GolfDude’s Trip Around Lake Michigan, Day 4 – Entering the Lower Peninsula

I had a long day yesterday after my round at Greywalls. I made my way to Munising, MI to catch a boat tour of the Pictured Rocks – highly recommended. Then drove down to Mackinaw City where I snapped a bunch of pics of the Mackinac Bridge, and stayed out late to go to the Headlands International Dark Sky Park. If you want to see stars, forget Hollywood! This is your place.

I woke up after 5 hours of sleep and drove down to Bay Harbor Golf Club in Petoskey. I had a 10 am tee time, but really needed to get out earlier if I was going to make my afternoon round. The staff at Bay Harbor was fantastic. From the head pro running the counter to the guys at bag drop to the rangers, everyone was incredibly friendly and kind. Other courses should come here for case studies on how it’s done. These guys were spot on.

They worked me in at 8:20, and I made my way to the range and putting green to prepare. In my youth I would just roll up to the first tee and bomb it. Now that I’m old, I need to loosen up a bit before making my way to the tee box.

I played the Links/Quarry combination, which is the highest ranked of the options (they have three 9’s). Let me tell you that the views began on the first hole and continued the rest of the day. The houses on the course are absolutely stunning. The only view I didn’t enjoy all day was the foursome ahead of me around every corner. Unfortunately as a single, I just didn’t have any rights. So I settled in and enjoyed the day.

I hit the ball great all day. Both routes that I played have very generous fairways, so it made for some easier golf, in my mind. The putter balked a little and through 4 I was +2. I secured a 3-putt par on the Par 5 7th (after hitting the shot of the day – a 250 yard 3-wood up the hill). The next shot almost made my heart stop. I hit a 6-iron to about a foot from the hole, and thought it was going in – one of my worst nightmares – a hole-in-one without a witness!

I was surprised how well I hit it considering the massive delays between each shot. Luckily I’m a patient man and I love music, so I relaxed and tried to enjoy. The views made that easier, for sure.

I’ll just say this about Bay Harbor Golf Club: GET THERE. It is everything you’ve heard and more. The course conditions, the views, and the people were spectacular the whole day. The perfect weather was just a great bonus. I’ve wanted to play here for years, and I am so glad that I did.

I didn’t have much time to relive my round as I had to get down to Lochenheath to meet my buddy Cole for a special round on a course I have heard nothing but great things about. Lochenheath has been open for just about 15 years, and recently made the jump to Private. I ws able to secure an unaccompanied round for me and my friend from Houston – who now lives in Cadillac, MI.

As I pulled in to the grounds I was immediately in awe from the practice facility, to the clubhouse – even the guard house was impressive! I checked in with Dominic, chose a beautiful Peter Millar shirt to buy, and headed out to the range to hit 6 or 7 shots to loosen up. It was there that we met our fore caddie Kyle.

Let me pause here for a disclaimer. Kyle and the crew had been informed that I have a podcast. I’m certain that they all thought I was a spectacular golfer. Sorry to disappoint, guys! It’s just a blog. But I love doing it!

Kyle couldn’t have been better at guiding Cole & I through the gauntlet offered on each tee box. More impressively he kept his patience throughout the day, and if he was cussing us he did a great job of hiding it!

The views at Lochenheath were similarly beautiful, along with most of the houses. The course is very playable from the tee to the green complex, where the devil takes over. I think the longest putt I made all day was a 6-footer for par on 18. Usually I’m good for 3-4 10 footers a round. No sir! Not at Lochenheath!

While they are in the newer stages of going Private, it seemed to me that they have something special building. Although it is a smaller membership, most of them are locals, so the course will get play. The membership should only grow as the COVID golf population continues to grow.

I’d say that the best discovery the day for me was the outstanding service and attention to detail delivered by both staffs. As was the case at Bay Harbor this morning, the entire staff at Lochenheath could not have been friendlier and more attentive.

While you may have trouble securing a tee time at Lochenheath, it is worth an effort if you’er coming to town. It’s a great day of golf and a true test – if you like that sort if thing.

Another 36 tomorrow – I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow night!

The Golf Dude!

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