I RECENTLY PLAYED GOLF in Northern Michigan for the first time. It certainly won’t be my last visit to the shores of Lake Michigan and the lovely Victorian towns around Little Traverse Bay, Lake Charlevoix and Walloon Lake (where Ernest Hemingway spent his first 22 summers). We stayed one night at the historic Stafford’s Perry Hotel in downtown Petoskey, overlooking Lake Michigan, and three nights at Boyne Highlands, a delightful family ski-golf resort with four impressive courses by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Arthur Hills. You’ll see it on lists of top destinations for golf buddy trips — and with good reason. The resort is part of the local Boyne Golf group: three resorts with 10 championship courses, three of which rank among the state’s top 10 public access tracks.
The golf highlight of our trip came on our last day when we entered the gated community surrounding the elegant Inn at Bay Harbor (part of the Boyne group) and checked in at the Bay Harbor Golf Club on Little Traverse Bay. The resort is home to three diverse Arthur Hills nine-hole layouts — The Links, The Quarry and The Preserve. We chose to play the Links/Quarry combo, ranked among Golf Digest’s top 100 public courses. Bordered by waving grasses and marshy areas, The Links never strays far from the lake, and the views across the water are fantastic. After a couple of wooded holes, The Quarry plays around, into and out of a sprawling former shale quarry marked by stone cliffs, deep gorges and natural ponds. It’s a dramatic layout with some of the most unusual holes I’ve seen. Coupled with The Links, I can truly say no two holes of the 18 are alike — or ordinary. We did not play the third nine, The Preserve: wooded, natural and a haven for wildlife.
HOLE 3 | 380 yards, par 4
Faced with a split fairway off the tee, you can hit across the edge of a chasm to a lower, narrower fairway on the left (which offers a good angle to the green) or take the wider route straight ahead and face an aerial approach over a deep bunker to the shallow green.
HOLE 4 | 178 yards, par 3
While it’s ranked the second-easiest hole on the nine, from the back tees your ball flight is along the edge of a cliff. Missing the tiered waterfront green left or long lands you on the rocky beach. We were well ahead of pace, so we climbed down to the water’s edge to search for Petoskey stones, the state’s official rock, for which the area is known. The distinctive fossilized coral pieces are good souvenirs of a memorable round.
HOLE 7 | 500 yards, par 5
The wide fairway of The Links’ signature hole runs along a 150-foot bluff above the lake, culminating in a blind approach to a hilltop green.
HOLE 8 | 225 yards, par 3
One of the most wooded holes on this nine, the tricky downhill par 3 is surrounded by trees and features a plateau green with a false front and deep bunkers set into its left and front faces.
HOLE 3 | 561 yards, par 5
The No. 1 handicap on this nine requires a well-placed second shot to the end of an elevated fairway followed by a carry over a boggy gully to a tabletop green. From the back tees, erring to the right means your ball is lost in a creek far below the fairway.
HOLE 4 | 435 yards, par 4
Foliage, rocks and a bunker on the right provide visual intimidation off the tee, but the fairway offers a decent landing area. The fairway doglegs slightly right to a green wedged between a pond and a deep bunker.
HOLE 5 | 495 yards, par 5
This super par 5 calls for a drive across an inland lake to a fairway doglegging left, narrowing and dropping down to a stream crossing to reach the shallow green. A rock wall backs the putting surface, and the lake lurks on the right. An educated hook off the tee is a valuable tool.
HOLE 6 | 332 yards, par 4
It’s easy to overshoot the dogleg to the left and have a bad lie against a scruffy hillside. Going too far right on your drive lands you in wetlands. But being timid off the tee will leave you with a longish carry that might not hold on the green. It’s a target golf conundrum, for sure.
HOLE 8 | 205 yards, par 3
This downhill one-shotter backs up to the lake and is complicated by a pond and stone wall all across the front of the green, so there’s no forgiveness to be had for a shot short or long.
Bay Harbor Golf Club
5800 Coastal Ridge Drive
Bay Harbor, MI 49770
tel 231 439 4028
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, ahead of its naming ceremony Nov. 21. The 1,100-foot-long ship boasts a guest capacity of nearly 4,000. Since Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the shi, Oct. 30, Norwegian Encore sailed from Germany to England before making its way to New York City, then Miami, where the christening ceremony takes place next week.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Swiss-Belhotel International boasts an impressive portfolio throughout 22 countries, including 10 ASEAN member countries. This growth is continuing with the group’s new plans to debut four properties in Thailand.