Discover golf and property upgrades at historic Northern Michigan resort

Discover golf and property upgrades at historic Northern Michigan resort

Otsego Resort by Nathan Reens

When Gary and Kathie Vollmar purchased the Otsego Resort late in 2018, they envisioned taking a local institution that was near and dear to residents and expanding its appeal to a quaint, medium-sized all-season resort that would benefit the community.

“(We want) a summer golf, hiking and biking destination that then transitions to a go-to wintertime family-friendly ski, snowshoe and cross-country skiing resort,” the Vollmars said. “Along with those activities and outdoor adventure, we are a year-round event and conference center that incorporates the spectacular view of the Sturgeon River Valley.”

Resort improvements and enhancements made in fewer than two years show that the Vollmars are well on the way to achieve that goal. Perhaps the biggest move made by the Vollmars to-date is opening resort’s 32 slopes – three of which are new – three terrain parks and 5 chairlifts to the public after they had been part of a private club for the first 78 years.

Here is just a sampling other upgrades that visitors will discover when visiting the resort, which is about 1 mile off I-75 and downtown Gaylord.


  • 2 new putting greens, located at the driving range, are growing in, extending the practice and warmup areas.
  • A new fleet of Yamaha golf carts that are equipped with USB ports to charge phones and range finders during play.
  • New golf maintenance equipment, part of a focus on better and more frequent on-course maintenance.
  • Planning for and building a halfway house on the Tribute course for the 2021 golf season.


  • Installation of new LED night lighting on 6 ski runs in 2019.
  • In 2020, the Otsego Resort will double its LED lighting.
  • Work is underway designing 4 new ski runs.
  • There are now 3 tubing lanes.
  • For the Nordic skiers, there are now 6.2 miles of marked cross country ski trails.


  • Numerous grounds and building improvement projects have been completed or are planned in the future, including roofs, ponds, heating and air conditioners.
  • Upping the social media presence to keep everyone informed on upcoming events and promotions.

“It is important to Kathie and myself that the resort provides a memorable experience to all of our guests,” Gary Vollmar said. “We are proud to be part of Otsego Resort and like to share it with others.”

This summer provides a perfect opportunity for guests to reacquaint or introduce themselves to the resort with golfing opportunities on the two 18-hole courses, the Classic and the Tribute. The courses feature equally stunning Sturgeon Valley views, with the Classic course winding through the woods, water and wildlife since the 1950s.

The Tribute, meanwhile, opened in 2002 and immediately earned a reputation as one of Michigan’s top-10 public courses. The player-friendly designs are challenging, but wide fairways are as forgiving as the tree-lined courses are beautiful.

William H. Diddel designed the Classic, which became the founding course of the Gaylord Golf Mecca, while Rick Robbins lent his skills to the Tribute’s design.

The resort is offering three pre-planned stay and play packages, but staff members are happy to help custom build vacations, said MaKenna Mead, who leads marketing and social media efforts. Discover rates and learn more here.

Package 1

2 nights’ stay featuring 18 holes at the Tribute, 18 holes at the Classic and 18 holes and the nearby Natural at Beaver Creek. Lunch and range balls are provided at the Natural and there’s a hot dog or brat lunch at the Classic. There are also two breakfasts provided at the resort’s Duck Blind Grille.

Package 2

2 nights’ stay with 18 holes at the Tribute and play 18 at Gaylord Golf Mecca courses of Black Lake and Michaywe’-Pines. Lunch is provided at the latter two courses and there is also breakfast at the Duck Blind Grille.

Package 3

2 nights’ stay with 36 holes at the Tribute and play 18 at the Classic. Lunch is served at the Classic, dinner and breakfast at the Duck Blind Grille.

After a day on the course, the resort has a pool to cool off in and multiple spots to grab a bite to eat, snacks or a cool drink. Staff are eager to meet visitors and help them relax on their getaway, Mead said.

“We want to provide amazing service to the public,” she said. “We want to stand out in the community and the industry for our customer service and ability to create a home away from home feeling. We can give people a place to look forward to visiting year-round.”

Visit the Otsego Resort website to begin planning your summer vacation.