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Top 25 Events In Golf Mecca History

A Chronological Look

A Chronological Look at the Top 25 Events in the History of the Gaylord Golf Mecca

1.     1986 - Robert Trent Jones Course opens as the hall of fame architect looks out over the par-3 6th hole and appropriately names the resort “Treetops”.

2.     1986 – Rick Smith, one of the games top instructors, comes to Treetops and helps to put Gaylord on the map as a golf destination.

3.     1987 – The Gaylord Golf Mecca creates new marketing destination with seven courses. Otsego Club-Classic, Michawye Pines, Gaylord Country Club, Wilderness Valley, Lakes of the North, Treetops Jones Course.  

4.     1988 - The Lakes Course designed by Jerry Matthews opens and joins the Gaylord Golf Mecca.

5.     1991 - Michigan Amateur Championship comes to Gaylord for the first time in history. Michaywe Pines hosts the event.

6.     1991 - Elk Ridge Golf Club, designed by Jerry Matthews opens, and becomes member of the Gaylord Golf Mecca.

7.     1992 – Tom Fazio comes to Michigan to build his first and only course in Michigan as the Treetops Fazio Premier Course Opens.

8.     1992 – Black Forest opens. It is Tom Doak’s 3rd design.

9.     1992 – Marsh Ridge Resort opens adding another resort destination course.

10. 1992 – The Natural, designed by Jerry Matthews opens.

11. 1993 – Threetops, the #1 Par 3 Course in America, opens for play at Treetops.

12. 1993 – Rick Smith designs his first 18-hole course opening as one of the most popular new courses in the country.

13. 1994 – The Loon Golf Club opens.

14. 1996 – Black Bear Golf Club opens with 19 holes.

15. 1996 – Michaywe Pines hosts its 2nd Michigan Amateur Championship.

16. 1999 – The Par 3 Shootout debuts on ESPN and becomes one of the most exciting made- for-TV events ever.

17. 1999 – Jack Nicklaus comes to Gaylord to play in the Par 3 Shootout.

18. 1999 – Phil Mickelson, Lee Janzen, and Ray Floyd, round out the group with Jack Nicklaus for the first Par 3 Shootout.

19. 2000 – Rees Jones “The Open Doctor”, designs Black Lake Golf Club, joins the Gaylord Golf Mecca.

20.   2001 – “The King” Arnold Palmer comes to Gaylord to play in the Par 3 Shootout.

21. 2001 – Tribute Course opens at Otsego Club as a tribute to Keith Gornick’s father, the longtime owner of Otsego Club.

22. 2001 – The most lucrative shot in golf history is struck by Lee Trevino, who makes a hole-in-one at the Par 3 Shootout. The ace is worth $1 million and is a top play on ESPN.

23. 2006 – Osprey Recreation purchases Otsego Club and Black Forest creating a new golf resort destination.

24. 2010 – The Loon Golf Resort expands and adds lodging, the new Butch Harmon Golf School, and Pro-Am event.

25. 2010 – Natalie Gulbis, one of the top rising stars on the LPGA tour, comes to Gaylord for her own Pro-Am event.

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