Grow-In Progressing at Gull Lake’s Stoatin Brae; Could Mean Some Golf in Late July
RICHLAND, MI – Golf course construction is complete at Stoatin Brae — the much-anticipated 18-hole addition at Gull Lake Golf Club and Resort created by Renaissance Golf Design of Traverse City – and the grow-in is progressing to where some golf might be played by the end of July or early August.
Jon Scott, the third generation of the Scott family to own and operate the resort that currently features five golf courses, overnight lodging, practice facilities and restaurants, said more than of the greens look ready to play.
“The weather hasn’t been perfect this spring, but we are seeding the last fairway,” he said. “I think we are looking at the end of July or early August when we can open the course to limited play, and I don’t know if that will be nine holes, or 11 holes or exactly what yet. Part of it is in great shape, but on others the grass has a way to go and we are looking forward to good weather.”
Scott said any opening this year will be “soft” with regular visitors to Gull Lake, golf VIPs and selected others getting a chance to play.
“It wouldn’t be able to take the wear this year of the amount of golf traffic we expect,” Scott said. “It will be firm enough and mature enough next spring and we will have our true opening then. We’re down to the nitty gritty now, though. We have nothing left to build, and just the detail stuff to get in place.”
Stoatin Brae, which means Grand Hill in Scottish Gaelic, is only the second course of the six the Resort will now feature that is not designed by the talented Scott family. It promises to be a dramatic departure from the current five that cut through the trees and hills on the area’s natural rolling land.
Eric Iverson, Don Placek, Brian Schneider and Brian Slawnik, senior associates for Renaissance owner Tom Doak, collaborated with the Scott family on the site that is located atop an open grassy bluff overlooking the Kalamazoo River valley. Doak is not involved in this project.
Iverson described the Stoatin Brae site as beautiful land with natural undulations and reestablished prairie grasses.
“There is a point on the golf course where you should be able to see 15 flag sticks by looking around you, and most of the course is exposed to the wind,” he said. “A little breeze always adds to the interest of a golf course.”
The new course will play to par 71 over 6,800 yards draped over one of the highest spots in Kalamazoo County. A ground breaking event was held last summer. The Scott Family has provided a golf destination in the southwest corner of Michigan for over 50 years, growing from one 18-hole golf course to what will be 108 holes on six courses when Stoatin Brea comes on board.
Scott said the clubhouse views are going to be spectacular, and that his wife, Starla Scott, came up with a name for the new restaurant that will be part of the new clubhouse. The restaurant will be called “Blue Stem” after a native grass that grows on the golf course.
“It’s a tall, pretty grass that defines some of the native aspects of the course,” Scott said. “We expect to open the restaurant and clubhouse in late July or early August. You know, sometimes you find golf courses that add a restaurant, but in this case we will have a restaurant and golf course opening, and we feel they both will be really good.”
For more information, visit www.gulllakeview.com.