National Golf Course of the Year is in Southwest Michigan

Stoatin Brae is the best, and we have proof

Stoatin Brae is only four years old and already it’s winning national awards.

“For little ol’ Gull Lake View in Southwest Michigan, it’s surreal that people know who we are,” said Bill Johnson, vice president of the golf club and resort.

Word is out: GLV’s newest course provides some of the best golf in the country.

The Jemesk National Course of the Year is chosen by the National Golf Course Owners Association. The winner has to go through state finals and regionals before going up against the other three top courses in the nation.

Stoatin Brae is special in the way it uses the land’s natural beauty.

A links-style course, the design really leans into the wild feel of it. Like on a windswept moor, you’re surrounded by wildflowers and tall grasses. Bill said they wanted to try some new things with the flora, including Lo-Mo Kentucky Bluegrass. This hearty strain of grass was rare when Stoatin Brae added it to the fairways. It’s becoming more popular for not only courses, but baseball and soccer fields.

Stand at hole number two, and you get the best view in the county. Standing above the treetops, you can see for miles.

When the course was only a scrap of land and a dream, Tom Doak himself came out to look. The esteemed architect behind Renaissance Golf said he could see potential, too. He had members of his team work on the design with Gull Lake View.

Leading the charge with Bill was Jon Scott, grandson of Gull Lake View’s founders. The recognition of their hard work is bittersweet, as Jon passed away this year.

Bill misses his friend, whom he called the visionary. He didn’t know what Jon would have said at the news of their winning a national award, but he laughed while he guessed there would be a lot of swearing. 

“It came so fast, he wouldn’t believe it,” Bill said.

To win National Course of the Year takes beauty, but also a commitment to community and teaching the game of golf.

Besides being the home for the local high school’s golf team, the Scott family has an education support foundation within the Michigan Golf Course Association.

Stoatin Brae is run with the 50 years of experience the Scott family has acquired since the founding of the first two courses at Gull Lake View.

While Stoatin Brae is the most expensive course on the resort, it’s still more affordable than other past winners of course of the year, which can reach up towards $200. Located between Detroit and Chicago, Stoatin Brae is easy to get to and is going to warm up quicker than the courses in Northern Michigan.

One of the best courses in the nation is within easy reach. If you’d like to turn it into a golf outing, contact Southern Swing and our sales coordinator can make all the arrangements for you.