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Northport Nine

Northport Nine

Nestled way up in the ‘pinky’ of the Mitten State, Northport Creek is nine holes of fun, affordable golf for everyone. The Port is a community staple and built to accommodate golfers of all skill levels and ages.

By: Matt Fernandez

The Loop

Northport weaves its way over gentle contours of naturally flowing land. The holes feel like they were always meant to be there. Tee boxes are close to greens allowing for an enjoyable walk--our preferred method. Each hole is uniquely its own, requiring different shots to be hit throughout the round. It’s not overly long or difficult, but it does require good placement off the tee and into most greens. Take the 3rd hole for example; 345-yard dogleg right with native grass running down both sides of the fairway and water surrounding a downhill green that runs away from you. It’s a great hole that you can birdie or bogey on any given day. One of my favorite holes on the property (along with 6, 8 & 9).

Relaxed Vibe

The course is purposely laid-back in all the right ways. It’s meant to be a place where you squeeze in 9 before heading out on the boat, while also being a spot you could loop all day and never get tired of it. One of my favorite parts of Northport is their 6-hole route. The 6th hole finishes right in front of the Pro Shop/parking lot allowing for an even shorter loop if you’re pressed for time. It’s an enjoyable, quick loop with plenty of interesting holes. It’s the perfect option for golfers only wanting to play a few or when you’re chasing daylight and want to fit in 6 more.

Sustainability & Community

Tucked off to the side of the 2nd green and 3rd tee sits a set of solar panels that power the golf carts and irrigation allowing the course to be super-energy efficient. Northport doesn’t mow down unnecessary areas, allowing for tall native grass to swallow up errant shots on some holes. This adds to the course aesthetic, lessens chemical usage, cuts down on manpower, & provides wildlife habitats. The course also allows community cross country skiing in the winter months, providing usage of community land that would otherwise sit barren during the winters. It’s initiatives like this that make Northport so special and should be an example for other sustainable community courses.

"Let's play it again."

More often than not, we loop another nine. It’s the type of course that leaves you wanting more and keeps you coming back. Maybe even that same afternoon.

Ideal Trip Up to Northport

The ideal day trip to Northport Creek would start with a morning round and look a little something like this:

6-7AM Depart for Northport (coming from Traverse City)

Catching the sunrise up the shoreline on M-22 is a sight to see. Try to keep those eyes on the road. 

8AM Grab breakfast

Best places on the ride up: 45th Parallel in Suttons Bay (sit-down) or grab a breakfast sammy & coffee to-go from Bohemian Café in downtown Northport. 

8:30-9AM Balls in Air

Stop in the shop & say hi to the GM, Chris, before you head out. Hit a few balls/putts, and throw the peg in. Let it fly. Walk, don’t ride this time. 

11AM Run it Back.

No time to waste, run it back for another 9. This time play from a different tee box every hole or take a few clubs out of the bag (5 clubs is plenty). 

1PM Head to Town

Grab lunch in Northport. There’s not a ton of options, but that’s the beauty of it. Every spot in town is a good one, but we recommend hitting up The Mitten for a wood-fire pizza & a few brews (if you’re not driving). If you want something different, try Fingers Crossed or Around the Corner. 

2:30PM Decision Time

Here’s where you have a decision to make. Head out or keeping playing. If you’re heading out, stop by Boone’s Prime Time Pub or Hoplot in Suttons Bay, The Cove in Leland, or Dick’s Pour House in Lake Leelanau. 

3PM Balls in Air, Again

One more loop for the soul. This round is super lax; hit two balls, go for the green like ’08 Tiger, try & hit that 3-iron stinger off the tee. Tunes on, shirt untucked, let loose, you’ll probably play better. But as always, respect the course.

5PM Head to Leelanau State Park

Pack up the car and head North to the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula. Get out and walk around/take in the view. Take a dip if you’re up for it. There’s nothing more refreshing than taking a dip in the Great lakes post-round. This is peak North Coast.

6:30PM Let’s Grab Dinner

There’s only one place to go from here: Fischers Happy Hour Tavern. This place is a long-time staple and a must. Get the Chicken Dinner.

8PM Catch Sunset

Head South on M-22 to Clay Cliffs Natural Area or Christmas Cove Beach to catch an unreal sunset over Lake Michigan. You’ve had one helluva day.

North Coast


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