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Sweetgrass: Top 25 Course

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Sweetgrass Golf Club scored a No. 24 ranking among America’s best Casino Golf Courses, released by Golfweek Magazine in its Dec. 10 edition.

It is the fifth national award the Upper Peninsula-based course has received since opening in mid-2008. Located at the Island Resort & Casino, it is managed by the Hannahville Band of the Potawatomi Nation.

The listing was accompanied by a detailed review of the course by known golf course architecture expert Brad Klein, who used words such as elegant, fascinating, solid and enjoyable to describe the Paul Albanese design.

“Turns out this is a pleasant stroll through 300 acres of prairie, meadow and cedar forest – [offering] a great variety of distance and shape shots,” he wrote.

In making the annual “Best Casino Courses” listing, Sweetgrass has risen above designs by acclaimed architects such as Tom Fazio, Tom Doak, Rees Jones and Ben Crenshaw. “Architect Paul Albanese worked closely with the Hannahville Indian Community, Band of the Potawatomi, in converting its tribal land into elegant golf ground,” the story details.

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The course will host its first national tournament next June for the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass, an LPGA Futures Tour stop.

“There is little doubt that Sweetgrass has been a strong asset to the Island Resort & Casino’s many offerings,” said General Manager Tom McChesney. “It’s drawn new visitors to us who enjoy the value of the golf experience combined with our variety of quality gaming, live entertainment and dining options.”

Sweetgrass will continue to offer its Perfect Foursome golf package in 2011, offering rounds on three UP-based courses and two nights’ lodging starting at $269 per person when the course opens for its third season in spring.

Golfweek first recognized Sweetgrass in 2009 when the leading national golf publication placed the course on its “Best New Courses” list. Golf Digest would later add Sweetgrass to its 2009 “America’s Best New Courses” list in the same year.

The accolades were followed by GOLF Magazine’s “Best Courses Near You” listing this year, placing Sweetgrass as the 13th best course in the golf-rich state of Michigan. Golfweek also named it the 14th best course in Michigan in its annual State by State listings.