SOURCE: Benzie County Visitors Bureau

Benzie County Visitors Bureau

March 26, 2015 17:18 ET

Golf in Benzie County, Michigan Is for Everyone

Championship Level to Intermediate and Beginning Golfers Will Find a Variety of Places to Play Golf in Benzie County Within Settings That Include Natural Beauty and Magnificent Scenic Views

BENZONIA, MI--(Marketwired - Mar 26, 2015) - Spring brings new sunny days and with it one of the most popular sports rises to the forefront in Michigan. Michigan is consistently named among the best places in the country to play golf. According to Golf, Michigan currently ranks 4th for "Best in Golf States," right behind Hawaii, South Carolina and Nevada.

Benzie County, Michigan located along the shores of Lake Michigan and the gateway to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a perfect location to stay and play for any type of golfer, including advanced, intermediate, novice, and beginner levels*. Benzie County has a variety of 18-hole golf courses, each of them uniquely characteristic of Benzie's natural rolling, contoured terrain. Benzie County golf courses offer different types of settings to play, with Northern Michigan beauty as their common denominator. All courses include pristine fairways and one-of-a-kind views of northern Michigan. Some of the more challenging courses feature dramatic elevation changes, difficult water hazards and strategically placed bunkers, while some courses are more relaxed, less challenging, and cater to intermediate or beginning golfers. These include:

Champion Hill Golf Course - Beulah
Tucked into 350 acres of the windswept hills of Benzie County's highlands, Champion Hill is distinguished by its scenic, open, rolling, heather lined fairways, large contoured greens and distant views of Lake Michigan, Crystal Lake, and Platte Lakes.

The highlands links design features open, rolling bluegrass fairways with many elevated teeing areas, and raised contoured green complexes.

Crystal Mountain - Thompsonville
Crystal Mountain in Benzie County is northern Michigan's golf destination with two distinctively different, yet equally mesmerizing golf courses. Both the Mountain Ridge and Betsie Valley golf courses have received a prestigious 4-Star rating from Golf Digest magazine and are sure to challenge golfers skills at every turn.

Crystal Mountain's Mountain Ridge golf course offers panoramic vistas of northern Michigan. Its fairways wind through stately forests and ascend to high elevations, providing a true northern Michigan golf experience. Crystal Mountain's Betsie Valley golf course, which recently underwent a $1 million renovation, sets the ability of golfers with its protected greens, tree lined fairways and challenging bunkers.

Crystal Mountain's 10-acre Practice & Learning Center is home to the nationally renowned Crystal Mountain Golf School that also has all the amenities for helping to improve a golfer's game. The Practice & Learning Center features a driving range -- including a covered hitting area, putting green and two multi-tiered chipping greens with bunkers, perfect for sharpening short-game skills. The Practice & Learning Center is open to the public with a range ball machine on-site.

Crystal Lake Golf Club - Beulah
The Crystal Lake Golf Club's pristine 18-hole course is set in gorgeous Benzie County, complete with rolling hills, shady nooks, and beautifully maintained greens. Voted the #1 public golf course by the Grand Traverse Insider magazine and rated as one of the best places to play by Golf Digest, this stunning course is a great place for a relaxing weekend away.

Crystal Lake Golf Club is situated near the stunning Crystal Lake, offering impressive scenic views of the lake over the 18-hole play. The front nine is a relaxed and open course, with wide fairways and rolling terrain, great for all skill levels. The back nine gives advanced golfers an extra challenge with plenty of water hazards and strategically placed bunkers. This tight and winding course puts golfer's skills to the test.

Pinecroft Golf Course - Beulah
What once was a family fruit farm and then a Christmas Tree plantation in Benzie County matured into a favorite golf destination for northern Michigan golfers. With its reputation reaching beyond the region, Golf Digest readers have given Pinecroft Golf Course a 4-star rating in a recent edition of "Places to Play."

The undulating terrain, mature pine and fir trees combined with the magnificent views spanning the length of Crystal Lake make for a very memorable golfing experience.

Pinecroft offers 18 holes of golf featuring bent grass greens and bluegrass tees and fairways. Their practice area features a driving range and putting green.

Chestnut Hills Golf Course - Arcadia

Chestnut Hills Golf Course is located just south of the Benzie County border, east of Arcadia and south of Bear Lake. This family owned golf course was built in 1993 by avid golfer Doug Carter, who holds a doctorate degree in plant physiology and international development. Carter was a member of the Peace Corps and subsequently worked for 12 years for the Foreign Service in eastern and southern Africa prior to moving back to Northern Michigan to raise his family. The golf course has a loyal clientele and a friendly atmosphere for those who wish to enjoy golf within a comfortable down to earth setting.

* Golfing Levels suitable for Benzie County Golf Courses:

Beginner: Has played on an executive or regulation golf course less than 5 times, has little or no professional golf instruction, is learning basic skills, and has no knowledge about rules or etiquette.
Beginner Plus: Has played on an executive or regulation golf course at least 5 times, has recent professional golf instruction, has limited knowledge of rules and etiquette (they know that the furthest away from the hole hits), and consistently scores in the 60's for nine holes.
Novice: Has played on an executive or regulation golf course at least 15 times, knows some etiquette and basic rules (when to take a penalty stroke), and usually scores in the high 50's for nine holes.
Intermediate: Plays regularly and fairly consistently, knows etiquette and common rules, has an established handicap, will play some competitive events, and generally scores in the low 50's or better for nine holes.
Advanced: Plays regularly and consistently, is proficient in etiquette and rules, has an established handicap, is involved in competitive golf, and generally scores in the 40's for nine holes.

Michigan Golfing Events
For the past several years the Michigan PGA Women's Open Pro-Am has taken place at Crystal Mountain in Benzie County.

  • Michigan PGA Women's Open Pro-Am
    Thompsonville - Crystal Mountain
    June 26 - 28, 2015
    One of the premier Michigan golfing events, The Michigan PGA Women's Open features some of the best professional and amateur women golfers from around Michigan and across the country. For more information see or call (231) 378-2000.

  • Michigan PGA Women's Open Tournament
    Thompsonville - Crystal Mountain
    June 29 - July 1, 2015
    Crystal Mountain is pleased to once again welcome some of the top players in women's golf from throughout Michigan and around the country to the Mountain Ridge course for the Michigan PGA Women's Open. For more information see or call (231) 378-2000.

More Information about Benzie County
Benzie County has unique restaurants, Stormcloud Brewing Company and St. Ambrose Cellars for sampling brews, wines and meads. Benzie County is also in close proximity -- less than one hour away -- to the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas, known for their wineries.

Lodging is abundant in Benzie County for visitors to experience the beauty of spring in Northern Michigan during this special time of year. Lodging choices include quaint cottages, cozy cabins, apartments, historical hotels, resorts, motels and Crystal Mountain. For more information on Benzie County lodging, restaurants, outdoor recreation and events contact Benzie County Visitors Bureau at 1-800-882-5801 or see

Overview of Benzie County
Benzie County has the reputation as "the best place in Michigan for Outdoor Sports & Recreation" and is located 30 minutes west of Traverse City, Michigan with two convenient airports available nearby. Benzie County is comprised of quaint vacation towns and villages, specifically, Frankfort, Elberta, Honor, Thompsonville, Beulah, Benzonia and Lake Ann. In the center of the county is the majestic Crystal Lake. There are also over 50 other lakes and two rivers throughout Benzie County. Lake Michigan stretches along the entire West boundary of Benzie County and includes nearly 30 miles of Lake Michigan Shoreline along The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Benzie County is a perfect destination for a relaxed getaway with pristine beaches, miles of biking and walking paths, majestic views of Lake Michigan, and plenty of great restaurants and shops as well as scenic and family attractions. Benzie County has Champion quality golf courses, 22 miles for biking along the Betsie Valley Trail, and approximately 200 miles of rivers. Other activities in the spring, summer and fall that are popular in Benzie County are trolling, casting and fly fishing, charter fishing, hiking, tubing, canoeing and kayaking, paddle boarding and surfing.

Contact Information


    Sally Littlefair Zarafonetis
    Media Consultant
    Benzie County Visitors Bureau
    Email Contact

    Mary Carroll
    Benzie County Visitors Bureau
    (800) 882-5801
    Email Contact