This Northern Michigan Golf Resort is Worth the Drive, Especially with Fall Colors In Play
Fall is the perfect time to explore Bay Harbor golf. Between the great offers and complimentary upgrades you won’t find a better deal in Northern Michigan! There are golf courses that, no matter the weather, no matter your mood, you look forward to playing. Bay Harbor Golf Club in Michigan’s Boyne Resorts is one of those courses.
It’s been billed as the “Pebble Beach of the Midwest,” but the comparison really isn’t necessary. Because this 27-hole resort course, which ranks among the top golf courses in the country, is more than just a few holes perched above Lake Michigan. Bay Harbor has three distinct nines that all feature fun, well designed golf holes.
The stage set here for golf is truly spectacular – whether it’s the Irish-like coastal setting of Bay Harbor’s Links Nine, the innovative routing of The Quarry course or natural feel of The Preserve Nine. It’s easy to see that over the last decade, Bay Harbor has only gotten better as it matured.
Lake Michigan at Bay Harbor
By the time you hit your approach shot on the first hole, a dogleg right par 4, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what’s in store over the next few hours. To the left is Lake Michigan, which on a sunny day can appear to be a deep blue ocean; in front of you is a well-protected green, several stories above the water. And off the fairways, which comes more into play on the difficult 420-yard par-4 second hole, is high fescue much like that on the Irish courses Bay Harbor imitates.
There are lots of terrific holes on The Links Nine, but the signature hole has to be the seventh – a reachable par 5 that narrows off the tee the longer you hit it. At 490 yards, this uphill hole often plays into the wind, with the “ocean” on the right and fescue on the left. Both the tee shot and approach are somewhat blind if you attempt to reach it in two, a gamble worth taking if you’re feeling lucky.
The Quarry doesn’t take a back seat at Bay Harbor
While The Links Nine is what you’re likely to see in Bay Harbor’s brochures, The Quarry Nine might be just as worth playing. It was on the 15th hole (Links usually plays as the back nine in an 18-hole configuration) where Phil Mickelson, in a Shell Wonderful World of Golf match against Tom Lehman, pulled off a shot even remarkable by Lefty’s standards.
The par-4 hole, which is just 312 yards, is drivable, but the green is pretty much an island, with wetlands surrounding it on two sides and rock behind it. Mickelson drove his ball left and long of the green, then played a flop shot out of the rocks, which he nearly holed for eagle.
The Quarry has other interesting holes, as well. The 14th is 478 yards, and unless you drive it well over 300 yards, laying up on this par 4 is probably the best strategy, considering it’s all carry on the second shot over water to a shallow, firm green. The par-4 16th features an intimidating tee shot where the carry over wetlands looks farther than it actually is. And the 17th, which plays back into the lake (and you thought you were done with the lake) is one of the most picturesque par 3s in the Midwest.
You can also play The Preserve, which probably sees more member play than resort traffic. While The Preserve doesn’t get the publicity of the other two nines, it’s certainly up to the standards of the rest of the course. You get more hardwood trees on this nine, and like the 17th on The Quarry, the final hole on The Preserve also opens up to the Lake Michigan shoreline.
What’s not to like about Bay Harbor Golf Club? Pretty much every feature and every hole are instantly memorable. So what are you waiting for? To learn more about special weekend Golf Packages at Bay Harbor, simply click the link. If you enjoyed this article, you can also subscribe to our blog at ExploreBayHarbor.com/connect.
Thank you: Itravelgolf.com staff writer Mike Bailey