Michigan Golfer, Spring 2018

Page 1

In This Issue •





Photo byCarter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios


Rain failed to discourage galleries at the the Meijer LPGA Classic, one of the Top Michigan Golf Stories for 2017.

4 6 9 11 13 14 18 22

New Videos

Debbie Williams-Hoak Kicks Off 2018 in a Big Way By Susan Bairley

Wake Up Time, USGA Finally Joins the Majors By Jack Berry

The Berry Patch - Spring Patch By Jack Berry

Hot List, Michigan Golfer Videos, Spring 2018

Will Tom Werkmeister Succeed on the Champions Tour? By Terry Moore

Michigan Gears Up for a Great Season of Women’s Professional Golf By Susan Bairley Slice of Life - Top Michigan Golf Stories for 2017 By Terry Moore

Michigan Golfer News

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http://michigangolfer.com MICHIGAN GOLFER Publisher/Editor Art McCafferty artmccaf@glsp.com Editor Emeritus Terry Moore

Associate Publisher/Producer Jennie McCafferty Writers Jeff Bairley Paul Bairley Susan Bairley Phyllis Barone Jack Berry Mike Duff Greg Johnson Doug Joy Vartan Kupelian Brad King Tom Lang Chris Lewis Brian Marshall Scott Moore Bill Shelton Scott Sullivan Illustrator Tytti Fallon

Photo/Video Paul Bairley Kevin Frisch Gary Morgan Dave Richards Carter Sherline Scott Sullivan Liliana Zylstra Composer Jamie Fallon Director of Accounting Cheryl Clark

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New Videos


http://michigangolfer.tv http://michigantravel.tv http://youtube.com (search “glsp”)

Lynx Golf Club - Allegan, Michigan 18 Hole Tour The Back Nine The Front Nine 18 Hole Drone Tour

Shirley Spork MWGA Hall of Fame, Class of 2017 at Meadowbrook CC Meadowbrook CC Presents: "Luncheon With a Legend" Shirley Spork Invitational, Eagle Crest Golf Resort, 2017 Bowling Green State University Connections - Back in the Day Meadowbrook's "Luncheon With A legend" Nancy Serra, Judy Figa & Pat Meyers Shirley Spork and The Other LPGA Founders - With Susan Bairley Shirley Spork an Eastern Michigan University Icon Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Dorothy Higbie - Class of 1984 Sally Sessions Class of 1988 Shirley Spork Class of 1989 Dan Pohl, Jack Berry + The Pohlcat Meg Mallon

Tom Doak The Creation of The Loop With Jack Berry Writer, Scholar, Photographer, Designer - A Renaissance Man Pacific Dunes, Cape Kidnappers, Barnbougle, Tara Iti & Ballyneal The Architect as a Mentor - Dye to Doak to the Crew at Stoatin Brae Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Old MacDonald, and Punchbowl W. Bruce Matthews III The Beginning of his Career Hidden River Golf & Casting Club - Jack Berry Interviews Angels Crossing GC With Jack Berry Beeches Golf Course - With Jack Berry International Designs - Austria, China & Canada What is happening in Golf Course Renovation - With Jack Berry

Mark Kelbel Broadmoor to Host 2018 U.S. Senior Open - Michigan Golfer Memories of Michigan & The Move to The Broadmoor - World Famous The Kelbel Family Of Michigan - Three Generations of Golf Professionals Mark Kelbel - The Elegance of The Broadmoor and Grand Hotel MGCOA Courses of the Year 2003 - 2016 -Who will win in 2017? We provide a clue 2003 2017 2017 - The Majestic at Lake Walden


MGCOA West Michigan Golf Show Update for 2018 Lyle Leeke Award, 2017 - Kevin McKinley Of Treetops Dul Family Development Leadership Award - Kevin McKinley Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017 - Art Hills MGCOA Outstanding Corporate Member Award, 2017 - with Kate Moore Kesler & Fountain - MGCOA Golf Course of the Year - The Majestic at Lake Walden Priswing - New Help for Golf Course Owners Meadowbrook Country Club - A Tour of Their Newly Remodeled Course Jerry Matthews Returns to Sycamore Hills GC - With Jack Berry Albanese & Lutzke - Sage Run and A Horse Making a Bunker Celebrating J. Mike's Retirement From Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

A Visit to The Michigan PGA Office & Chat with Kevin Helm & Justin Phillips An Aerial View of Michigan Golf Courses - A Michigan Golfer Video Harry Bowers - Golf Architect "The Fixer" - and the New Hudson Cafe Tournaments - Ally to Warwick Hills in 2018 - Western Am to Pointe O'Woods 2019 2018 - Crystal Mountain Resort - Update Michigan Golf Foundation's Raffle for 2018 -3 Bucket List Courses- Greg Johnson Grand Rapids District Pipers Open the WMGS Black Lake Resort - 2018 Update - New Tournament, Clubhouse Update and More

First Tee - The Western Michigan Chapter - 2018 - With Lily Zylstra Patti Butcher Golf Enterprises - Golf Channel Academy - Michigan Golfer Interview LPGA Meijer Classic - Memories of the Tournaments Hemlock GC - A Ray Hearn Design - With Michael Rey - 2018 Indian River GC with Corey Crowell - Gaylord Golf Mecca Course The Lynx GC - A Preview of 2018 with Jim Szilagyi & Jennie McCafferty 2018 Grand Traverse Resort & Spa -to Host The 2018 Michigan Open Eagle Crest Resort - The Tournaments are Coming - with Wes Blevins Meg Mallon & Mike DeVries Discuss Golf Architecture Four Hall of Fame Awards in Golf - With Jack Berry Michigan Golf Hall of Fame -With Jack Berry

Manistee G & CC - An Invitation to Play & A Tour of the Front Nine -Michigan Golfer Manistee National Golf & Resort with GM Doug Bell Hidden River Golf & Casting Club - With Jerry Roman Kevin McKinley - Winner of MGCOA Lyle Leeke and Dul Awards

Conversation: David Graham & Jack Berry - GAM - Best Year Yet Conversation: Kevin Helm & Jack Berry - 2018 Michigan Section PGA Mike DeVries Designs - Cape Wickham Top 100 in World 2006 Ryder Cup Practice Round at the K Club With Susan & Paul Bairley Ray Hearn Michigan Golf Course Designs - With Jack Berry - 2018 Award Winning Golf Architect

2018 Michigan Golf Show with President Todd Smith - With Phyllis Barone Jack Berry: Ireland Golf, with Susan Bairley - Michigan Golfer Video Handicomp - Half a Century of Service to the Golf Community

Golf Jackson - 20+ Courses - Price Points for Every Golfer - Phyllis Barone Reports Moose Ridge GC - A Ray Hearn Design in South Lyons - With Phyllis Barone The 2006 K Club Ryder Cup with Jack Berry, Susan and Paul Bairley




Debbie Williams-Hoak Kicks Off 2018 in a Big Way Illustration by ‘Tytti Fallon

By Susan Bairley


veryone has or will have landmark years, where either something oh-sogood or oh-so-bad makes them unforgettable. For Michigan’s Susan Bairley Debbie WilliamsHoak, 2018 is becoming one of those years, ripe with good and wonderful things. In January, Williams-Hoak, an LPGA Class A Professional, boys and girls golf coach at Saline High School and director of Saline’s Brookside Golf Academy, received the 2018 Sandy LaBauve Spirit Award from LPGA*USGA Girls Golf. In February, she was named as one of four honorees to be inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. And in March, she is being recognized once again for her LaBauve Award at the LPGA Founders Cup at The Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona.

passion and dedication to empowering girls through golf.’ LaBauve, who presented the award to Williams-Hoak in Orlando in January, founded the Girls Golf program in 1989. "Debbie Williams-Hoak thrives on helping others on the golf course and in the community," LaBauve said in a press statement. "She is a tremendous leader and role model. Her passion is contagious. I am honored that she chose LPGA*USGA Girls Golf as her vehicle to impact young women and inspire them to dream big, work hard but have loads of fun along the way."

That’s a pretty amazing start to the year.

Williams-Hoak became involved in LPGA*USGA Girls Golf as an advisor and instructor in 2006 when the Michigan Women’s Golf Association started a sanctioned program in Detroit. Inspired by its mission and success, she started a second program, LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Greater Washtenaw County in 2015, and serves as its site director and lead instructor while continuing to work as lead instructor with the MWGA Detroit program and serving as an MWGA advisor.

The coveted Sandy LaBauve Spirit Award is named after the founder of LPGA*USGA Girls Golf and honors an individual ‘who has gone above and beyond to inspire the lives of juniors through their

Each summer, the 10-week programs enroll more than 100 girls one day a week for two-hours each day, averaging about 50 girls each year in Detroit and 65 to 75 girls in Washtenaw County.



With more than 400 LPGA*USGA Girls Golf sites nationwide, being selected to receive the LaBauve award is quite an accomplishment. “It’s so humbling to win a national award,” Williams-Hoak said. “It sounds cliché, but it’s true when people say, whenever we do what we do, we don’t do it for awards. We do it because we love it and enjoy it, and yes, it’s a lot of hard work, and a lot of time and energy, but it’s all worth it. “When something like this comes through, it’s like, ‘wow!’ It’s kind of unbelievable,” she added. “Knowing there are 415 site directors out there, doing the same thing I do, and they’re all doing such a wonderful job, to be picked among all those people is really hard to put into words and express how gratifying and extremely special it is.” Williams-Hoak’s work in and commitment to junior golf served as strong credentials for her nomination and subsequent election as a 2018 inductee to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. Her personal accomplishments as a professional golfer also placed her high on the list. A three-sport All-American high school student-athlete growing up in Euclid, Ohio, she excelled in tennis, track and basketball. Her college


dreams were focused on The Ohio State University, where she wanted to pursue basketball and track, but OSU would only permit a one-sport focus.

“So after the banquet, I sat down and Bo talked to me for about five minutes, and you know, after you talk to Bo for five minutes, you get the feeling that University of Michigan is the greatest university in the world,” Williams-Hoak said. “So the next day, I made my verbal commitment to U-M, and the media took the story and said, I was the only female athlete that Bo Schembechler ever recruited!” Williams-Hoak only played basketball for half of her first year, before focusing solely on track and becoming a four-time Big 10 Javelin champion and All-American. She qualified for three U.S Olympic Track & Field Finals as a javelin thrower and just missed making the 1984 Olympic Team. She also competed in seven U.S. Olympic Festivals (6 track, 1 softball) and represented the United States in Track & Field competing in Russia and West Germany. After graduation, she became an assistant track coach and strength and conditioning coach at U-M, but had a longtime personal goal of

Photo court4sy o Debbie Williams-Hoak

So with the gate wide open to other colleges, it wasn’t long before the University of Michigan came knocking at her door, along with a personal recruiting moment with Legendary Coach Bo Schembechler, who spoke at her high school athletic banquet. While there, he was asked by the U-M track coach to meet with her when the banquet was over to convince her to come to U-M.

Sandy Labauve (left), who presented the Sandy LaBauvre Spirit Award to Debbie Williams-Hoak in Orlando, founded the LPGA * USGA Girls Golf program in 1989. becoming a professional athlete. So at 30, she turned to golf, a sport with which she had only limited high school experience. She sought the counsel of a former tour player, David Field, and his wife, Laurie, an accomplished amateur, and learned what path would be required to realize her dream. Next, she met with then UM Men’s Head Golf Coach Tom Simon, who watched her hit balls, and despite having little experience under her belt, recognized her natural talent and concluded she had the ability to move forward with pursuing her dream. “I never failed at anything athlet-

ically, so I knew I could do it,” she said. Williams-Hoak began her quest at age 31, and before turning professional, was a two-time Michigan Women’s Amateur champion and qualified for seven USGA national championships. As a professional, she played on the Futures (now Symetra) Tour before attending the LPGA Qualifying School in 1999 to earn her card, and played on the LPGA Tour in 2000, winning the Michigan Women’s Open the same year. But 2000 was the ‘best of years’ and ‘worst of years’ WilliamsHoak says. She was getting married that November, and was planning her wedding. She was realizing her




long awaited dream of playing on the Tour. But also that year, her dad had a massive heart attack that almost killed him, her brother was diagnosed with brain cancer and she herself was having health issues. “I had a great year on Tour, but didn’t make enough money to keep my Tour card, and certainly wanted to keep playing,” she said. “That fall, I was back at Qualifying school when my dad had his heart attack, and I just didn’t do well, so I came back home, got married and brought him to Michigan to take care of him. Priorities changed.” A couple of years later, she returned to the Futures Tour, and in 2006, joined the LPGA Teaching Division, making a full transition to teaching in 2007, where she’s really given back to the sport. Her amazing journey has more than earned her a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame spot.

Somehow, amid all that fills her life, including her husband, Paul, stepchildren, Emily and Paul III, and granddaughter, Eliza, she also founded "The Magic of Christmas" in 1996, a non-profit organization, which in collaboration with local police departments, provides Christmas gifts to approximately 500 children in Washtenaw County. For more information, visit www.debbiewilliams-hoak.com.


- MG -


Photo courtesy of Debbie Williams-Hoak

“It’s just amazing,” she said. “Similarly to the LPGA award, I’m just honored, so humbled and so taken aback by being able to join such a great group of people in the state of Michigan who’ve had an impact on the game of golf. It’s mind-boggling to me.”

LPGA legend, Nancy Lopez, congratulates Debbie Williams-Hoak, winner of the Sandy Labauve Spirit Award.


Wake Up Time, USGA Finally Joins the Majors By Jack Berry


Naturally the USGA will do it differently than the other majors. If there is a tie it will be a two hole aggregate score playoff, so, Executive Director Mike Davis said, if a player has a bad first hole, he or she can make up for it on the second. Hmmm.

Photo courtesy oGolfweek

ast to do it but the United States Golf Association finally will join the British Open, the PGA and the Masters in playing off a tie immediately after a 72 hole deadlock. And they’ll do it in the Women’s Open, Senior Open and Senior Women’s Open as well.

U.S.G.A. Executive Director, Mike Davis The Masters does sudden death and PGA and British do aggregate score, PGA three holes, British four. Major championship playoffs go way, way back to 1883 when Willie Fernie beat Robert Ferguson in Musselburgh, Scotland. But it took nearly a century for one of the four major championships to do away with another full round to decide the title. The Masters decided to do it in 1976 but didn’t have a need until 1979 so PGA was the first to actually have a tie in 1977. Both the Augusta National and PGA acknowledged going another day wound up with incredible problems for everyone, the host site, the fans, all the volunteers, changing travel arrangements, booking another hotel night and, maybe the biggest

factor, TELEVISION. Even before Lanny Wadkins birdied the third extra hole to beat Gene Littler at Palm Beach in the 1977 PGA, television changed the way the U.S. Open was played. Up to 1964 our Open ended with 36 holes on Saturday. The 1964 Open ended in suffocating heat at Congressional Country Club in Washington. I was there and Lordy, it was hot! Winner Ken Venturi nearly collapsed because of the heat and 36 pressure holes. The USGA didn’t want a repeat so it made the Open a four day championship. And, oh, coincidentally, that enabled a lot more money coming through the gate AND a full weekend of television.

Ironically, Gary Player and Kel Nagle tied the next year in St. Louis and played 18 more on Monday. Player won but Nagle bloodied a spectator so badly on an early hole that he not only lost his appetite he lost by three shots. The USGA accidentally went to sudden death in 1990. Hale Irwin and Mike Donald were tied at the end on Sunday at Medinah so it was on to Monday, making no one happy, and they played 18 holes. Tied again. Sudden Death! said the USGA and Irwin birdied the first hole to win. Sudden death again when nearly crippled Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate played 18 holes on Monday, all tied, at Torrey Pines in 2008. So sudden




death it was and Tiger won on the first hole. The PGA’s smart move to sudden death paid immediate dividends. Not only with Wadkins’ victory at Pebble Beach in 1977 but the next two years ended in sudden death with John Mahaffey beating Jerry Pate and Tom Watson at Oakmont in 1978 and David Graham beating Ben Crenshaw with a third hole birdie at Oakland Hills in 1979. The PGA eventually went to three hole aggregate and in 2000



Tiger Woods beat Bob May at Valhalla. Martin Kaymer beat Bubba Watson at Whistling Straits in 2010 and Keegan Bradley beat Jason Dufner in 2011 at Atlanta in three holers. While the Masters was first to announce sudden it wasn’t until 1979 that Fuzzy Zoeller, Ed Sneed and Tom Watson tied and Zoeller birdied the 11th hole, the second playoff hole, to win. Sudden death remains the same at Augusta. The British Open went to a four

hole aggregate score in 1989 and Mark Calcavecchia beat Greg Norman and Greg Norman at Royal Troon. Since then John Daly, Mark O’Meara, Paul Lawrie, Ernie Els, Todd Hamilton, Padraig Harrington, Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson have done the same. So, 31 years after that first PGA sudden death playoff, The USGA finally got the word and announced two hole playoffs. Finish on Sunday. What does that TV character say? “Get ‘er done?” - MG -


The Berry Patch – Spring Patch By Jack Berry Health Care Foundation is the beneficiary and, wait, four additional styles will “launch at a later date.”

Jack Berry


pringtime and crazy thoughts come to mind.

Jack Nicklaus, the old Buckeye Bomber, is pitching a short ball because long tall Dustin Johnson and shorty Justin Thomas are hitting it too far. Not only is Nicklaus trying to get the rulesmakers, the United States Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient to go back to the gutta percha model but he’s also pitching socks, the kind you wear, not the sock of your driver when you connect with that long ball.

As long as we’re on footwear, when I see Justin Thomas, Luke Donald or Miguel Angel Jimenez, their shoes at first remind me of The Great Gatsby footwear fashions. But right now they remind me of the worst doggone pothole year in history. The dark brown of the toes and heels are like the craters breaking up the smooth white of our roads. Incidentally, the Milano model of Jimenez’s hand-crafted Italian Nebuloni spikes go for $507.36. That’s good for golf’s most interesting man but most golfers today are into footwear as light as running shoes.

Crazy. Forget how far a very, very small number of golfers hit the ball the distance the TV guys rave about. Get on the expensive gadgets of today, like Trackman, and discover how short your socks are. Buddy of mine went to one of the indoor centers and found that his 8 iron shots really were pressed to reach 7 iron distance. Reality is cruel. Now about Jack’s other socks, the ones you can wear. They feature Nicklaus raising his putter after a birdie on the 71st hole of the 1986 Masters Tournament that gave him his sixth green jacket. For $18 they don’t guarantee your putt will fall but Stance, the company that makes the socks, says they reduce odor-causing bacteria, regulate temperature, accelerate moisture wicking and enhance the durability. They also feature astronomical cushioning, engineered arch support and a seamless toe closure. Company says they’ll last long if you don’t put them in the dryer. The Nicklaus Children’s

Jack Nicklaus is pitching socks, the kind you wear, not the sock of your driver when you connect with that long ball.




Would more running shoes produce faster play? Not likely. I think play would move better if most folks played a tee ahead of the one they’re using now and it would help if course operators would build another tee ahead. Resort courses seem attuned to that and I especially salute Black Lake for its five tee, variety. A tee ahead of a cross hazard always is welcome to an aquaphobe. Record snowfalls, record low temperatures and record potholes made the Grand Rapids and Novi shows get every golfer salivating for new gloves, a new driver, putter or wedge, new and old destinations of magical places to play. We had a rare dry, sunny day (buddy and I played nine at Glenhurst in an hour and 16 minutes) and we want more! Please!

Photo courtesy of Glenhurst

- MG -

Angel Jimenez’ . . . shoes at first remind me of The Great Gatsby footwear fashions.


Glenhurst GC, Redford, Michigan SPRING


Hot List Michigan Golfer Videos Spring 2018  March Ray Hearn - Award Winning Architect Meg Mallon - Michigan & World Hall of Fame Star - With Jack Berry Michigan Golf Show at Suburban Place - Golf’s Largest Consumer Show Kevin McKinley - Award Winning Golf Professional at Treetops Michigan Women's Golf Association - 2018 Preview of Activities Charles Scott - Architects and Their Designs April W. Bruce Matthews - International Designs - Austria, China, Canada Mike DeVries - World Class Golf Course Designer Meijer LPGA Classic 2018 Preview - With Jennie McCafferty Ray Hearn - Michigan Courses: Island Hills, Strategic, Grande & Moose Ridge W. Bruce Matthews - 21st Century Golf Course Design Mark Kelbel - Memories of Michigan and the Move to Broadmoor May Michigan PGA - Club Car Spring Scramble at Eagle Crest Resort LochenHeath GC - The Golf Academy with Kevin O'Brien and Terry Quick LPGA Volvik Championship Qualifier @ Eagle Crest Resort Arcadia Bluffs New Course - With Bill Shriver and Dana Fry Western Amateur Returns to Michigan - With Dennis Mitchell and Matt Flaherty June Michigan Golf Hall of Fame - Meg Mallon - Class of 2002 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame - Shirley Spork Class of 1989 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame - Sally Sessions - Class of 1988 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame - Dorothy Higbie - Class of 1984 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame - Lloyd Syron - Class of 2004 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame - Debbie Williams Hoak - Class of 2018 MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SPRING



Will Tom Werkmeister Succeed on the Champions Tour?

Photo courtesy of GAM

By Terry Moore

Tom Werkmeister holds the Glenn Johnson Trophy for winning the Mid Amateur Championship


hen Michigan’s Tom Werkmeister earned a conditional status on the PGA TOUR Champions for 2018, it got me thinking about the hurdles facing him as he prepares for Monday qualifiers on the senior circuit. I mean, what’s the odds of an accomplished and proven amateur 14


player like Werkmeister getting into tournaments and then possibly earning permament status for 2019? Well, due to the set-up and criteria of the PGA TOUR Champions, it’s a tall challenge for Werkmeister to not only earn his spot in some 2018 tournaments but also to find a

footing there. As former PGA TOUR Champions media official Phil Stambaugh recently explained, “the Champions Tour was never designed for guys that never played the PGA TOUR. The huge hurdle for the non-Tour player, like Werkmesiter, is the lack of all-time PGA TOUR career winnings that


Werkmeister’s aspirations may be bolstered after he checks, like I did, the records and performances of other prominent amateurs who took their game to the Champions Tour. Here are four examples:

provide an exemption category for ensuing years.” Stambaugh said players not on the all-time money list, those without a victory or outside the Top 30 annual earnings, usually go back to Q-School to qualify again the following year.


ohn Paul Cain was a standout amateur in Texas and like Werkmeister earned a spot in his state’s Golf Hall of Fame (1984). Cain, 53, was a Houston stockbroker when he entered the Senior Tour National Qualifying in 1988 and finished tied for 15th, gaining conditional status. The following year he became the second player in Seniors history— and the first with an amateur background— to qualify for an event on Monday and ultimately win the event. That tourney was the 1989 Greater Grand Rapids Open at The Highlands which I covered for Michigan Golfer. By winning in


more heralded amateur thatmade it even bigger on the Champions Tour was Jay Sigel. Throughout the 1970s and

Photo courtesy of PGA Tour

Stambaugh did see a silver lining for Werkmeister as he begins his quest in Monday qualifiers in March when he turns 50. “The Monday qualifiers in Florida where the Tour begins in January usually are pretty crowded,” said Stambaugh. “You have a lot of club pros spending time in Florida over the winter months so they’ll enter some of the Monday events. But gradually over time, the number of people trying to qualify on Monday significantly lessens, so that improves Werkmeister’s chances over the course of the 2018 season.”

GR, Cain earned a spot in Senior events for the rest of ’89 and all of ’90. In fact, in ’90 he played in a record-tying 115 rounds and 38 tournaments in all, one short of the record later set by Dana Quigley in 2000. During his dozen years on the Senior Tour, Cain won twice including the 1994 Ameritech Open. His career earnings were $1,840,623. About his Senior career, former Masters champion Charles Coody and a longtime friend said, “For somebody that had not played professionally and had no status…from anything you could have accumulated, like total money or wins or anything like that, to be able to play the Seniors Tour for 12 years, that’s fantastic.”

John Paul Cain was a standout amateur in Texas. MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SPRING



Photo courtesy of Rantsports

Allen Doyle was a premier player in Georgia’s amateur circles. 1980s, Sigel was one of America’s best amateur golfers. He compiled victories in the U.S. Amateur (2), British Amateur and the U.S. MidAmateur (4), competed on nine Walker Cup teams, and won many other amateur titles. Turning pro in 1993, he earned a a conditional card at the Senior Tour National Qualifying Tournament, finishing 11th at Grenelefe Resort. In only his fourth start on the Senior Tour in ‘94, Sigel won the GTE Classic West in March, thus giving him an exemption for the remainder of the year and the next. Sigel also had tournament wins in 1996, ’97 (2), ’98, 2002 when he won the Farmers Charity Classic at Egypt Valley CC in Ada (yep, I was there) and finally in 2003. From 1994 to 2000, Sigel averaged 30-31 tournament starts. In his career, Sigel earned



$9,497,195. Like Cain, he won in first year on Tour and continued his success without the benefit of career Tour earnings.


nother amateur that should be inspirational to Werkmeister is Allen Doyle. From 1978 to the early ’90s, Doyle was a premier player in Georgia’s amateur circles, winning the State Amateur and State Mid-Amateur titles four times each. Doyle also excelled on the national stage winning several elite amateur crowns. At the age of 46, Doyle turned pro and in his first full season in 1995 he won threes times on the Nike Tour. At 50, he made six appearances on the Champions Tour in 1998 and earned $164,918. His breakthrough occurred later that fall when Doyle was medalist at the

Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament at Grenelefe. His 13-under-par 275 total was a National Qualifying Tournament record at the time and it meant Doyle was fully exempt for all tournaments in 1999. In his first full season, Doyle won four times and notched his first senior major championship among those wins. He also finished third on the official earnings list. From there, Doyle was off and running on the Champions Tour. For his career, he won 11 times including back-to-back U.S. Senior Open titles and earned $13,401,250.


inally, there’s the case of Minnesota’s John Harris. After regaining his amateur status in 1983, Harris became a dominant playing force in his state. He won his


annual earnings outside the Top 30. There are many examples of conditional status players and Monday qualifiers making some significant money on the Champions Tour. Last year, Aussie pro David McKenzie played in seven Champions events earning $320,084. Twice after qualifying on Monday, he cashed big checks, finishing T-3 and earning $118,800 at a Champions stop in September and finishing 5th and $100,800 at another tournament in October. McKenzie had to return to QSchool Finals where he finished T12, meaning he’ll be joining Werkmeister as an associate member with access to Monday qualifiers.

By finishing second at the Champions Q-School, Tommy Tolles is fully exempt into all events in 2018. A veteran of the PGA TOUR from 1995-2004, Tolles relishes not having to play his way into touraments next year. After his successful final round, he said: “Doing those Monday qualifiers this year was even less fun than this week.”

A resident of Grand Rapids, Moore is the founding editor of Michigan Golfer and was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2011. He may be contacted at terry50moore@gmail.com

- MG -

Photo courtesy of Snipview

state’s amateur and state’s mid-amateur four times and in 1993 at the age of 41, he won the U.S. Amateur. After turning 50 in June 2002, Harris played in 12 Champions tournaments. With no career earnings status, Harris had to return to Q-School. Harris earned a conditional exemption for 2004 by virtue of his finish among the top 50 on the 2003 money list. In 2004, he played in eight of his first 15 events through sponsor exemptions and was among the top 25 six times. His first and only Champions win came in his fifth Champions Tour season at the 2006 Commerce Bank Championship. From 2002 to 2008, Harris averaged 26 Champions’ starts. For his career, Harris won $3,181,284. His Champions career was hampered by a dearth of wins and

John Harris became a dominant playing force in Minnesota. MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SPRING



Michigan Gears Up for a Great Season of Women’s Professional Golf By Susan Bairley


nce again, Michigan is gearing up for a great season of professional women’s golf – this year, hosting two LPGA tournaments, two Symetra Tour tournaments and one Legends event.

The first tournament will be Memorial Day Weekend in Ann Arbor when the LPGA Volvik Championship returns to Travis Pointe Country Club May 24-27. With its $1.3 million purse, the LPGA Volvik Championship caps

off a full week of events, including three Pro-Am tournaments: the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Congenital Heart Center LPGA Pro-Am, Monday, May 21; the military-focused Valor Cup at the Selfridge Air National Base Golf Course, Tuesday, May 22; and the Official Tournament Pro-Am, Wednesday, May 23, at Travis Pointe CC, preceded by its Pairings Party the night before at the University of Michigan “Big House” football stadium.

Photo by Getty Images

Now in its third year, LPGA Volvik Championship officials believe the tournament, its place on the calendar and the week’s events have hit a sweet spot locally and nationally.

Volvik champion Shanshan Feng poses with the Volvik trophy. Inspired by Volvik’s colored golf balls, Ann Arbor’s Motawi Tileworks trophy is hand-made and one-of-a-kind. 18


“There wasn’t a regular professional golf tournament in Southeast Michigan since 2009 so I think the community was ready to embrace it and not only in Ann Arbor but in Southeast Michigan,” said Keith Karbo, the LPGA Volvik Championship tournament director. “In our first year (2016), we sold tickets in 30 states, had volunteers coming from 22 states, so what we thought of originally as a local and regional event truly is a national event. It’s nationally televised and internationally broadcast to over


Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

The Meier LPGA Classic for Simply Give at Blythefield Country Club makes a point of engaging young golf fans. 150 countries, we get 30,000 spectators over the course of the week and we have 550 volunteers each year. People were ready for this. They were ready to embrace it and it was the right fit at the right time. Everything just lined up perfectly.”

at Rockford High School.


Last year, the Meijer LPGA Classic yielded a record donation of more than $1 million to the retailer’s Simply Give program that stocks the shelves of its food pantry partners across the Midwest.

ext on the schedule is the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Jun. 14-17 at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont. Now in its fifth year, it offers a $2 million purse and also hosts a fun week of events, including the Meijer LPGA Celebrity ProAm presented by P&G at nearby Egypt Valley Country Club Tuesday, June 11; a Junior Clinic and the Official Tournament ProAm, Wednesday, June 13; and a 5K run and walk on Saturday, June 16,

Great food is also on tap with an upgraded tournament ticket as area restaurants, breweries and Meijer vendors serve it up as part of the Grand Taste at the Meijer LPGA Classic.

In conjunction with both LPGA tournaments, Open Qualifiers will also be held, affording two sponsorinvited amateurs and a field of professional women golfers the chance to compete for two playing spots.


ymetra Tour players will visit the state twice – first, in the Upper Peninsula at the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris, June 22-24, and later in west Michigan’s Battle Creek at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship at Battle Creek Country Club, Aug. 17-19. Island Resort, near Escanaba, has played host to the Symetra Tour for eight consecutive years. With its $150,000 purse, it’s put Sweetgrass Golf Club on the global golf map and brought amazing golf to the U.P., attracting spectators from all over, especially Michigan, Wisconsin and neighboring Canada. “We get 144 golfers from 25 to 30 countries each summer,” said Tony Mancilla, general manager of




Island Resort and Casino. “It is great exposure for our resort and we believe we provide a good stop for the players each summer. It’s been mutually beneficial. “We are proud to host the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass each summer. It’s the highlight of the golf season and the Tour and players bring a lot of positive energy to the Upper Peninsula,” he added.

Photo courtesy of Arcadia Bluffs

“FireKeepers Casino Hotel and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi are committed to being good partners of our community,” said Kathy George, chief executive officer for FireKeepers Casino Hotel (FKCH). “We are committed to bringing new events to the area like world-class golf so that more visitors may visit the area and so we can provide an opportunity where we bring the community together.” George said the FKCH Championship engages more than 200 volunteers who work the event and dozens of families who participate as host families to house players, “all while providing a worldclass event for the entire region to come cheer on the future stars of the LPGA tour.” 20


Photo courtesy of Island Resort


he FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship, with its $100,000 purse, is in its fifth year, and moved to August to better balance the Symetra Tour calendar in the Midwest. Its week will kick off Monday, Aug. 13, with a Meet the Players Party in FireKeepers’ Mbish Ballroom. ProAms will be Tuesday and Wednesday Aug. 14-15, and Thursday, Aug. 16, will feature a Kids Clinic in addition to player practice rounds.

Emma Talley won the Symetra Tour’s Island Resort Championship in 2017. This year’s FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship will benefit The Haven of Rest – providing services to the homeless in the area. Finally, the Wendy’s Charity Classic, featuring the Legends Tour of LPGA Tour professionals age 45 and older, will be Aug. 5-6, at Country Club of Jackson.


he Legends Tour showcases some of the most memorable and talented female golfers in the history of the game. With 120+ members and growing, The Legends Tour roster of players has nearly 750 combined wins on the LPGA Tour, including more

than 80 major championships. Fourteen LPGA and World Golf Hall of Famers play The Legends Tour; nine have served has Solheim Cup captains and dozens more have played Solheim. The Wendy's Charity Classic, played in a pro-am format, is celebrating 17 years of raising money for foster care adoption programs in Michigan. Since the event's inception in 1999, nearly $3 million has been raised for Wendy's Wonderful Kids and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.


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Ubiquitous Michigan Golf








Slice of Life Top Michigan Golf Stories for 2017

Illustration by Tytti Fallon

1. LPGA stars Feng and Henderson win LPGA titles in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids. At the LPGA Volvik Championship at Travis Pointe Country Club, Shanshan Feng set a new 72-hole Tournament scoring record at 20under par. At rain-soaked Blythefield CC, Brooke Henderson held off Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson to win the Meijer LPGA Classic.

Terry Moore


s is my humble annual custom, I offer my list of the top Michigan golf stories of the year. Please forgive me if I overlooked a particular champion, achievement or tournament. My team of research elves have dwindled down to a precious few: me. With that caveat and in no particular order, here are my selections.

Brooke Henderson, winner, Meijer LPGA Classic

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

2. Scott Hebert wins Michigan PGA Match Play Championship, his 16th major title, becoming the all-time leader for major Section victories for a Michigan PGA club pro. The Traverse City G & CC head pro also won the Mich. PGA Section Player of the Year award for

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

By Terry Moore


Left: Volvik champion Shanshan Feng considers a putt. Right: Shanshan Feng signs autographs for fans and volunteers. SPRING


the eighth time, three more than four other Michigan pros. 3. Tom Werkmeister wins Amateur, turns pro and earns status on the PGA TOUR Champions. In June, Werkmeister won his second Michigan Amateur at age 49 which propelled him later to being named the GAM’s Male Player of the Year. Then after turning pro in October, he advanced to the Finals of the PGA TOUR Champions Q-School where he finished T-23rd, earning him associate membership status. Werkmeister turns 50 in March when he’ll try his first Monday qualifier on March 19 in Biloxi, MS.

Blanc. Warwick Hills hosted the Buick Open for 45 years through 2008 when Tiger Woods won there. Wouldn’t be nice to see Werkmeister in the field and vying for his first (or second) Champions title? 5. Hope College’s Josh Gibson is crowned the individual NCAA Div. III national champion. At Mission Inn Resort & Club in Fla. last May, the sophomore from Grandville fired a 67 in the final round and tied overall after 72 holes. Gibson then won the title with a par on the first playoff hole. And this fall, Gibson shot an 11-under par 61 in a college invitational tourney at the Grande GC in Jackson. 6. Jackson’s Brian Stuard competes in and makes cut at the Masters. The first Michigan pro to play in the Masters in 20 years, Stuard made the cut and played all four rounds, something last done by Mt. Pleasant’s Dan Pohl in 1989.

Photo courtesy of Hope College

7. Symetra Tour winners in Michigan earn LPGA cards in 2018. With stops in the UP, Canadian Lakes and Battle Creek, Symetra’s Emma Talley, Yu Liu, and Erynne Lee respectively won tourneys there which paved the way for them to earn cards on the LPGA Tour. Hope College’s Josh Gibson is individual NCAA Div. III champion. 4. Speaking of the PGA TOUR Champions, a stop returns to Michigan next year with the announcement about the Ally Challenge being held Sept. 10-16 at Warwick Hills G & CC in Grand 24


8. Richland’s Max VanderMolen, 9, sparkles at Augusta National. VanderMolen was Michigan’s lone qualifier at the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals at Augusta National in April. He won the putting portion of the age 7-9 boys competition and tied for second overall. Only 80 juniors from across the country qualified for

the prestigious event. 9. The American Society of Golf Course Architects & Golf Inc. honor Northville’s Meadowbrook CC for its renovation. After closing its course for a year, Meadowbrook reopened in May to rave reviews for the thoughtful yet bold changes to its classic Willie Park Jr.-designed layout. Architect Andy Staples added new tees, modified greens, removed trees, installed more drainage, modified bunkers and planted new turf varieties to reduce water usage by 60 percent. 10. Meg Mallon is inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame (WGHOF). The former graduate of Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, 1983 Michigan Amateur champion and 2002 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame (MGHOF) member, Mallon entered golf’s most elite chamber of honor in September in NYC. Only three other members of the MGHOF are in the WGHOF—Leo Diegel, Walter Hagen and Horton Smith. 11. Okay, call it a bonus pick but I’m saluting Gaylord’s Kevin McKinley for his PGA of America’s 2017 PGA Patriot Award, a national recognition. The Director of Golf at Treetops and the current Michigan PGA President, McKinley was cited for being "a PGA Professional who embodies patriotism and shows dedication to the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces." McKinley and Treetops have been leaders in supporting Patriot Golf Day and the Folds of Honor program Honorable mentions: Aya Johnson of North Muskegon and the


Photb courtesy of Meadowbrook CC

University of Wisconsin returning from back surgery and the possibility of never playing again to winning the 2017 Michigan Women's Amateur at Saginaw CC; Samantha Troyanovich of Grosse Pointe Shores securing conditional playing status on the LPGA Tour after finishing T-32nd at Q-School at LPGA International in Daytona, Fla.; Mt. Pleasant’s Ryan Brehm’s play on the PGA TOUR in 2017 and his making the cut at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills; GR’s Matt Harmon and Petoskey’s Joey Garber joining Brehm on the WEB.COM in 2018; and the Golf Association of Michigan Foundation’s “Youth on Course” program which allows young golfers to play golf for only $5 at participating golf courses. God willing, see you next year!

Andy Staples, Staples Golf Design, at Meadowbrook CC’s 15th hole.

Photb by Brian Waltes Photography

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