- By Darren Thompson
On Tuesday, January 25, Sweetgrass Golf Course will be awarded the National Golf Course of the Year by the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) in Orlando, Florida.
Sweetgrass Golf Course is owned and operated by the Hannahville Indian Community, a federally recognized Potawatomi Indian Tribe, and is part of the tribe’s Island Resort & Casino in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
“We were all just speechless,” said Sweetgrass Director of Golf Dave Douglas to the Daily Press. “We are very honored to win that award.”
Island Resort & Casino is one of the largest golf, casino, and entertainment resort destinations in the Midwest. According to the Michigan Golf Journal, the Hannahville Indian Community opened the bingo hall in 1981, then expanded to include a casino in 1991. In the late 1990’s, the Tribe expanded the casino, and added a showroom and convention center. The Tribe recently opened a $33 million expansion, which included an 11-story Palm Tower that increased room capacity to 454. The expansion also includes a high-end steakhouse and a family waterpark.
This isn’t the first Tribally-owned golf course’s first award from the NGCOA. Sweetgrass was awarded Michigan’s course of the year for Region 2 last fall by NGCOA, putting it in line for the national award, according to a report by the Daily Press. Club & Resort Business says on its website that the golf course of the year award recognizes a golf course that, “epitomizes exceptional course quality and management excellence, makes important contributions to its communities and the game, and is a model of operations to its peers.”
When the golf course opened, it was recognized as one of “America’s Best New Courses” by Golf Digest in 2009, “Best Casino Courses” by Golfweek in 2009, and continued to win awards over the years including “Michigan Golf Course of the Year 2021” by the Michigan Golf Course Association.
The Native-owned organization Sweetgrass now joins some of America’s most prestigious golf courses.
More Stories Like ThisSen. Markwayne Mullin (Cherokee) Appointed to Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
American Indian Man Dies in Pennington County Jail
Interior Secretary Haaland to Travel to Australia, Highlight International Climate Partnerships
Deborah Parker and Dr. Samuel Torres on this week’s Native Bidaské
WATCH: Native Bidaské with Domestic Violence Prevention Specialist Kayla Woody Discuss the Dangers of Stalking
12 years of Native News
This month, we celebrate our 12th year of delivering Native News to readers throughout Indian Country and beyond. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and to tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.