Sunday, January 24, 2010

North Coast Golf Show - golf giveaways

Most of the time, I hate drawings for giveaways. They want you to fill out a form with your name, telephone and email, and you never win. Well, it seems that way in my case. Then, you get inundated with junk mail and telemarketers' calls.

But during the North Coast Golf Show, I decided to sign up for every drawing available - from the trip to Branson, Mo., to the Chevy car giveaway to the Mini raffle. The majority of drawings however were for golf trips to random resorts that had booths set up at the show.

The place was packed so I didn't always get a chance to hear their sales pitches before dropping my name in the hat or barrel or glass container. But there were a few that sounded fairly interesting. Please remember that I haven't played any of these courses so I'm not touting them. I'm merely telling you what their reps told me, what I've found in their brochures and what's available online.

So here goes:

Probably the most intriguing promotion came from Treetops Resort in Gaylord, Mich., which is in the northern part of the state. The rep passed out a card with spaces to write a golfer's "bucket list." You post your list online, and the best one picked gets five nights accommodations for two people, five rounds of golf each on any of our 18-hole championship courses with cart. Plus, both guests will receive 9-holes of on-course instruction with a Rick Smith Academy Instructor.

Treetops has five courses, one designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., another by Tom Fazio and three more done by Rick Smith.

The best brochure at the event was one for Hawk's Eye Golf Resort in Bellaire, Mich., which also is in Northern Michigan. It read FREE BEER on one side and FREE GOLF on the reverse. Who could ask for anything more? You get a chance for free golf if you sign up for the resort newsletter. The free beer comes in when you book a golf package, which comes with coupons to redeem for beer at the resort.

Hawk's Eye Resort has two championship courses: Hawk's Eye and The Chief. The Hawk's Eye course was voted fourth best in the state by Michigan Golf Magazine. And considering that Michigan has more golf courses than any other state besides Florida and California, that's impressive.

Probably the resort with the best pedigree at the golf show was The Resorts of Tullymore and St. Ives. Located in Stanwood, Mich., which is in the central part of the state just northeast of Grand Rapids, this resort has won awards for its two golf courses, clubhouse and pro shop. And these awards are from Golf Digest, which listed them as one of the top 100 courses in the country and 14th best public and resort course. Other awards came from Golf Magazine, Golf for Women and Golfweek.

This giveaway also requires a newsletter sign-up. The difference is that this is a monthly drawing, with a annual giveaway that features 12 rounds of golf.

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa features a Jack Nicklaus course and a Gary Player design. Located in Williamsburg, Mich., near Traverse City, Grand Traverse Resort also includes a third course, as well as a long list of accolades from national magazines like Golf Digest, Links, Golf for Women and Golf Magazine.

Wisconsin also was represented at the golf show with Hawk's View Golf Club in Lake Geneva, The House on the Rock Resort in Spring Green and Rolling Meadows Golf Course in Fond Du Lac.

Hawk's View features two courses - Como Crossings and Barn Hollow. Como Crossings hosted the 2005 Wisconsin State Open Qualifier and was named Top 25 new courses in 2002 by Golf Magazine.

The House on the Rock was built in the 1940s, and it has turned into a tourist attraction that has been turned into a resort. The golf courses were added later - an 18-hole RTJ Sr. design in the 1970s and a nine-hole Roger Packard/Andy North collaboration in 1994.

Rolling Meadows was redesigned in the 1990s when Dick Nugent turned an 18-hole course into 27 holes of championship play. With six sets of tees, it appears that any level of golfer can have fun at Rolling Meadows.

So, that's it. I'll keep you posted on whether I win any golf packages. If I do, maybe I'll take you with me.

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