LochenHeath Golf Club - Spectacular Views, Award-Winning Design

LochenHeath Golf ClubLochenHeath Golf Club was voted a Golf Magazines Top 10 new golf course when it debuted in 2001. After being closed for two seasons the golf course has rebounded strongly in 2011 and has again gained its luster as a top Michigan golf course.

The 7,239-yard track on the outskirts of Traverse City commands spectacular views of East Grand Traverse Bay. The course meanders over 600 acres of a hilly, rolling, tree-lined terrain of a former cherry orchard that provides a perfect setting for rugged golf holes with expansive fairways, spiced by severe elevation changes from tees to greens.

Florida golf architect Steve Smyers infused a Scottish seaside feel to the layout with a routing that brings lake views to 16 of the 18 holes, deep white sand bunkers framed by shaggy grass collars, and ridges covered with tall native grasses.

The revival of LochenHeath began in October of 2010 when the club was purchased by a Traverse City group, LochenVest LLC. The local businessmen brought in the well-travelled turnaround specialist, Mike Husby, to breathe life into the dormant club.

Husby, a 37-year veteran PGA professional who has earned a reputation across Northern Michigan for his hands-on approach during a career that has seen him function as an accomplished course designer and builder, industry consultant, and resourceful club owner and executive.

Before assuming the role of general manager and director of golf at Lochen-Heath, Husby had a successful five-year stint in the same roles at Candlestone Golf and Resort in Belding, near Grand Rapids.

Husby appears to be successfully working his magic, especially with his emphasis on providing first-rate personal service.

LochenHeath Golf Club

A group of 12 ladies from Windsor recently spent a day at LochenHeath and raved about the service, saying they have never been treated that well at any golf course. Chef Joseph George brought them menus at the first tee to order lunch he served at the turn. That touch of charm and the view of the lake at the first tee prompted them to unanimously declare their intention to return next year.

Although Husby said he was disappointed that the cool wet spring of 2011 hindered the restoration of the course and grounds, he predicted that by the end of June 2011, the conditioning of Lochen-Heath will be near perfect.

“The reaction so far from almost everyone who has played here is they cannot believe how nice it is,” Husby said. “We have a lot of people working, investing in the quality, and I would say 90 percent of the players are shocked by how good the course is.”

One measure of how well the club is being received is in the unexpected surge in paying memberships.

LochenHeath Golf ClubWe were budgeting for 15 to 20 new members this year and we are already at 48,” Husby said. “We are going extremely well, we are very, very close to our budget numbers considering the poor weather.

Husby credits the club’s close proximity to the A-Ga-Ming Golf Club up the road on US-31, the Grand Traverse Resort nearly across the road, and the density of motel and hotel lodging in Traverse City in helping his efforts to kick start the club.

LochenHeath is a natural third stop for golfers playing the two courses at A-Ga-Ming and a nice change of pace for those staying at the Grand Traverse Resort. The $60 - $80 green fees makes LochenHeath an attractive addition for stay-and-play packages offered by the numerous hotels and motels around the bay.

“Our goal of hitting 8,000 to 10,000 rounds that looked impossible in October now looks to be possible,” Husby said. “We are getting tremendous support from the hotels that are within five miles of LochenHeath.”

While the club offers burgers, sandwiches and salads 7 days a week, Chef George turns it up a notch on Thursday through Saturday with more elaborate offerings of local fare tailored to the requests of visitors.

In addition, the LochenHeath Restaurant and full-service outdoor patio provide a relaxing venue for golfers to unwind and replay their entire round, hole by hole. The tournament scoreboard’s on deck location allows for posting group scores and engages a meeting place for award presentation and prizes. Outings and banquets are surrounded by a picturesque golf course with a magnificent view of the water. LochenHeath Golf Club – spectacular views, award-winning design.

Visit www.lochenheath.com for rates and information.


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