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Revitalized Course Opening in Michigan


Manitou Passage Golf Club in Cedar, Mich., will reopen for play on June 18th following an extensive remodel overseen by Arnold Palmer's design company. The former Kings Challenge Golf Club was renamed as well in lieu of the refurbishments.

A group of golf devotees purchased the course last year and set about rejuvenating the property beside the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore near Leelanau. Bob Kuras, president of the nearby Homestead, brought in the Arnold Palmer Design Company, Peridian International and Wadsworth Golf Construction Company to assist with renovation efforts and creating the course that Arnold Palmer envisioned in 1998.

"We are very excited about the opening of the new Manitou Passage Golf Club and the new experience that guests will be treated to when they play the new course," said Kuras. "We adopted a very high goal and are delighted with the contributions that Palmer, Peridian and Wadsworth made toward our achieving that goal. We are looking forward to becoming a destination course and providing the playing conditions and service golfers desire and deserve."

Manitou Passage now measures 6,700 yards, a few hundred yards longer than its former configuration and plays to a par 71. Each hole features five new rectangular tee boxes. Other changes included the lengthening of holes, restoring areas with native grasses, and clearing trees and brush to open up vistas around the course. In addition, the green complexes were redone.

Major changes were made to 18th hole, which was lengthened to over 500 yards with new fairway lines setting up a view of the renovated clubhouse. The 17th hole, a picturesque par-3 with views of the Leelanau countryside, had bunker changes and teeing areas repositioned so the green can be seen from each tee. The 16th, a demanding par-4, saw its tees shifted 50 yards to the west and the removal of trees at the corner, opening up the driving area and creating a risk-reward tee shot.

Other improvements were made at the second and fourth holes, where tees were repositioned and trees removed to allow better angles into the greens.

Wadsworth once referred to the par-5 eighth hole as "the worst golf hole in the world," but not anymore. The hole was entirely rebuilt with trees removed, tee boxes repositioned and fairway lines revised to now offer one of the better vistas in northern Michigan. The hole plays downhill to a green guarded by a pond.

Also involved was a complete renovation of the clubhouse and entrance. The new clubhouse features a stone and cedar shake exterior with a porch area where guests can view the 18th hole. The interior boasts a stone fireplace, leather sofas and open-air ceilings that expand from the new entrance area, dining area and a new golf shop. The upgrades also include new locker room areas.

"We are very excited with the renovation work to the golf course, clubhouse, and entrance areas," Kuras added. "Now when golfers arrive, they will feel right away, as they pull into the entrance, that they are going to experience a world-class golf facility from the moment they arrive, as well as on the course, to when they leave."

Manitou Passage Golf Club will offer a variety of golf packages through the Homestead, the resort destination located in nearby Glen Arbor. For more information, call 888/656-7572 or visit www.manitoupassagegolfclub.com or www.thehomesteadresort.com.