A Golf Lover’s Getaway
When it comes to the ultimate golfing weekend, Saugatuck/Douglas hits upon all the must-haves and is only a short road trip away from major cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis. Whether your group is up for playing 36-holes a day or prefers only getting in a good front 9 before hitting the craft breweries, we’ve got you covered.
Few activities effectively combine fresh air, idyllic views, plenty of camaraderie, and a healthy dose of competition quite like the game of golf. Here in Saugatuck/Douglas, a weekend filled with pristine fairways and smooth, fast greens—all within a short drive from one another—comes with the added bonus of being only minutes away from a great culinary and craft beverage scene. Here are our suggestions for a memorable weekend golf getaway:
Start your weekend off at HawksHead Links Golf Course in South Haven, designed by world-renowned golf architect Arthur Hills. Offering an extraordinarily beautiful links-style layout with large sandy waste areas and wispy fescue grasses, this course provides outstanding conditioning to challenge the most experienced golfer while still being enjoyable for higher handicappers. The course ranges from a 4,960-yard game marked out at the gold tees to a 7,003-yard, 72 par layout at the championship tees.
After hitting 9- or 18-holes, head over to Waypost Brewing Company in Fennville to grab a cold one. This farmhouse brewery brews traditional and hybrid craft beer styles with high-quality farm-grown and local ingredients that highlight each season's best. You’ll have a difficult time deciding which beers to try as Waypost’s tap list is curated to hit a diverse range of flavor profiles. For dinner, try out Fennville’s Salt of the Earth, a rustic American Eatery featuring wood oven-fired pizzas and delicious entrees highlighting the bounty of local farms. Or, if you’re in the mood for the vibrant flavors of Mexico, head over to El Jaripeo, where you’ll find generous portions of delicious, authentic fare.
Grab a cup of Joe and a breakfast sandwich from Uncommon Coffee Roasters Café & Bakery before heading to The Ravines Golf Club, West Michigan’s only Arnold Palmer Signature Design Championship Golf Course. This sweeping 18-hole, 7,070-yard, par 72 course features immense and visually stunning natural vistas. Each hole is surrounded by its own unique natural confines. Wide fairways, generous landing areas, and four tee positions per hole allow golfers of every skill level to enjoy this beautiful course. Enjoy lunch at Arnie's Cottage Grill, overlooking the scenic 18th hole, where you and your friends can recall your best shots over a refreshing Arnold Palmer drink.
If you’ve got the stamina, take the 6-minute drive over to Clearbrook Golf Club for another round of 18-holes. This mature 6556-yard, par-72 course features intriguing holes to test every club in your bag.
Drive down tight pine and hardwood-lined fairways that end at smaller, well-bunkered target greens. The par-five 5th hole is a classic risk-reward hole rated in “West Michigan’s Top 18” by Grand Rapids Magazine and crosses two creeks before reaching the large, two-tiered green.
When the round is over, and it’s time to quench your thirst, head over to the Guardian Brewing Company. Known for both great beer and good eats, Guardian features 10 year-round taps and 12 seasonal and barreled-aged taps along with a full menu that focuses on seasonally-inspired, locally sourced food. Or, to enjoy beverages with a waterfront setting, make your way over to The BARge for spectacular views and specialty drinks.
If you’re looking for a change of venue for dinner, there’s no shortage of fantastic restaurants in Saugatuck. Try Bowdies Chophouse for aged steaks that will rival that of any metropolitan steakhouse, The Southerner for incredible down-home country cooking, The Butler for their famous burgers, or Pennyroyal Café and Provisions for unique farm-to-table fare.
Enjoy brunch and Bloody Mary’s at Pumpernickels before making the 38-minute drive to the American Dunes Golf Club in Grand Haven. Opening May 2021, American Dunes is a Jack Nicklaus signature course that honors fallen or disabled U.S. military members and funds educational scholarships for their families through The Folds of Honor Foundation. Sculpted through the deep sands into a dunes layout that includes 30 bunkers and sand dunes on every hole, this public course has five sets of tees and plays at a maximum yardage of 7,213.
Should you be fortunate enough not to have to return home right away, we invite you back to Douglas to enjoy a craft beer from Saugatuck Brewing Company from one of their 31 combined rotating taps in their Pub or Barrel Room. Or head over to The Mitten Brewing Company in neighboring Saugatuck and enjoy a craft brew topped off with their famous pizza flight.
To make the most of your weekend, we highly recommend booking tee times and making restaurant reservations in advance. While golf will undoubtedly be the primary feature of your weekend agenda, don’t forget there are a host of other things to do in our area during your downtime, including chartered sailing and fishing excursions or kayak and boat rentals that let you relax on the water. Plan some time to take in the local culture and remember that you can always come back to repeat the experience.