Saturday, July 20, 2013

Upper Peninsula of Michigan Golf

The Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan, contains 16,452 square miles (42,610 km²), almost one-third of the land area of the state. It is about one half the size of either Scotland or Ireland. The maximum east-west distance in the Upper Peninsula is about 320 miles (515 km), and the maximum north-south distance is about 125 miles (200 km). It is bounded on the north by the world's largest freshwater body, Lake Superior, on the east by St. Mary's River, on the south by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and on the west by Wisconsin and (counting the water border on Lake Superior) by Minnesota. It has about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) of continuous shoreline with the Great Lakes. There are about 4,300 inland lakes, over 100 waterfalls, and 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of streams. Snowfall in the winter can reach up to 390 inches along the Lake Superior shoreline. Lake Superior surface area is 31,700 sq miles, max depth is 1,276 ft, volume is 3 quadrillion gallons. It takes between 191-199 years to turnover all its water.

The population as of 2010, was 311,000 which is about 3% of the states total. In the past 100 years the population has actually declined, due to the decrease in mining activity. Marquette is the largest city with over 20,000 people. It has a major medical center, Northern Michigan University with its over 10,000 students, and a Federal prison with 1,100 inmates. The U.P. is a great area for outdoor activities including biking, hiking, hunting and fishing, skiing, ice hockey, and snowmobiling. If you enjoy gambling there are way too many Indian casinos to leave your hard earned $$ at. Of course the main summer sport is golf. The weather temps are in the 70's and dry with long days to provide great golfing.

Currently there are 54+ active golf courses (760 holes), it is one of the highest regions in the world for population/golf course ratio. 30 of the courses are eighteen holes and 24+ have nine holes (one course starts in Wisconsin and has 4 holes in the U.P.). There are about ten other courses that no longer exit (NLE). The Greywalls Course at Marquette GC located in Marquette is the jewel of all the U.P.courses. It is rated in both Golf Digest and Golfweek as a top 10 in the state and a Golfweek top 100 Modern course. Timberstone in Iron Mountain is another course that is consistently mentioned in the top state 25. Other fine 18 hole courses are Pine Grove, Sweetgrass, Hessel Ridge, Wild Bluff, Heritage Course at Marquette GC, and The Rock on Drummond Island. Keweenaw Mountain Lodge in Copper Harbor and Wawashkamo on Mackinac Island are two of my favorite classic 9 hole tracks with Blue Heron (NLE this season) being a sleeper in Germfask. For complete rankings of the U.P. courses I have played check out the courses by state/region section on my blog. By the end of the 2015 season I will have played all of the Upper Peninsula courses.

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