Boyne Golf: Where Golfers Gather For Great Golf
By Mike May
Golfers dream about playing Pebble Beach, hope to play St. Andrews, and pray for the chance to play Augusta National. Those dreams, hopes, and prayers may never come true, but every golfer who craves a classic and memorable golf getaway can travel to northern Michigan to play Boyne Golf. The Boyne Golf experience is as much memorable as it is unforgettable. And, it's an experience worth repeating. Located 90 minutes north of Traverse City, Boyne Golf has evolved into of America's most appealing, accessible, and affordable golf destinations - especially in the late spring, summer, and early fall.
Boyne Golf can best be summarized by these three numbers: Ten, Three, and One. At Boyne, there are Ten golf courses, Three resorts, and One destination. If that doesn't excite you, you should probably consider another sport or athletic hobby. It's not an overstatement to say that Boyne Golf may well be the standard by which all U.S. golf resorts are now measured. When you consider the key components of any stay-and-play golf getaway, Boyne Golf checks all the boxes, so to speak, and does so with authentic style. All ten golf courses at Boyne are well designed and are maintained with meticulous attention to detail. It's also worth noting that the accommodation options are first-class, the weather is terrific, the food is delicious, the craft beers are fantastic, and the hospitality is genuine and authentic. Another bonus to the Boyne Golf experience is the amount of daylight which is available in the summer. In June and July, you can be on the 18th tee at any of the courses at 10:00 pm and still have enough daylight to finish your round. If you want to play golf from dawn to dusk, you can play at least 54 holes on many days in the summer.
Boyne Golf's three destinations are Bay Harbor, Boyne Highlands, and Boyne Mountain. Each destination is strong enough to stand on its own as a desirable golf destination, but when they are bundled together into one 'package,' Boyne Golf rises to the top of anybody's wish list.
The Bay Harbor Golf Club features 45-holes of golf -- three nine-hole golf courses designed by Arthur Hills (Links, Quarry, and Preserve) and the scenic 18-hole Crooked Tree Golf Club. The Inn at Bay Harbor and the Bay Harbor Golf Club are both set along a scenic five-mile stretch of the Lake Michigan shoreline. The lakeside views from the golf courses are stunning and never get old.
You can be excused if you lose your focus along any of the nine-hole treks because you are caught gazing out to beautiful Lake Michigan, especially the lakeside views from the fairway of par five 7th hole along the Links course. Most of the holes along the Links hug the Lake Michigan coastline, just as many of Ireland's historic links courses cling to the coast of the adjacent Atlantic Ocean.
The Quarry course was designed in and around the remnants of an old shale quarry. Most of the tee shots are struck from raised tees. The Quarry finishes along the coast of Little Traverse Bay/Lake Michigan. Playing the Quarry course is a true adventure.
The Preserve starts inland in the presence of a hardwood forest, but it concludes with a par three overlooking Little Traverse Bay. When playing the Preserve, you will find more spacious fairways which are surrounded by tall grasses, native wetlands and wildflowers.
The 18-hole Crooked Tree Golf Club is situated high on the bluffs overlooking the Inn at Bay Harbor. The front nine at Crooked Tree winds its way through the hardwood forest, while the back nine provides amazing views of Little Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan. Crooked Tree features many creative, undulating greens.
The Inn at Bay Harbor is one of America's most beautiful, iconic hotels. In addition to the trendy and contemporary look to the 111 rooms at the Inn at Bay Harbor, you get unobstructed views of Little Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan in the distance. On this property, you can also 'hang your hat' in one of 22 modern lakeside cottages. All the creature comforts of home have been incorporated into every room and cottage at the Inn at Bay Harbor. The views of the lake from the on-site restaurant Sagamore's add to the luster of the Inn at Bay Harbor.
The specifics on Boyne Highlands are impressive - four 18-hole golf courses. Boyne Highlands is not just a good location for a golf buddy trip, it's an ideal location for a golf buddy trip. Those four courses are The Heather, Arthur Hills, Donald Ross Memorial, and The Moor.
The Heather is the oldest course in the Boyne Golf portfolio. It was opened in 1966 and was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The most recent accolade bestowed upon The Heather speaks for itself: 2019 National Golf Course Operators Association's Course of the Year. The Heather,
which seems to get better with age, concludes with a strong downhill par four where a solid drive is required in order to leave yourself with a negotiable distance to the green, which is protected by a large lake at the front.
As you would expect, Arthur Hills designed The Arthur Hills Course. Four of the fascinating holes are the 5th, 10th, 13th, and the 18th. The intentional alignment of the white pine trees that line the 5th is why it should be called 'White Pine Boulevard.' At the 10th, because of the height and configuration of the white pine trees that surround the putting surface, there's a stadium-like feel as you approach the raised green of this short par four. When you stand on the elevated tee of the par-five 13th, you can see at least 4,000 acres of non-inhabited forest in the distance. The par-five 18th at the Hills course hugs the perimeter of a lake. Two strong shots can give you an eagle putt.
The Donald Ross Memorial is a creative collection of some of Ross's finest holes from a few of his classic golf course designs. In all, the 18 holes are replications from 14 of Ross' courses. Some of the more well-known holes at Donald Ross Memorial are the 6th hole at Seminole Golf Club (the 1st at the Ross Memorial), the 14th at Scotland's Royal Dornoch Golf Club (the 10th at the Ross Memorial), 16th at Oakland Hills Country Club, South Course (the 18th at Donald Ross Memorial), and the 18th at Inverness Club (the 7th at the Ross Memorial).
Do you want to try and replicate Bob Tway's bunker shot in 1986 when he holed out at the 18th green at Inverness (Toledo, OH) to beat Greg Norman to win the PGA? Or would you like to replicate Gary Player's greatest shot of his life, by his own admission, at the 1972 PGA Championship when he struck a nine iron from the right rough, over the willow trees and a small lake, to three feet for what turned out to be a championship-clinching birdie at the 16th hole at the Oakland Hills (Birmingham, MI) CC, South Course. The 16th at Oakland Hills is the 18th at Ross Memorial.
The other golf courses represented at Donald Ross Memorial include Pinehurst (NC) CC, #2 Course; Plainfield (NJ) CC; Oak Hill (Rochester, NY) CC, East Course; Scioto (Columbus, OH) CC; Charlotte (NC) Country Club; Bob O'Link (Highland Park, IL) Golf Club; Salem (Peabody, MA) CC; Detroit (MI) Golf Club, North Course; Aronimink (Newton Square, PA) Golf Club; and Wannamoisett (Rumford, RI) CC.
In all, the 14 courses which were used to build the Ross Memorial have hosted 14 U.S. Opens, 11 PGA Championships, eight U.S. Amateurs, and five Ryder Cups.
The members at Boyne Highlands often rate The Moor as their favorite. Twists and turns are a common theme at The Moor, especially the front nine, which has four left-to-right doglegs.
Accommodations at Boyne Highlands range from private cottages on site to comfortable rooms inside the lodge. The buffet breakfast inside the lodge is a first-class spread. You will never walk away hungry from that breakfast selection.
Boyne Mountain features two dynamic 18-hole courses -- The Monument and Alpine -- along with the charming Mountain Grand Lodge & Spa. Boyne Mountain is a family friendly golf destination in the region with the Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark, junior golf camps, and various kid golf programs. Golf Digest named Boyne Mountain one of its "Top-10 Destinations for Family Golf Trips."
The Alpine course is affectionately referred to as a place where a good walk is made better. Of course, most people use a cart, but you get the message. The setting for The Alpine course will generate a number of photo ops and selfies. The mountain setting and the wonderful views of Deer Lake will bring you back time and time again. Strong play will be rewarded with great scores. Its open layout allows wayward drives to be found which helps with the pace of play. And, the fact that this course is the annual host of Michigan's Tournament of Champions confirms the integrity of The Alpine's design.
If you have any appreciation for golf history, then you'll relish the chance to play The Monument course at Boyne Mountain. This course was designed by borrowing the design tendencies and philosophies from great golf course architects like Donald Ross, Dr. Alister Mackenzie, George Fazio, Pete Dye, and Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The course also pays tribute to some of America's most accomplished and memorable golfers. To date, 13 of the holes are named after well-known golfers. On those specific holes, a bronze plaque is embedded in the boulders located along each of the dedicated holes. On those plaques, you'll be able to read the highlights and professional achievements of that player's career. Your journey around The Monument concludes with a visit to the signature island green on the 18th hole, which is The Sam Snead Hole. Other holes named after well-known golfers include the 1st (The Byron Nelson Hole), 2nd (The "Chick" Harbert Hole), 3rd (The Peggy Kirk Bell Hole), 5th (The Walter Hagen Hole), 6th (The Paul Runyan Hole), 7th (The Jim Flick Hole), 9th (The J.P. McCarthy Hole), 10th (The Kathy Whitworth and The Glen Johnson Hole), 11th (The Gene Sarazen Hole), 14th (The Bobby Jones Hole), 16th (The Everett Kircher Hole), and the 17th (The Chuck Kocsis Hole). To date, the 4th, 8th, 12th, 13th, and 15th holes have yet to be given a name.
On a clear, summer day, the views of Deer Lake from the fairways of The Monument are refreshing and inviting. If the weather is warm enough, you should make time to go swimming in Deer Lake at the conclusion of your round!
When playing either Alpine or Monument, keep an eye out for Jerri Lee Richards, who is Boyne Mountain's unofficial Vice President of Fun. She has also been dubbed the Ambassador of Joy. She's always driving a golf cart filled with drinks and snacks. Without a doubt, Richards is Boyne Golf's most energetic cart girl and most passionate advocate of Boyne Mountain. And has been for nearly 30 years. When she shows up with drinks and snacks to sell, her level of enthusiasm is infectious. She has a tremendous ability to close the deal. By her own admission, Jerri Lee makes the best Bloody Mary's in Michigan, if not the entire Midwest. And, she loves what she does.
"My career has been such a joy," admitted Richards. "I'm happy to serve the golfers. I love what I do. My 'office' is so beautiful - rain or shine. Cups of ice are put in the carts while the golfers continue to play before they ask for it. I also offer to take photos for almost every group to record their memory."
As you would expect for a place like Boyne, which has multiple places to play golf, you can also visit the Boyne Golf Academy to fine tune and improve your game. Since 1986, the Boyne Golf Academy has been one of the top golf schools in the country. One of the Boyne Golf Academy's latest and greatest instructional programs is the GEARS Golf 3-D Body and Club Tracking System. Try it, you'll love it! The feedback from the GEARS program will be transformational for your golf game.
Again, you don't have to dream, hope, or pray about visiting Boyne Golf, you just have to pick out a date, reserve tee times, and go play. Access BoyneGolf.com for complete details.
Revised: 10/26/2019 - Article Viewed 6,606 Times - View Golf Course Profile
About: Mike May
Mike May is a Wellington, Florida-based freelance golf and sportswriter, who is also a 25+ year public relations and communications executive in the sporting goods industry. He is also a veteran high school soccer official, an experienced high school basketball coach, an avid athlete, a part-time personal trainer, and a passionate golfer who is forever in pursuit of Old Man Par. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.
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