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Gaylord Golf Mecca: Ladies Welcome!

It’s National Women’s Golf Month and we’re excited to share this article written by our good friend and a familiar face in the Gaylord Golf Mecca, Susan R. Pollack. The full piece is featured in the current issue of Northern Michigan Golfer Magazine, which can be viewed here.

By Susan R. Pollack

Midway through their welcome reception, women taking lessons at Treetops Golf Academy divide into teams to play golf tic-tac-toe. Setting aside wine and snacks, they take turns putting onto grids on the practice green. It’s a fun icebreaker, a way to foster camaraderie and give instructors a glimpse into each woman’s style of play for the lessons to come.

But it’s typically not played in men’s classes, says Kevin McKinley, assistant general manager of Treetops Resort in Gaylord, with five award-winning courses. “Most men want pure instruction, from hour one to hour seven,” he says. “Women want social interaction, they want to interact with each other, not always nose-to-the-grindstone. … But the beauty is, we can do that, too, if that’s what they want.”

Delivering what women golfers want is a key mission of the Gaylord Golf Mecca, a collection of 17 first-rate northern Michigan golf courses and 21 lodging properties. Blessed with beautiful scenery and world-class courses set amid gentle hills, majestic trees and blue waters, the Mecca has rolled out the welcome mat for female golfers for years and now even more so during the current golf boom.                                                                                           

 “We love our women golfers,” says McKinley. “Every training session with rangers and starters I emphasize treating both genders the same. There’s a taboo in golf that ‘women play slow,’ which is far from the truth. Ladies do a very good job of keeping pace. Women are concerned about what’s happening behind them and area bit more conscious of their surroundings than men.”

Beyond a warm welcome, the Gaylord Golf Mecca appeals to women golfers through its sheer variety of quality courses and multiple tee placements geared to a wide range of skill levels, from high-handicappers to more advanced players. Treetops, for example, boasts five sets of tees, with forward tees strategically placed to avoid difficult forced carries over water. It’s a design element that boosts speed of play and course enjoyment.

“Most Mecca courses feature multiple sets of tees that ladies at different ability levels would enjoy playing,” says Judy Mason, a veteran instructor who is director of golf at Michaywe Pines Golf Course and the Mecca’s current chairperson.

In addition to playability, available tee-times and affordable rates, Mason cites the Mecca’s array of lodging options, plus the convenience of booking ‘Stay & Play’ packages geared to different budgets. Accommodations range from full-service resorts like Treetops, Otsego Resort and Garland Lodge & Golf Resort to chain motels, rental cabins and even RV campsites at Benjamin’s Beaver Creek Resort.

The Mecca also offers plenty to do beyond the fairways, such as spa time at Treetops. As Mason says: “Gaylord is a popular spot for groups of ladies to not only play golf but to enjoy outdoor activities – hiking and biking trails, lakes and watersports – as well as the shops and great little restaurants and bars in the area.”

Read Susan’s full article as it appears in Northern Michigan Golfer Magazine here.

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