Mountain Blog

Tee It Forward
Nancy Story - Tuesday, April 30, 2013


In her 30 years as a Golf Professional, Crystal Mountain's Ina Davis has taught lessons and camps for both adults and juniors, besides working with several area golf teams. Recently, she was named by Golf Digest Magazine as one of Michigan’s Top Teachers In The State, #12. As a Crystal Mountain golf professional, Davis developed and continues to teach Mini-Camps for juniors ages 7-12. Davis also implemented the PGA’s Play Golf America Program, Get Golf Ready. This program teaches beginning to intermediate golfers the fundamentals of swing, golf course etiquette and rules, plus supervised playing experiences. By implementing and hosting Play Golf America programs, Davis became a member of the PGA President’s Council on Growing the Game.  In 2006 and again in 2011, Davis was awarded the Michigan Section PGA President’s Plaque in recognition of her impact on golf instruction and extraordinary commitment to grow the game. Here's a tip from Ina:

Do you wish your approach shot to the green was just a bit easier? Would you rather hit an iron into the green vs. a fairway wood or hybrid? If you want to play faster and have more fun, go ahead and move up a set of tees - meaning, TEE IT FORWARD.

When you TEE IT FORWARD, you hit more lofted irons into greens, putt for birdies and pars more often, play faster and score better. TEE IT FORWARD is a national initiative by the PGA to make golf more fun by playing the tees that best suit your game. It’s dependent on how far you hit your drive. The TEE IT FORWARD chart below suggests what tees to play. Crystal Mountain is behind this initiative 100 percent. We want you to have fun!




















If you currently play from the forward-most tees, are new to the game and feel a full length course is too long and intimidating, try our family tees, also known as the short tees on the Betsie Valley.  It’s even okay to start at the 150 or 200 yard marker.

When my Dad and his buddies started playing from the forward red tee, they loved it.  They were having more fun using shorter clubs into the green, not fairway woods and hybrids. 

So let’s have some FUN playing golf!  Join your friends and enjoy a new, positive experience on the golf course - move up a set of tees and TEE IT FORWARD!

If that doesn’t work, take a golf lesson from me.

PermaSnow on the Links
Nancy Story - Tuesday, April 23, 2013




 Golf season is here, at least in conversation as we curse its absence. Most of the slopes still wear white (apparently not getting the memo that white is not to be worn before Memorial Day). Wait a minute. This is April. This is supposed to be the end of it all. The ski lockers are all cleaned out. The cafeteria has been dismantled. Lost and found litter has been picked up and packed away. Golfers circle Kinlochen’s Pro Shop hungrily, eyeing bare strips of green and watching for signs of warmth. A mid-April golf course opening date was set back in November, when the Crystal Ball department missed the forecast of a cold and snowy April. Who was to know we’d need golf carts with four-wheel drive to clamber up snow-covered cart paths?  Who’d have thought our golf pros would need to strap crampons on their shoes just to check out the glacial Mountain Ridge fairways? Perhaps all this snow was why cross country skier numbers this winter were up 88 per cent from last season. Go figure. We hope to have holes open by Friday, April 26th - but call ahead to the Pro Shop, ext. 4000, for a, golf report.

Looking ahead, the Crystal calendar is full of fun fairway stuff. Surely it will be green all around with May arrives with these golf tournaments scheduled; check out the details online:

 May 23: Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Golf Outing

May 24-26: Crystal Cup

May 25: Free Golf Demo Day

May 28: Mountain Ridge 20th Anniversary Celebration Day

If you’re feeling rusty with the clubs, but want to get into the swing of things, or if you don’t golf, but want to become a swinger, our golf schools are the answer. The golf Learning and Practice Center is open to get your season started.  We host over 100 golf schools clinics and programs for all levels of play.  Call our Pros at the Pro Shop for details and reservations….unless they’re out shoveling snow off those higher altitude fairways. 


Ninety-three trips to the Slopes
Nancy Story - Sunday, April 07, 2013

As the curtain goes down on a ski season that lasted 114 days, John Garcia has strapped on his skis for 93 of those days.

The 67 year old retired industrial controls electrician from Interlochen has put on plenty of slope mileage this winter.  He’d like to have passed the 100-day mark, but a late start to the season (we opened our slopes on Dec. 14th), plus a few rainy days scotched that attempt. “I don’t ski when it’s raining,” he said.

By his own admission, John doesn’t like to ski powder much, although Crystal’s had a plethora of powder days this season. Each month featured at least one day of powderhound heaven with dumps of 10 inches or more, while an epic 18 inches fell between Mar. 19-21.  “Those days gave me plenty of chances to practice powder skiing, but it’s not my favorite,” he grinned. “I love it best when it’s freshly groomed”.  John’s not a big fan of moguls or jumps, either.  “I only ski Wipe Out at the first of the season, before the moguls are formed,. “I don’t like the moguls or do jumps, he said. “It’s not a good idea for my skis to leave the snow.” John’s a big believer in helmets – in all his years of skiing, he’s only had one accident. “I went too fast off a run and hit a tree.”

So what draws him to our midwestern mountain day after day? “ I like the thrill of it- the wind blowing in my face, and the face that it’s all up to me.  To me, it’s the same feeling as riding a motorcycle”  (which he used to do, but doesn’t ride anymore).  The beauty of skiing, he points out, is that you can do it by yourself and set your own pace, yet there’s still a big social factor. “I always talk with people while riding up the lifts,” he noted. “I’ve met people from all over the world who are taking a ski vacation here.  And they all say the same thing: Crystal Mountain is a well-run place with good grooming”.

John’s part of a burgeoning crowd of skiing regulars ranging in age from somewhere over 50 to the mid-80s (and who all aspire to be like Lou Batori, our 102 year old season passholder who was on the slopes several times this season. Every skier wants to be like Lou).  These are active elders who, like John, revel in the outdoors and stirve to remain fit in every season. When he puts his skis away today, John will be tuning up his mountain bike and getting ready to put on the 2000 miles he cycles annually.

But what a ski season it’s been. See you next year, John – and everyone else who embraced the thrill and chill of the hill this winter.