Boyne Highlands Resort (Heather)

Boyne Highlands Resort (Heather) – Played May 2017

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #73
  • Location: 600 Highland Drive, Harbor Springs, Michigan
  • Year: 1968
  • Architect: Robert Trent Jones
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Brown: 7,143 yards, Par 72, 75.4 Rating/147 Slope
  • Purple: 6,647 yards, Par 72, 72.7 Rating/143 Slope
  • Orange: 6,207 yards, Par 72, 70.3 Rating/139 Slope
  • Green: 5,743 yards, Par 72, 68.3 Rating/130 Slope (Men’s), 73.9 Rating/137 Slope (Women’s)
  • Silver: 4,845 yards, Par 72, 64.0 Rating/120 Slope (Men’s), 68.6 Rating/123 Slope (Women’s)

Right down the road from where we stayed is the Boyne Highlands resort.  It is a beautiful resort that has four golf courses and ski slopes for the winter.  They have multiple activities such as zipline adventures and dogsledding.  The resort is really full service and has something for everyone.

The Heather course was the first course at the resort.  It is plenty long to challenge players, which is evidenced by the course hosting the Michigan Amateur three times.  It is also known to be friendly for women and seniors making it a versatile course for visitors.  I also learned that Boyne Golf owns multiple courses in the area including Bay Harbor Golf Club that we toured recently.  It is quite easy to make tee times for many of these courses with one phone call. Continue reading “Boyne Highlands Resort (Heather)”

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Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club

Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club – Played May 2017

  • Rankings: Golf Digest #57, Golf Digest Public #13, Golf Magazine Public #28
  • Location: 14710 Northwood Highway, Arcadia, Michigan
  • Year: 2000
  • Architects: Warren Henderson & Rick Smith
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Championship: 7,300 yards, Par 72, 75.4 Rating/147 Slope
  • Black: 6,702 yards, Par 72, 72.8 Rating/137 Slope
  • White: 6,244 yards, Par 72, 70.3 Rating/129 Slope
  • Red: 5,107 yards, Par 72, 70.1 Rating/121 Slope

The second round of the trip was highly anticipated for me personally.  I have seen the pictures of this course like many of you.  The setting on the bluffs above Lake Michigan is simply stunning.

Our day certainly didn’t disappoint.  It was chilly, but clear.  On the back nine we were treated to some of the wind that really gives the course its bite.  We were pretty beat by the end of the day, but it was great experience with some truly world class scenery.

The course is built on 240 acres that used to be apple and cherry orchards and wooded areas.  Many of the mounds and native areas were molded during the routing to give it the scale it has today.  Since it opened many of the greens have been modified to help with pace of play.  This would also mark my first encounter with these two architects.  I am always interested to see new course designers.

The course features multiple guest rooms on site as well as cottages.  Once the second course is completed it will be a true destination.  It is remote, but the golf is awesome.  I played the white tees and all yardages reflect that. Continue reading “Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club”

Pikewood National Golf Club

Pikewood National Golf Club – Played April 2017

  • Rankings: Golf Digest #45
  • Location: 3055 Kingwood Pike, Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Year: 2009
  • Architect: J. Robert Gwynne & John Raese
  • Course Access: Private
  • Walking Rules: Walking Only, Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Championship: 7,585 yards, Par 72, 79.3 Rating/155 Slope
  • Men’s: 6,894 yards, Par 72, 75.6 Rating/151 Slope
  • Forward: 6,424 yards, Par 72, 75.6 Rating/151 Slope

I never cease to be amazed by the generosity of the golf community.  That extends to the golf community on social media.  I put out an Instagram post sometime early in 2017 with about 30 courses I was hoping to work out for the year.  I knew that number would probably not happen, but it was a stretch goal.  One of those courses was Pikewood National.  Lo and behold, I get a message on Instagram from a member saying I could come up whenever.  The Saturday after the tax deadline I was pulling into the parking lot.  This is the true meaning of #whyilovethisgame.

The story behind Pikewood is that is was designed by two businessmen who had never designed a course before.  You wouldn’t know it by playing it as it is a spectacular track.  John Raese and Bob Gwynne, two high-level executives at Greer Industries, created a walking-only course that they crafted to stick to golden age design adages that they enjoyed.  The course fits the land splendidly and as I mentioned you would never know this was the rookie course for these two men. The membership roll is small and you definitely feel like you are in a relaxing spot when you are on the course.  You can really leave the hustle of everyday life behind for a few hours. Continue reading “Pikewood National Golf Club”

Butler National Golf Club

Butler National Golf Club – Played October 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest #50
  • Location: 2616 S. York Road, Oak Brook, Illinois
  • Year: 1974
  • Architect: George & Tom Fazio
  • Course Access: Private
  • Walking Rules: Walking Only, Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Butler: 7,523 yards, Par 71, 78.4 Rating/155 Slope
  • Tournament: 7,005 yards, Par 71, 75.5 Rating/149 Slope
  • Member: 6,718 yards, Par 71, 74.2 Rating/146 Slope
  • Combo: 6,500 yards, Par 71, 73.2 Rating/144 Slope
  • Founders: 6,267 yards, Par 71, 72.1 Rating/140 Slope

Unfortunately, I couldn’t do much research on this club. Their website is sparse on information. What I do know is that they hosted the Western Open for a number of years. I can attest that the difficulty of the course is immense and well-suited to stand up to the professionals.

The clubhouse was awesome and quite large. I was met by an employee of the club immediately upon arrival and he guided me to my locker. I was well taken care of by the staff all day.

My member host asked that I wait until we got away from the clubhouse to take pictures. I obviously respected his wishes and started snapping photos once we got to the fifth hole. If you want to see photos of the first four holes check out golftripper.com for Steve’s tour of the course. Continue reading “Butler National Golf Club”

Flint Hills National Golf Club

Flint Hills National Golf Club – Played September 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest #72
  • Location: 1 Flint Hills National Drive, Andover, Kansas
  • Year: 1997
  • Architect: Tom Fazio
  • Course Access: Private
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Tournament: 7,080 yards, Par 71, 75.4 Rating/144 Slope
  • Combo: 6,654 yards, Par 71, 72.9 Rating/141 Slope
  • National: 6,425 yards, Par 71, 71.8 Rating/135 Slope
  • Combo: 6,133 yards, Par 71, 70.7 Rating/133 Slope
  • Member: 5,855 yards, Par 71, 70.2 Rating/131 Slope

The second course on our short jaunt to Okalhoma and Kansas was Flint Hills National Golf Club.  This club is located just outside of Wichita and was about just under a four hour drive from Tulsa.

The club was started by Tom Devlin, who built his wealth with the company Rent-A-Center.  He eventually built a clubhouse entirely of logs that came from Yellowstone.  The wood was charred in a fire from the 1980’s and I am glad they were able to put to use.  The club has hosted numerous large events and has received plenty of accolades for its 18 holes.  The popularity of the club was evident the day I played as a titan of industry was playing with an LPGA player in the group behind us.  This was my first time encountering a security detail on a golf course so that was interesting.

Below are a few photos around and of the clubhouse. Continue reading “Flint Hills National Golf Club”

Southern Hills Country Club (Championship)

Southern Hills Country Club (Championship) – Played September 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest #30, Golf Magazine #35
  • Location: 2636 East 61st Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Year: 1936
  • Architect: Perry Maxwell
  • Course Access: Private
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Blue: 7,218 yards, Par 71, 76.8 Rating/146 Slope
  • White: 6,609 yards, Par 71, 73.7 Rating/144 Slope
  • Maxwell: 6,319 yards, Par 71, 72.7 Rating/142 Slope
  • Gold: 6,113 yards, Par 71, 71.2 Rating/138 Slope (Men’s), 78.3 Rating/141 Slope (Women’s)
  • Red: 5,756 yards, Par 74, 69.4 Rating/132 Slope (Men’s), 75.6 Rating/135 Slope (Women’s)
  • Silver: 5,443 yards, Par 74, 73.8 Rating/134 Slope

It’s always a great feeling to get an invitation to high-end private clubs.  It was no different when my friend contacted me about playing Southern Hills.  I jumped at the chance especially since the timing worked out to be just after a really busy time at work.  By now you probably know I drive everywhere I can.  Tulsa was just within range for me with the wife helping on the drive.  As usual, she was a huge help on the trip and we got there in time to catch a few hours of sleep before the tee time.

I arrived at the club for lunch with my friend and our member host.  Our host was awesome and showed us all around the clubhouse.  There is memorabilia throughout and you can feel the history oozing out of the walls.  Our host also explained the extensive renovations the clubhouse has undergone since the club’s inception.  The layout has changed drastically, but you would never know.  Everything fits inside the building and has a great feel. Continue reading “Southern Hills Country Club (Championship)”

Victoria National Golf Club

Victoria National Golf Club – Played July 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest #47
  • Location: 2000 Victoria National Boulevard, Newburgh, Indiana
  • Year: 1998
  • Architect: Tom Fazio
  • Course Access: Private
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Victorian: 7,242 yards, Par 72, 77.0 Rating/148 Slope
  • Tecumseh: 6,848 yards, Par 72 , 75.1 Rating/145 Slope
  • Chinook: 6,423 yards, Par 72, 73.5 Rating/142 Slope
  • Ayrshire: 6,130 yards, Par 72, 72.0 Rating/141 Slope (Men’s), 78.6 Rating/144 Slope (Women’s)
  • Darlington: 5,013 yards, Par 72, 66.0 Rating/125 Slope (Men’s), 71.0 Rating/129 Slope (Women’s)

Let me just tell you that I was pretty excited for this day!  I had seen plenty of pictures of Victoria National, but that doesn’t really compare to seeing the place for yourself.

I didn’t find much on the history of the course besides what you see in the general description above.  I can give you some tidbits though.  There are accommodations on site for up to 32 guests.  The golf membership sits at about 270 with half of those being local.  Judging by their website it looks like they are fairly open to outside play, which is really cool.  The course is also home to a Web.com Tour event.  Continue reading “Victoria National Golf Club”