Tucked away just beyond Central Michigan University is a business that began 40 years ago, yet is also one of Mount Pleasant’s best kept secrets.
Opened in 1973 by Roy Gunderson, The Golf Center’s location on 2280 E. Broomfield Road makes it an appealing destination for students interested in keeping their golfing skills sharp.
Although it’s in a prime location to attract students, its unique offering of ice cream, miniature golf and a driving range appeals to virtually anyone, according to owner and general manager Ben Gunning.
“We’re a family destination from a recreational standpoint, but for someone who’s a serious golfer and wants to practice, we’re really one of the few dedicated practice facilities in the area,” Gunning said. “Also from the standpoint of a date night, we have the miniature golf and ice cream as well. All these things make us a very unique business in town.”
Gunning took over the business in March 1990 after graduating from Ferris State University’s professional golf management program. Since then, he has added an ice cream shop to bring in customers from various age groups.
The ice cream shop is a new addition that was launched six months ago.
The Country Dairy brand of ice cream the center serves is Michigan-made and prides itself on being hormone-free.
Gunning has urged student organizations at CMU to get involved with the Golf Center.
“We’re marketing the miniature golf and ice cream social idea. If there is a student organization that wants to have an event, that’s something we can certainly do,” Gunning said. “We can work out a price package for just about everybody, and we can customize the package based on the size of the group.”
Under Gunning’s management, the center has hired student employees, including Mount Pleasant senior Kevin Natke.
“I find it to be a very friendly place; it’s easy to get along with the other workers and the customers, as well,” Natke said. “We’re a helpful (staff); you can ask us questions and we’re going to do our best to help you out.”