Change is common in our daily lives, some change is good and some changes are deemed unnecessary. (Click here to see Crooked Tree homes for sale)

Not all of us embrace change at work, at home, or in our hobbies. 

However, many area golfers will now enjoy the finishing holes of the Crooked Tree Golf Course this summer, the changes were both good and necessary. (Click here to see all Petoskey, Michigan Homes for Sale)

The Arthur Hills' redesign of the final three holes just opened for play last week, and so far to good reviews.

In years past the beauty of the par-3 No. 15 at Crooked Tree overlooking Bay Harbor was quickly erased by the dread of trying to play the final three holes.

The 389-yard par 4 No. 16 offered a downhill second shot or a long layup at the base of the pillared green. Either way, a large maple tree guarded the sloped green along with a deep bunker.

The long 510-yard par 5 No. 17 was a nice driving hole, with a possible wedge or short iron to get a possible peek at a green that lay across a 150-yard — if the ball were positioned correctly — menacing ravine.

Both holes were the cause of many a golfer's nightmares.

Now, the holes have been renovated to favor the skill levels of each golfer that approaches the end of their round at Crooked Tree.

"We smoothed the sloop of the hill a little and put the pond in play by moving the green to the right several yards on No. 16," senior vice president of golf, marketing, and retail of Boyne USA Bernie Friedrich said. "We brought in over 50,000 cubic yards of fill for the ravine on No. 17 to cut out the long carry, we made both of the greens flatter and the bunkers are a bit smaller too."

The new slope, the smaller bunkers, and flatter greens allow high handicap golfers and women much-needed reprieve.

"There is no lay-up with a 170-yard second shot around a tree to an elevated green anymore," Crooked Tree assistant pro Sean Gee said. "On No. 17, even if a player tops the ball it can roll through the fairway, not in danger of being lost down into a large ravine from 150 or 170-yards out."

The new look to those finishing holes has the possibility of making the round much more enjoyable.

"With the new bunkers and greens," Friedrich added, "it no longer punishes the players, they are much more playable holes than previously."

The team at Crooked Tree also has changed, a little, with the transfer of The Heather Golf Course at Boyne Highland's superintendent, Matt Novenske to the Crooked Tree staff, manned by golf pro, Steve Good and Gee.

"Matt is with us at Crooked Tree now through the construction," Friedrich said. "We have done this for a number of years with our golf pros too, it freshens them up with the new challenges, and uniqueness that is offered with each our golf courses."

The weather since the beginning of the project has made the construction a little more tricky than initially expected.

"We started last August by seeding the fairways, and expected by June that it would be ready for play," Friedrich said. "But, shortly after seeding, we received 19 inches of rain and the most snowfall we have ever received so, we had to lay down 63,000 square feet of sod, which has caused some softness in the fairways."

Some slight changes have been made to the 18th green, to several pleasant reviews.

"On No. 18, we have flattened out the green, shaved out the tier a little," Gee added. "The changes we have made, hopefully, will add to the golfer's round and make the whole course more of a pleasant experience."

Boyne has made some slight changes to other holes, the par 5 No. 6, removing some trees and other possible hazards. Plans are in review to change the specific look and features of the other holes too, such as the par 3 No. 2.

"We are going to look at doing some changes to hole No. 2, some other hole tee decks as well, and make other tweaks to enhance the total enjoyment of the Crooked Tree Golf Course."

Source: Petoskey News-Review

Posted by Brook Walsh on


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