The Tradition at Treetops Resort: #10The Tradition at Treetops Resort

The Tradition at Treetops Resort
3962 Wilkinson Rd
Gaylord, Michigan 49735
Otsego County

Phone(s): (866) 348-5249, (989) 732-6711
Fax: (989) 732-9858

The Tradition, which opened in 1997, is one of five golf courses at Treetops Resort. Designed by Rick Smith, the course lives up to its name in remembering the tradition of the game, including wooden pins and pennant flags. The greens are small and less undulating than the other courses at the resort, and they can be difficult to navigate. The uphill ninth is the best par-3 hole on the course (make sure you bring enough club), and the back nine begins with a monster par 5 (537 yards from the tips). Overall, the risk-reward options make for a fun round. While carts are available, this is a golf course worth keeping in tradition and walking to get the full effect.

The Tradition at Treetops Resort
3.5 stars out of 5 (based on 2 reviews)
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View of the 10th hole from the The Tradition at Treetops ResortA view of a green from The Tradition at Treetops Resort

Golf course details

  • Holes: 18
  • Designed by: Rick Smith
  • Public/Private: Resort
  • Year opened: 1997
  • Golf Season: Open: 4/21 Closed: 10/23
  • Guest Policy: Open
  • Tee times welcomed: Yes
  • Fairways: Bent Grass
  • Greens: Bent Grass


  • Pro in house: Yes
  • Driving range: Yes
  • Rental clubs: Yes
  • Rental carts: Yes - included in green fees

Green fees price ranges

  • Week days: $55 - $110
  • Weekends: $55 - $110

Course policies

  • Metal spikes allowed: No
  • Dress code: Proper golf attire required.
  • Credit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard, Amex Welcomed

Length, slope and rating for each tee

Tee Par Yardage Slope Rating
Black 70 6357 130 70
Red (W) 70 4808 116 67.4
Blue 70 5834 118 67.8
White 70 5530 115 66.4
Black/Blue 70 6173 0 0
Blue/White 70 5681 0 0

Reader Ratings / Reviews

  • The Tradition at Treetops Resort
    2.5 stars out of 5
    by The Golfin' Guy
    on January 18th, 2024 14:10
    Many people believe that Treetops Golf Resort in Gaylord put Northern Michigan on the map as a great golf destination. Although there are several golf resorts in the area with multiple courses, Treetops emerges each year as one of the most recognizable golf resorts in the state. With 81 holes of spectacular golf at two locations (Treetops North is about a 7-minute drive), 226 guest rooms and suites, a spa, a salon, and more than 25,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, it’s easy to see why Treetops Resort is a popular venue for golf getaways, weddings, and business conferences.

    If golf’s not your game there are plenty of other activities including mountain biking, fly fishing, tennis, disc golf, and horseback riding. When the white stuff starts to fall, Treetops transforms into one of Northern Michigan’s top ski resorts, with 23 expertly groomed ski runs, and 14 kilometers of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails.

    Over the years Treetops has received its share of accolades from the golf world. Golf Magazine awarded them its Silver Medal Award as one of the finest resorts in the United States, 7-times. In 2002, Treetops was ranked #32 on Golf Digest’s list of “America's Top 75 Golf Resorts”, and in June 2000, Conde Nast Traveler recognized them as a “Top 50 International Resorts.” Pinehurst and Pebble Beach were the only two golf resorts ranked higher that year. Year in and year out Treetops is awarded at least 4 stars by Golf Digest’s Places to Play. And with courses designed by three of the industry’s top golf architects – Tom Fazio, Robert Trent Jones Sr., and Rick Smith – you’re sure to be challenged.

    For my money, there are two other qualities necessary for a golf resort to earn consideration (besides exciting golf): good dining and comfortable accommodations. On either point, Treetops does not disappoint. Treetops offers three restaurants on the main property that are all located within steps of each other: Legends on the Hill, Hunter's Grille, and the Sports Bar. The food is outstanding and, in many respects, unique. Hunter’s Grille offers an ever-evolving menu of eclectic cuisine and spectacular views from the top of the ski hills. Legends on the Hill has a pasta dish that features a giant elk meatball and handmade herb pappardelle pasta covered in a rich tomato sauce and served with shaved Parmesan, and garlic toast. There’s also fresh Michigan rainbow trout and a Sous Vide Pork Chop that is incredibly delicious.

    At the Sports Bar, you can indulge in your favorite made-to-order pizza or enjoy a hot and spicy Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich. The Southfork Ranch Steak Sandwich is delicious too; 8oz of prime rib, sauteed onions, fresh spinach, and garlic aioli, served on fresh rosemary Herb Bread.

    The Jones Tavern at Treetops North is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. It’s primarily a grab-and-go menu with items like a Signature Burrito, Smith Breakfast Sandwich, the Fazio Grilled Ham and Cheese, and the Traditions Southwest Wrap.

    Bar 81 is located on the main floor of the lodge just past the reception area. There are several TVs, making it a perfect spot to relax with your friends, recap the day, and watch your favorite sports teams. They even offer a light menu, something to snack on between sips of your favorite adult beverage.

    As far as the rooms in the lodge go, the rooms are some of the largest I’ve stayed in. Each room is equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, and coffeemaker as well as a large flat-screen TV, and bathrooms with huge walk-in showers. In the lodge, you’ll find an indoor pool, hot tubs, and a fitness center as well as the Treetops Spa.

    The newest addition to the Treetops lodging collection is the Jones Cottages, located on the 4th hole of the Masterpiece. Each cottage sleeps eight people comfortably, making them perfect for small groups and outings. All are outfitted with modern amenities and the two-floor layout provides added space and unbeatable views.

    Treetops' other three courses can be found at Treetops North, about a 7-minute drive up the road. The Signature was the second 18-hole layout built on the resort property. It was also the first golf course design for Rick Smith who then went on to design the Tradition Course and Threetops. Smith used the insight and knowledge he gained from his numerous trips to Scotland and Ireland to help him shape the courses, giving them the look and feel of some of the world’s best courses.

    Recently, Treetops unveiled the “new and improved” Tradition Golf Course which will appeal to golf enthusiasts who want to experience the game as it was intended to be played – a good walk spoiled by a little white ball! Course Designer Rick Smith has incorporated many of the traits of a links-style golf course on an inland layout. The conversion resulted in the removal of many trees, which brings to life subtly rolling fairways and native grasses. The rough areas have been cleaned up and seeded with various fescue grasses. According to General Manager Barry Owens, “With these links-style changes, you can see up to fifteen different greens on different parts of the golf course.”

    Treetops Resort is located about 5 miles east of Gaylord and only 10 minutes from I-75. With great golf, fantastic dining, and spacious, comfortable rooms, you won’t go wrong in choosing Treetops as your next golf getaway destination.
  • The Tradition at Treetops Resort
    4 stars out of 5
    by Bob
    on February 10th, 2016 11:37
    Loved the course, probably because of the hole-in-one on the 17th, would recommend fun course
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