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Michigan Golf Course Review

Garland Resort - Monarch Course

Resort information:

Garland Resort in Lewiston is one of the Midwest's top golf resorts, and affords golf buffs the opportunity to play 4 championship caliber golf courses, all conveniently located on one property. These include the upscale Fountains - one of Michigan's best, as well as the Swampfire, Monarch and Reflections. All four courses are serviced by one clubhouse, which features a wonderfully stocked pro shop, restaurant & lounge, with a wide variety of lodging adjacent to the courses. Swimming pools, saunas, whirlpools, a workout facility and other recreational activities are available on property. For detailed information on the resort accommodations and amenities including a link to the Garland web site, visit our page for Garland Resort by clicking here.

Garland Resort - Monarch Course
Garland Resort - Monarch Course

Visitors will find a spacious grass & mat driving range with target areas, plus two enormous practice greens for putting and chipping - one near the range and the other  conveniently located near the center of the resort. A good variety of instructional programs and lessons are available, and can be set up through the pro shop. Golfers playing multiple rounds can pick up a quick burger or sandwich at the outdoor grill between rounds. There also is ample seating indoors at Tamaracks. Downstairs from the pro shop are locker facilities with showers for men and women.

Monarch Golf Club Review

The Monarch is the original design at Garland, and features an incredibly tranquil golf environment along a fairly flat terrain with a nice mix of open and tight tree lined fairways, sculpted out of northern Michigan pine forests. Like the other three courses here, the Monarch features outstanding conditioning from tee to green along with wonderful vistas. A good deal of the holes feature beautiful water hazards in the form of lakes, ponds and streams that border or cross the manicured fairways. Wildlife abounds on this property with plentiful water fowl, along with a family of eagles that nest in a tree to the left of the fairway (near the 200 yard area) on Monarch's 11th hole.

Garland Resort - Monarch Course
Garland Resort - Monarch Course

The front nine features many wide fairways with ample landing areas, and the back plays much tighter with landing areas defined by tightly lined majestic pines and frequent water hazards. This course is considered player friendly, mainly due to the green complexes which often provide plenty of room for slightly off line shots. Golfers will be able to use bump and run approaches on many holes, as the fronts of the greens are generally quite open. Miss to either side however, and high arcing lobs and pitches will be necessary for effective up and downs. Sand bunkers often crowd the putting surface on either side.

The Monarch course is well marked, with color coded yardage posts at 100, 150 and 200 yards on both sides of the fairways. Some sprinkler heads are also marked, and the cart paths provide distances measured to the center of the green. Be sure to find out the number of the day's pin placement before beginning your round - pin placement sheets with 3 rotating hole locations are posted in each cart. Average golfers will want to play from the white tee areas, which measure 6245 yards and are rated with a 130 slope. The distance of some of these par fours make for a challenging round - and many doglegs bending in either direction also make getting home in regulation a chore. The champion tees play to a whopping 7188/143 slope, the blues 6666 yards with a 133 slope, and the forward tees provide a considerable break from the many water hazards and doglegs, as they measure 4904 with a 118 slope.

Garland Resort - Monarch Course
Garland Resort - Monarch Course

Be sure to warm up before your round and hit a few drives for sure - as the opening hole is the number one handicap, requiring distance and accuracy off the tee. The drive should be to the left of center, as a lake sits to the right and trees will block an approach from that side. The second shot demands a carry over a pond that separates the fairway about 110 yards away. Number two begins with a short carry over water to fairway bordered by trees on the right and the hazard left. Land it on the short grass and the approach is simple. Rows of pines escort golfers to the green on the par three 3rd, which is raised and drops off immediately on the right.   Four doglegs right near the 150 yard area, making the left center the preferred landing area. This is followed by another hole which bends left to right, with a water hazard that comes in play far right about 270 yards from the green. This par five really bananas along a narrow fairway, so be sure to stay left of center all the way on this 3-shot hole. The par three 6th is quite unique (as in it may make you curse). There is a tall white pine about 50 yards from the putting surface, blocking the left center off the tee. Golfers will have to maneuver this tree, while also avoiding the water hazard to the right and short. Long is better than short here! Two huge bunkers choke the fairway past the 200 yard makers on number seven. From there it turns slightly right to a raised, well bunker green complex. Eight doglegs in the opposite direction, with the right center providing a nice landing area. Trees will block the approach from the left side, unless the tee shot is very long. The elevated green is effectively protected by sand traps on either side. The closing hole on the front plays from an elevated tee to a wide fairway, but presents one of the round's most challenging approaches. The green is shallow and well bunkered in front, creating the need for a high arcing wedge or short iron to hold the putting surface.

Garland Resort - Monarch Course
Garland Resort - Monarch Course

Ten begins with a wide fairway that narrows extremely as you approach the green. The landing area from 200 to 60 yards away is chute-like, approximately 15 yards wide. Fortunately the green is open in front, and easy to approach. The stretch of holes from 11 - 14 is perhaps the most beautiful on the course, with lakes, ponds and streams creating considerable habitat for native wildlife. Eleven doglegs left and looks very tight off the tee but actually presents ample room to the right, which is the place to be. ( don't forget to check out the eagle's nest and look for sightings of this majestic bird in a tall tree to the left of the 200 yard marker - there are supposedly two adults and two eaglets).The approach is to a beautifully landscaped green complex, with a cascading stream to the right that also crosses the fairway about 115 away.  A hazard also runs to the far left and behind the hole - so do not be long! The par three 12th is a tight one, with pines on both sides and water far left. On 13 golfers will be confronted with a tee shot that must find a landing area between or beyond two large fairway traps, situated on either side of the fairway. Once there, the daunting second shot must carry a deep bunker that fronts the putting complex. This one, and the par four ninth are really the only holes that cannot be entered by running a shot up the center. Fourteen is a par five that doglegs left past the 150 yard area. The approach turns about 45 degrees and plays uphill to a well bunkered green. The most beautiful hole on the course follows - an Augusta National type par three over water, that is protected by four bunkers scattered on all sides, with trees greenside also shaping the hole. The tee area is also wonderfully landscaped - making this one of Garland's most memorable holes. Sixteen presents a very open fairway and turns abruptly left near the 200 yard marker. There is a pond that separates the fairway about 125 yards away from the green, so a long tee shot is in order here. The grip it and rip it mentality comes into play off the tee on 17, which turns slightly left past the water hazard, and plays uphill all the way from there. Monarch closes with a long par four that doglegs to the right past the tree line, which demands a cut approaching the 150 yard area in order to make the turn. Shots played safely to the left center will have a clear approach.

Garland Resort - Monarch Course

Monarch is the original layout at Garland and a wonderful experience for all levels of players. We had the opportunity to spend two nights at Garland, played all four courses, practice facilities, enjoyed the pool areas, restaurants and lounge, and highly recommend this place to anyone who has never had the opportunity to visit. The amenities and service are great.

Visit our information page for the Monarch course by clicking here.

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