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Golf Resort Overview: Island Resort & Casino

An Interview With Dave Douglas, Direct of Golf

By Brian Weis

The ultimate golf vacation is staying and playing at a golf resort. Below is an interview with Dave Douglas who shares some valuable information about staying and golfing at Island Resort & Casino.

Give our readers an overview of the golf resort.
Located in Michigan's scenic Upper Peninsula 13 miles west of Escanaba, Island Resort & Casino is one of the Midwest's largest golf, casino and entertainment resort destinations spanning over 408,000 square feet. The resort features 36-holes of golf (Sweetgrass and Sage Run), 300 guest rooms including elegant suites and a 42 -site RV Park, and casino offering a new poker room, craps, blackjack, Spanish 21, three card poker, let-it-ride, roulette, and bingo.

The resort amenities also include the luxurious Drift Spa offering a variety of high-end spa services with access to the resort's saltwater pool, steam rooms and sauna. Multiple dining options include the signature 5 Bridges Steak and Seafood House, 5 Bridges Pub, Firekeepers Restaurant, T. McC's Sports Bar, Coral Reef Grille, Signature Subs & Pizza and The Coffee & Custard Shop featuring items from The Bakery. The Island regularly hosts headline entertainment in the intimate 1315 seat Showroom as well as weekly bands and comedy entertainers in Club 41. The Island Convention Center provides the perfect venue for special events, business meetings, and weddings.

The destination is easily accessible via a pair of regional airports in Escanaba and Marquette connecting through Detroit, Saginaw, Lansing and Grand Rapids.

Share with us your room accommodations configurations. What group sizes can accommodate?
The resort currently has 312 guest rooms and 14 spacious, luxury suites, some with whirlpool tubs and kitchenettes, others with golf course views. There's a saltwater pool, hot tub and salon, a gift shop and even an RV Park with 42 full-service sites. As a golfer you're unlikely to spend much time in your room, but it's nice to know that if you need to, you'll do so in comfort.

With so much great golf at their convenient disposal, it makes sense that Island Resort & Casino is immensely popular amongst golf groups and buddy trips. This growing popularity has evolved into the resort announcing a $30 million expansion that will be completed in 2021. More than 100 new hotel rooms will be added, which will be connected to the south end of the current 11-story Palm Tower. A high-end dining venue and convention space are also planned for the top floor, as well as a pool and water park features for kids and young adults. Add in the new Drift Spa, and the destination has become a popular escape for couples, and now families.

What type of restaurants do you have on property and what type of dining experience can one expect?
Island Resort has an assortment of dining options from the fine-dining 5 Bridges Steak & Seafood House (with chef-prepared specials), to the 5 Bridges Pub (with the UP's largest selection of craft beers), Firekeeper's Restaurant (casual Midwest cuisine), the Coral Reef Grille, Signature Subs & Pizza, T. McC's Sports Bar (with TV screens everywhere and a late-night menu), a Custard & Ice Cream Shop and the grab-n-go Coffee & Custard Shop. That's eight unique food experiences to keep your visit as diverse in taste potential as it is in golf.

Beyond golf what are the top three amenities golfers and non-golfers can enjoy on property?
The top amenities golfers will love about the Island include the Casino, Drift Spa, the Show Room, and exploring the outdoors of Michigan's Upper Peninsula Upper Peninsula.

Island Resort & Casino is one of the Midwest's largest casinos spanning more 408,000 square feet. On the spacious casino floor, guests may enjoy an all-new poker room, craps, blackjack, Spanish 21, three-card poker, let-it-ride, roulette and bingo. The luxurious Drift Spa offers a variety of high-end spa services with access to the resort's saltwater pool, steam rooms and sauna. Looking for entertainment, then make sure to check out the 1315 seat Showroom where weekly bands and comedy entertainers in Club 41.

Please supply a sample itinerary for a long buddies weekend?
Island Resort & Casino - Long Weekend Buddies Trip

Day 1 - Arrive at the resort in the early afternoon. Play an arrival round on Sweetgrass. Following golf, check into the hotel and make sure to the all-important "Players Card" for those who love gaming. For dinner, meet up at the McC's Sports Bar to review the weekend itinerary and figure out your golf games.

Day 2 - Following an early breakfast at Firekeepers, head to Sage Run for the first round of the day. Grab lunch in the Sage Run clubhouse before heading back over to Sweetgrass for the afternoon round. Following a full day of golf, have a casual dinner at the 5 Bridges Pub where you can create your own burgers. Following dinner, hit the casino floor for some gaming.

Day 3 - Following breakfast, plan a mid-morning round back over at Sage Run. Mix up the tees for this round moving forward creating some fun short driveable par 4's. Following golf head over to the Coral Reef Grille for lunch. After lunch, relax and enjoy the resort, hit the casino or experience the spa. For the final dinner of the trip enjoy the 5 Bridges Steak & Seafood House.

Day 4 - The final round of the trip will be played on Sweetgrass before the afternoon departure.

Please supply a sample itinerary for a long couples weekend?
Island Resort & Casino - Couples Golf Weekend

Day 1 - Arrive at the resort in the early to late afternoon. Play a 9-hole arrival round on Sweetgrass. Check into the hotel, get the all-important "Players Card" for those who love gaming. Enjoy dinner at the 5 Bridges Steak & Seafood House.

Day 2 - Following breakfast at Firekeepers. Head over to Sage Run for a mid-morning round of golf. Come back to the resort for lunch at the Coral Reef Grille. Following lunch, enjoy a couples spa afternoon with multiple treatments together and enjoy the resort's saltwater pool, steam rooms and sauna. A fun dinner at the 5 Bridges Pub followed by a fun night of gaming.

Day 3 - Following an early breakfast, golf the Sweetgrass course, the depart the resort for an afternoon adventure in the Upper Peninsula. A scenic drive up to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to do the glass bottom boat tours. Dinner that evening can be enjoyed at the 5 Bridges Steak & Seafood House.

Day 4 - Depart

What area tourist attractions might you recommend while in the area?
Michigan's Upper Peninsula is a beautifully-forested land of natural geological wonders, waterfalls and thrilling elevations formed by ancient glaciers. The Island Resort & Casino is located outside of Escanaba, an idyllic, small port city on the peaceful Little Bay de Noc on the western end of "The UP". The region has long been known for outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and meat pies called pasties. With over 200 miles of shoreline along Delta County, fun activities like charter fishing, biking, hiking, and tourist attractions like Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore offers an array of activities to complement a golf trip.

How can golfers inquire about golf packages for your resort?
The Island Resort & Casino golf packages combine the best golf led by its Sweetgrass and new Sage Run courses, lodging, and gaming. The fully customizable packages offer 1, 2, 3, and 4-night lodging options with up to four rounds of golf. Package prices range from $95 - $758 depending on the time of year and single/double occupancy. Golfers will also receive five $5 promo coupons that can be used for cash, bingo, drinks, dinner, and spa services at the luxurious Drift Spa.

Discovering the Upper Peninsula's Perfect 4-Some
The "Perfect 4-Some" is a fully customizable package offering 3, 4, and 5-night lodging options at Island Resort with four rounds of golf. The package combines the best golf in the region led by the Island Resort & Casino with its Sweetgrass and Sage Run courses together with the highly acclaimed Greywalls course in Marquette, and TimberStone in nearby Iron Mountain.

Package prices range from $350 - $758 depending on the time of year and single/double occupancy. Golfers will also receive a hotel package containing various coupons for resort amenities. For more information, visit

Courses at Resort
Number of Course: 2 - Golf Courses (Sweetgrass and Sage Run)
Number of Holes: 36- Holes

More Information
Island Resort & Casino
W399 Hwy 2 & 41
Harris, Michigan, 49845

Revised: 02/18/2021 - Article Viewed 8,771 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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