Kevin McKinley, PGA Director of Golf
As a golfer of nearly 35 years, I've become a lover of historical golf courses. One might not consider a golf course built in 1986 to be historic but when it comes to the Robert Trent Jones Masterpiece at Treetops, I beg to differ. There is no other golf course in the Midwest that has done more to promote an area than the Masterpiece. Prior to the mid 80's, northern Michigan was not considered a golf destination. That all changed when Harry Melling and Rick Smith brought RTJ Sr. to town. You may or may not know that Jones Sr. coined the resort's name Treetops as he stood atop what is now the par 3 sixth hole (quite possibly the most replicated hole in all of the Midwest). Many have tried (and some have done a great job) to build at least one par 3 on their golf course like the Jones #6 and in my opinion, that's not even the most beautiful spot on the golf course. Next time you're playing the Masterpiece (and I hope that it's soon) do me a favor....once you reach each green take a glance back up the fairway and take in the beautiful views backwards. Rick Smith has said many times the RTJ Sr. claimed his Masterpiece to be just as beautiful backwards as it was forward. My favorite Treetops' course is the Masterpiece because of its beauty, its bold yet fair challenge but most of all for its contribution to the recent history of northern Michigan golf.