I love living where I do. As a travel geek I have so many airport choices inside a 2-ish hour drive from home that I can almost always find a decent priced award ticket or even very respectable prices in coach and 1st class. My only gripe is my home town airport SBN is still almost exclusively served by CRJ200s and the prices are so much higher than any other airport in the area.
Another sweet perk of living in northern Indiana is that Michigan is just a stones throw away as well as lake Michigan and, more specifically, Boyne with all their partner golf courses. Oh, did I mention they have a points rewards program and since Citi paid for the $700+ golf rounds I earned full points. In fact enough to get $100+ in gift cards. Love it!
We played LochenHeath Golf Club on the way up as they accept non members during certain times of the year. Wow, were the greens fast and it was a nice test to warm us up for the rest of the weekend at Bay Harbor.
The club house at Bay Harbor is impressive and massive. There are 3 / 9 hole courses, that is, the Links, The Quarry and The Preserve. I love the first two and the last one could almost be anywhere in Michigan. I would choose Links for the views and Quarry for the challenge. The views truly are impressive and it is easy to get distracted from the game by the stunning beauty of the lake next to the course.
As soon as you tee off on the first hole on the Links you are in for water views. Oh, and scary results if you tend to hook the ball (as a right handed player). And check out this par 3 next.
I do not think the photo does this justice as it is really a scary shot with the mega house in the background and rocks and water left. Bail out to the right then you have a bunker shot with the lake to greet your ball if you miss hit it. I hit the green round one and just off round two. Phew! 😉
The Quarry, very aptly named, is just mean if you are not accurate. Water – check. Sand – check. Deep ravines – check. Oh, and the wind off the lake makes it fun too.
This hole, while short, if you slice the ball you are dead meat! Even when you hit the fairway the green is all but an island in the marsh. This does prepare you for what is next.
Again I do not think this photo does this justice. You almost have a “floating” green with water surrounding most of the green. I hit it twice deep into the green and once, well, let’s not talk about that shot shall we!
Almost across the street is Crooked Tree and part of the Boyne courses. This is also a real test with some of the same amazing lake views in the distance. If you shoot over 100 don’t even come here as it will eat you alive. But if you are a shot maker you will love it. This was my only real cost to play since Citi paid the $700-ish to play each morning over the three days.
We ended each day with stunning sunsets and missed the rain each day, but only just. In fact that last day we ended up skipping two holes and heading back early due to the nasty front that at last pushed through.
I know not all readers are golfers but can appreciate the value I got from my Citi Prestige golf perk that sadly is gone for new card members. I still get one more 3 rounds free in 2017 before I dump the card as now my Chase BANK Sapphire Reserve card will be the travel card I book with and keep long term. Oh, btw I used Barclays’ BANK Arrival+ points to pay for all the guys hotel rooms (yeah I am a nice guy) so that was free as well and I earned points for both hotel rooms! Points for golf, points for stay and free golf. What a weekend Michigan! – René