Boyne = great golf but #Fail on award program changes & some service issues!

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Last week about this time I was enjoying myself and relishing living where I do. On our drive up to Boyne Highlands & Mountain (near Petoskey Michigan) we stopped in and played Eldorado in Cadillac.

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After playing till dark we motored on up the rest of the way to Boyne Highlands where we were staying.

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I did not take a bunch of room shots as the Boyne web site has plenty. This place, during the summer is all about the golf.

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And it is a bit strange, to me anyway, to see all the ski runs and stuff during the summer months. I have skied Boyne “mountain” before, but for the amount of time it takes to get here I would rather pop out to Utah and enjoy the greatest snow on earth. But back to golf!

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Day one we played Crooked Tree right across from Bay Harbor that we played next.

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The views from the “Links” 9 are truly stunning and breathtaking. Many call this the Pebble Beach of Michigan and I understand why.

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The views just never ever get old and it becomes hard to focus on your game. The nice part of playing on a weekday afternoon was we had the place almost to ourselves. Amazing.

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The next 9 (they have 3) was the “Quarry”. Again a great test of golf and fun to play. While I did not shoot the best, there were shots to remember and as a hacker that works for me (in case you want to know on a good day I break 80 on a bad day I break 90).

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The next day was Arthur Hills that is spectacular and really fun to play followed by the Heather at the Highlands lodge (not as nice to me).

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On the way home on Wednesday it was a quick round at the “Alpine” at Boyne Mountain. They had just had a tournament there the day before and the greens were FAST and I liked it. The course was in perfect shape.

For readers who are Golfers sorry to tease you with these great views but I hope you see what an amazing part of the planet this is to play. Do make the time to go at least once in your life.

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There were some disappointments and I do not think my group will be back next year even with such amazing golf. Here is why. The service was shoddy. One day at breakfast 4 servers were standing around talking and I had to get up to get water and the guys their own coffee. For a $12 buffet is that too much to ask? The course food choices were bad. At Bay Harbor there were VERY limited choices. At the Alpine the lunch shack was closed.


The one that really bugged me was the changes to the Boyne Rewards program (since I am all about points). Before, as the group organizer, I could attach my BR number to the group and get credit. Not anymore unless I pay for the full total for the group. Plus, they have pulled many of the golf awards they had before that I would on the next trip redeem for my group. The worst thing a rewards program can do is make you feel un-rewarded and upset (are you listening Delta).

On the plus side, I put down the deposit on my personal Delta AMEX Reserve card to knock off some spend and then paid the balance on my Barclay’s Arrival+ card so I can use points to pay for golf and lodging. Sweet!

I think it will either be back to Shanty Creek next year or up to Gaylord as both are outstanding choices for northern Michigan and price wise much less. Sure we will not have the Lake Michigan views, but it is about the total experience not just a few nice views! – René

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.


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  1. Rene’,

    1. Did you know that in 1975 “Kiss” helicoptered in, and played at Cadillac High School’s homecoming dance?

    2. Next time you’re “up north” in Michigan you should play Arcadia Bluffs – on Lake Michigan – magnificent – it’s like playing at Pebble Beach (except with smaller waves!).

  2. There are many great golf trips to choose from. As a Carolina resident, I recommend Pinehurst or Kiawah, which have spectacular golf and are very reasonable in shoulder seasons. 🙂

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