Resort’s bold, new Sage Run joins Michigan’s top courses, including Sweetgrass in recognition from magazine’s expert panelists

HARRIS, Michigan – The newest golf course in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Sage Run at Island Resort & Casino, has been named to Golfweek’s list of “Best in State” courses. Sage Run, ranked 20th on the list, is the resort’s second course and Paul Albanese’s follow-up to his popular Sweetgrass design, the resort’s first course.

Golfweek’s course ratings panel continually evaluates courses and rates them based on 10 criteria, then files a single, overall rating on each course. The overall ratings for each course are then averaged together and then ranked against other courses in its state, to produce the final rankings. All the list’s courses allow public access in some fashion.

“Michigan is known for having some of America’s best public golf courses and our state rankings by Golfweek showcase that,” says Tony Mancilla, Island Resort’s General Manager. “To make that list and be alongside these other great layouts is a testament to the dramatic, bold and contrasting designs that Albanese created, and the standards to which our superintendents maintain the courses to bring an amazing golf experience.”

Sage Run is built around a natural scenic ridge, where golfers must find the fairways — and their correct side avoiding the fescue rough — to set up ideal angles and scoring opportunities into the greens. The course showcases exceptional variety, including holes like the significantly uphill par-3 5th or the short par-4 16th that dares you to take on an uphill shot to a blind landing area. 

Albanese said the renowned Royal County Down in Northern Ireland served as inspiration for Sage Run’s bunkering and overall “rough and rugged” aesthetic. The course also hosts the Island Resort Collegiate Championship, a two-day, 54-hole stroke-play invitational featuring some of the top college teams and players in the country.

“It’s a great honor to have Sage Run recognized among the best courses in Michigan, especially considering the quality and depth of top architects and designs Michigan offers,” Albanese says. “It was my goal with Sage Run to create a completely different golfing experience for resort guests. The rugged land, with the ridge running through it, was completely different from Sweetgrass, allowing us to be bold and creative with some fun and exciting shot options.”

Prior to Sage Run, Sweetgrass was the Island Resort & Casino’s first course, opening in 2007 to rave reviews. Currently ranked No. 10 among Golfweek’s Best in State Courses in Michigan and recognized by GOLF Magazine and Golf Digest Best in State rankings, Sweetgrass is a prairie links-style course that meanders to a wide-open vista where many greens and flags can be seen in the distance. 

Golfers also experience some of the game’s most fun greens to putt (Redan, Biarritz, Island, and Double-green). Located adjacent to the resort, rooms high up in the hotel tower have panoramic views of the spectacular finishing holes, the par-5 9th and 18th holes that are divided by a scenic and strategic pond and waterfall.

New renovations, suites, and packages catering to golfers

Golfers booking a golf vacation in 2022 will love the new hotel addition and renovations. An expanded tower, connected to the south end of the resort’s Palm Tower, features 138 guest rooms and suites, with some special attention for golfers who visit — fresh, expansive golf suites. The spacious 675-square-foot suites are complete with a king, double queen, and common area, all with breathtaking views of the Sweetgrass — perfect for foursomes seeking added space and a fun environment. 

Now is the time for golfers to book 2022 golf packages. Led by Sweetgrass and Sage Run, the resort’s fully customized packages offer 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-night lodging options with up to four golf rounds that may include two neighboring courses. Package prices range from $95-$758, depending on time of year and single/double occupancy. 

About Island Resort & Casino

Located in Michigan’s scenic Upper Peninsula 15 minutes west of Escanaba, Island Resort & Casino is one of the Midwest’s largest golf, casino, and entertainment resort destinations. The resort now features 400+ guest rooms, more than 1,200 of the latest slots, a poker room, various gaming tables, a sportsbook, bingo hall, two championship golf courses, the luxurious Drift Spa, an RV park, a headline entertainment showroom, a pool with waterpark features, an expansive convention space that can be customized, and enough dining choices to please every palate. The resort is easily accessible via regional airports in Escanaba and Marquette – connecting through Detroit, Saginaw, Lansing, or Grand Rapids. .  

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