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This story also has a Toledo connection.

Melling understood the need for a

competent golf professional for the resort

and hired a little-known, 23-year-old

teaching professional from Perrysburg,


Rick Smith.

Smith is now an annual fixture on Golf

Digest’s Top-50 Golf Teachers List and has

been the “swing guru” for Phil Mickelson,

Lee Janzen, Rocco Mediate, David Duval,

as well as, both Jack and Gary Nicklaus.

Back then no one knew the brash young

professional, but he helped Melling

develop Treetops into one of the premier

golf destinations in the Midwest.

A second course, designed by Tom Fazio,

called the Premier, opened for play in

1992, along with the popular par-3 course,

Threetops. Smith brought the idea of adding

a par-3 course to Melling, after returning

from a trip to the Masters in 1990. Melling

gave the project his blessing and today

Threetops is one of the must-play courses

at the resort.

Smith added two more courses to Treetops,

the Signature opened for play in 1993.

The Tradition, which opened to the public

in 1996, was built for the golfer who

appreciated the value of walking a golf

course. It was built on the principle of

returning golf to a more relaxing attitude

and stresses the use of a caddy as golf was

played in the beginning.

With four championship golf courses, the

par-3 Threetops and the Treetops Teaching

Academy, Treetops developed into a year-

round resort offering skiing and snow

activities for the winter and a complete golf

experience during the summer.

NWO Golf Links