Page 1


In This Issue V O L U M E

30

M A Y

/

J U N E

2 0 1 2

N U M B E R

http://michigangolfer.com MICHIGAN GOLFER Publisher/Editor Art McCafferty artmccaf@glsp.com Editor Emeritus Terry Moore Associate Publisher/Producer Jennie McCafferty Writers Jeff Bairley Susan Bairley L’anse Bannon Mike Beckman Jack Berry Tom Doak Mike Duff Topher Goggin Thad Gutowski Kelly Hill Greg Johnson Vartan Kupelian Tom Lang Chris Lewis Scott Moncrieff Jim Neff Norm Sinclair Michael Patrick Shiels Ron Whitten

Janina Parrott Jacobs Herschel Nathanial Bernice Phillips Bill Shelton Brad Shelton Photo/Video Kevin Frisch Brian Oar Dave Richards Carter Sherline Brian Walters

Harbor Shores Golf Club hosts the Senior PGA.

Director of Accounting Cheryl Clark

4

Senior PGA Previews By Jack Berry

Michigan Golfer is produced by

10

Great Lakes Sports Publications, Inc.

“Mr. Janzen, Rick Will See You Next” – A Personal Experience By Bill Shelton

GLSP Advertising & Business Office 4007 Carpenter Road, #366 Ypsilanti, MI 48197 734.507.0241 734.434.4765 FAX info@glsp.com glsp.com

12

How Sweet It Is – 2nd Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass By Susan Bairley

16

Collegiate Spotlight: MSU Spartans By Chris Lewis

20

Collegiate Spotlight: Northern Michigan University By Chris Lewis

24

By Topher Goggin

Michigan Golfer is published online four times a year by Great Lakes Sports Publications, Inc., 4007 Carpenter Rd, #366, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. All contents of this publication are copyrighted, all rights reserved. Reproduction or use, without written permission, of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. All unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and illustrations will not be returned unless accompanied by a properly addressed envelope, bearing sufficient postage; publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited materials. The views and opinions of the writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect endorsement of views and/or philosophy of Michigan Golfer. Back Issues: May be ordered by sending $5.00 with your name, address and issue requested to Michigan Golfer, 4007 Carpenter Road, #366, Ypsilanti, MI 48197.

2

MAY / J U N E

2012

Randall Lewis: The Masters, a Thrill of a Lifetime

28

Slice of Life By Terry Moore

Cover: Harbor Shores has a number of spectacular settings. Photo by Kemper Sports. •

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

2


Senior PGA Preview By Jack Berry

Jack Berry he oldest senior golf championship will be played on the championship’s newest course, the Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, May 2427. The PGA of America continues to place its two major championships, the Senior PGA and the PGA, at new courses while still mixing in historic championshiptested courses like Oakland Hills which hosted the Ryder Cup in 2004 and the PGA in 2008.

T

The 73rd Senior PGA Championship will introduce the Jack Nicklaus-designed Harbor Shores, with three holes along 4

MAY / J U N E

2012

Lake Michigan and laced together by waterways and marshland through a just-as-new residential community. The whole enterprise is the brainchild of Whirlpool Corp. which boosted its hometown by resisting moving its headquarters to Chicago. Instead Whirlpool built a new complex in Benton Harbor, one of Michigan’s most economically distressed cities. Whirlpool’s KitchenAid assumed sponsorship of the Senior PGA last year at Valhalla in Kentucky. The Senior PGA brings not only the names all golf fans recognize, like Fred Couples and Tom Watson who were back in the spotlight at the Masters, but it is played on courses by the top names in design, Pete Dye (Kiawah in 2007), Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore (2010 Colorado Golf Club), and Nicklaus who did Valhalla. •

Nicklaus courses are well-known to Michigan golfers with the Bear at Grand Traverse Resort, judged one of the toughest courses in the country, and TPC Michigan, former home of the Ford Senior Players. Harbor Shores will have a return engagement with the Senior PGA in 2014. The championship has a great history. Bobby Jones, whose own Masters Tournament began in 1934, suggested to the PGA that it start a senior championship for its members and do it on his new course, the Augusta National Golf Club. The first two Senior PGAs were played at Augusta. Over the years Sam Snead won the tournament six times and more recently Photo above: Three holes at Harbor Shores. Photo courtesy of Kemper Sports.

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Hale Irwin won four times. Oakland Hills professional and Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Al Watrous won it three times. Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Nicklaus have won it. Who will it be this year? Couples and Kenny Perry likely will be at the top of the list. Both have won this year. Perry, interviewed on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive, said he wants to win the Senior PGA more than any tournament.

Down home Perry is the big hitter in senior golf, averaging 294 yards. He’s been a favorite of Michigan fans, playing 14 Buick Opens and winning in 2001. Perry joined the Champions Tour in late 2010 after his 50th birthday and

still plays occasionally with “the kids” on the PGA Tour but he’s been a force with the seniors. Earlier this year he beat defending champion Langer by five shots at Naples, setting a 36-hole tour record with an 18 under par 126 that included 20 birdies, and, obviously a couple of bogeys. Couples also is a past Buick champion (1994) and is a fan favorite everywhere for his smooth swing and ‘What, me worry?’ demeanor on the course. Couples’ play at the Masters and a Champions Tour victory at Biloxi, MS, over red-hot Michael Allen

Photo by Jennie McCafferty

“The PGA is a big passion in my heart,” Perry said. “Being a golf course owner (Kenny Perry’s

Country Creek in Franklin, KY) I love to just be out, talk with people, help with their swing. Club pros are the back bone of golf. I wish I had won at Valhalla in my home state last year and I wish I could have won the PGA there but I lost in a playoff (in 1996 to Mark Brooks). I would just love to win this more than any senior event.”

Jack Nicklaus, course designer, waits for Tom Watson to take his next shot. MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

MAY / J U N E

2012

5


Photo by Jennie McCafferty

The Big Four officially opened the golf course with a charity tournament.

Photo by Jennie McCafferty

makes him a choice. Couples lost two years ago to Tom Lehman in a playoff in Colorado. Allen won the Senior PGA in 2009 at Canterbury GC in Ohio and won recently at Tampa. That was Allen’s fourth top ten in six starts. Also strong are Bernhard Langer, the 2008 champion, and Lehman, who beat Couples and David Frost in that 2010 playoff.

Johnny Miller takes a break from the microphone to golf Harbor Shores. 6

MAY / J U N E

2012

Harbor Shores is par 71 and just 6,851 yards from the back tees. There are five par 3s. There’s water on 10 holes between the Paw Paw River, Ox Creek and wetlands. Three holes, 7-8-9, are by Lake Michigan and the eighth is

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Photo by Jennie McCafferty

The King and His Court called Dune Grass. It isn’t a course for an aquaphobe such as yours truly. It may be a better fit for the straight and narrow shorter hitting games of Corey Pavin, winner early this year at Boca Raton, FL, and Jeff Sluman. Remember this is a Nicklaus course with greens that have a lot of movement and reward good reads and a deft putting touch so Loren Roberts, Boss of the Moss, a past USGA Senior champion and winner this year in California, has to figure. The 156 player cast is the best 8

MAY / J U N E

2012

in senior golf with 15 countries and 33 states represented including two Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members, Jeff Roth and Tom Wargo, plus Country Club of Jackson professional Ron Beurmann and Lee Houtteman of Grand Traverse Resort. Six World Golf Hall of Fame members will play – Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Langer, Sandy Lyle, Curtis Strange and Tom Watson. Nineteen major champions are in the field including Andy North and Steve Jones who won U.S. Opens at •

Oakland Hills. Leading the foreign contingent are Lyle of Scotland and Langer of Germany. Five Ryder Cup captains are in, Kite, Langer, Strange, Sutton and Watson. Michigan went without bigtime golf after General Motors ended the Buick’s half century run because of the economic collapse but we’re back in the game this year with the Senior PGA at Harbor Shores and the U.S. Senior Open at Indianwood, July 12-15. - MG -

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


“Mr. Janzen,

Rick Will See You Next” – A Personal Experience By Bill Shelton

I

book on Tiger Woods. Rick strongly advocates an adherence to a playercoach confidentiality code that prohibits sharing of personal conversations and interactions. Haney’s “The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods” portrays Woods as a

“porn-loving, cheap, rude superstar . . . “ who “loved toilet humor and immature pranks.” Smith believes that Haney’s book represents an ethical violation and reflects poorly on the coaching profession. He summarizes the gravity of Haney’s action

Photo courtesy of Treetops Resort

Bill Shelton

read with interest and total agreement Rick Smith’s recent comments expressing disapproval of Hank Haney’s “expose”

Rick Smith poses with Rocco Mediate, Lee Janzen and Billy Andrade. 10

MAY / J U N E

2012

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Smith is an internationally recognized golf coach in his own right and has worked with many PGA superstars. He has also experienced splits with some of those stars including Phil Mickelson. Never has Rick publicly divulged anything personal or critical about the players and appears to maintain continued good relations after the separations. Though Rick is featured frequently on television and is a regular in providing golf instruction in the major golf publications, he seems to treat every student with a genuine respect and high level of professionalism. I know because I was one of his students! Approximately twenty years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Rick and experience first hand his teaching prowess. Eastern Michigan University offered a summer golf school at The Treetops Resort and Rick served as the head instructor. I drove up from campus to see the school in operation and talk to our students (ok, to play golf also). Rick’s reputation as a teaching professional was growing exponentially—and pga players were clamoring for his services—but he honored his commitment to our school. And to my great surprise, he had agreed to spend some time with me on the practice range! I was in awe and extremely nervous but Rick was so genuine and non-threatening that I soon relaxed and listened as he explained to me in “plain English” what I could do to improve my swing. He had a huge notebook

Photo courtesy of Treetops Resort

on the profession as “very upsettling” and totally inappropriate.

Rick Smith with Vince Williams beginning his academy at Treetops. full of swing photos of different pros and we would stop several times and look at different swings from pga pros and how they related to mine. He was very patient and focused fully on improving my game. Admittedly, even Rick Smith was not a miracle worker and I did not become a scratch golfer but I did feel he helped my swing and strengthen my game. As importantly, he made me feel as if I was his most important student at that moment and thus the article heading. Another one of his students was at Treetops to spend some time with Rick. His name was Lee Janzen, an emerging pga star, who would win the 1993 and 1998 U. S. Opens, represent the USA on two Ryder Cup teams, and be featured in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Rankings. But Lee had to “cool his heels” until Rick finished his lesson with Bill! I thought that was very classy! Over the last two decades, Rick

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

has expanded his professional activities to include course design, product development, and management services. He continues to serve as swing coach for many pga professionals, and regularly appears on television and in print with golf instruction and techniques. His professional achievements are remarkable but his personal values are even more outstanding. In my opinion, he represents the consummate teaching professional and his golf course designs have quickly garnered major accolades. Smith’s focus is not on sensationalism but substantive improvement in the game. His reputation continues to be impeccable as instructor, designer, and golf ambassador. He is an example for others to emulate. By the way Hank, Rick never shared anything we discussed during our session together. Maybe you should arrange for a lesson with Rick! - MG MAY / J U N E

2012

11


By Susan Bairley

T

he Second Island Resort Championship as part of the LPGA’s Symetra Tour will be at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris, Mich., Monday, June 25, through Sunday, July 1, and the championship coordinators, sponsors, players and surrounding communities couldn’t be happier. Last year’s 54-hole championship, won by Stephanie Kim of Bayside, N.Y., with a 7 under par 209, was a first for this Upper Peninsula resort, and it was a sweet success story that bears repeating. The 2011 Island Resort Championship hosted a full field of then LPGA ‘Futures Tour’ golfers (along with several amateur contenders) and offered a $110,000 purse, which included at $15, 400 first prize. Resort personnel, area residents, community leaders, business owners and approximately 300 tournament volunteers rolled out the red carpet. They opened their homes, their businesses and hearts to the young players, and welcomed the 5,000 spectators that followed them. It was a perfect match. This year’s tournament promises more of the same. Again offering a $110, 000 purse and $15,400 first prize, the championship expects a full field of 144 golfers and hopes to attract more than 8,000 spectators. LPGA Symetra Tour Vice President of Tournament Development Tracy Kerdyk said the Island Resort Championship is a favorite of the Symetra Tour

12

MAY / J U N E

2012

players. “Sweetgrass is one of our most challenging courses and offers some of the best conditions,” she said. “When I originally announced the event as part of the tour, I said I thought it would be the players’ favorite in 2011, and it was – by far. It’s a good course for spectators; they can see a lot of different holes. The holes are very different, which for the players, is challenging; they have to use just about every club in their bag. Allin-all, it’s just a perfect facility.

— 2nd I Swe

“They just do everything right,” she added. “The resort, the casino, the people that run it, the tribe – it is one of our best stops on tour, if not the best,” she added. That’s music to Tony Mancilla’s ears. As co-chair of the championship and attorney/tribal member of the Hannahville Indian Community that owns and operates Island Resort and Sweetgrass Golf Club, such accolades are not just happenstance. Rather, they are the welcomed results of the careful planning, hard work, skilled teamwork and community support that go into the event. “It’s a great golf course and we’re proud to have it showcased at the Island Resort Championship,” he said. “(Last year) we wanted people to see the golf course and play it, to see how the pros play it, and it stood up well. It got rave reviews from the Tour and the players, so we were really excited about that.” An avid golfer and astute businessman, Mancilla eyed a variety of professional tours for a possible

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


How Sweet It Is!

sland Resort Championship at eetgrass, June 25 – July 1

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

MAY / J U N E

2012

13


Photo by Brian Oar

The Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass features stunning golf holes. Island Resort event, and when he saw a Golf Channel promo of the LPGA Symetra Tour, as it played in Decatur, Ill., he decided to give it a serious look. “For us, this tour fits. We wanted a professional tournament and this was the one that fit us the best,” he said. Mancilla says hosting a professional tournament is important to the course long-term. “When you host a professional event, it puts you on a different level,” he said. “When people put the time and effort into hosting something, they’re committed. They’re sold on their course. “Our goal is to the number one stop on this tour. We want to be the top stop. We want everyone to say, you need to go to Michigan and play that course. Then maybe seven or eight years down the 14

MAY / J U N E

2012

road, we could talk to the USGA, and maybe talk about hosting a Senior Open or Women’s Open,” he said. For now though, Mancilla is content to host the Symetra Tour players, and with Island Resort Marketing Director and Championship Co-Chair Susan Harris, the 2012 Island Resort Championship is shaping up to be a week of great golf and fun for all. In addition to two Pro-Ams on Wednesday and Thursday, Tuesday is Player Day, with fun activities planned for them. Wednesday afternoon, there will be Junior Clinic, sponsored by Charter Communications, and Thursday, the pre-tournament banquet will feature the Green Bay Packers Jerry Kramer.

Already the Championship’s corporate hospitality is sold out. “That was sold out very early,” Harris said. “We have a few spots left in our Wednesday Pro-Am, but the response has been incredible. The corporate sponsors really see the value, not only at the event itself, but how they are able to translate and use it in their businesses. Plus, they have a heck of a good time.” While Harris credits the Island Resort premier facilities and staff for the championship’s success, she also cites the community, whose volunteers help with hospitality, logistics and providing housing for individual players, as a major plus. “Many of the people who housed the players (last year) have been in monthly contact with them and some have even been able to catch up with them in

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Florida, when they’ve been playing in other tournaments,” she said. “There’s a real bond that’s developed in the community with these players, and some are going to host the same players this year. I think that’s been one of the strengths and one of the reasons the players love coming here, because it’s kind of like coming to your hometown.” Dave Douglas, director of golf at Sweetgrass, said the LPGA will lengthen the course a bit this year, but otherwise, he expects to offer the players the excellent course conditions they experienced last year. Spectators looking to view the most action from one spot will likely sit where the 8th and 12th tees meet. “From there, you can see holes 12 and 8, and turn around and look down 11. Number 7 is right alongside there, and you can see the island green, Number 15,” he said. “You really can watch several holes without even moving.”

Ticket holders will not only have access to the tournament but each offers a day pass to the local YMCA, the tournament’s charity recipient. In addition, spectators can win prizes throughout the day, ranging from fine jewelry to shotguns (Yes, the U.P. is a hunter’s paradise!). Harris said Island Resort’s hotel rooms are expected to fill rapidly for tournament week, with overflow going to the nearby Evergreen Inn or several of Escanaba’s lodging facilities, so vacationers and overnight visitors are encouraged to make their reservations early.

And while no ‘spectator packages’ will be offered, Island Resort’s usual Stay ‘n Play packages will continue to be available, although course play for those will be limited to Greywalls and Timberstone during tournament week. For tickets or more information about the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass, visit www.sweetgrassgolfclub.com For hotel reservations and more information about the casino or resort, visit www.islandresortandcasino.com - MG -

Tickets for the championship are just $10 for all three tournament days, and free for those under 18. They can be purchased from more than 30 nonprofit organizations, who actually will keep all proceeds from tickets sold through their agencies, and also can be purchased directly from Island Resort in advance or at the tournament. MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

MAY / J U N E

2012

15


Collegiate Spotlight

MSU Spartans Reflect on a Successful Fall 2011 Season and Anticipate Imminent Success

Photo courtesy of Michigan State University

By Chris Lewis

W

Michigan State University Golf Team, 2011 - 2012

ith 26 national championship titles and more than 90 Big Ten regular season championship Chris Lewis designations, is there any wonder why Michigan State University is well-renowned as one of the 16

MAY / J U N E

2012

nation’s most talented athletic institutions? Although the university’s basketball and football teams typically garner most of sports fans’ attention and newspapers’ headlines, MSU’s men’s golf program has also earned a variety of championships and accolades throughout the years, since it first began competing in the NCAA back in 1928. •

During the last 84 years, the program has claimed four Big Ten Championships, in 1969, 2005, 2007, and 2008, and has helped to establish a wide range of successful professional golf careers. From five-time Michigan PGA Player of the Year Lynn Janson to Nationwide Tour member Matt Harmon, some of Michigan’s brightest golf stars are MSU alum.

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


He added, “As a result, the 18hole round led to many head-to-head finishes. We started the round solidly, holding the lead through 11 holes. Even though we made some bogies at the end, our fifth-place finish proved that we could compete with the best teams in college golf.”

“Both the 1969 and 2005 teams set the foundation for years of success in recruiting and visibility for the program,” said head coach Casey Lubahn. “Each teams’ impact will certainly be wellnoticed for years to come.”

“The future of our team is bright because of the quality young men in our program,” stated Lubahn. “They are working hard and really searching for ways to take their games to the next level.” Lubahn continued, “Every team member is becoming more and more mentally tougher with each passing week – and that is a byproduct of the strong culture they have helped create.” With such a robust culture, the Michigan State Spartans enjoyed a successful fall campaign last year, as they contended for tournament victories on three separate occasions and created memories that will be cherished long after their collegiate careers have concluded.

Close Calls, Near Misses, and Longstanding Memories Last fall, the Spartans competed in five NCAA tournaments and 18

MAY / J U N E

2012

With the fifth-place showing, the Spartans earned top-ten finishes in every event they participated in last fall, including a tie-for-ninth performance at the Rees Jones Invitational, which occurred at the nationally acclaimed Rees Jones Signature Course in Daufuskie Island, South Carolina. The course has previously been recognized by Golf Digest as one of America’s top 100 greatest courses.

Photo courtesy of Michigan State University

Hired in 2011 to help Michigan State once again become consistent Big Ten competitors, Coach Lubahn, a 2004 graduate of MSU and one of the program’s most dependable performers, with a career scoring average of 75, believes his current team is capable of contending for tournament titles in the near future.

Chris Mory earned top-three finishes in three of the events. Despite achieving a runner-up finish at the Fossum Invitational, a third-place showing at the Wolverine Invitational, and a tie-for-first finish at October’s Georgetown Intercollegiate, Coach Lubahn was most proud of his team’s performance at a tournament hosted by the University of Toledo. “Our best showing was at the Inverness Intercollegiate,” said Lubahn. “We had been playing quite well before the Intercollegiate and were looking forward to competing in that event, but, unfortunately, the tournament was delayed by storms and reduced to 18 holes.” •

The Spartans’ first tournament of the year, the Fossum Invitational, was hosted by MSU and contested at East Lansing’s Forest Akers Golf Course, a 7,013yard, par 72 layout, last September. Meanwhile, the Wolverine Invitational was held at Ann Arbor’s University of Michigan Golf Course, which is situated near U of M’s campus. Designed by legendary course architect, Alister Mackenzie, the 6,687-yard-long, par 71 course features a variety of challenges – tight fairways, a hilly terrain, and fast, silky greens. “It was a pleasure to watch the squad compete on each of these courses and to travel with the team and witness their friendships and bonds with one another grow throughout the season,” said Lubahn. “We had so many fantastic memories last fall, which I believe all team members will cherish for the rest of their lives.”

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Two particular memories stand out more than any others.

eighth-place showing thus far, as of April 11th.

“Shooting a school record of 276 during the second round of the Wolverine Invitational was a great moment for the program and created a lot of positive momentum for the remainder of the season,” reflected Lubahn.

“We haven’t had the same spark we had last fall yet, but the team’s work ethic and attention to detail, which has been displayed so far, is definitely a good sign going forward,” stated Lubahn. “Our leaders are also teaching our younger players how to prepare for the adversity college golf always provides, which will pay dividends in the long run.”

“However, for me, the season’s top moment occurred at the Georgetown Invitational. Matt Moseley ’13 knew he had to make a 75-foot-long putt to help us reach the playoff for the team championship – and he made it, on the last green for birdie, no less. It was the best pressure putt I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing.”

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, whether his teams win or lose, Coach Lubahn is most interested in helping his players achieve success away from the golf course as well, while leading fruitful, productive lives of service.

“Michigan State is a special place that has brought together so many wonderful players across all sports and we really pride ourselves on building long-lasting and meaningful relationships. They are the hallmark to success in any endeavor,” said Lubahn. He concluded, “This is our mission every day and I think golf is just one portion of our goal towards developing citizens who will have a positive impact on their communities for years to come.” For more information about Michigan State University’s nationally renowned athletic programs, please visit http://msuspartans.com. - MG -

Michigan State University – A “Special Place” for Growth, On and Off the Golf Course

“Both Dan and Chris have been solid all year long, but, they haven’t played well during the same weeks,” Lubahn said. “If they start to play well at the same time, I think we can make some noise down the stretch this spring.” So far, Coach Lubahn’s team’s results have not been quite as consistent as they were last fall, with two seventh-place finishes and one

Photo courtesy of Michigan State University

As Coach Lubahn prepares for the remainder of the Spring 2012 season, he is relying on the performances of his team’s two leaders, Dan Ellis ’13 and Chris Mory ’12, who currently have identical scoring averages – 72.6.

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

Dan Ellis •

MAY / J U N E

2012

19


Collegiate Spotlight

Northern Michigan University Wildcats Prepare for a Bright Future of Long-term Success

Photo courtesy of Northern Michigan University

By Chris Lewis

Northern Michigan University Golf Team, 2011 - 2012

T

here is little doubt why Northern Michigan University (NMU) is one of the most popular four-year public institutions north of the Mackinac 20

MAY / J U N E

2012

Bridge. First, it offers a multitude of bachelor’s degree programs, ranging from hospitality management to media production. And its study abroad opportunities to coun•

tries like Turkey and Costa Rica are unrivaled in the Upper Peninsula. However, at first glance, NMU

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


would not be considered a prime destination for potential collegiate golfers. In fact, its home city of Marquette is roughly two hours away from Mackinac Island and is primarily known as a vital Lake Superior, iron ore shipping port. It is also quite notorious for its short summers and long, harsh winters, as it is one of the snowiest cities in the United States.

and has been a member of NMU’s athletics program ever since. In 1999, the squad earned its first, and so far only, berth to an NCAA Regional Tournament. Now, more than 10 years later, Coach Ellis, who was hired as head coach back in 1993, is focused on developing a more competitive, consistent team that will once again qualify for an NCAA tournament.

Yet, on the contrary, according to NMU’s men’s golf head coach, Dean Ellis, prospective golfers are typically surprised by the golfing opportunities that Northern Michigan University – and the greater Marquette community – actually provide all year-long.

“We are in the process of building our team with an emphasis on video swing analysis and player skill development,” said Ellis. “The majority of college golf programs do not emphasize this crucial aspect of the game.”

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the Northern Michigan University Wildcats’ golf program was a member of the NCAA, but, unfortunately, it was dropped as an intercollegiate sport prior to the beginning of the 1980s. But, nearly 20 years later, in 1994, the men’s golf program was reestablished

“Through my experience in teaching the modern technological applications of the academy’s facility, I will further my knowledge as a swing development coach,” stated Ellis. “By not only recruiting quality student athletes, but also providing them with an opportunity to learn more about golf swing mechanics, I believe our program will be heading towards the right direction next fall.”

Marquette Golf Club’s Greywalls – A True Test of Golf, Along the Shoreline of Lake Superior Meanwhile, Coach Ellis would currently consider Jared Reid ’14 and Mike Murphy ’14 as two of his team’s leaders, on and off the course, who will also enable a successful future for the program.

Photo courtesy of Northern Michigan University

Coach Dean Ellis Prepares to Use Golf’s Latest Technology to Develop Consistent, Competitive Squads

In addition to coaching the Wildcats, Ellis will work at Traverse City’s Grand Traverse Golf Academy this summer for the second consecutive year.

To do so, Coach Ellis is utilizing some of golf’s most enhanced technological applications.

“Recruiting golfers to ‘move Up North’ is always a challenge. However, NMU and Marquette have a lot to offer for potential college golfers,” said Ellis. “Having recruits visit our campus and community usually creates positive experiences and a better understanding of this special area as a whole.”

He furthered his reasoning by stating, “As our recruiting increases and the knowledge of our program’s emphasis on this technology becomes more apparent, I believe we will once again have a competitive team.”

“They have both posted sub-par rounds during their early careers and I expect them to continue to improve and become top players in the Great Lakes Region,” said Ellis. “They are both exceptionally long drivers and solid iron players.

Mike Murphy

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

MAY / J U N E

2012

21


Recruiting NMU’s Next Great Player – A “Global Process”

If they can improve their short games, their stroke averages will decline even more next fall.”

Finally, Coach Ellis recognizes that his recruiting capabilities are instrumental to his team’s future success. “In college golf, a team’s success is always one great player away,” said Ellis. “A constant goal of mine is being able to add that special player who can lead the team in scoring and attitude.”

“Mike has created a lot of outstanding courses with an Alister Mackenzie theme in the past and Greywalls is no exception,” explained Ellis. “It is gorgeous. Carved out of severe terrain, the course was actually built right along Lake Superior, so you can see the lake’s shoreline on many holes.” And the course is quite challenging. Measured at 6,828 yards from the back tees, and with a rating of 73.0 and a slope of 144, the course tests all aspects of every golfer’s game, no matter how experienced he or she may be. But, if Greywalls does not provide enough motivation to prospective NMU golfers, the university’s 22

He continued, “Adding depth to our roster is one of my top goals. As recruiting has become a global process, I use every avenue available to locate and contact potential players, especially the Internet.”

Photo courtesy of Northern Michigan University

Jared and Mike, as well as their fellow team members, will have an opportunity to improve all aspects of their games at their home course – Marquette Golf Club’s Greywalls – this spring, summer, and fall. Designed by Mike DeVries, a former apprentice of golf course architect Tom Doak, Greywalls has previously been ranked by Golfweek magazine as the “number two course you can play in Michigan.”

MAY / J U N E

2012

Yet, Coach Ellis also tries to find unique talent north of the Mackinac Bridge each season. Jared Reid dome stadium, which is opened all year long, may enthuse doubters. “Because of our unique geographic location, successful members of our program need to be very committed to their summer progress through an aggressive tournament schedule and a solid practice routine,” stated Ellis. “Our campus’s dome stadium offers members a facility to practice and work on skills during the winter months.” •

“I always encourage the Upper Peninsula’s top golfers to attend NMU. Always,” stated Ellis. “You never know. Our team’s next great player just may very well be living in Marquette or nearby.” For further information about Northern Michigan University’s wide selection of athletic programs, please visit http://www.nmu.edu/sports. - MG -

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Michigan Golfer TV: 25th Anniversary - Gaylord Golf Mecca http://michigangolfer.tv/2012shows/gaylord_golf_mecca/

Ubiquitous Michigan Golf

http://glsp.com

-

24/7/365

http://michigangolfer.com


Photo by Jennie McCafferty

There is nothing like a beautiful Masters morning.

Randall Lewis: The Masters, a Thrill of a Lifetime By Topher Goggin

Topher Goggin 24

I

t didn’t last for long, but for one fleeting moment in time, Alma amateur Randy Lewis found himself in one

MAY / J U N E

2012

of the most enviable positions in all of golf—tied for the lead in the Masters.

Playing in the second group off Thursday morning, Lewis sank an eight-foot par putt on the first hole at Augusta National •

Golf Club, joining three other players at even par with a “T1” next to their names on the leaderboard. Not too shabby for a 54-year-old financial adviser who had spent his entire adult life dreaming of the hallowed grounds of Augusta.

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Masters invite in hand, Lewis jumped headlong into getting his game ready for the tournament. Thanks to the help of his two

Photo by Jennie McCafferty

He needn’t have worried. Playing alongside long-hitting Robert Garrigus and two-time Masters Champ and European Ryder Cup captain José-María Olazábal, Lewis drilled his opening tee shot straight up the hill into the middle of the first fairway.

Lewis earned his Masters invitation last fall, going on a thrilling week-long run to win the U.S. MidAmateur Championship at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Texas. A Michigan Golf Hall of Famer and the GAM Golfer of the Decade for the 1990’s, Lewis knocked off two-time defending Mid-Am Champ Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh in a 19-hole semifinal tilt, then took out long-bombing 31-year-old Kenny Cook of Noblesville, Ind., 3-and-2 in the finals. The win also wrapped up fifteen years of unfinished business for Lewis, as he had advanced to the 1996 Mid-Am final in Hartford, only to be ousted one win short of an Augusta trip by John “Spider” Miller.

Randall Lewis, briefly, was number one on the leaderboard. MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

Photo © USGA

Lewis was supplanted from the top spot moments later, but that hardly mattered. It was simply one more memory from a magical week, as minutes earlier he had become the oldest firsttime invitee ever to tee off in the world’s most prestigious golf tournament. “It was almost surreal. I had been thinking about that shot for six months.” He continued with a chuckle, “I didn’t always see it going in the fairway, either. I saw it going right. I saw it going left. I saw it going not very high—”

Randall Lewis got his ticket to the Masters by winning the USGA MidAmateur Championship. office partners, Lewis was able to spend extensive time in Florida, and also make multiple trips to Augusta for practice rounds. What he couldn’t prepare himself for, however, were the lifechanging experiences that were waiting for him once he got there.

The memories began for Lewis before Masters week even arrived, starting when three-time green jacket winner Phil Mickelson asked Lewis to join him for a practice round in late March. After 18 holes, plus breakfast and lunch in the Champions’ Locker Room, Mickelson may have been the more star-struck of the two. During his pre-tournament press conference, Mickelson said of Lewis, “I think it’s really cool what he did, winning the Mid-Am as a gentleman eligible for the Senior Am. I think that’s awe-

MAY / J U N E

2012

25


some—I love that story. I hope he has a good week.”

For Lewis, the round with Mickelson was merely a preview of things to come. Moments before Augusta opened its gates to patrons on Monday morning, Lewis was on the first tee with another former winner, 8-time major champion Tom Watson.

Lewis said that Watson’s historic run (at age 59) in the 2009 British Open had served as motivation as Lewis continued his own amateur career into his 50’s. “That week was a huge inspiration to me,” he said. “It just went to show you that in golf, you never know.” With that in mind, Lewis wrote

ditional during practice rounds for players to skip balls 100 yards or so across the water and onto the green. Hitting last of the group, the 27-year-old Kaymer fired a low bullet that skipped and skidded across the water, hopped onto the right side of the sloping green, and tantalizingly curled left toward the hole before dropping in for an incredible hole-in-one. After Monday’s round, Lewis returned for nine holes Tuesday with 1991 Masters champ Ian Woosnam, then played in the famous Wednesday Par 3 Contest. Paired there with Aaron Baddeley and soon-to-be Masters champ Bubba Watson, Lewis hit the shot

make me comfortable,” Lewis said, noting that at one point later in the round Watson jokingly told him, “Now don’t pay any attention to all that water out there.” That generous treatment from Watson made Lewis all the happier to see his Par 3 playing partner slip on the green jacket Lewis’s eventual tournament rounds of 81 and 78 did not threaten the cut line, but that didn’t matter. Even before torrential rains softened the course on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Lewis had indicated that anything around 77 or 78 would be a good score for him due to Augusta’s extraordinary length.

“That’s the best 81 I’ve ever shot.” Watson a letter to see if he would be available for a practice round, and Watson accepted the invitation with open arms.

Their group, which also included former world number one Martin Kaymer and two-time U.S. Open champ Andy North, entertained the patrons with a barrage of highlights. For Lewis, the high point came in the form of three-straight birdies on holes 15, 16, and 17, delighting the boisterous group of friends and family members who had made the trip to support him.

The biggest highlight, however, came from a shot that was not a traditional stroke at all. On the famous par-three 16th, it is tra26

MAY / J U N E

2012

of the day in the group. Looking at 148 yards over Dakota Springs Pond on number six, Lewis fired a three-quarter seven-iron that immediately had the patrons holding their collective breath in anticipation. The ball tracked straight at the pin, eventually zeroing in and coming to rest a mere three inches from the hole (officially 3.06 inches—Augusta National is nothing if not precise). That shot would hold up as the best of the day on number six, winning Lewis a crystal pitcher for his closest-to-the-pin victory. Lewis credited Watson and Baddeley with keeping the atmosphere light and helping him stay focused after a slow start. “Bubba was really going out of his way to •

Though Lewis began the week as a relative unknown, it did not take the Augusta patrons long to learn his incredible story. In fact, many gallery members began requesting the green “We’re pulling for you, Randy” bracelets that Lewis’s supporters had brought from home. Even Augusta’s most famous champion, Jack Nicklaus, offered his thoughts on Lewis’s historic week. “What a thrill for a guy. Never expected to play in the Masters, wins the MidAmateur Championship, and here he is. That’s great.”

Despite not posting the scores he had envisioned, Lewis gushed with enthusiasm, especially after Thursday’s first round. “That’s the best 81 I’ve ever shot,” he

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


said. “I was thrilled the whole time, trying to take it all in. Even if you don’t shoot a good score, geez, just look around. This is a dream come true.”

he would not make the cut, Lewis was able to appreciate his final trip around the second nine at Augusta on Friday. He commented afterward, “When we got on 11, which is just an incredible view looking down on the green and numbers 12 and 13, I said to (my caddie) Bob, ‘Take a look. Is there anything in the world of golf like this?’ What a place— boy. What a place.” - MG -

Photo by Jennie McCafferty

With his Masters completed, Lewis now moves forward with a busy tournament schedule the rest of the summer. After some time off to relax and catch up with work, he will return to competitive play at the Michigan Amateur in June at Oakland Hills,

then play the U.S. Senior Open at Indianwood in Lake Orion in early July. He will then hit the road for the U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills in Colorado, defend his Mid-Am title at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Illinois, and finally get his first taste of U.S. Senior Amateur play in late September at Mountain Ridge Country Club in New Jersey. In the meantime, though, Lewis will savor the memories of the week of a lifetime. Knowing that

The calm before the storm: practice day at the Masters. MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

MAY / J U N E

2012

27


Slice of Life

“T

to land Hank Haney, Mark O’Meara’s young instructor at the time, because Michigan Golfer, which I served as Editor, had done business with Aldila Shaft Company, a sponsor of Haney. What I remember most about Haney, other than providing instant credibility to this upstart winter golf show, was his polite, concise teaching manner and his emphasis on maintaining the proper plane in the swing. In addition to Haney, Mike Hebron provided clinics. A well-regarded teaching pro from New York, Hebron had authored numerous instructional articles and later became the 1991 PGA Teacher of the Year. Finally, Michigan’s ‘Big Cat’ Williams, a national long driving champ, rounded out the stage

As background, Art McCafferty asked me to pen some thoughts and observations about the teachers who have commanded the seminar stage as the Show nears its silver anniversary in 2013. Note: Founding the show in 1989, I sold the Show in 2001 to ShowSpan Inc. which then kindly retained me to offer some ongoing services. I’ve been thankful for the great relationship with ShowSpan’s Carolyn Alt and Mike Wilbraham, both of whom have elevated the show’s stature and continued its headliner prowess. Due to the limitations of space and time, I’m not going to give a detailed history of all the many fine headliners since 1989 but rather provide some highlights in selected categories. Nothing compares to one’s first kiss...or one’s first Golf Show: The inaugural headliners in ’89 will always be special. I was able 28

MAY / J U N E

2012

Frank Thomas at the West Michigan Golf Show

Photo courtesy of West Michigan Golf Show

here’s nothing new under the sun” and “the game’s always evolving.” Those are the counterTerry Moore points that come to mind when reviewing the instructional headliners and their messages at the West Michigan Golf Show in Grand Rapids these past 24 years.

Photo courtesy of West Michigan Golf Show

By Terry Moore

WMGS headliner and 2010 PGA Teacher of the Year, Todd Anderson. •

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


The Psychologists: Dr. Deborah Graham and Dr. Bob Winters were both headliners in the ‘90s and each had a distinctive style of presentation. Graham was impressive with her findings about Tour players’ positive mindset showing they hardly ever internalize mistakes and, in fact, blame them on ego-cushioning outside factors— e.g. the wind, the grain, spike mark etc. Winters presented with a real flair and energy. For those with putting woes, he stressed “learn to love putting again” and “enjoy the process of getting the ball into the

Brian O’Neill passes on some of the tips he got from his mentor, Jim Flick.

Photo by Art McCafferty

The Traditionalists: In this category, I place such headliners as Bill Strausbaugh and Dee Dee Owens, both now deceased, and also Charlie Sorrell, who appeared three times at the Show. Nationally honored by the PGA, they were the epitome of class and imparted the fundamentals of the game with clarity and good humor. I particularly remember how Strausbaugh insisted that all his teaching assistants provide lessons from essentially the same baseline of instruction. And Sorrell was a crowd favorite for his upbeat enthusiasm and his clever instructional rhymes—“to stay out of the timber, keep your wrists limber.” Incidentally, Sorrell later gave my spouse, Deb, her best lesson ever when she adopted his ‘hinge and sling’ method.

Photo courtesy of West Michigan Golf Show

and wowed the audience by driving a golf ball through a telephone book. Not a shabby start for a fledgling golf show in Grand Rapids beset by a hazardous ice storm on Saturday morning. I said at the time, “I put on a Golf Show and a hockey game broke out in the parking lot!”

Dave Kendall, here with Jack Berry, now has Kendall Golf Academy at three locations. hole by hearing putts drop.” The Scientists: Dave Pelz, Frank Thomas and most recently John Novosel Jr. fit the billing here. Relying on sound research and myth-breaking findings, they delivered insightful information respec-

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

tively on the short game, equipment, and tempo. Pelz demonstrated that 60% of the game takes place within a 100 yards of the hole. A former technical director of the USGA, Thomas cited the impact of three major equipment innovations: 1) perimeter-weighted putters; 2) MAY / J U N E

2012

29


The Stars: It’s hard to match the media impact and name recognition engendered when a teacher makes the cover of Golf Digest or works with a PGA Tour star. Such was the case with popular headliners as Mike Bender, Masters champion Zach Johnson’s teacher; Jim Flick, Jack Nicklaus’s longtime instructor; and Treetops’ Rick Smith, two-time Open champion Lee Janzen’s instructor and Phil Mickelson’s previous teacher. Bender emphasized the importance of impact position, with the hands ahead of the ball and the shoulders staying square. Flick wanted golfers to have good posture, allowing their arms to hang freely from the shoulders. Smith showed 30

MAY / J U N E

2012

Henry Young has been at Treetops Golf Academy for two decades.

Photo courtesy of West Michigan Golf Show.

Homegrown Talent: Michigan is blessed with a wealth of fine teachers and many have graced the stage at the Show including: Patti Butcher, Brad Dean, Jason Guss, Dave Kendall, Brian O’Neill, Charley Vandenberg, and Henry Young to mention only a few. Of course, the best example of “homegrown talent” is two-time headliner and Rockford, Mich. native Todd Anderson, the 2010 PGA Teacher of the Year—first Michigan-born teacher earning the honor—who now lives and works at Sea Island, GA. One thing they all had in common: a passionate dedication to their craft and to their students.

Photo by Art McCafferty

graphite shafts; and 3) spring-like effect of the larger and thinner titanium clubfaces. Representing Tour Tempo, Novosel debunked the myths about Tour players’ swings having “smooth and slow” tempos and proved most have swings lasting only a second.

Rick Smith and Jason Guss at the West Michigan Golf Show how vital it is to approach the ball on an inside swing path with the clubhead squared up at impact.

stellar headliners, many of whom have remained good friends in the industry?

It’s time to wrap this column up although I do love driving down memory lane. So what’s the best personal tip learned from all these

Sign them early before they realize what the weather’s like in GR in February. - MG -

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Now on iPad

issuu.com/michigan_golfer/docs MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

MAY / J U N E

2012

31

Michigan Golfer, May/June 2012  

A quarterly publication about Michigan Golf courses, Michigan golfers and Michigan golf events.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you