Michigan Golfer ON-LINE

Spectacular Bay Harbor

By Jack Saylor

Developers are calling the 1,200-acre Bay Harbor complex at Petoskey the "Pebble Beach of the East," which at first glance would appear a trifle self-aggrandizing.

Then, take a look at the property along the shore line of Little Traverse Bay, the blossoming buildings and the brilliant 27 golf holes Arthur Hills has designed, and Pebble East is not so far-fetched.

Consider home-sites ranging from $75,000 to the 27 sites along a peninsula fronting the yacht harbor which go for a million bucks each_well, that's certainly classy enough for Pebble Beach.

Homes, from 1,800 to 5,000 square feet, will start in the $500,000 area and head upwards. You can quibble, if you will, that Little Traverse Bay isn't quite the equal of Carmel Bay or the Pacific Ocean, but some of the views from the nine-hole Links course will certainly suffice until you go west, young man.

Three distinct nine-hole courses will ultimately be available on the property, owned and operated by Boyne USA_the Links, which opened in July; the Quarry, due probably in the spring; and the heavily-wooded Preserve nine, probably late '97.

The Quarry is a unique setting, of which the back nine probably will have no match in Michigan.

The last four holes play down into an old limestone quarry, through it, then out of it to a finish to a bay-side two-hole finish which (except for history) can be the equal of Pebble Beach (there's that comparison again).

In addition to the beautiful bay, your attention will be tested by the abundance of wildfowl, plus occasional meanderings of deer, coyote, mink, muskrat, fox and probably a few other varmints.

What the entire scene will look like come fall color time boggles the mind. Limited play is already being accepted on the Links course, which you may try from any of five tee boxes_from 3,432 yards at the back to 2,166 forward.

At any site, you get spectacular vistas of the bay and most of the time, also a quantity of wind to affect your shots and club selection.

Hills' use of the shoreline, its many bluffs (there are 200-foot drops to the water) and God-given elevation changes will raise the Toledo golf architect to even higher plateaus among his peers.

When the other 18 holes are finished, this will be a classic golf venue for a world-class clubhouse is already nearing completion.

There is one, big downside_Bay Harbor will be a private club when its build-up to a projected membership of 550 is completed. Already, there are 100 in the book at $25,000 (that was a bargain_it's going up, too).

Until that time, tee times are available by calling 1-616-549-6026.

The greens fees? Well, that might strike you as Pebble Beach-worthy, too. The Links is $70 for the nine holes.

However, double that to $140 and you're still $100 short of playing a round at Pebble. Practically a bargain.

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