Text: Brenna Buckwald // Photography: Kevin Frisch, Evan Schiller, BOYNE, Dunmaglas Golf Course
For the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, its regional footprint comprises a collection of resort communities and villages, a beautiful natural landscape, and a variety of outdoor, recreational amenities and destinations. From Alanson, Bay Harbor, and Bay View, to Boyne City, Boyne Falls, Harbor Springs, and Petoskey, each community offers a distinctive experience whether it is shopping, dining, visiting historical sites, or teeing up at one of the area’s golf courses.
“There are 17 championship courses within 30 minutes here, and of course, several of those are BOYNE courses,” said Diane Dakins, assistant director at the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau in Petoskey, Michigan.
Ten of them in the Petoskey area feature BOYNE’s world class courses spanning a number of BOYNE-owned clubs and locations: Bay Harbor Golf Club in Bay Harbor, Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, and Boyne Mountain in Boyne City. Crooked Tree Golf Club in Petoskey is also a part of BOYNE’s portfolio of golf courses.
Dakins noted that BOYNE recently released the Trackman Range, a new range experience supported by a free Trackman Range app one can download on their phone or tablet. A 30-bay setup at the Ross Golf Center enables golfers of all skill levels to practice shot-shaping, distance control, and more to improve their game, by utilizing the eight essential Trackman data points available. Games such as Bulls Eye, Hit It, or Capture the Flag are also available in the phone app, allowing players to challenge their friends in-app.
The northern Michigan area also offers golfing experiences at other nearby courses such as: Charlevoix Golf and Fitness, Belvedere Golf Club, and Dunmaglas Golf Club in Charlevoix; Chestnut Valley Golf Course and Harbor Point Golf Club in Harbor Springs; Springbrook Golf Club in Boyne Falls; and Hidden River Golf & Casting Club in Brutus.
For visitors traveling to the Petoskey area interested in enjoying other outdoor recreational opportunities, the surrounding area has a lot to offer, such as hiking and biking trails. Some of the trail locations comprise: Avalanche Mountain Preserve in Boyne City, which offers a range of difficulty in its trails; Bear River Valley Recreation Area in Petoskey, featuring a 1.5 mile stretch along the scenic Bear River; and Little Traverse Wheelway, a paved 26-mile multi-use path in Petoskey.
“Our hiking and biking are phenomenal in the area,” Dakins said. “Our hiking trails are just wonderful, and they’re dotted throughout the area. There are just hundreds and hundreds of acres of trails to explore.”
The area also offers unique outdoor activities such as ziplining at either Boyne Highlands Zipline Adventure in Harbor Springs or Boyne Mountain Zipline Adventure in Boyne Falls, and skydiving in Charlevoix at Skydive Charlevoix.
First opening to the public last summer, Dakins noted that the Little Traverse Bay Ferry will also be back again this year.
“It’s awesome to be able to get out on Little Traverse Bay and be able to see the communities from the water, it is beautiful. You can take the ferry across to Harbor Springs and have dinner and come back to Petoskey,” Dakins said.
Dakins also noted that many golfers like to visit local wineries, breweries, and distilleries after putting down their golf clubs for the day. With approximately 14 wineries in the area and services like Vine Ride, a boutique wine tour company in Petoskey, groups can relax and drink locally without having to put in the work of planning destinations or driving.
“If you’re bored here, it’s because you want to be,” Dakins said.
“A lot of people choose to come and make this their home-base and kind of go all over while they’re golfing. As far as the golf part itself, you just don’t need to leave. You can literally play a different course every day for two weeks. These are bucket-list courses; they’re the courses that people go home and brag about that they played,” Dakins added.