Previous Page  5 / 42 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 5 / 42 Next Page
Page Background

In fact, it was Jones who dubbed Melling’s

resort, Treetops. When Trent Jones viewed

the skyline from the sixth tee on the Jones

Masterpiece Course, the only thing visible was

trees as far as the eye could see, thus the name,

Treetops came to be.

Over the years the industry’s best have trekked

to Gaylord to build new courses as demand

skyrocketed. Robert Trent Jones’ son, Rees

Jones, Tom Fazio, Rick Smith, Tom Doak, Gary

Koch, along with his partner, Rick Robbins,

plus Don Childs, Al Watrous, Butch Harmon,

as well as, Michigan’s most prolific designer,

Jerry Matthews, have all designed and built

courses in the area.

The rolling terrain, natural tall pines and sandy

soils made golf in Gaylord a natural.

Over the years many professionals have

ventured to the Gaylord Golf Mecca. In fact,

Golf Channel launched its popular “Big Break”

series here in 2003. The original 10 golfers

competed in various events and after the other

nine competitors were eliminated, Justin Peters

from Florida was crowned the winner.

Because of Rick Smith’s involvement with

Treetops and his coaching relationship

with Phil Mickelson,

ESPN filmed the par-3

“Shootout” at Treetops.

In 2001, Lee Trevino

made a hole-in-one on

the 7


hole, during the

event, featuring Trevino,

Mickelson, Paul Azinger

and Raymond Floyd, to earn $1.09 million, the

richest prize ever awarded for a single shot. A

plaque bears the exact location of the Merry

Mex’s famous shot yet today.

The par-3 course, Threetops, was designed by

Rick Smith after visiting the 1990 Masters and

viewing the par-3 course at Augusta National.

It is still a must-play for any golfer visiting the

Gaylord area. The nine-hole course features

endless carries with elevation drops of up to

135 feet from tee to green.

All of this public exposure drew more and

more golf fans to the Gaylord area and the

cooperative marketing efforts of the Gaylord

Golf Mecca began to yield positive results.

One of the original GaylordGolfMeccamembers,

Larry Bowden, former owner of The Natural and

Marsh Ridge (now called The Ridge) said,

NWO Golf Links