LochenHeath Golf Resort

WILLIAMSBURG – The countdown to Opening Day for the revived LochenHeath Golf Club continues as General Manager Mike Husby took delivery of a new fleet of golf carts, received a liquor license for the premises, and welcomed home accomplished Chef Joseph George who will supervise the club’s food and beverage operation.

George was the executive chef and food and beverage director at LochenHeath for three years before the club ran into financial difficulties and closed several years ago. He returns to LochenHeath from the nearby Grand Traverse Resort & Spa where he was the executive chef.

“Chef George is a key addition for us as we go after the wedding parties and golf outings we want to attract,” Husby said. “We have already booked four substantial parties because of him and he will direct a culinary staff that will do a great job.”

Although the club’ menu will initially be limited to casual cuisine, George’s presence in the kitchen will allow the club to fill special requests that groups of golfers might make in advance of playing the course.

Lockenheath #16

“I’ve had a number of chefs work for me in the past and Chef George is simply the best,” Husby said. George specializes in using fresh local ingredients coupled with a simplistic approach to fine cuisine, Husby said.

During a five-year stint at the Dow Chemical Club/Midland Country Club, from 2000 to 2005, George was promoted to the executive chef position. During that time he had the opportunity to travel and study under four world renowned chefs.

In August 2004 he worked under Chef Richard Sturgeon at the Marine Hotel in Troon, Scotland, during the British Open tournament. The previous year he worked with Chef David Dempsey at Gordon Ramsey’s Amaryllis restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland.

In 2002 George spent part of a month working under Chef Grant Achatz at Trio, in Chicago. He did a similar stint in 2001 at the French Laundry in Napa Valley, Ca. training under Chef Thomas Keller.

The liquor license will complement George’s operation, making the club a full service facility. With indoor and outdoor facilities that can accommodate parties up to 400 persons, the club is going all out to attract such gatherings.

Husby said the new cart fleet is electric state-of-the-art models, a confirmation of the club’s new ownership’s commitment to a first-class golf operation. The course will be open for play later this month.

Husby, a 30-year veteran PGA professional, is also an accomplished course designer and contractor, industry consultant, executive, and club owner. Over the years he has earned a reputation in Northern Michigan as a turn-around specialist for troubled golf properties. He will also serve as the director of golf at LochenHeath.

The LochenHeath complex was bought out of foreclosure last December by a group of Traverse City investors. The course opened to great fanfare 10 years ago as a private upscale residential development centered by the award-winning 7,040-yard course designed by Florida architect Steve Smyers. Missteps by successive out-of-state management teams drove the property into foreclosure.

Before that deal was completed Husby recruited former LochenHeath superintendent Joe Ettawagiac to return last fall and oversee restorations to the course and prepare it for the winter. Golfers will notice that landing areas on the course have been widened to accommodate speed of play.

The course occupies a spectacular site of rolling tree-lined land overlooking East Grand Traverse Bay, and offers one of the best practice facilities in the north.

Husby is a former Northern Michigan PGA Player of The Year. Among his design credits are the Loon and Marsh Ridges golf courses in Gaylord and the Wild Bluff Golf Club in Brimley. He also served as general manager of the clubs and was instrumental in landing a LPGA Tour event at Wild Bluff.


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