A Golfer's Guide to Chelsea: Tee Off in Style
By Jordan Fuller, Guest Writer
Chelsea might be a small town, but it’s got a big heart. The city is a paradise if you only know where to look! Being a Pure Michigan Trail Town and one of the top bike-friendly cities in Michigan, it’s easy to see that this is a place for outdoor lovers to thrive.
And if you happen to be here as the warm colors of fall start to touch the trees, you’re in luck! You won’t find a more beautiful place to enjoy autumn weather, cider mill-hopping, local pumpkin recipes, and don’t forget fall golf—a lovely way to experience autumn nature up close while working on your drive.
Let’s start by saying that we don’t have many golf courses. But when you need to get away from the rat race and immerse yourself in the serenity of nature, the courses we have are perfect. Here’s our guide on enjoying fall golf and everything else in Chelsea.
This 18-hole championship golf course is the ideal place to go when you need to get away from the world for a few hours. Surrounded by large, beautiful trees, it’s a wonderful place to immerse yourself in nature and clear your mind.
Stretching to nearly 7,000 yards from the tips and with a slope rating of 135, this course is no walk in the park! The good news is that you’ll be able to choose from five sets of tees, so golfers of all levels can play a good round here.
The front nine is easier than the back, so don’t get complacent as you go. Several holes run through flat, open fields, so work on getting your score up here! On the back nine, you’ll find multiple carries over wetland areas, and the woods get thicker and require more accuracy off the tee.
Drive true, and you’ll be off to a good start on every hole. Be aware that the soft sand bunkers are strategically placed, so consider your shots carefully to avoid them. The greens are large but feature sneaky undulations that require patience and precision to beat.
Inverness Country Club may only have nine holes, but it’s a great way to spend a few hours if you’re looking for something pretty and relaxed. It features an interesting array of holes, all of which require precision to get a good score.
You’ll be greeted by a 375-yard par-4 on the first hole, with a tight fairway lined by trees that will snap up a wayward drive. Its tiny, bunker-protected green will challenge your first approach shot of the round, but if you make it through this one unscathed, you’ll be set up for the rest of the round.
As you move through the course, you’ll encounter a tricky dogleg, double-tiered greens, green-guarding sand traps, a couple of water hazards, some unexpected slope challenges, and a 500+-yard par-5.
Keep your mind on the game, pull out all your big strategy guns, and don’t be afraid to get creative with club choice. For a short course, it’s worth spending a few hours on.
Things You Can Do Before and After Your Round
Make a day of it by planning a few other activities around our golf. Here are some of the best things to do in Chelsea for a well-rounded day out.
For the Hungry
Chelsea is loaded with wonderful restaurants, and there’s something for every taste! If you’re in the mood for good ol’ American cuisine, try Common Grill or Smokehouse 52 BBQ. There’s an Irish pub if you’re in the mood, Cleary’s Pub and Los Tres Amigos will satisfy those who are craving Mexican food.
If you’re just snacky, pop into the Lakehouse Bakery. Then there’s the artsy Zou Zou’s cafe, fusion restaurant The Grateful Crow for the adventurous, a few pizza places, and even a Chinese restaurant. For the drinkers, pop past the Ugly Dog Brewery and grab some vodka.
Nothing says “relaxing” like a picnic in a peaceful park. And Chelsea has plenty. Timber Town Park, Veteran's Memorial Park, and Pierce Park offer picnic spaces, open spaces for playing frisbee or soccer, and play areas for the kids.
If you’re into Farmer’s Markets, visit Palmer Commons on a Saturday morning before or after a round. They also host free concerts in the summer, Sounds & Sights on Thursday Nights.
And there’s a dog park! If you’ve got a fluffy friend, take them for a bit of a treat and spend some time with them after your solitary round of golf.
Darwin Studio is a unique attraction that’s worth visiting if you’ve got some time. You’ll be able to browse a huge collection of artisan stained glass items, lovingly handmade and absolutely beautiful. Plus, they also have a collection of vintage slot machines… Unique but interesting to see.
If theater is your thing, the Purple Rose Theater Company always has something going on. Enjoy one of their productions after a round of golf to finish off your day. If you love it, consider volunteering or even auditioning.
Families With Kids
For a bit of fun physical activity, the Arctic Coliseum Ice Rink is an enjoyable outing with the whole family. Grab a meal and catch some sport on the big-screen TVs in between skating.
For the smaller kids, the Chelsea Treehouse is a fun-filled spot that they won’t get bored of easily. The 9,000-foot indoor playground features a huge treehouse, complete with slides, swinging bridges, and enclosed areas for the smallest kids to play safely.
Our golfer’s guide to Chelsea might be a little short on actual golf, but if you’re visiting, both courses are worth playing. If you live here, they’re both still worth visiting often for golf, although you can venture out of Chelsea if you’re looking for more choice.
But for those who want to hone their golfing skills and don’t need the thrill of a different course every other round, crazy undulations, or the most picturesque courses in the country… Our two golf courses are just perfect.
But if you’re going to be playing, you might as well make a day of it and enjoy a bit more of what Chelsea has to offer. We’ve got something for everyone, so complement your golf with something else to make the most of your day out.
About the Author
Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not on the course working on his own game or mentoring young golfers, he writes in-depth articles for his website, Golf Influence.