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.
Sage run is the new shiny toy of the Island resort and casino in Harris MI. I’ve spoke on how amazing the golf stay and plays are here and with four solid course offerings it’s easily one of the best deals in all of golf. Sage Run is still maturing but was my least favorite of the four course offering. The course starts slow with several long flat par fours with hard aiming points. One of my big issues with this course is the tee boxes they are cut long and are set up almost as long mown fairways, maybe so they can move the tees and keep them in good condition not sure i’ve never seen it but I can say they are not flat and I don’t like them. Another big miss of the course is off line drives can be unplayable, as there are rocks everywhere. Not sure if the course has a plan to rectify this but I’m talking about destroy your club rocks, I’m guessing the course was covered with them and they decided to only go so far but they need to do better as you can’t be expected to be in the fairway. There are some fun holes and most of what is wrong can be fixed so I look forward to playing the course again and seeing it mature.