Bay Harbor Golf Club
Great course but poor service lessoned experience
Played 36 holes with large group as part of ryder cup style tournament.
Links/Quarry - Links 9 is most enjoyable and very memorable. 4 holes along Lake Michigan. Can be major challenge when wind blowing, very scoreable when calm. Quarry is very unique. Couple gimmicky holes but fun overall. #8 is one of best par 3s you'll play anywhere.
Preserve/Links - Preserve is nothing special but a nice complement when playing Links.
Only combo that is worth money is Links/Quarry. Course conditions did not disappoint.
Service was awful. It was clear Bay Harbor wants to be private club and treats non-members differently. We played 48 rounds on course that day and with other high-end resorts they treat groups with utmost courtesy and appreciation. At Bay Harbor throughout the day we were treated with disdain by entire staff from ranger, driving range staff and pro shop (only exception was cart lady).
Examples - club wanted to charge $3/golfer for scorecard assistance (first time in 10 years running event a club/resort I've encountered that). Another course under Boyne did not charge for service. Group was warned about pace of play at least 1/2 dozen times...before we tee'd off. No effort to show any type of appreciation for amount of $ we brought to club.
Great course (Links/Quarrry combo), worthy of Top 10 ranking in State. But compared to other great resorts in Michigan probably not worth the $.
September 22, 2014
Beautiful Course along Lake Michigan
Made it up to North Michigan while visiting for work. Managed to get a "cheap" rate - $115 on a weekend at Bay Harbor which I had looked up and noticed was ranked a top 10 course in Michigan by Golfweek/Golf Digest.
Anyway, the course itself is beautiful and well manicured. The Preserve 9 plays like a wooded prototypical Michigan course whereas the Links 9 plays like the Scottish coast with winds whipping around and greens that run hard towards the water.
I think the course is a good test of skill but would have liked to see more from a course in this price category. First, the three 9s that make up Bay Harbor are part of a resort property and many guests like myself are playing the course for the first time. I would have benefited greatly from a GPS on my cart and would have hired a caddie if offered. Additionally, I had to wait for a place to hit balls while on the practice tee. I understand that there are also members at this semi-private property but when folks are dropping $300 per round on a weekend this should never happen. Finally, I got lost on my way to the first tee at the Preserve. They have a colored line system that helps you get to the various tees but I was camped out apparently at the wrong hole for about 10 minutes waiting on another group on the Quarry 9 only to be told I was at the wrong place. I missed playing with my prescribed group and ended up playing as a single. Normally, I like playing as a single but this kept me from enjoying the course a little bit as I was simply playing the course and not necessarily enjoying the extras that I was paying for.
All things considered, this is a fabulous property that I would love to come back to. However, I would not pay more than $150 to play here. For perspective, it costs $450 to play 18 at Pebble and this is not Pebble. Get some of the GPS carts so folks can see the course layout, layups, etc. and reduce the price to $100-$200 per round and it will be perfect.
September 14, 2014