1. What is the purpose of this site?
Answer: To provide the best resource on the Internet for championship public access golf throughout the Great Lakes Region and the Midwest.
2. Are public, resort and private course listed?
Answer: Only golf courses that are open to the public that do not require a stay at a resort are listed. If the resort allows daily fee play, it will be listed.
3. What qualifies a public golf course for the Great Lakes Golf Trail?
Answer: First, the course must be in the Great Lakes Region, generally within the drainage basin. Then the course must have a outstanding design with top notch conditions. It must be enticing enough to draw visitors from a distance and provide a truly memorable golfing experience. The course must provide wonderful golfing challenges as well as being aesthetically stimulating.
4. When did this site start?
Answer: greatlakesgolftrail.com officially opened on January 1, 2006.
5. Why do Trail courses seem to congregate in places like Chicago, Toronto, Niagara Falls and Michigan?
Answer: Large metropolitan cities like Chicago and Toronto have so many residents that they are able to support a large number of high end golf courses compared to smaller cities and the country side. Resort areas like Niagara Falls and Upper Lower Michigan draw large number of summer tourist with casinos, sightseeing, and other outdoor recreations and have now grown into major golf destinations.
6. Why are there so many Trail Courses in Michigan?
Answer: Michigan is leading the entire Midwest and some argue the entire country, in quality public golf development. It has plenty of great terrain and excellent soil conditions which is conducive to making great courses. It is also leading the nation in the number of top courses which have garnered national acclaim.
7. What about courses with residential development, are they included in the Trail?
Answer: Courses without any residential development provide the full Trail experience. A championship quality courses in the pristine wilderness with a sense of natural solitude, generally gets our attention. A vast majority of the courses listed on the Trail have little or no housing. Housing does detract from the course. But that is not to say it cannot be a great course with some houses on it. After all, in a major metropolitan market, it is hard to set a course off by itself compared to one in the Michigan Upper Peninsula or somewhere in the middle of the Canadian shield. It is a golfing fact that developers often need housing in order to make a new upscale course possible. There are many success stories in this regard. If you go to the Palm Springs area of California, you will not find a great course without some housing on it.
8. Why are so many older and traditional courses omitted from the Trail?
Answer: Tom Weiskopf once said that "the best golf courses ever built are the ones being built right now." The designs and construction methods of modern courses are hard to match by ones built only thirty to sixty years ago. Even the venerable Augusta National has had to make serious changes to keep up with the times. But that is not to say that an older course is automatically out of the running. Cog Hill, Fowler's Mill and Whirlpool, are fine examples of older tracks that are still up to the test and still provide the golfing experience that the Great Lakes Golf Trail golfer expects. It really is not that we omit older courses, it is more that there are so many new great courses that push the limits.
9. How do I get on the Trail and is it free?
Answer: This is the best part, all you have to do is find a course on our map, read about it in our review, visit the courses website from our link and book your own tee time. There are no additional fees.
10. How does a course get listed?
Answer: There are always new course being developed and older ones renovated. As we become aware of these situations, we do our best to research the golf course to see if it might fit with the ideal of the Great Lakes Golf Trail. If you want to suggest a course, submit it here.
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