New short course built on a ski slope
Boyne Resorts, a skiing and golf destination in northern Michigan, has named its 11th course, a short course now under construction, “Doon Brae.” The course will open next summer.
In Scottish, “Doon” means going down into a valley and “Brae” means steep bank or hillside. The name is fitting as the routing of the course is on the site of the former Cuff Links nine-hole par-3 course set along the hillside that doubles as a ski slope during the winter months.
Located on the backside of The Highlands Main Lodge, it’s the 11th golf course at the Northern Michigan resort. The course is scheduled to open next summer.
“As far as I know, this is the first modern golf course ever built on a ski hill,” said Bernie Friedrich, director of golf course renovations and development at Boyne Resorts.
Doon Brae means descending down the slope
“What excites me most is how beautiful and different it is. There are three or four stacked-wall bunkers. Instead of using tee boxes, we’ll have just one marker on each hole and let guests play wherever they want.
“And the greens are inspired by some of the great ones around the world. They’re not copies of any specific greens, but they look different and are big. We also sodded all of the fairways, which will be well-maintained and surrounded by some tall fescue for that whisper look and feel.
“It’s going to be quite stunning. There’s a lot of excitement about short courses. We want to keep people excited about golf and wanting to play. If playing 18 or 36 holes is not enough on any day, this gives golfers another option,” he said.
Golf course architect Ray Hearn was selected to design the destination’s latest golf attraction. Hearn, a Michigan native, has been working closely with the Boyne Golf team modernizing and renovating many of the resort’s golf courses over the past several years.
Hearn said he was inspired by his many overseas trips to Scotland and Ireland and in particular by Royal County Down.
The new course, along with the 1.5-acre nine-hole Himalayan-style putting course, are both designed to be fun for everyone. The golf course will also be lighted and play music, and there will be food service and fire pits.
Featured image, a sketch of Boyne’s Doon Brae short course, courtesy of the Boyne Resorts