BOYNE GOLF – The Heather at Boyne Highlands Named NGCOA National Course of the Year


Petoskey, MI – The Heather at Boyne Highlands, part of the BOYNE Golf properties in northern Michigan, has been named the 2019 Golf Course of the Year by the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA).

The announcement was made recently leading up to the February NGCOA 2019 Golf Business Conference in San Diego.

The NGCOA selected its winner based on four criteria; quality of golf course, quality of ownership and management, outstanding contributions to the local community, and significant contributions to the game of golf.

The Heather was nominated by the Michigan Golf Course Association (MGCA), a chapter of the NGCOA, which recently named The Heather the 2018 Michigan Golf Course of the Year.

“The Heather course started it all with golf in northern Michigan and has been a symbol of excellence in design and the foundation for charitable contributions in northern Michigan,” said Bernie Friedrich, PGA Senior Vice-President of Golf and Resort Sale-Boyne Resorts. “We are thrilled and humbled to receive this honor from the NGCOA and to be recognized alongside so many great facilities around the country.”

The BOYNE Golf story began in the mid-50s when ski industry pioneer, Everett Kircher, developed a nine-hole course to attract summer business and retain staff at Boyne Mountain Resort. With the vision of taking golf to a new level when he developed Boyne Highlands in 1963, Kircher hired the No. 1 course designer of the time, Robert Trent Jones Sr., to design the regions first nationally acclaimed golf course and The Heather opened for play in 1966.

The course has played host to three Michigan Amateur Championships, including the 100th Michigan Amateur in 2011, AJGA Championships (9), the Michigan PGA State Pro-Am (32) and The Celebrity Tour. The Heather continues to receive praise and recognition year after year, with Golf Digest ranking it “Best in State,” among “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses,” and “Top 50 Courses for Women.”

When it comes to contributions to the game, the Heather and Boyne Highlands have been a symbol of excellence in northern Michigan. The Heather is the home course for The First Tee of Northern Michigan and donates office space in Bartley House at Boyne Highlands Lodge. There is space for indoor lessons in the facility and on-course programs are also offered. In addition, the Harbor Cup event has raised over $400,000 benefiting local charities including the First Tee.

BOYNE Golf has also been on the forefront of technology. It was the first resort to take on golf carts in 1971, added GPS monitors to carts in 1990 and started requiring soft spikes shoes in 1997. Boyne has also brought technology like Trackman and GEARS into its Golf Academy, added GolfBoards, new phone apps and GPS yardage guides for each golf course.

Boyne Highlands, rated the No. 1 Golf Resort for Value by, features 72 holes of premier golf design. In addition to the Heather, it offers the Hills Course crafted by Arthur Hills, the Donald Ross Memorial, which is a rendition of 18 of the legendary architect’s greatest holes from around the country, and the always-fun Moor course. The Highlands is the perfect buddy trip destination for golfers who like to play as many holes as they can during the long summer daylight hours of northern Michigan.

BOYNE Golf is a collection of ten courses at three resorts (Boyne HighlandsBoyne Mountain, and Inn at Bay Harbor) located within 15 miles of Petoskey, MI. Beyond the world-class golf, Boyne is centered amid one of America’s most beautiful vacation spots. The scenic Lake Michigan beach towns of Charlevoix, Harbor Springs and Petoskey are minutes away, and a side trip to Mackinac Island is easily managed. Guests can enjoy award-winning spas, waterfront dining, sandy beaches, watersports, gaming, microbreweries, wineries, hiking, biking, tennis, zip-lining, shopping and more capped by the spectacular northern Michigan sunsets.

For more information on BOYNE Golf, visit


About Author

Glen Turk is a Wisconsin native who has been the Senior Writer/Editor of Midwest Golfing Magazine since 2006. Besides being an avid golfer, Glen enjoys traveling, music, and cheering on the finest professional sports team of all-time, the Green Bay Packers. Glen’s ultimate golf goal is to play in all fifty states and currently he is more than half way there. His other dream, albeit far-fetched, it to record an ace in all seven states of our distribution area. Thanks to an ace in Illinois in 2015, and one in Michigan in 2016, he has three down, four to go!

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