ll find Soo Locks Campground and Aune-Osborn Campground located right in town on the picturesque St. Mary’s River. Each campground offers 100 sites and endless views of ships coming and going. Both are quite and relaxing locations and their proximity to town make them a popular choice. Reservations during the summer are recommended.
A few miles down the road but still within the city is the Kewadin Casino Hotel and Campground, which offers 75 sites. This, too, is in high demand during late spring and summer.
The Soo, as Sault Sainte Marie is affectionately called by locals, is easy to explore on foot. Right in the downtown area are several top attractions. Every visitor has to experience the Soo Locks. Built in 1855, the locks compensate for a 21-foot decline over rapids, allowing the passage of roughly 80 million tons of cargo annually. Explore the visitor center, walk the beautifully-landscaped grounds, or visit the observation platform for a bird’s-eye view of the river. Better yet, hop aboard one of the Soo Lock Boat Tours and explore the locks on an evening dinner cruise.
Nearby is the Tower of History. At 210-feet tall, visitors are treated to a panoramic view of the surrounding area to include the Soo Locks, St. Mary’s River, and Ontario, Canada.
Another attraction in the downtown area is the Museum Ship Valley Camp. This unique museum is housed in a retired Great Lakes freighter, which is now home to more than 100 maritime exhibits, including the lifeboats torn away from the ill-fated SS Edmund Fitzgerald before its sinking in 1975.
Golfing in the Sault Sainte Marie Area
There are several quality courses in greater Sault Sainte Marie. Founded in 1901 on the banks of the St. Mary’s River, the Sault Sainte Marie Country Club offers some of the best golf in town. The course has great greens and many subtle undulations throughout the par 71 public course that measures 6,333 yards from the championship tees. Equally impressive as the course is the 1901 Grill, which is a nod to the past that features unbelievable fare, thanks to co-owners Fred and Linda Benoit. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu!
Tanglewood Marsh Golf Course has some of the most scenic fairways in the entire state. The 18-hole public course is relatively short at 5,181 yards from the tips, but the peace and quiet and well-manicured course is a favorite of locals and visitors alike.
Wild Bluff Golf Course is one of the main attractions of the Bay Mills Resort & Casino located in nearby Brimley. The 18-hole, par 72 course measures 7,056 yards from the championship tees. Nestled on a natural bluff overlooking Waiskey Bay, the stunning Wild Bluff Golf Course features outstanding amenities including an expansive range, putting greens, a short game area, and clubhouse that features a restaurant, lounge, and pro shop. After a round of golf, enjoy a drink and relax in the Players’ Lounge, which has a deck overlooking the finishing hole.
Located at the far eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is Drummond Island, home of The Rock Golf Course. The 18-hole championship course is only accessible by a short 15 minute ferry boat ride that leaves every hour from De Tour Village. The course, which opened in 1989, was designed by Harry Bowers and stretches to 6,837 yards. This is one of the best kept secrets in Michigan, and is well worth the drive and boat ride to get there.
Also located on Drummond Island is the popular Drummond Island Golf Club. Built in the 1960s, this nine-hole par 36 course measures 3,070 yards and offers a unique setting: An airport runway that parallels the side of the par 3, ninth hole. Four holes are on one side of the runway and five holes are on the other, which makes for an interesting round of golf! Drummond Island Golf Club also offers a driving range, practice putting green, and pro shop.
Hessel Ridge Golf is a beautiful 18-hole golf course set on a ridge above the town of Hessel with tree-lined boundaries that provide a park-like setting for golfers of all skills. Measuring 6,415 yards, Hessel Ridge Golf is located midway between Mackinac Island and Drummond Island. The course features contoured greens that are always well maintained, along with plush, gently rolling fairways that make for a memorable round of golf.
For more information about the Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan area, visit www.saultstemarie.com.
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a weekly golf blog, “The 19th Hole” for RV Life. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.