New course at Gull Lake View nearing completion ahead of 2016 opening


New course at Gull Lake View nearing completion ahead of 2016 opening
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Work on the new golf course at Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort in Michigan, US, is progressing well, with the 18-holer set to be ready for play in mid-2016.

Stoatin Brae will be the sixth course at Gull Lake View, and has been designed by a team from Tom Doak’s Renaissance Golf Design.

A number of the firm’s senior associates – namely Eric Iverson, Brian Schneider, Brian Slawnik and Don Placek – are overseeing the design and construction of the course, working alongside members of the Scott Family, who have owned and operated the resort for three generations.

“The overall approach is consistent with what Jon Scott really feels strongly about,” Iverson said. “Bring back the fun in golf. It’s one of the things we all need to do to make sure the game perseveres.”

Built on the site of a former apple orchard, the course has been stripped of trees and replanted with prairie grasses.

“The desire is for the course to play fast and firm,” Brian Schneider said. “There will be the option of running the ball along the ground and into the greens. The fairways are wide. It was built to be fun. Fun plays a big part in all the work we’ve ever done. Fun means being able to play one ball, finding your ball, having width off the tee, half-par holes. From tee to green you can find your ball. Par is defended around the greens. There is a bit more contour in the greens at Stoatin Brae than you’ll find on the other courses at the resort.”

Once complete, the course will play a total of 6,700 yards from the back tees, but an extra set of forward tees will also be put in place to accommodate for beginners, young golfers, women and seniors. From these tees, the course will play around 4,000 yards.

“As far as the short tees go, when I approached Eric about this, he agreed immediately,” said Jon Scott, president of Gull Lake View. “The guys at Renaissance are really, honestly committed to building something that works at all levels. They have a ton of experience in construction around the world and as broad an exposure to golf courses as any design crew that we could have worked with. Making a challenging course for good golfers and a playable course for the average guy is about as tough a design job as you can have.”