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The Jewel at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island is the only golf course in the United States where golfers ride in a horse-drawn carriage ride between nines.

Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, provides guests of this Lake Michigan luxury resort a stunning 18-hole golf course, The Jewel is comprised of two nine-hole courses: the Grand Nine and the Woods Nine. Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island opened in 1887 and was inducted into Historic Hotels of America in 2001. The Grand Nine, located across from the historic hotel with views of the Straits of Mackinac, was designed in 1901 by golf course architect Tom Bendelow and redesigned in 1987 by golf course architect Jerry Matthews. In 1994, Matthews also designed the Woods Nine, located in the interior of Mackinac Island with views of the Mackinac Bridge and the Upper Peninsula. The Jewel is one of the most unique courses in Northern Michigan and the United States. As the only course in the country with horse-drawn carriage rides between nines, it truly is a Grand golf experience.

Among the many sports champions and notable figures who have played the Jewel include 1987 U.S. Open Championship winner Scott Simpson, sports announcer Jim Nantz, and former U.S. President Gerald Ford. President Ford himself was fond of Mackinac Island throughout his life, with his first visit taking place all the way back during his youth in the 1920s. (He specifically served as an Eagle Scout at the Mackinac Island State Park Commission’s Scout Service Camp.) As such, President Ford returned frequently while on vacation, engaging in activities like sampling fresh candy at Mary’s Fudge, touring Fort Mackinac, and playing a round or two at The Jewel.

Mackinac Island also offers golfers access to the nearby Wawashkamo Golf Club located in the island’s state park. There, guests can play one of the best-preserved links-style courses, designed and constructed in 1898 by Scottish golf course designer Alex Smith. Born into one of Scotland’s most prominent golfing families, Smith spent most of his career as a club professional in the United States. He quickly grew in prominence due to his skill with a club, winning the U.S. Open in both 1906 and 1910 after his brother, Willie, won it a decade earlier. But Smith also gained prestige for his work on a couple American golf courses, including the brilliant holes that now define the historic Wawashkamo Golf Club.


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