BLACK BEAR GOLF CLUB 1-866-983-4441
Michigan Golf Course Review - A U-tube video is available at the bottom of this review.
Black Bear in Vanderbilt - 10 minutes north of Gaylord is an interesting and challenging design - one that will test your ability on approaches and putting. The environment here is
quite beautiful, and the layout is designed to fit the natural lay of the land, featuring a diversified terrain that combines Scottish links style hole with the traditional northern Michigan
tree-lined fairways. Though the tips play to just 6,504 yards, low handicappers will have all they can handle and will need consistent iron play to reach the challenging green
complexes that are often flanked by trees, mounding and sand traps, with some very undulating putting surfaces.
Black Bear was awarded 3-1/2 stars by Golf Digest Places to Play. On property is a grass range and huge practice green for chipping and putting, and a spacious clubhouse with
a pro shop and restaurant lounge that can accommodate groups of various sizes for outings and special events. The view of the 18th green from the picture window is
outstanding (see the last photo in this review). The most impressive and also the most challenging aspect of the course, however, are the considerable undulations and
elevation changes from tee to green. The tall poles on the fairways serve as directional guides on several holes, and the 100/150/200 yardage stakes on all par fours and fives
are extremely helpful.
There are four sets of tee boxes, beginning with the black tees measuring 6,504 yards with a 136 slope rating. The white tees play to 5,842 yards/125 slope and are our recommendation to the average golfer, who will find a mix of even lies on ample fairways to challenging ones with the ball below, above or sideways in your stance. Two sets of
tees are provided for women, with the golds measuring 5,303 yards with a formidable 132 slope, while the reds are much more playable at 4,404 yards/114 slope. High
handicappers and beginners, not used to playing from uneven lies, may want to also play from the gold tees, taking some of the distance away from these difficult shot situations.
Remember - Black Bear is a challenging experience - choose a tee area that will allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery in a pretty spectacular golfing environment. A unique
feature of the course is the 19th hole - which is actually a pre-round par three warm-up hole... a great idea and a nice amenity that all golfers can take advantage of.
Black Bear is located in Vanderbilt - 9 miles north of Gaylord, with an exit off I-75 that leads right to the course. It presents another option in the lands that is often considered the
Golf Mecca of the Midwest. Rates are great values. There are a number of memberships available, from annual passes to monthly memberships that make golfing here
incredibly affordable. Call the pro shop (1-866-983-4441) for details. You can also visit our informational page for Black Bear, with a link to their web site by clicking here!