For nearly six decades, Gull Lake View, located in southern Michigan between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek (home of Kellogg’s cereal), has been part of the Midwest’s golf fabric. And one family is to thank for that. Now in its fourth generation, the Scott family continues building Gull Lake View into one of America’s largest family-owned golf resort destinations. Among Gull Lake View’s six courses is the acclaimed Stoatin Brae, which was named “National Golf Course of the Year” by the National Golf Course Owners Association in 2020.
The backstory: In 1963, Darl Scott left nearby Gull Lake Country Club to build a quality and affordable golf complex for everyone to enjoy. On beautiful rolling land that could be mistaken for northern Michigan’s scenic turf, Darl and wife Letha began to define and exemplify how fun and exquisite destination golf could be with their first course, Gull Lake West.
The Scotts worked hard, and Gull Lake View grew more popular. Two of their sons guided the family golf business into the next generation, continuing its growth and eventually developing its second course, Gull Lake East. The 36-hole destination quickly became the “buzz” of Michigan golf. And with two courses to play, golfers had a reason to stay the night. So the Scotts built lodging.
The family then designed two more courses right down the road from the originals in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Stonehedge North and South elevated Gull Lake View to a new level of challenge and beauty. Golfers were traveling from all over the Midwest to experience this down-to-earth destination.
One of the most unique aspects of how the Scotts developed Gull Lake View, and certainly one of the ways they kept costs down and passed the savings onto golfers via affordable rates, was by having Darl design each course, and use his agronomy, landscaping and construction skills to build his “Field of Dreams.” Ultimately, the Scotts did not build two of the resort’s courses.
In 1988, they acquired Bedford Valley, which hosted the Michigan Open on many occasions, then completely changed their philosophy creating a new-age minimalist style design.
They collaborated with Brian Schneider, Eric Iverson, Don Placek, and Brian Slawnik — all senior associates of the acclaimed Renaissance Golf Design of Traverse City — on Stoatin Brae, which opened just shy of six years ago. Stoatin Brae, which means Grand Hill in Scottish Gaelic, is, among other things, an effort to reach travel-minded golfers who seek destination courses that offer exciting new adventures. Its open links-style layout with delightful Scottish characteristics lets golfers often see up to 12 greens and flags in most directions. And it blends in architectural elements from golf’s golden design era.
Gull Lake View is a fun and rewarding experience for everyday golfers of all skill levels. With its variety of golf and simple-yet-charming lodging and dining, this resort is one of America’s best affordable golf destinations based on its quality and quantity of fun golf. Working-class buddies can have a similar experience and camaraderie without breaking the bank as they would by traveling long distances to high-end, multi-course oceanfront destinations that often receive all the national attention. Gull Lake View’s green fees and lodging can often be found for less than $100. America needs more of this incredible golf value and quality!
For more information, visit https://www.gulllakeview.com.