FORE: Play Four Wonderful Courses at Garland Lodge & Resort
By Greg Johnson
Wonderfully fits with Garland, as does peaceful nature, beautiful landscaping and a friendly staff ready to serve at the drop, of well, a golf ball.
Fountains, Monarch, Reflections and Swampfire are the courses, each aptly named and immaculately conditioned. Four experiences, each unique in many ways, allow a golfer to choose or simply try a different one each round.
The late Ron Otto designed the four courses, but the Fountains course was redesigned in 2010 by Illinois architect Michael Benkusky, who is highly regarded for his work at Canyata Golf Club in Marshall, Ill.
Fountains plays between 4,600 yards and almost 6,800 and offers significant challenge with its undulating greens. The course has six par threes, six par fours and six par fives. The par five holes offer a bevy of risk-reward shots. The golfer has to decide just what they want to try and make happen while keeping in mind angles to the greens.
Monarch is the most traditional championship course of the foursome. It plays between 4,900 yards and almost 7,300 and has been favored over the years by the likes of the Michigan Section PGA when it presented its Michigan PGA Professional Championship at the resort from 1992 to ’94. It has some of the best par three holes in the Mecca.
Reflections is the shortest of the four courses playing between 4,700 and 6,400 yards, but it demands accuracy among the trees and the navigation of some elevation changes. Bunkers protect most of the greens, and it might be the picture-perfect prettiest course. Look around you. It’s stunning.
Swampfire has water visible on 15 of 18 holes, but most of it is not in play. It just plays with you because it is visually intimidating. The variety of holes is what stands out, and there is more room than you think to hit the golf ball. All 14 clubs will get used though and pulling up to each tee offers a new adventure.
The resort has highly regarded accommodation choices and with its great golf welcomes groups, big and small, for there is plenty of room to move about and garner a true resort experience.
Garland is part of the Mecca collection of 17 destination golf courses in the Gaylord area. Visit garlandusa.com for more information or call 877-442-7526. Learn more about the Gaylord Golf Mecca at gaylordgolfmecca.com.