Top golf coming to Michigan’s Leelanau County
GLEN ARBOR, MI — A deal has been struck. Papers have been signed. The King’s Challenge Golf Course in Cedar is now under new ownership and promises to become one of the top golf destinations not only in northern Michigan but in the entire United States.
“The course is now owned by a group of local investors with a profound interest in having exceptionally high quality golf in Leelanau County,” says Bob Kuras, president of The Homestead in Glen Arbor and the man named to head the new operation.
Set amidst green meadows and the rolling, hilly hardwoods forests typical of the county, this Arnold Palmer “signature course” was already regarded by local golfers as secluded, scenic, and as serenely beautiful as it was challenging and rewarding to play. Those who played the old King’s Challenge and thought it a good course are going to be delighted with what’s coming, according to Kuras.
Right now there are only three other public golf courses remaining in Leelanau County: the Dunes Golf Club in Empire; the old course at Sugar Loaf course; and The Leelanau Club at Bahle Farms.
Investors in this project are not simply looking to add another course to the roster. The goals, according to Kuras, are to create nothing less than a golf course that can compete on a national level, which should serve to boost tourism in Leelanau County, employment opportunities for local residents, and increase revenue for local businesses.
A long and ambitious list of improvements is under way, starting with a thorough upgrade of the already beautiful course with help from the Arnold Palmer Design Company and Wadsworth Golf Construction Company, two of the most respected firms in the business.
“The quality of Palmer’s work is known throughout the world. And, Brent Wadsworth is a friend and seasonal neighbor who has built 800 golf courses including those at some of the most prestigious clubs in the world. We are fortunate to have Brent as an adviser, and contractor,” says Kuras.
In addition to the work on the course, substantial interior and exterior renovations to the clubhouse will go hand-in-hand with plans to provide food and beverage services featuring local products. A cart pavilion, staging area, and new maintenance building will also be constructed.
In keeping with a long tradition of responsible environmental stewardship and protection of the region’s natural resources, all of the improvements are being planned, built, and managed to qualify for the Audubon International’s Cooperative Sanctuary Program and the LEED (the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance, according to Kuras.
“We’re anxious to open the course,” says Kuras. “Construction will begin May 1, 2009.” The work will be done in stages to allow the course to reopen as soon as possible this year.