Nothing beats Northern Michigan golf in the summer
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – They call Bay Harbor Golf Club, a beautiful and challenging layout on Lake Michigan, the Pebble Beach of the Midwest. There’s a course at Boyne Highlands that pays tribute to one of America’s all-time best designers. And in Charlevoix there’s a layout that will host the Michigan Amateur for the 40th time next year, and it’s open to the public.
I’ll say it again, if you’re looking for a great summer golf vacation, Northern Michigan is ideal. And the best part is that you come here summer after summer and play entirely different courses – and they’re all pretty good.
This week, concentrated on the courses at the Alpine-like Boyne Highlands Resort and its Bay Harbor courses, which includes the 27 holes designed by Arthur Hills. In true Hills fashion, the three nines there aren’t easy, but they are spectacular. The Links nine, in particular, which hugs the coast, has a Pebble Beach-like setting, especially the par-5 seventh, which is somewhat reminiscent of the sixth at Pebble Beach.
And did I mention the weather was pretty much perfect all week? Highs in the 70s, low humidity – what’s not to love?
At Boyne Highlands, I was particularly impressed with the Donald Ross Memorial Course, which features replica-type holes of the great early American architect’s most famous works, including Oak Hill, site of the recent PGA Championship. But the Hills, Heather and The Moor courses at Boyne Highlands are no slouches either and are in great shape.
This trip also included Belvedere, which was built in 1925 and has played host to the state am for 39 years. The greens complexes alone are worth the green fee.
And on getaway day, I spent a little time at Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City. The resort was renovated a few years ago, which has really elevated the experience. Besides golf, there’s a world-class tennis facility, huge indoor water recreation area and terrific spa and fitness area. And the two courses – Jack Nicklaus’ Bear Course and the Gary Player-designed Wolverine – also hold their own and then some.
In short, a golf trip to northern Michigan never disappoints. Best of all, shoulder season is right around the corner, so you can probably work some deals pretty soon, too.
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