A Boyne Golf Vacation: Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain

A Boyne Golf Vacation: Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain
The iconic eighteenth hole at The Heather at Boyne Highlands

A Boyne Golf Vacation: Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain.

Staying, Playing and Dining in a Northern Michigan Golf Paradise

I recently had the opportunity to do a stay-and-play golf vacation with Boyne Golf. It was the first time I have ever stayed on Boyne properties; we have a family cottage “Up North” and it never made financial sense to stay at a hotel when I’m within a forty-minute drive of any of the Boyne Golf courses.

The first leg of the grand tour was at Bay Harbor, with its fabulous Bay Harbor and Crooked Tree golf clubs. You can read about it at the link.

Boyne Highlands Golf

A condo at Boyne Highlands was my headquarters for the next two days. There, I had the opportunity to play The Arthur Hills, The Heather, and The Donald Ross Memorial. I also had a lot of fun at Boyne Golf’s Trackman Range.

Replaying these courses presented my Boyne Golf problem: The last course I play at Boyne becomes my new favorite. Each is so good. They all are playable, yet challenging; perfectly conditioned; and beautiful to behold.

The thirteenth at The Hills Course at Boyne Highlands is a 570 yard par 5.

If you twisted my arm, I’d probably narrow it down to The Arthur Hills and The Heather, but Boyne Mountain’s Alpine is a very close third. The Donald Ross is so much fun. The Moor, with its recent rejuvenation under the aegis of noted architect Ray Hearn, is racing up the charts.

The Heather is a classic, and the course which literally started the Northern Michigan resort golf boom. The Robert Trent Jones, Sr. course is a perfect example of the architect’s philosophy of “a difficult par but an easy bogey.”

At The Heather, Boyne Director of Golf Sales and Marketing Ken Griffin related a story about the design of the iconic final hole, which soars downhill and then wraps around a pond (used in winter to supply the snow blowers).

Apparently during the design of the course, Boyne founder Everett Kircher and Jones had a disagreement over the inclusion of the pond in the routing. Kircher obviously won. However, the pond is dangerously close on such a downhill, even for this short hitter.

The solution is a local rule that’s humorously hidden underneath a bench located near the 18th tee box. The back of the bench gives the distance to the pond: 258 yards. But if you look underneath, it says “Tee Shot In Lake – Free Drop”.

That will save a lot of rounds — if you know where to look.

The main lodge at Boyne Highlands. photo courtesy of Boyne

Boyne Highlands Lodging

Boyne Highlands has a wide variety of lodging options. The main lodge has recently updated rooms and the entire facility is getting a facelift with expanded meeting facilities, additional dining and more.

I was really impressed with the work they’ve done.

Nearby, the Bartley House features the largest hot tub in the midwest. That’d be perfect for my aching back after a round.

Other options: the Heather Highlands Inn; condos at the Alpine Villages; Ross Cottages, Heather Highlands Inn, The Ross Cottages, Arthur Hills Townhomes, Heather Highlands Townhouses and a variety of private homes to rent.

In short, there’s Boyne Highlands golf lodging for pretty much any sized group and budget. I could write ten pages on the options. Call Boyne Golf’s booking agents at 888.436.2296 to sort it all out.

The condo I stayed in had two bedrooms, one of which had a whirlpool tub. The living room was large; there also was a full kitchen and a washer and dryer.

Prime Rib at the Country Club of Boyne

Dining at Boyne Highlands

For dining, there’s the Main Dining Room, the Seminole Pub, Slopeside Lounge, and the Dornoch Dining Room at the Country Club of Boyne. There are also a few quick eats options for during and after a round.

I had dinner at The Slopeside Lounge, and at the Country Club of Boyne. The food was terrific, as were the cocktails (not a beer drinker, so I can’t tell you about the selections.)

Boyne Highlands also has a dinner theatre: The Young Americans. Sadly, in thirty years of heading “Up North” for summer vacations, I’ve not been to one of the performances. Howeve, by all accounts, it is quite good.

As with other Boyne Golf properties, there’s more to do at Boyne Highlands than play golf. They have an Adventure Center to line up your activities, which include zip lines, horseback riding, biking, hiking and Segway Tours.

The Country Club of Boyne deserves a mention here. Headquartered at a beautiful clubhouse at the intersection of the Hills, Ross and Moor courses, the club offers a wide variety of perks, including no greens fees and unlimited play on all thirteen Boyne Golf Courses, including Big Sky in Montana and Sugarloaf and Sunday River in Maine. They’ve also got a private heated pool, members-only parking, reserved tee times and more. In short, exactly the sort of thing you’d expect from a tony private club.

But with more golf. Show me another private club with thirteen courses.

Boyne Mountain Golf

The Waterpark at Boyne Mountain

While on the trip, I also had the chance to tour the facilities at Boyne Mountain. If you are intent on a golf trip, but also need a place to entertain the kids, Boyne Mountain is the place to book a stay.

For golfers, Boyne Mountain offers the Alpine and Monument courses. I love Alpine. The Bill Newcomb course is fun, playable by all skill levels, and very pretty. I’ll play it at every opportunity I have.

Families at Boyne Mountain can take advantage of a huge number of non-golf activities, including mountain biking, chair lift rides, zip lines, beach activities, bicycling, hiking, wakeboarding, fishing, a heated pool (useful for cooler weather, which you can get in Northern Michigan and a spa.

The pièce de résistance, though is the massive indoor waterpark. Avalance Bay has 88,000 square feet of slides, towers, wave pools, lazy river and more.

For lodging, Boyne Mountain has the Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa and the Clocktower Lodge. The Lodge and Spa has 220 hotel rooms and several one-, two- and three bedroom suites.

Mrs. GolfBlogger would love to spend a weekend here. I’d play Alpine and Monument, and she would bike and visit the spa. We’d finish up with nice meals at Everett’s and The Beach House Restaurant.

She has a big birthday coming up, so that might be a possibility. It’s the kind of place we could splurge on.

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