Elmbrook offers family atmosphere

By Ray Brewer, Contributor

Traverse City, Mich. - The people at Elmbrook golf club invite you to make yourself at home when visiting their course.

You see, creating a casual atmosphere is something the folks at Elmbrook take pride in.

It has seemingly been this way forever.

"We've been owned by the same family for 35 years," said clubhouse manager Dennis Sternburgh. "So, we have a lot of regulars…it is a real family atmosphere. When you go this long under the same ownership, you get to know one generation of kids and their grand kids."

Elmbrook is owned by the Nelson family, with 93-year old Vern Nelson opening the course in 1966. Some three decades later, Vern's children are in charge of the day-to-day operations.

Elmbrook is a public course located in the middle of the Traverse City golf community, an area that houses over 25 championship calliber courses. The course's generous amounts of beauty parlayed with challenging holes gives Elmbrook the setting they strive for - relaxing.

The course's motto 'Fun with Friends' is only fitting.

"We are a local favorite," Sternburgh said. "It is a mature course. We feel the course helps us create the atmosphere we are here for. There are a lot of friendships and relationships built out there."

The course speaks for itself.

Elmbrook, one of the oldest courses in northern Michigan, is situated on high, rolling terrain that cast an overview of the East and West Grand Traverse Bays. The course also features a sand bunker carved in tribute to the Great Lakes - the body of water that surrounds Michigan - on the third fairway.

"It's a challenging course that doesn't play too long," Sternburgh said of the par-72, 6,100-yard layout. "Most of the holes run through some rolling hills. If you get off the fairway, some real challenges lie ahead. This course puts a premium on hitting the ball straight."

If you fail to hit your shot straight down the fairway, there is one excuse that anyone on the course will buy.

Just explain how you were side tracked by the stunning backdrop.

The land the course was built on provides views of both Bays and the surrounding area while the pine trees and hardwoods that line the course are red, yellow and orange in color.

This excuse will work perfectly on hole No. 13. On this hole, one can see both Bays, downtown and three separate counties.

Ray Brewer, Contributor

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