Boyne Mountain Alpine Golf Course Review
Boyne Mountain Alpine Golf Course
Teachers’ Comments: A thoroughly enjoyable round.
Boyne Mountain’s Alpine course doesn’t get the press that its sister courses (such as Bay Harbor) get, but I think it should be on every Michigan golfer’s “to play” list. Alpine is a true championship course, hosting Michigan’s annual Tournament of Champions, where where each invited player has won a Michigan major golf tournament or state title.
The Alpine is a William Newcomb design dating to 1972. Newcomb also designed Boyne’s Monument, Moor and Donald Ross Memorial Courses. As it turns out, Newcomb is the architect behind a two of my favorite Michigan courses, The Medalist in Marshall and Calderone in Grass Lake. My experience with Newcomb courses is that they hit a sweet spot for me in terms of play. Like the beds of the Three Bears, Newcomb designs are neither too hard, nor too soft.
A round at The Alpine begins with a ten minute cart ride up the 500 foot Boyne Mountain to the first tee. The golf course plays downward toward Deer Lake, separating it from the ski runs on the other side of the mountain. That means that — unlike some other ski resort golf courses I’ve played — there are no lifts or snow guns to play around.
Boyne Mountain’s Alpine is best described as a parklands course, which makes it a refreshing departure from the classic Northern Michigan woodlands layouts. Fairways are wide and receptive. Trees, which you can’t avoid in Northern Michigan, never came into play for me. Elevation changes are, for the most part, gentle. The first, fourth and twelfth have significantly elevated tees, but the rest of The Alpine slowly unwinds down the mountain. It is a very pretty course, but not dramatic.
My favorite hole at the Boyne Mountain Alpine course was the par 4 fifteenth (above). The hole offers two options off the tee: play left of a stand of trees to a safely wide fairway, or right across a marsh. The safe play to the left significantly lengthens the hole. Clearing the marsh leaves a short iron or wedge to the hole. I played left, but on a replay would definitely go to the right. From the tees I was playing, I have the firepower to get a drive safely over the marsh.
Another hole at Boyne Mountain’s Alpine that I really enjoyed was the ninth. From the tee, the hole bends slightly left, pitches downward, then back up to an elevated green. The key to this one is the angle off the tee. Too far left and you run into trouble with the trees. Too far right, and you have to fly a bunker to get to the green. I got in for a bird, which may be why I liked it so much. Again, this is a hole which requires a player to make significant decisions about how to play the hole.
The par four fourteenth also deserves a mention. At 403 yards, this hole requires you to decide how many bunkers you can take on off the tee. The more bunkers you challenge, the shorter your shot to the green. Bunkers around the green threaten any but the straightest shot into the hole.
From the tips, The Alpine at Boyne Mountain stretches to 7, 056 yards and plays to a 73.3/138. From the green tees, it measures 6, 035 and plays to a 68.8/122. As always, play the correct tees and you will have a good time. In all, The Alpine has five sets of tees ranging from 5, 062 to 7056. Unusually — and to its credit — the course offers two sets of tees for the ladies.
Conditions on the day I played were excellent. The Alpine’s fairways and greens were all in great shape and even the areas off to the sides were well-tended. It has the tidy feel that you would expect from a higher-end resort course.
Boyne Mountain’s staff was very friendly and helpful. Staff was on hand to cheerfully help get bags on and off the carts, and to clean the clubs post-round. The halfway house well-appointed. In my experience, Boyne has the resort golf experience mastered.
I thoroughly enjoyed my round at Boyne Mountain’s Alpine and hope to play it again in the near future.
The Boyne Mountain Alpine Golf Course Review was first published July 26, 2017 on GolfBlogger.Com
A photo tour of The Boyne Mountain Alpine Golf Course Follows: