Elk Ridge Golf Club Offers Relaxing Atmosphere

By Ray Brewer, Contributor

ATLANTA, MI --Imagine stepping up to the tee box, looking down the fairway and seeing a deer or turkey in the path of your driver.

Yes, a deer or turkey enjoying the afternoon sun as your prepare to launch your first shot. And if you're lucky, there might be some elk or bobcat wondering the links.

Welcome to the Elk Ridge Golf Club in Atlanta, Mich., where the beauty of the wilderness adds to the golfing experience.

The course, ranked No. 47 by Golf Digest in the magazine's Top 75 Upscale Public Courses standings in 1996-97, covers over 400 acres of land and gives golfers of all skill level an opportunity to shine.

Elk Ridge prides itself on being the benchmark of quality and conditions for public courses - especially in the golf hotbed of northern Michigan.

"It's a great layout with a whole lot of variety," said Scott Landane, the course's vice president and director of golf. "No two holes are alike. We pride ourselves in the condition."

They offer four sets of tees to play from, ranging from Championship Gold (over 7,000 yards) to Forward Red (playing at 5,261). Some features that add to the challenge of Elk Ridge, include: undulating greens, rolling fairways, doglegs, marshes and wetlands.

Landane believes this layout gives golfers plenty of room to function.

"One thing that we are real pleased with is the fact that we could be packed out there and because of the layout not look busy," Landane said. "You are not hitting into other groups and feel in solitude."

The wildlife sets Elk Ridge apart from your ordinary golf club.

The course is located in Michigan's Elk Capital and has some of the largest elk herd in the state roaming the fairways. Other members of the wildlife family that can regularly be spotted on the course include eagles, wild turkey, bobcat and bear.

Don't worry, none of the animals are harmful - consider yourself golfing in harmony with nature. It's important to note that all 18 holes of the course were designed so they didn't interfere with the wetlands, duck marshes and natural life forms that previously called the land the course was built on home.

There are also several points on the course that offer a stunning view. For example, Elk Ridge's clubhouse - designed to resemble Indian teepees with authentic Indian artifacts on display - is a great place to get an overview of the entire course.

Construction began in 1989 in building Elk Ridge and the course officially open in 1991. In January of 1992, the course was rated by Golf Digest as the second best public golf course in America.

Ray Brewer, Contributor

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment