Boyne Resorts is America’s Summer Golf Capital

The Boyne golf experience is on par with a kid visit to Disneyland. A trio of resorts, 10 courses and no Mickey Mouse required!  Boyne Resorts is America’s Summer Golf Capital!

The Lodge at Boyne Highlands

I had the opportunity last September to spend a few nights at the Main Lodge at Boyne Highlands, partially ivy covered, reminiscent of an English country estate.  After a good night’s sleep on the oh so comfy beds, next is a solid breakfast to kick start your golf day. Breakfast can be included in many golf packages and I would highly recommend to incorporate that into your package. That happens in the main Dining Room with a combination of cathedral ceilings, casual elegance and mountain views.

Boyne Highlands has countless options for accommodations spread throughout the massive property. Best to check out the website for what might suit your particular style.

Four of the 10 Boyne courses play out of Boyne Highlands, two clubhouses a just a short drive apart. From the Lodge you can walk to The Heather, the Donald Ross Memorial Course, Arthur Hills and The Moor Course play out of clubhouse minutes away and you should note that this check in has a massive practice complex here to get you ready for your round.

Let’s start with might just be my favorite of any Arthur Hills courses that I have played. Aside from the three nines at Bay Harbor, this would be my top pick to play at Boyne for now, might change with my next visit!

This is what great golf in Northern Michigan is all about. Like the planes, trains and automobiles of travel, for golfers this course has it all. All the lumber you can handle line the generous fairways and pretty sure that Boyne still owes the Saudi’s for the sand… and plenty of water too boot!

Great green complexes, big, slick but fair. From the 11th you begin an uphill climb to what might be the peak of the property and will feel like the peak of the state. Welcome to Boyne’s Everest – the 13th tee and signature hole.  It’s all down hill from here, in a good way! Guessing that it is at least a couple of hundred feet of drop. I liked this hole so much I played it twice, and talk about spectacular panoramic views!  A fun Par 5, and yes even I was able to get there in 2, twice!!! The closer, 18, is the Monster at 577 yards. Big drive sets up a delicate second shot where you have a small lake and narrow landing area to flirt with. A long narrow green protected by large bunkers on the right and water to the left. Beer tastes mighty fine right about now.

You may have seen a lot of this on the Golf Channels Big Break a few years back.

The Seminole Pub was a great place to quench that thirst after the round.  Turned into a little pub dinner topped up with a delicious Daffodil Pinot Noir – damn good and damn that I can’t get it in Canada.

The Heather is a classic Robert Trent Jones Sr. design. Tough one as all Jones courses are. Tight and tree-lined getting you from fairway to the green, bunkers a-plenty and the greens are definitely influenced by being at the bottom of a ski hill. Varying skies made for some great pics in the video below. Nice collection of par 3’s most with carries over water, and a dramatic, risk reward par 5, 5th reminiscent in style to Doral’s Blue Monster or Myrtle Beach’s Dunes Club. A spectacular finishing hole, long downhill par 4 with water coming into play at 250 yards with the rest being all carry, about 180 yards to the green.

Secret advantage like on Survivor (if you are a fan) – look under the bench on the 18th tee (check video) and you won’t have to worry if you are too long off the tee! Some consider this hole the Best at Boyne

The Heather has been ranked as one of the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play ” by Golf Magazine, America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses and “50 Best Courses for Women” by Golf for Women – I will leave that up to you.

The Donald Ross Memorial Course is a tribute to one of the greatest and well known golf course designers.  Done by Ross himself, with the plan to replicate some of his best holes from around the world that would be a fit with the Northern Michigan Landscape.

Recognized as the father of golf course architecture in America after emigrating from Scotland in 1899, no one would be more suited for the task…and mission accomplished as when it opened in 1990 it was named Best New Course in America by Golf Digest.

The course offers up the opportunity to play holes from 14 different Ross courses, many of them that are not open to public play. It was kind of fun to test oneself against holes that saw action in three Ryder Cups, eight U.S. Amateurs, 11 PGA Championships and 14 U.S. Opens.

Courses that you will set foot on (sort of), three holes from Pinehurst #2, a couple of the best short par 4’s in America, #7 at The Inverness Club and #11 at Salem Country Club.

Bunkers abound as you might expect along with the typical Ross greens, slick, crowned, false fronts and all!

Had Donald Ross been a musician you could consider this a collection of his Greatest Hits!

The Moor Course at Boyne is certainly an interesting one.  A very good layout as the rest at Boyne are, parkland in style and with wider fairways more in the “fun” fashion of resort courses.  Also, one of the flatter layouts but it certainly makes up for the lack of elevation change with doglegs galore.  Risk reward opportunities on the numerous twists and turns.  The front nine of The Moor favors right-handed power fade hitters – with holes 1, 2, 7 and 9 showing their curves immediately off the tee.  While holes 5 and 8 dogleg left.  The lefty, righty theme continues on the back with 13 and 15 taking you right while 12 takes you left.  For the grand finale, some might consider this as the best finishing hole at Boyne.  A Par 5 double dogleg with water to navigate off the tee and in front of the green.

When you are done with your golf and if you are energized for something a little different you don’t really need to go anywhere other than to change your shoes!  The resort, or in this case resorts, have plenty to do.  Think about the fact that all three resorts are within an hour of each other and let’s not forget the beautiful but still quaint city of Petoskey sitting on the shores of majestic Lake Michigan.

For more information on Boyne Highlands and Boyne Resorts