TREETOPS RESORT - Signature Course (855) 437-2189
Michigan Golf Course Review
Currently in the midst of a $4.5 million renovation, Treetops is an all-season resort, featuring the greatest variety of upscale golf in the Midwest, along with winter activities
including downhill and cross-country skiing, tubing and ice skating. It is a four-time recipient of Golf Magazine's Silver Medal Award, and is recognized as one of the finest resorts
in the country. Facilities include: 260 guest rooms, 2,3 &4 bedroom condominiums, two outdoor and 2 indoor heated pools with spas, tennis courts, fitness center, saunas,
volleyball courts, salon, massage therapy, hiking trails, and an award winning Child Development Center. The Treetops Golf Academy is also on property. The Convention Center
can accommodate up to 1,100 people, and casual and fine dining are available at the Sports Grille or Horizon Dining Room. The Broken Pub serves over 250 brands of beer, from
all over the world.
The Signature is the second 18 hole course to be built on the Treetops Resort property. Shortly after the opening of Rick Smith's first project (Threetops), he was commissioned to
design his first championship layout. Since then, the Signature has won many honors including recognition from Golf Magazine as one of the best courses in the Midwest. With
the addition of the "Tradition" (also designed by Rick Smith), Treetops features an all-star lineup, and has set the standard for "Northern golf" that many aspire to create.
There was a break in the inclement weather early in our round on the Signature, and we could not resist the abundant photo opportunities on this beautiful piece of property, with
Northern Michigan's fall colors just kicking in. The opening hole plays extremely downhill and shorter than the yardage indicates. If not on the fairway however, you will have a
tough time negotiating the rough and sloping mounds, especially on the right side. The par three second is also downhill, to a double-tiered green protected by bunkers right, left
and long. The 467 yard (from the tips) par four third is one of the most beautiful holes on the property - and truly indicative of Northern Michigan golf. You will cover much distance
on your initial shot from the elevated tee box , but will need to be accurate and long on the approach. Uncharacteristically, this green slopes from front to back.
The par 3 fourth plays easier than it looks, with considerable carry over a marsh, but abundant room for error. The number 1 handicap awaits you on the next tee. It plays slightly
uphill and narrows on the approach to a challenging green. Six is a beautiful dogleg left, enhanced by the gorgeous autumn colors of the trees bordering both sides of the fairway.
Another dogleg left, this time playing uphill - will challenge you with strategically placed sand traps both right and left. The eighth plays slightly downhill, and features an extremely
undulating putting surface, once you clear the considerable bunker complex short left. The closing hole on the front is a mid-range handicap, playing slightly downhill with a
After passing the halfway house, you are greeted by the panoramic beauty of the par 5 tenth, which has considerable room off the tee, but narrows as you approach the green,
which is sculpted by pines and hardwoods. The par 3 eleventh is unique, with a shute-like entrance to a green heavily guarded by spruce and pines. You should have an easy
time reaching the green in regulation on the next short par four - but will earn a good score with accurate putting on a very undulating surface. Thirteen is tough - narrow off the tee
to an elevated green protected by traps. There is room long here. A gorgeous downhill par four, dogleg left - features a nice mix of pines and indigenous trees in full fall jackets.
This is followed by one of the most interesting and challenging holes on the property. An extremely accurate approach to a narrow saddle-style two tiered green will confront you
on your quest for a birdie try. Mounding around the green will funnel the ball towards the hole.
Sixteen is a short par 4 and the 18th ranked handicap. It plays uphill after your tee shot, with a characteristic narrow approach along a fairway guarded by bunkers all along the left.
Have fun driving your cart uphill between the 16th green and 17th tee - and imagine what it would be like to drive down.! Avoid the large sand traps around the downhill par three
17th, and you should put up a good score. The closing hole is ranked as the 12th handicap, but is quite tricky. The best option off the tee is to the right of the fairway bunker, which
will leave you a short iron to an extremely elevated green. Anything left is trouble, with sloping rough short and bunkers long.
This Smith Course is the overwhelming favorite amongst locals and frequent players we talked to during our stay. The greens were firm and quick even during the late season,
and the layout was phenomenal. We could not argue with them, but found it hard to make a personal choice - as all the courses at Treetops are dramatic.
Check out the Two Guys Who Golf detailed information page on this course (which includes a link to the course's website if available) - click here. Visit the Two Guys Who Golf information page for Treetops Resort by clicking here.