A Trip to Northern Michigan Begins and Ends with BOYNE Golf
None Better Than BOYNE
By Brian Weis
Ultimately golf is a numbers game. For professional golfers, the number placed on their scorecard is of utmost importance.
But for recreational golfers across the nation, some numbers carry more weight than those on their handicap card. If you have ever traveled to the great state of Michigan, the numbers 10 and 3 have special meaning. For that is how many courses and resorts comprise the BOYNE Golf Family.
For over 60 years, BOYNE Golf has been the epitome of class and seclusion in Northern Michigan. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a three-day BOYNE Golf Media Familiarization Trip earlier this year and once again came away thoroughly impressed with Boyne's diversity and attention to detail. Please see a breakdown of my recommendations on where to stay and play a few off-course diversions when in Northern Michigan's Boyne sanctuary.
Where to Stay
The Swiss-Alps inspired Boyne Highlands offers a myriad of accommodations. I personally love their standard hotel rooms because you are close to everything, but golf groups will revel in the condo or cottage options.
Nine different lodging accommodations highlight Boyne Mountain including everything from Northwoods cabins to a standard hotel room and seven other options in between.
The Inn at Bay Harbor
The newest and most opulent of the Boyne Resorts, The Inn at Bay Harbor overlooks Lake Michigan and some of the most epic sunsets in the Midwest. Plus, you are a short drive away from the delightful cities of Petoskey and Charlevoix.
Where to Play
Bay Harbor (Quarry, Preserve, & Links 9)
Most of the nation first became aware of Bay Harbor by watching Shell's Wonderful World of Golf's match between Tom Lehman and Phil Mickelson in 1998. On that fine September day, the camera work and course were in perfect harmony, eliciting epic views in all directions that seemed to be coming from anywhere except the Midwest.
Bay Harbor Golf Club was designed by Arthur Hills and consists of 27 holes divided into three nines, The Links, The Quarry, and The Preserve. The Links and The Quarry were the two accentuated on Shell's and serve as the property's signature 18. Incomparable views of the coastline on the front nine Links course are then followed by bold vistas and elevation changes within an old quarry, hence the name of the back nine. The stunning culmination of this gem is the 155-yard, par-3, 17th hole, a longer, just as impressive version of the famous 7th hole at Pebble Beach.
Boyne Highlands (Arthur Hills, The Heather, Donald Ross Memorial, The Moor)
Boyne Highlands Resort is home to a compilation of Michigan's finest. With designs by Robert Trent Jones and Arthur Hills, as well as a Donald Ross Memorial course featuring the great architect's finest holes, you know you're in for a treat.
For many of us, the opportunity to play legendary courses like Pinehurst #2, Oak Hill and the Seminole Golf Club is merely a dream. These grand courses were all designed by the one and only Donald Ross and fortunately for us, Boyne happens to be the home to a memorial replica track of the finest holes Mr. Ross has to offer. With par-3's requiring precision and par-4's you may have only seen on TV or in video games, every hole is one to stop and admire.
If I had a vote for best all-around Boyne property, by a nose it's Arthur Hills. This championship track calls out everything a player has: shot shaping, placement off the tee, and long and short approach shots. In other words, it will test all aspects of your golf game in a delightful way. The Hills course features layouts unseen anywhere else in the Midwest from elevation drops, to split fairways. The plunging par-5 13th drops over 450 feet from start to finish and is an iconic hole that must be experienced!
The Moor is an underrated gem in my eyes as the 6,850-yard championship layout is highlighted by water hazards, marshes, and numerous doglegs. The course is the wildly regarded as a member's favorite, especially for those that love hitting a power fade off the tee. Holes 1,2,7, and 9 are all dogleg rights and can be had if you are stripping it off the tee. Just make sure you avoid the course's numerous water hazards that are perfectly placed to cause indecision.
Paying homage to the design philosophies of a who's who list of legendary golf course architects, The Monument's enduring spirit elicits joyful rounds for players of every level. Borrowing traits from designers like Donald Ross, Dr. Alister Mackenzie, Robert Trent Jones, George Fazio and Pete Dye, The Monument requires a complete game, with demanding fairways, and undulating greens that reward careful putting.
With its spectacular mountainside setting and panoramic views toward Deer Lake, The Alpine's setting is one that takes you away from the hustle, bustle, and grind. My ultimate recommendation is to take one day during your trip and play The Alpine and The Monument back-to-back with lunch in the middle!
Crooked Tree Golf Club
A more traditional track than its sister courses, Crooked Tree Golf Club, is full of opportunities. Since it is not particularly long (if you play from the proper tees), it does offer short shots into greens and fantastic scoring chances. The signature spot at Crooked Tree has to be the massive combination green of the 9th and 18th holes in front of the clubhouse. Both finishing holes reward well placed tee shots and potential offer birdie opportunities to close out the side. Plus, the property is high above Lake Michigan, offering players the chance to revel in a series of remarkable views throughout their round.
What To Do Along The Way - Off Course Diversions
Families with young children take note on site is an indoor water park. Avalanche Bay boats over 88,00 square feet of water rides and slides from a relaxing lazy river to thrilling mat racing.
Couples can indulge before or after their round with three spas.
BOYNE Golf is a brand built on history and class. Their Stay and Play Packages are remarkable in breadth and value. Every golfer in the nation needs to take advantage of either their Unlimited Golf Packages or the wildly popular Great Escape Golf Vacation Package that includes a five night stay and multiple rounds. For more information on BOYNE Golf, visit BOYNEGolf.com or call 877-512-1593.
Revised: 10/23/2020 - Article Viewed 10,086 Times
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About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler