BOYNE Golf - Michigan’s Magnificent Ten Anchors America’s Summer Golf Capital
The first time I traveled to Northern Michigan, I knew I’d be back. Seduced by gorgeous Lake Michigan panoramas along rapturous shorelines, “frozen in a golden era” small towns anywhere, and breathtaking nature, it was wild to process that anywhere this idyllic still exists today.
We put our expectations in BOYNE Golf’s hands because so many people have vouched for its collection of 10 area courses set over three unique resort properties. Meticulous conditioning, memorable scenery, shot values and unmatched variety were BOYNE’s selling points and its signature properties really delivered.
Laying eyes on the iconic Victorian-style Inn at Bay Harbor, its adjacent yacht club and the beaming shoreline of Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay, it was immediately clear why many call this “The Pebble Beach of the Midwest.” The Inn at Bay Harbor features 116 guest rooms and suites and 35 two- and three-bedroom cottages at the Lakeside Cottages and Cottages at Crooked Tree. All provide views of the renowned Million Dollar Sunsets.
First on the hit list was the region’s premier golfing experience, Bay Harbor Golf Club and its bucket-list Links/Quarry course. There are moments when you’re playing along the coastline and glance to the water, and you’ll swear you’re on an ocean. The reachable, 490-yard, par-5 seventh provides big-time thrills and a shot at glory if you bomb a long drive into a narrow landing area. This uphill hole, with Lake Michigan on the right and fescue lurking left, offer a strategic and aesthetic nod to the Irish courses Bay Harbor is patterned after.
The Quarry nine (built on the site of a former working quarry) is an eye-popping thrill ride with each hole daring you to play hero shots. The eighth, which plays into a picturesque Lake Michigan shoreline setting, is easily one of the most picturesque par-3s in America.
The Preserve is a parkland routing that plays well up to the lofty standards of the Links and Quarry. Winding extensively through the hardwoods for much of the nine, it opens up to the calming Lake Michigan shoreline. A short drive away, scenic 18-hole Crooked Tree Golf Club delivers stellar panoramic views and an underrated stretch of quality, finely-maintained golf holes.
Boyne Highlands Resort
Resembling a Scottish country estate, Boyne Highlands is a cozy escape just 20 minutes north of Bay Harbor. Boyne Highlands is home to BOYNE Golf’s first golf course and a multi-course template many resorts have replicated. A resort renovation is bringing fresh elegance, comfort and a tasteful sense of modern luxury to the property’s rooms and common areas. Accommodations abound in the resort’s Main Lodge, Heather Highlands Inn and Townhouses, Alpine Village and, most popular for golf buddies’ trips, the Ross Cottages.
With four different courses, Boyne Highlands makes for an ideal, one-stop buddies trip. The timeless, strategic parkland allure of the Heather (the original Boyne course by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.) and the natural beauty of the Arthur Hills course, which features a ten story drop from tee to green on the 13th, stand tall as must-plays on a visit to Northern Michigan. The Heather is also on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses and in 2019 was named the National Golf Course Owners Association’s Golf Course of the Year.
The Donald Ross Memorial is an extremely well-executed tribute course composed of holes inspired by famous Ross designs that have collectively hosted three Ryder Cups, eight U.S. Amateurs, 11 PGA Championships and 14 U.S. Opens. More than being a thoughtful, well-executed tribute course. Recent renovations make The Moor course more enjoyable for those games that may not be “tournament ready”.
Boyne Mountain Resort
Boyne Mountain Resort offers the walkable and family-friendly allure of a European alpine village. The charming and vast resort includes accommodations from standard rooms to suites and condos, situated right at the base of the mountain. The Spa at Boyne Mountain is Michigan’s largest at 18,500 square feet, and terrific dining options abound at Boyne Mountain too!
Boyne Mountain offers two courses, The Alpine and The Monument, which both offer tremendous views of Deer Lake as you zigzag through tree-lined slopes before winding down to tamer, rolling terrain. They each begin with a scenic 10-minute cart ride up the ski hill to their respective first tees. After golf, don’t miss one of the region’s best lunch and dinner destinations, across the street at the lakefront Beach House.
BOYNE Golf is easy to access from 17 major U.S. cities through Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) in nearby Traverse City and is centered amid one of America’s most beautiful vacation spots. Scenic Lake Michigan beach towns Charlevoix, Harbor Springs, and Petoskey are minutes away, and making a side trip to Mackinac Island is easy. This area has some of the best and most memorable before-or after-golf activities anywhere. Marinas, wineries and waterfront dining abound along with the chance to walk Ernest Hemingway’s steps of the summer destination of his youth on the quaint, charming streets of Petoskey.
You can’t go wrong putting your next golf trip in the hands of the folks who’ve been curating this destination for 70+ years. For more information on BOYNE Golf and to plan your summer golf adventure, visit www.BOYNEgolf.com