The last golf course played on the recent HOG World Tour visit to Michigan was The Bear at Grand Traverse Resort in Grand Traverse, Michigan. It was figuratively and literally, a bear.
The Bear is a Jack Nicklaus design. This par-72 layout features six sets of tees which range from 5,281 yards to 7,078 yards. I said it is a bear and the slope and rating would confirm that. Slope is 150 and the rating 76.1 from the tips.
The primary reason this course kicked my butt is because of the forced carries, and the fact that I was struggling badly to hit decent iron shots. You can see in the photos here a shot that doesn’t carry is going to meet a watery grave.
I’ll be posting a full review of The Bear soon, but I need to lick my wounds first. Next time I’ll wear Bear spray. Stay tuned.
The final golf day of the 2017 Michigan HOG World Tour event took place on the Wolverine Course at Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City. The Wolverine is a very playable Gary Player signature design which doesn’t beat you up and as tired I was at that point it came as a relief.
I started out birdie-birdie and quickly checked out the course record, LOL. A couple more birdies on the front and I turned in a surprising 2-under 34.
Trying not to completely gag away a good round I managed a 3-over 39 on the back for a rather unexpected and welcomed round of 73, one over. Somehow I had the green reading and speed dialed in.
I’ll be posting a full review of the Wolverine course soon. Stay tuned.
Next up The Bear and boy was it…
High winds, cold air blowing off the water, heavy rains… welcome to
Scotland golf on the shores of Lake Michigan in early fall. The HOG World Tour stopped in at Bay Harbor Golf Club to play the Links Course and Quarry Course, each 9-holes. Bay Harbor Golf Club is located in Bay Harbor, Michigan, very close to Petsoskey (see map below).
Golf holes near large bodies of water have a different look and feel to them. There are many holes at Bay Harbor which are right on the water. Below is the par-3 eighth on the Quarry course, my 17th on the day. Stunning.
Below is the par-4 first hole on the Links course. See the ball furthest from the hole? That’s mine. Drained that one for birdie!
A few more pics below are from the very interesting Quarry course which was, you guessed it, build in an old cement quarry.
Quarry island green.
I’ll be posting a full review of the Links and Quarry courses soon. Stay tuned.
Here’s the map below, showing Bay Harbor’s northerly location, and my current location (blue dot) in the Traverse City airport!
I had the great pleasure of playing The Heather course at Boyne Highlands in northern Michigan today. There wind there today would make Scotland proud, and it had its way with my game but I still loved the Robert Trent Jones Sr. layout.
The Heather Course features some of the most amazing, biggest green-side bunkers I’ve ever seen. Okay, they are the biggest I’ve ever seen.
Robert Trent Jones’s courses have such a great flow to them, including the Heather. The conditions were also very wet, with heavy rains the night before. The pond below was flowing onto the fairway.
I’ve got to head out to the next stop here in northern Michigan. Stay tuned for my full review of the Heather soon.
In an 18 hour period I played 36 holes on two golf different golf courses that were the same golf course. Sound confusing? I played the Red and Black courses which comprise Forest Dunes’ “The Loop.”
The Loop is a new course which was designed by golf architecture genius Tom Doak. It is one of three courses at Forest Dunes, in northern Michigan. The Loops is an 18 hole, par-70 course which plays one direction one day, and the opposite direction the next.
This reversible course quite a feat of engineering and creativity on the part of Doak, and I anticipate more and more golf courses will be doing this in the future. Two courses, same acreage.
I’m still mentally processing my rounds on the Loop for a future full blown review after I return from this current World Tour event in Michigan. Stay tuned. If you have questions about The Loop and/or Forest Dunes, let me know.