Golf Playing Lessons Part of Incomparable Programs and Facilities at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

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Golf Playing Lessons Part of Incomparable Programs and Facilities at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

A ManACME, MI – In over 30 years as a golf instructor, Mark Hill, the new head golf professional and director of instruction at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, has found what is taught on the practice tee doesn’t always transfer to the course.

“That is why I encourage and incorporate playing lessons,” said Hill, whose wide range of golf experience includes being a former course owner and working with renowned teachers like Dave Pelz, Rick Smith, Ken Venturi and the legendary Gene Sarazen.

“I have found over the years that people have a hard time managing themselves around the golf course, and that a lot of shots are wasted because golfers are not sure what to do in situations they have not seen on the practice tee.”

Hill recalled a recent playing lesson with a young student during which the benefit of a playing lesson was game-changing. The student hit a tee shot behind a tree, and for his second shot started to simply chip back toward the fairway. Hill stopped him.

“I suggested he play a right-to-left draw around the tree and on to the green, which in this situation was clearly the play,” he said. “He told me he didn’t know how to hit a draw. I talked him through it, and he hit the draw around the tree and on the green. He was amazed at what he could do. People get in ruts on the practice tee looking for the perfect golf swing, and then get on the course and find being able to work the ball left-to-right and other ways are necessary.”

It’s never too early or too late in life or even the golf season to learn, and golf never truly ends at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. For at least a few more weeks beautiful Northern Michigan fall colors are the stunning backdrop on the resort’s three world-class golf courses – The Bear, The Wolverine and Spruce Run.

Also, once the snow flies and the courses are closed, the state-of-the-art Golf Academy stays open. The Golf Academy’s winter programs are set to begin December 15 with private instruction, practice sessions, golf leagues, clinics, “Create Your Own Golf Night,” and use of the Resort’s golf course simulator for the public and Resort club members.

“Those winter golf trips and spring rounds go much better if you have kept your game in shape,” Hill said. “That can easily be accomplished here. The warm weather we’ve had this fall kept the colors around a little longer and once you come inside for the winter we will keep you swinging and improving.”

The Golf Academy, a 2,000 square foot headquarters that transforms into the Winter Golf Center when snow flies, features three heated, indoor-outdoor hitting bays equipped with mirrors and motion-capture technology for swing analysis. Clinics, practice sessions, private lessons, club-fitting seminars, equipment demonstrations, hole-in-one and long drive contests and indoor league competition are offered as well via the GC2-powered Golf Simulator by Foresight Sports.

“Having the capability to get students on camera, determine swing speeds and angles, makes all the difference in the world, especially to the visual student,” Hill said. “For those who learn in other ways, we have several drills to help. Habits are hard to break and golf habits even harder because muscle memory is involved. We can find drills to train you to do the correct things in the golf swing.”

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa recently completed a $7million renovation of guest rooms in its 17-story glass-encased tower. The remake of the rooms in the tallest building in Northern Michigan also capped a $34 million investment in improving all aspects of the facility by its owners, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

In addition to award-winning world-class golf facilities, the resort offers 86,500 square feet of meeting space, multiple dining choices, including the upscale flagship Aerie Restaurant & Lounge on the tower’s 16th floor, a 100,000 square foot indoor outdoor health club, the 7,000 square foot Spa Grand Traverse with 23 treatment rooms, five indoor tennis courts, and a 15,000-square foot indoor water playground.

For more information on the Golf Academy call 231-534-6550 or toll free at 800-236-1577. You can also send an email to GOLFACADEMY@GTRESORT.COM or visit

Media contacts:

Dave Richards at Resort & Golf Marketing, or 248-642-6420.

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa contact: J. Michael DeAgostino, Public Relations Manager 231-534-6352