By Scott Kramer
As a golf writer, I get to play at a lot of great golf resorts around the world. The one I keep coming back to: BOYNE Golf. Over the past 50 years, this renowned Northern Michigan golf destination has grown to become one of the largest golf destinations in North America – now encompassing 10 courses and three resort properties, including Bay Harbor, The Highlands at Harbor Springs, and Boyne Mountain.
The region’s Norman Rockwell-like lakeside resort towns of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, Boyne City and Traverse City have long been summertime playgrounds for those in the know – attracting people from all over the world, including golfers. It’s no wonder, as the area offers outstanding golf and is the perfect buddy trip destination.
At BOYNE Golf’s flagship property, located along the shores of Lake Michigan west of Petoskey, the nationally esteemed Inn at Bay Harbor and Bay Harbor Golf Club are high-end luxurious properties situated on the site of an old limestone quarry and cement factory. The Bay Harbor Golf Club, designed by Arthur Hills, offers 27 holes with the award-winning Links/Quarry and Preserve courses. It features a unique combination of open links along the Lake Michigan bluffs, holes flowing in and out of a rock quarry, and through the area’s hardwoods. Within five minutes lies BOYNE’s Crooked Tree Golf Club that is carved through stands of centuries-old hardwoods, while perched on bluffs overlooking Little Traverse Bay.
Across that bay, in the historic and charming waterfront community of Harbor Springs, The Highlands at Harbor Springs (formerly Boyne Highlands) has undergone an elegant transformation fitting to its Scottish Highlands charm. The second of four phases of this reimagination includes remodeling and significantly upgrading 87 guest rooms into refined and elegant luxury accommodations fitting for golf buddy trips for men and women alike.
The Highlands’ 72 holes of championship golf collectively offer a perfect golf experience where groups can check into the lodge and never get back into their car during their stay. The courses are led by the classic Robert Trent Jones Sr. Heather course, which started BOYNE Golf’s boom back in 1966. The National Course of the Year in 2019, the Heather is a classic parkland experience. The popular Arthur Hills course takes golfers through a variety of landscapes including the hills of Northern Michigan reaching a pinnacle on the 13th tee with a 50-mile view of the region. Last year, BOYNE began renovation work on its Donald Ross Memorial course, a classic rendition of great golf holes designed by the Hall of Fame architect. The fourth course, The Moor, is also undergoing renovations to create a variety of more fun and playable shot options for golfers.
Complementing the world-class golf, The Highlands is also home to the nationally acclaimed BOYNE Golf Academy and the new and massive TrackMan driving range, which marries incredible state-of-the-art technology with a classic practice facility, golfers can see swing data on literally every shot they hit instantly, as well as play many of the world’s top courses virtually while physically hitting golf balls.
The third BOYNE Golf property, the quaint Boyne Mountain Resort, is located 30 minutes south of The Highlands. The Mountain Grand Lodge & Spa at “the Mountain” features two 18-hole layouts, the Monument and Alpine courses, which collectively offer outstanding golf that appeals to golfers of all skill levels, and some of the most spectacular panoramas in the state. The hotel there was the first ski in/ski out lodge in America with an indoor waterpark. The all-suites lodge features the Avalanche Bay indoor waterpark (one of the largest in the Midwest) — as well as the Solace Spa, an 18,000 square foot luxury spa that offers the best seasonal treatments.
It’s no wonder that the accolades keep coming in on BOYNE Golf. Publications like Forbes, Golf Digest and Golfweek continuously rank BOYNE and its courses among the best in America. The variety of golf here is collectively refreshing, the scenery amazing, and the staff always welcoming. During the long Northern Michigan days that time of year, golfers play well into the evening hours — sometimes close to 10 p.m. Or go in the fall, when the leaves start changing color — you will thank me later.
It’s never been easier to travel to BOYNE. Commercial airlines offer direct service to Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) from 17 major cities around the country during the summer months. To score a great golf package – or to find out more information – call 855.428.7447 or visit BOYNEGolf.com.