50 Words or Less
The Arthur Hills golf course at Boyne Highlands is picturesque and challenging. Good variety off the tee and around the greens.
Though Arthur Hills doesn’t have the reputation of Robert Trent Jones or Donald Ross, his course at Boyne Highlands might best them both. By combining challenging shots with great natural beauty, he’s created a course that golfers will want to play over and over.
The Arthur Hills course shares a practice facility with the Donald Ross Memorial course at Boyne Highlands. This includes a massive range and a sizable putting and chipping green. All of this is adjacent to the club house and a short ride from the first tee.
Beauty & Scenery
Arthur Hills seems to have gotten the most picturesque land at Boyne Highlands. The photo above shows the unquestioned highlight, hole #13. You’re elevated to tremendous heights on the tee and given a view that extends for miles.
The rest of the course is a stellar example of northern Michigan’s beauty. Rolling hills give interest to the long stretches of fairway. Golfers are encased in trees, and Arthur Hills uses tasteful splashes of water and sand to create challenge and variety.
Arthur Hills offers golfers plenty of width off the tees and doesn’t play too many visual tricks on the first-timer. However, there are hazards to contend with and many of them are rather severe. Getting out of position can often mean a blind shot or taking your medicine with a lay up.
There are plenty of elevation changes throughout the course, but I found that the course plays very close to the number on the card. My one complaint is that there are not enough sets of tees. The jump from 6,352 yards to 6,919 is, for me, the difference between not getting to hit many drivers and having to hit driver really well all the time.
The greens at the Arthur Hills course are of average size, but the shapes often make them very difficult targets. A number of the greens are narrow or angled in such a way that the golfer has little margin for error. This is exacerbated by the fact that many of the greens are elevated.
Additionally, approach shots need to carry plenty of height and spin to stay on the putting surface. If you’re playing from the rough or hitting the ball poorly, you can expect to see your ball land on the green and run off.
While there is a good deal of challenge in the iron play, it’s balanced by shots that are a lot of fun to take on. Holes like #10, above, have such a great look and such obvious peril that players will embrace the difficulty.
Greens & Surrounds
Arthur Hills presents golfers with the full range of surrounds at this course. Sometimes the area around the green is largely flat, other times it’s sloped dramatically. Some holes have thick rough all the way to the collar of the green, others are tightly mowed 20-30 yards out. This set up will benefit the strategic player who plays away from the tough short game shots.
Putting is the least challenging aspect of the game on this course, unless you get unlucky. These greens are largely flat, but there are a few spots with dramatic breaks.
The Arthur Hills golf course at Boyne Highlands has something for every golfer. If you’re there for the views, you’ll be thrilled. Players who want a test will find out, but high handicap players can get around, too. Don’t be surprised if, after your round, you find yourself rating this course about its big name brothers.