Just one hour up the Lake Michigan coast near the charming town of Petoskey, 27-hole Bay Harbor Golf Club epitomizes all that's great about golf in the Wolverine State.
One of BOYNE Golf's three northern Michigan properties, Bay Harbor is consistently ranked among the country's best golf experiences. Its three distinct nine-hole courses (The Links, The Preserve and The Quarry) take players on a journey that navigates sweeping bluffs above Lake Michigan, rugged rock formations, natural dunes and lush woodlands.
Designed by Arthur Hills, Bay Harbor's courses are typically played in pairs – each with a different finishing nine – to form three unique 18-hole routings. Whether guests play The Links and The Quarry, The Quarry and The Preserve, The Preserve and The Links, or all 27, the experience promises to test and reward players of all skill levels.
Overlooking Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay, The Links is reminiscent of Ireland's famous seaside courses. Miles of shoreline form a backdrop of incomparable beauty, with undulating fairways and slick putting surfaces framed by scrub-covered dunes. The cliff-top, par-5 seventh has been named one of the world's 500 best holes by GOLF Magazine.
The Preserve features stately trees towering over native grasses, wild flowers and wetlands, all within earshot of Lake Michigan. Its par-3 ninth hole emerges from the forest to a breathtaking coastline setting that leaves a lasting impression.
Widely heralded as one of the world's most unlikely locations for golf, The Quarry winds its way through an immense, abandoned shale quarry. Impressive gorges surrounded by stone cliffs, natural ponds and a gentle waterfall are hallmarks. Whether one makes birdie or bogey, the driveable par 4 sixth is sure to dominate post-round conversation.
And not to be forgotten, just across U.S. 31 sits another 18 holes from BOYNE Golf: Crooked Tree Golf Club. Carved through centuries-old hardwoods on bluffs high above Bay Harbor, Crooked Tree is more enjoyable than ever thanks to recent renovation work on holes 16-18. Arthur Hills' design team raised tees and re-designed greens to greatly enhance the layout's playability.
The Inn at Bay Harbor is the resort's centerpiece and an ideal place to set up shop for an extended stay. Recognized by Travel + Leisure as one of the World's 500 Best Hotels, its upscale ambience permeates ample on-site amenities that include a full-service spa, new Vintage Chophouse and Wine Bar and state-of-the-art meeting space.
Bay Harbor is located a short drive from historic, lakeside resort towns like Charlevoix, Harbor Springs and Petoskey, as well as charming Mackinac Island. Following in Hemingway's footsteps (who summered in the area the first 20 years of his life), taking in the famous northern Michigan sunsets, and exploring acclaimed microbreweries like Petoskey Brewing are just some of the off-property activities to be enjoyed.
With the region's long daylight hours (6 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the height of summer) and ideal temperatures, there's no time like the present to visit Bay Harbor or BOYNE Golf's other two resorts, Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain. Forget 36 or 54; anyone up for the challenge of 72 holes in a single day?
More information: www.BOYNEGolf.com, 844.634.5315
Getting there: Bay Harbor Golf Club is located about one hour from Traverse City's Cherry Capital Airport (TVC), and 30 minutes from Pellston Regional Airport (PLN). Non-stop flights from Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis and other Midwest hubs are available.