50 Words or Less
The Monument Golf Course at Boyne Mountain, located in northern Michigan, has a superb mix of challenging holes and scoring opportunities. Great views.
Northern Michigan deserves its nickname: America’s Summer Golf Capital. With incredibly long days and a wealth of great courses, there’s no better place to pack in 36, 54, or 72 holes a day. The Boyne Golf resorts are a huge part of that, and, in this review, we take a look at The Monument at Boyne Mountain.
With views of Deer Lake and the ability to accommodate every kind of shot, the practice facilities at Boyne Mountain have huge appeal. The range is enormous, flat (ideal for judging distances), and loaded with targets. There are also multiple short game and putting greens. The only negative is that, due to the namesake mountain, driving to the first tee takes a while.
Customer Service & Amenities
A lot gets said about southern hospitality, but Midwestern hospitality is criminally underrated. Everyone I encountered at Boyne Mountain was cheerful, friendly, and made my time there more enjoyable. Of particular note was the grounds crew.
I teed off at 7:00 AM, the first tee time, and played in about two hours. This meant I was constantly pushing the grounds crew. I’ve been in this situation at many courses, and the response is often, “You can wait while I mow,” which I understand, they have a job to do. The crew at Boyne Mountain, however, could not have been friendlier or more accommodating about helping me keep up my pace.
Boyne Golf also offers a tremendous amenity in the form of free, course-specific apps. Each app has GPS, hole-by-hole flyovers, the ability to book tee times, and much more. If you’re new to the course, the flyovers and yardage book are very helpful.
Beauty & Scenery
Between the namesake mountain and the aforementioned Deer Lake, The Monument course has a lot to work with aesthetically. The elevation changes constantly, and you’re routinely switching between holes that are tree-lined and ones that are open. There isn’t much water on the course, but the few ponds are memorable both for their looks and their affect on strategy.
If you pick the appropriate tees for your game – each Boyne Golf course now offers six tee boxes – you’ll get tremendous variety at The Monument. The course starts with a massively downhill par 5 that doglegs sharply to the right. After you swing from your heels on #1, you’ll be faced with a divided fairway and a strategic choice on #2. #4 has a straightforward drive before #5 calls for a booming draw.
On average, the fairways at The Monument are of standard width, but there are a couple holes that are extremely narrow. Missing the fairway won’t put you in the trees – they’re sparse unless you really miss – but the rough can be penal.
More than great ball striking, The Monument demands good decisions from the tee. When the holes get short and narrow, take less club and find the fairway. When you’re given the green light with a big downhill shot, take maximum advantage.
As you drive up to your second shot, you start to realize how much movement there is in the fairways. Most fairways have large tilts which can be used to your advantage if you have supreme command of your tee shot. For most golfers, however, these banks are more likely to put additional challenge into the approach shot.
Whether you find a flat piece of fairway or the ball above your feet in the rough, the one constant will be elevation change. Most approach shots at The Monument will be played to an elevated green. Typically, the elevation is not enough to dramatically change the yardage, but it will limit your shot options. If you’re not able to hit a fairly high shot with some stopping power, you won’t rack up many greens in reg.
Greens & Surrounds
Like the tee shots, the green sizes at The Monument vary wildly. Early in the round, you’ll encounter some small, testing greens. Later in the round, you’ll find putting surfaces that are more inviting.
On the greens, your eye will be drawn to the large breaks – big tiers and swooping curves. These need to be considered, but don’t let them distract you from the smaller breaks. Overall, these are tricky greens with a lot going on. Your green reading skills will need to be at a ten if you want to hole long putts.
Finally, the surrounds at The Monument are visually dominated by the large bunkers. If you have a sound sand game, don’t be unduly deterred by their presence. There’s thick rough grown up to the fringe in most cases, so your short game is going to need to be aerial. Use the practice facility to dial in your short pitches, and you’ll be in good shape.
#1 – Par 5 – 565 Yards
The Monument opens with a great par 5. Hitting from an elevated tee box, you can start the day with a huge drive and the possibility of an eagle. The green is defended by a massive bunker fronted with railroad ties, so weak attempts to reach the green will be severely penalized.
#6 – Par 4 – 332 Yards
The yardage on the card may have you thinking about driving the green, but the eight bunkers and insanely narrow fairway will give you second thoughts. Like any good short par 4, this is an easy hole if you hit two smart, solid shots. If you get reckless, you can easily make a big number.
#18 – Par 4 – 438 Yards
The Monument finishes by demanding a strong, accurate drive. An island green will have some golfers walking up with a smile on their face, others digging in their pocket for another ball.
The Monument, like its sister course The Alpine (review HERE), rewards golfers with great views and plenty of opportunities to make birdies. This is a course full of interesting strategic decisions, especially from the tee, and putting surfaces that demand your full attention. Be thankful for the long, Michigan summer days as you’ll want to play The Monument many times.