Upper Peninsula’s Island Resort and Casino Building New Golf Course


A new, 18-hole golf course will be built at the Island Resort and Casino, located in the Upper Peninsula, near Escanaba.

Paul Albanese, of Plymouth Township-based golf course design firm Albanese and Lutzke, is the architect of the course, which he says is very different from the resort’s existing course, Sweetgrass Golf Club. He says the main feature of the overall landscape is the drumlin, a long, sloping ridge that’s an outcome of past glacier movement in the region.

“The drumlin climbs 100 to 120 feet in some areas,” Albanese says. “The goal is to allow golfers to experience the drumlin throughout the entire course. It comes into play several times, in different directions; up, down, over, and through.” 

He says the yet to be named course, expected to be completed in 2017, will offer views where players can see 20 miles, combined with earth tone colors, including browns and tans.

Sweetgrass Golf Club

The course, about six miles from the resort, will be played about two-thirds through trees, with rugged features like non-manicured bunker edging. Albanese says there will be a sprinkler system installed down the middle of each fairway, but the intent is to allow the grass to brown out toward the edges. He says there will be a drivable par four on each nine and a mix of long and short par threes and fours.

Owned and operated by the Hannahville Indian Community, a band of the Potawatomi Nation, the Island Resort and Casino features more than 1,200 slot machines, along with games such as poker, Blackjack, and Roulette. A spa is also being built at the resort.