Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.

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Recent Articles

Recent Ratings

  • Bay Harbor Golf Club

    "Pretty good golf course on a spectacular setting"

    While I think there could be a few improvements in design (I'm not wild about blind lay-ups on par 5s), I always enjoy playing here for so many reasons. First off, the Links Nine (eight holes are linksy in nature) is gorgeous, with great views of Lake Michigan, almost Pebble Beach-ish. The Quarry Nine is also stunning with plenty of interesting holes, including a terrific downhill drivable par 4 that only players who are long and accurate should try to drive. Kudos, though, to the renovation on the short par-4 fifth hole on the Links. Opening it up over the giant bunker on the right makes it so much more playable. All-in-all, Bay Harbor is a bucket-list type experience because of the setting, the conditioning and the overall experience. more »

    Glacier Club - Mountain Course

    "As good as a mountain course can get"

    Initially I was going to give this course just four stars instead of five because I felt like the fact that there are substantial distances between tees took away from its flow. But after hearing architect Todd Schoeder talk about difficult it is to build mountain courses -- and this one was particularly difficult -- I decided to give this one a pass. Courses that are built on mountains (not in the valleys) have special challenges. Why I like this course so much is that every hole is memorable and well thought out. If you're not wild with your shots, you will find your ball and be able to hit it again. The greens are interesting and this course is downright stunning. The backdrops of the Rockies are incredible. It is indeed one of the most fun golf courses I've ever played, and I rate fun as my no. 1 factor in reviewing a golf course. more »

    The Heather at Boyne Highlands Resort & Country Club

    "One of my Boyne favorites"

    I love this golf course. Not enough to give it five stars, but almost. Here's what I like: All the holes are interesting and most are memorable. It's not overly difficult, but isn't a pushover either. It's almost always in great shape. The scenery is terrific. And I love the par 4 18th. With the irrigation lake on the tee shot and approach, its formidable. Always plays longer than advertised. Overall, super enjoyable. more »

    Grand Traverse Resort & Spa - The Wolverine Course

    "Wolverine is fun and fair"

    Definitely the more playable of the two courses at Grand Traverse Resort, the Wolverine is both beautiful and well-conditioned. It's also very fair with generous fairways, moderate greens and no excessive hazards. This is a course that doesn't penalize every marginal shot. There are ample opportunities to save par if you miss the green. And speaking of the greens, they roll true and they're not crazy, so you can make putts. more »

    Glacier Club - Valley Course

    "Terrific setting, but some holes could use a little work"

    First off, this course has some fantastic views of the Rocky Mountains and some beautiful holes. It's in pretty good shape. And perhaps if I hadn't played the Mountain Course (recently completed) at Glacier Club, I wouldn't be so critical. But there are several holes on this course that don't make sense to me from a playability standpoint, and it starts with the first hole. While the second shot is gorgeous, the tee shot is uninspiring. Plus you have to lay up, and there's very little target with death (lost ball) both right and left. Not a good way to start a golf course. There are other holes that are too difficult for resort golf. The par-5 "Lone Pine" is one of them with too much heavy rough on the right (where it's impossible to chip back to the fairway) to that bothersome tree blocking the green. I would imagine 8 is the average score on this hole. The 14th is even worse. A short downhill dogleg right, you can't see the green, and it's almost impossible the first time out to figure out your line. That hole could be very good if it was cleaned up a little. And finally the 18th has two hazards on the right, except the second, which is quite reachable, is also quite blind. That hole is hard enough as it is without creating blind tee shots. There are other examples, too, too much tall grass real close to greens (I hit a shot pin high just off the green on the 10th only to have a lost ball and make double, while my playing partner hit his approach fat and short and was able to make par.) Some renovations here and there would really elevate this course. more »
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