There's good reason The Alpine course plays host to the annual Tournament of Champions. With its spectacular mountainside setting and panoramic views toward Deer Lake, its setting is every bit as breathtaking is its legendary design.
From its elevated start to its finish at the 18th hole, The Alpine trends down the mountainside - presenting a diverse array of hazards and a layout that tests every aspect of your game. And consider this fair warning: once you've tried The Alpine, you'll want to face it again and again in an endless pursuit of the perfect round.
0450 Deer Lake Road
Boyne City, MI 49712
The Alpine closes for the season on October 18.
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The first hole starts with a dramatic tee shot that drops in elevation to the fairway below. There is some room to the right, but the hole becomes much longer. A fairway bunker down the left will keep your greedy side honest. The green slopes from back left to the front bunker.
Distance is not important here. A pond in front of the green can be reached by longer hitters and provides little advantage to risk flirting with. The local pros usually choose an iron, hybrid, or fairway wood here. Any shot down the right side of the fairway will follow the slope to the middle setting up a short iron approach. This may be one of the flattest greens on the course. It is really easy to over-read a putt here.
This par-3 plays slightly uphill and players should always consider at least one more club. The front of the green is well protected by bunkers, but is very playable from behind the green. So at all costs do not be short here.
The tee shot should be a response to the hole location. If the pin is left, a fairway wood short of the bunker on the right is best. If the pin is to the right, try to draw the ball around the first fairway bunker on the left to set up the best angle for approach. Either way, make sure you have something that you can advance towards the green. The trees to the left and right are open enough to find your ball, but even an experienced seamstress may not be able to thread those needles.
500 yards from the tips. Short par five, right? Except for the giant hill that #5 climbs. Long hitters will reach this green in two shots, but they must be 2 excellent shots. For the rest of us, playing two safe shots to set up an approach from 100 - 150 yards gives us an opportunity to still make birdie and takes out the risk of the round buster.
Perhaps one of the best par 4 holes at BOYNE. A corridor of trees opens up to the fairway which is guarded by fairway bunkers down the left. The towering trees to the right provide additional headaches, but give you somewhat better odds of saving a par than the left side does. The green has some tricky breaks so make sure you walk around the entire hole before committing to a line.
Club selection is critical on this downhill par 3. The front bunkers dare you to challenge a front pin. This green has more slope from left to right than most people read and also has a back tier to be dealt with. Lots of 2's and lots of 5's here.
A wide landing area bottlenecks to just a few paces wide, creating havoc for the longer player trying to reach this green. A well played second shot will avoid the sand bunkers down the left and leave a slightly uphill short iron or wedge into this green that again slopes severely from back to front.
A Dogleg left hole, this hole favors someone who can flight a shot from left to the right. The fairway slopes to the right and can cause balls to roll into danger of the right hand trees. Large bunkers flank this green and have certainly spoiled many a good front nine.
The aggressive play is to shape a shot around the corner of the dogleg with a driver, but this opens up some new dangers down the right side with a bunker and wooded area. This play can also lead to a downhill lie to a tough green. A shot played to the top of the hill is just fine, leaving a mid iron shot that plays shorter because of the elevation drop. This green is scary fast from the right side to left but the slope can be used to funnel approach shots towards any middle to back left hole locations.
A classic 'keep it below the hole, hole'. Playing from the long side of this green is extremely tough, so pay special attention to the wind when making a club selection. The front greenside bunkers see plenty of action. With some hole locations, you can find some of the easiest or toughest 3 foot putts on the course. Again, Keep it below the Hole!
Enjoy the view of the "Alpine Valley" all the way down to Deer Lake. A tempting par 5, the tee shot can carry the traps along the left to set up an opportunity to reach in two. Be sure to check your lay-up yardage as the pond in front can sneak up quickly. There is a collection area in the back so don't be afraid to take one extra club here.
A tight driving hole, the left side is more playable than missing right. This approach always plays one full club more, maybe 2 full clubs to a back pin. This green slopes considerably from the back right to the front valley.
Bunkers down the right side can be very penalizing. The fairway really narrows in the landing area requiring a precise or long shot that clears everything. This huge green can play up to three clubs different depending on the hole location.
A risky tee shot down the right side of this split fairway requires a long carry over a pond to a peninsula of fairway with a reward of a short iron approach. A huge stand of trees in the middle of the split fairway will reject any wishy-washy efforts. Though safer, the left side of the fairway will add at least 30 yards to the already difficult approach.
A good tee shot here will crest the hill or perhaps catch the down slope for some added distance. Either way it is essential that the ball stays away from the trees down the left hand side. Though the bunkers on the right certainly should be respected, they provide an easier advance to the green. A pond guards the entire hole and players who may not have the best lie, should consider using the approach to the left of the green as a safety net.
Not the longest par three, but certainly not the easiest. Just like #11, anything above the hole here is trouble. The green runs hard from the back right to the front left. Anything hit on the front of the green with spin will surely come back onto the approach. You should be happy with a par here any day of the year!
The tee shot here takes a wallop to clear the pond. If there is any wind in your face, consider the right side, you will be laying up anyhow. Cross bunkers in the lay-up zone will hold your attention and the pond in front of the green will swallow any golf balls that you might have left. Be patient here and you will set yourself up with a short approach that you can then be aggressive with.