Sage Run Golf Course Opens on Sweetgrass Anniversary!

Harris, Mich. –  It was 10 years ago that the Island Resort & Casino, located in Michigan’s scenic Upper Peninsula just outside of Escanaba, developed the award-winning Sweetgrass golf course and began a journey toward becoming a leading golf destination.

This week the Hannahville Indian Community, led by its Tribal Chairman Ken Meshigaud, Island Resort General Manager Tony Mancilla, and golf course designer Paul Albanese opened Sage Run, the resort’s second golf course, in a ceremony with community members and leaders.

“We are very excited to be opening our second golf course on the 10-year anniversary of our first course Sweetgrass,” Mancilla said. “Sage Run is exactly what we wanted – something different from the other courses in the region. It has a very rugged feel that was inspired by a trip Paul Albanese and I took to Royal County Down, including tee-boxes that are natural to the ground on simple land forms similar to how they built them back in the late 1800s.”

Albanese, too, is elated with the final product.

“This was an inspiring project to work on,” he said. “We spent months on different routings allowing us to experience the different landscapes including the drumlin.”

The natural drumlin – an elongated hill or ridge formed by glacial ice long ago – is the primary feature on Sage Run. The golf holes meander over and around the hill offering a scenic variety of shots and creating a fun thrill ride for golfers.

“Sage Run has a very rough and tumble feel to it,” Albanese said. “As Tony indicated, our trip to Royal County Down was very inspirational in this design and we incorporated some of the rugged design philosophy into it. Golfers will experience great holes through the trees, some in open areas and just a lot of variety in terms of landscape and feel.”

Celebrating 10 years of excellence this year, Sweetgrass, also designed by Albanese, features masterfully crafted rockwork with a prairie links style. The course boasts an island green on No. 15 and a pair of breathtaking waterfalls that greet golfers as they play up the ninth and 18th holes to an enormous, shared green.

A Biarritz and a Redan green, and bridges rescued from other areas in the state are other compelling design components and part of the story of the course. Sweetgrass is also home to a future of women’s professional golf tournament, the Symetra Tour Island Resort Championship.

“Not very many architects get the opportunity to come back and design a second golf course at a resort destination like Island Resort,” Albanese said. “It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to design this second golf course and now have two very unique designs for golfers of all levels to experience.”

Media Contacts

Island Resort & Casino/Sweetgrass Golf Club
Susan K. Harris – Marketing Director
(906) 723-2116

Kevin Frisch PR
Kevin Frisch – Public Relations
(989) 614-0241

To take advantage of our two complementary courses, schedule a long weekend at Island Resort & Casino. You can expect to receive the same concierge-level customer service every day, both at our resort and out on the green.Plan to make reservations as soon as possible. Rooms and golf packages for this brand-new course will sell out quickly! Call our reservations experts at 800-682-6040 or contact us online today.

Browse some pictures of Sage Run below.

Hole 3

Hole 8

Hole 15


  1. My wife and I just played 36 holes at Sage Run for first time. We enjoyed the layout and challenge. However the tees were very hard to get tees in, and we found the cart paths stop quite far from the greens. Also the cart paths are set that you have to walk back toward the group behind which slows play. Also if tee times are available you should allow replays at either course.

    Posted: July 27, 2018 at 3:34 pm by Robert Feyen

    • Hi Robert,

      We’re glad to hear that you enjoyed playing at Sage Run. I will be sure to forward your feedback to the appropriate manager for review as we’d love to have you back at Sage Run again.

      Thank you for your time,
      Island Resort & Casino – Dana.

      Posted: July 30, 2018 at 10:15 am by Dana Khalaf

  2. Played Sage run and really enjoyed the new and very challenging course. Some golfers have given me discouraging remarks about the course but it’s brand new and I can see the potential for its future so keep in mind that when you play it. It’s awesome and will meet or exceed golfers expectations when it’s mature. Play it…. it’s awesone!!!

    Posted: August 1, 2018 at 8:37 am by Barbara and Karen

  3. Played Sage Run and loved its challenging course. Had discouraging remarks from other golfers before we played it but keep in mind it’s brand new and look at what it will be when fully mature. We would highly recommend it to all golfers. Loved it!!! Bring lots of balls….and have fun.
    Great staff!!!!

    Posted: August 1, 2018 at 8:44 am by Barbara and Karen

    • Hi Barbara and Karen,

      We’re glad to hear that you enjoyed playing at Sage Run. I will be sure to forward your feedback to the appropriate manager for review as we’d love to have you back at Sage Run again.

      Thank you for your time,
      Island Resort & Casino – Dana.

      Posted: August 1, 2018 at 9:39 am by Dana Khalaf

  4. This course is an embarrassment; needs a lot of growth I think it opened to early, tees are uneven and is like teeing up in a fairway, a lot of rocks and never know when your club is going hit a few, a few holes are odd hitting uphill, and very expensive for the conditions. I heard it was routed very nicely, but I didn’t think so!

    Posted: August 8, 2018 at 4:08 pm by Ken Palmer

    • Hi Ken, thanks for taking the time to review your recent visit to Sage Run. I have passed on our feedback to the appropriate manager for review.

      Island Resort & Casino – Dana.

      Posted: August 10, 2018 at 7:43 am by Dana Khalaf

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