Island Resort already possessed an 18-hole route, Sweetgrass, featuring Pete Dye-style adventure and rail-tie bunkering, and so it decided to pursue a new aesthetic when creating its Sage Run course. Paul Albanese can’t be blamed for following the current trends in architecture by creating a much more “minimalist” installation here.
The focal point, geographically, at this Upper Peninsula course is its drumlin, a large hill carved out of the terrain by glaciation thousands of years ago. By playing across and around the hill, Albanese creates a series of holes that allow players to both let it fly on downward trajectories...or question their muscle on a series of uphill par threes.
One thing it has in common with its sibling course is its closer, a long par five where water traces the inside of the hole. Even now, however, minimalism remains a factor; at Sage Run it’s a marshland, while at Sweetgrass it’s a man-made lake.