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MICHIGAN GOLFER Publisher/Editor Art McCafferty Editor Emeritus Terry Moore Associate Publisher/Producer Jennie McCafferty Writers Linda Allen Peter Allen Jeff Bairley Susan Bairley Phyllis Barone Jack Berry Mike Duff Greg Johnson Doug Joy Brad King Tom Lang Chris Lewis Bill Shelton Brad Shelton

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Wilderness Valley: Al Watrous and George Wellington Smith GAM - The Challenges Facing the Game David Graham and Jack Berry Belvedere GC - 103rd Michigan Amateur Spring Is In the Air for Michigan Golf Courses Golf the Natural - Designed by Jerry Matthews


In This Issue VOLUME 32







Embracing ‘Our Own’ By Susan Bairley


Pinehurst – The Opens are Coming! By Bill Shelton


The Berry Patch: Joe Hornyak Really is a Veteran Senior By Jack Berry


LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals Continue to Make Their Mark in Michigan By Susan Bairley


World’s First Research and Demonstration Golf Course Has Down Home Feel By Tom Lang


Collegiate Spotlight: Calvin College Knights By Chris Lewis


St. Andrews Golf House By Brad King


Slice of Life: Building Community with Flagsticks, Fun & Fire By Terry Moore

About the cover: Shirley Spork, Betty Richart and Mary Fossum are honored by the Michigan Women’s Golf Association’s Legacy Celebration, Ann Arbor, May 19, 2014 Photos courtesy of Michigan Women’s Golf Association.

Michigan Golfer News Weekly email newsletter To join: email

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


Embracing ‘Our Own’ MWGA Honors 3 Great Women in Golf for their ‘Gifts’ to the Game By Susan Bairley hree women. Three different paths. Three amazing golf careers. Yet three common threads – natural talent, a passion for golf and a lifelong commitment to putting their love for the game into action for others. On Monday, May 19, the Michigan Women’s Golf Association will honor three legendary Michigan women in golf: Shirley Spork, cofounder of the LPGA, founder of the LPGA Teaching Division and Eastern Michigan University alumna; Betty Richart, longtime Ann Arbor resident, USGA rules official and 17-year member of the USGA Women’s Committee, including two years as chair; and Mary Fossum, first and 25-year women’s golf coach at Michigan State University. The public MWGA Legacy Celebration event at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor will include lunch, golf scramble and a Lifetime Achievement Awards dinner. There also will be a VIP Meet and Greet luncheon, presented by the EMU Foundation, the preceding day at Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti.

When Golf Entered Their Lives hirley Spork was born in Detroit. Her parents moved to Michigan from Terre Haute,

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Photo courtesy of Michigan Women’s Golf Association


Shirley Spork, circa 1947 Ind., when Henry Ford’s promise of $5/day brought thousands to southeast Michigan. Her dad was an electrical engineer who helped build the ore freighters that would bring the raw materials and coal from Michigan’s upper peninsula to Ford

Motor Company’s Rouge complex foundry. An only child, she attended the DuBois School, the last fourroom schoolhouse in the City of Detroit, graduating as one of seven eighth grade students that particular year, then attending Redford High


The spacious family home was in the middle of the course, as noted in Woodcrest CC’s history, and “the children, two boys and three girls, shared the responsibility for maintaining and operating the course. The sons functioned as starters, one at the 1st tee, the other at the 10th. The daughters could often be seen on tractors, mowing the fairways.”

She then went to the Detroit Free Press golf clinics for three weeks and won the prize for ‘most improved.” It was a McGregor distributor’s $15 certificate, which she redeemed for a ‘Louise Suggs’ driver. “So I had the last club you use, first, and then finally, the first club you use, last. And in between, I had to learn the game,” she said. “My father would drive me to school and the Detroit Public Links Women’s Golf Association would let me play with them when I was in the 7th and 8th grade,” Spork said. “Because of playing golf in that league, they invited the one and only champion of Publinks to play in the state, which is how I got to play in the State Tournament to win it when I was 14.” In high school, Spork participated in an annual junior competition at Palmer Park, where she was became the Redford city champion four years in row. When at EMU (then Michigan State Normal College), students were prohibited

The course had its own golf professional, Bruce Coltart, who himself was a storied golfer, so all of the kids learned to play golf, and couldn’t have had a better instructor. “We were competing at an unusually early age, because when you live on a golf course, if you don’t play golf, there’s nothing to do,” Richart laughed. “We were known as the ‘Golfing Goldthorps ‘ in Philadelphia, where we played; we all competed.”

Shirley Spork, circa 2004 from playing in individual sports, related to wartime restrictions, so when Gladys Palmer, head of athletics at Ohio State University, brought the National Collegiate Championship back into existence, a substitute teacher signed Shirley’s application to play in a national tournament. She did, and she won. “The women ‘poo-poo’d’ my honor (when I returned) and the Men’s Department gave me a Letter,” she said. “I won the only national championship for EMU that year (1947).” etty Richart grew up in Southern New Jersey as one of five children. Her dad, J. Wesley Goldthorp, was a lawyer, banker and avid golfer, who built a daily-fee golf course, now Woodcrest Country Club in Cherry Hill, N.J., in 1930 with architect William Flynn, who is best known for designing Shinnecock Hills Golf Club and being Hugh Wilson’s construction supervisor at Merion Golf Club.


As a member of golfing family, Betty was in published articles at ages 7, 8 and 9, and continued golfing as a ranking amateur well into her 40s.

Photo courtesy of Michigan Women’s Golf Association

She started golfing when her family moved next to Bonnie Brook Golf Club. “On Mondays, the caddies played for free, and if I had a club, I could go with them,” Spork said. “So I bought a club for $1 at the S.S. Kresge dimestore. It was a putter, so I went up the hill and down the hill, teeing the ball up, hitting my putter and putting on the green. The ranger kept chasing me off the course, and one day, the pro came out and finally gave me a set of 3, 5, 7, 9 beat-up old clubs, so I had those. “

Photo courtesy of Michigan Women’s Golf Association

School, where she graduated four years later in a class of 600.

Betty Richart

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


years, in 1945, ’46 and ’47, and winning her semifinal match-play victory over Babe Didrikson-Zaharias in the 1946 Women’s Western Amateur.

Turning a Passion into Action

Photo courtesy of Michigan Women’s Golf Association

For Shirley Spork, turning golf into a full-time career was a matter of talent, timing, connections and a bit of serendipity. The Women’s PGA came into existence in 1944-45, when Spork was still in high school, but afterwards, it was Babe DidriksonZaharias who influenced professional athletics in golf. “She was in the ’32 Olympics and because she played on the House of David basketball team and got money, they made her a golf pro (as a paid athlete, she lost U.S. amateur status),’ Spork said.

Mary Fossum, Coaching ary Fossum and her sister grew up in Green Bay, Wis., where their dad was a dentist and mother was a nurse. Relishing every moment she could spend with her dad, Mary became his tag-along golf buddy at the age of 5. “I think I started to swing a club a bit when I was 7 or 8, and then started playing at 9 or 10,” she said. They played at Oneida Golf & Riding Club and although there were no high school teams at the time, Fossum kept her game going with her dad.




“When the snow would start to disappear, we’d go to this place called Bay Beach, and we’d hit and shag balls and hit back and forth,” Fossum said, “and then as the snow continued to melt, we go to Oneida and he’d shag balls for me, then I’d shag balls for him – and then we’d go out and play a few holes.” While living in Green Bay, Fossum played competitively, winning the Wisconsin Women’s Golf Championship for three consecutive

After several years, Babe returned to amateur status, won the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the next year won 17 tournaments and the British Women’s Amateur. “When she came back to this country, she went to work and had nothing to play in and nowhere to compete because they again deemed her a pro. So she went to L.B. Icley, then president of Wilson Sporting Goods, and said, ‘we need a tour, so I can play golf and win,’ so that’s how the LPGA got started,” Spork said. “That was September 1949. They hired Fred Cochran in April, to draw up a charter in New Jersey or New York. He brought the charter to Wichita, where 13 of us signed it, and that’s


At the time, Spork had already signed a contract to teach at Bowling Green State University. So during the first year of competition, she taught every Monday through Thursday, drove to Detroit, got on a plane and played Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Florida or elsewhere. Then she’d fly back to Detroit, drive to Bowling Green, and do it all again. “I did that until June and then said, ‘Adios, I’m on the tour!” After playing for several years, Spork prompted the LPGA Executive Board to start a teaching division, but it took four years, for them to seriously consider it. Finally, thanks to Spork’s persistence, in 1959, the Executive Board approved the formation of the LPGA Teaching Division by a one-vote margin, and Shirley was appointed to serve on a committee to design the program that would educate professional golf teachers. The first National LPGA Golf School for Teachers opened at the University of Michigan in 1960. Spork cochaired the schools and chaired the LPGA’s Teaching and Club Professional Division (T&CP) from 1960 to 1965. She then served as Western educational director for the National Golf Foundation, from 1970 to ‘78, making her the first LPGA professional to conduct golf clinics in foreign countries. After more than 3,000 workshops for teaching professionals, she opened her own school, The School of Golf for Women Only, in 1979 at Singing Hills Resort, El Cahon, Calif., which she ran for 24 years.

Life often put Betty Richart where golf needed her most. Before moving to Michigan, she and her husband, a university professor, were at Harvard for four years and she played a lot of competitive golf in the Boston area. They then lived in Gainesville, Fla., for 10 years. It was a time when Florida’s golf boom was getting underway and course rating was desperately needed, “so I became very involved in that big program,” she said.

Photo courtesy of Michigan Women’s Golf Association

how we became the charter members of the LPGA. The tour started in 1950.”

Moving to Michigan, Richart was in the prime years of raising their three children, but here, too, she was pulled into course rating. “I knew right away, we needed course rating here, so ultimately, we did one of the programs for the USGA to rate Michigan courses in the Detroit area,” she said. Throughout her life, Richart has been involved in nearly every aspect of golf – women’s golf, junior golf, rules and course ratings. During her 1989 chairmanship of the USGA Women’s Committee, the U.S. Women’s Open at Michigan’s Indianwood G&CC was one of the most successful and well-attended in the history of the championship.

Mary Fossum Another highlight of her volunteer golf career was in 1998 when the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship came to her home club, Barton Hills, in Ann Arbor. In 1999, she received the Issac B. Grainger Award, honoring USGA volunteers who have unselfishly served the Association for 25 years or more. Mary Fossum’s solid reputation as a ranking amateur golfer and the passage of Title IX laid the groundwork for her to become Michigan State University’s first women’s golf coach. Anticipating the passage of Title IX in 1972, Michigan State

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


was eager to get women’s sports programs in motion. So Clarence ‘Biggie’ Munn, then MSU athletic director, asked Fossum’s husband, Bruce Fossum, who was head of the men’s golf program, to ‘soften her up to the idea’ of taking on the women’s coaching job and starting a team. “So when Bruce was out of town with his team, I went in and talked to Biggie and then we talked with another person in the Women’s Department. We put a little notice in the newspaper and about 12 girls showed up,” Fossum said. “One happened to be Bonnie Lauer, who (in their first full season, 1973) won the National Collegiate Championship – and I had nothing to do with it!” she laughed. Lauer would later turn professional, playing in the LPGA and serving as its president in 1988. She was among the first of many young women golfers whose talents would be nurtured within Mary Fossum’s soon-to-be powerhouse collegiate women’s golf program, which also eventually would turn out LPGA players Barb Mucha and Becky Iverson. Under Fossum’s 25-year leadership, the Spartans won an unprecedented five straight Big Ten titles (1974-78) and played in six consecutive AIAW National Championships (1973-78). The women regained the conference crown in 1982 and played in the 1982 and 1984 NCAA Championships. MSU also claimed its third conference runner-up spot under Fossum at the 1987 Big Ten Championship. She retired in 1997.



Why They Did What They Did So why did these women dedicate so much of their lives to golf? For Spork, it was putting her God-given talents to work, and as she brought her teaching skills into the sport, it’s been the satisfaction of watching professionals advance their careers. “God gave me the coordination and ‘gift’ to swing the golf club; I never really had any paid lessons. I couldn’t afford it,” she said. “I used to go and sit at Oakland Hills and watch Al Watrous teach and then ask him what he did, and then I’d go try that,” she said. She’d do the same with Marilyn Smith on the LPGA Tour that first year, watching as Marilyn took lessons. But Spork also credits her mentor, Northern California PGA Pro Joey Rey with giving her the internal confidence to keep at it. “He told me that I had a game, that I could do it; and he talked me into being a head pro at a club,” she said, so she turned to teaching and club management vs. playing on tour. “Seeing these young people come back to me and thank me for helping them further their game and careers (has been very satisfying),” she said. For Richart, volunteering in golf was her way of giving back to the sport. “I did it because I love golf, and I could see what a gift it was to anybody that played the game,” she said. “There is some characteristic or trait about people that like to play the game. It gives people the will to

win, the will to achieve. You can get that sense in other things that you do in your home or out. But in golf, to be physically challenged by your body working and a little ball, and to think you can sock that ball and wind up with a total score that will make you happier than you could be with a million dollars, or as sad as having only a hundred bucks, is something (powerful).” Richart also said, through the years, people would ask her about how she got the job she did, and she’d say, “It’s not a job, it’s what you can do. They couldn’t get the idea that it was just a volunteer job. It’s available,” she said. “There is a niche for everyone in golf to make a contribution, if they want that environment.” For Fossum, it was her dad’s influence, then the students. “My dad had a lot to do with it, and I loved the game and the challenge. It was all about the challenge,” she said. Then as a coach, Fossum found the people, and making an impact in the lives of others, to be most gratifying. “Often it was the people at different tournaments and other coaches; you were buddies and they were good friends, and the teams were almost like family. And as they graduate, it is the keeping in touch and remembering all through the years, and knowing what they are doing today. It was, and is, the personal interaction.” For more information, or to register for the MWGA Legacy Celebration events, visit


- MG -

Pinehurst – The Opens are Coming!

Photo courtesy of Pinehurst

By Bill Shelton

his summer the Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina, will be the site of a unique, perhaps historic, golfing event as it hosts both the Men’s Bill Shelton and Women’s 2014 U.S. Opens on the same course in adjacent weeks. For two weeks in June, the best professional and amateur men and women golfers in the world, 7000 volunteers, an elite list of dignitaries, more than a thousand media personnel, and upwards of 400,000 spectators will stretch the seams of the North Carolina Sandhills producing revenues in excess of $150 million.




Known as the Home of American Golf, major golf championships— amateur and professional— have been frequent visitors to Pinehurst causing the USGA to label the area “the benchmark for championships.” For amateurs, the prestigious North and South Championship (started in 1901) is an annual event most recently being held on Pinehurst #8. For professionals and qualifying amateurs, Pinehurst #2 was the venue for the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Opens. Peggy Kirk Bell’s Pines Needles hosted the 1996, 2001, and 2007 Women’s U. S. Opens. The USGA Senior Open Championship was held on #2 in 1994. In totaled, twelve USGA championships have been contested in the Sandhills in the past 20 years. In 1951 the Ryder Cup was played on #2 with the Americans, captained by Sam Snead,

winning handily over Team Great Britain. It was Ben Hogan’s last Ryder Cup as a competitor. Shortly after James Walker Tuft established the village in 1895 and invited Frederick Law Olmstead to design a “New England style” community, the game of golf surfaced as guests were seen hitting little white balls into a nearby cattle field. Tufts responded by hiring Donald Ross as director of golf and thus began the famed Sandhills golf mystique and its more than 40 courses. In addition to his design of the original Resort courses, Ross’s other notable course layouts include Pine Needles, Mid Pines, and Southern Pines in the area. The centerpiece of the Village is the stately Pinehurst Resort‘s


Carolina Hotel and Spa, a 230 room four star facility opened in 1901.

Pinehurst No. 2 both Opens occurring on the same course in adjoining weeks, large nets have been erected on the regular driving range to allow work to prepare that area for tournament use. The clubhouse patio adjacent to the first tee and 18th green of #2 has been expanded and redesigned to accommodate corporate and club hospitality. A steady stream of prospective sponsors and corporate

Photo courtesy of Pinehurst

With such a storied history of hosting major golf tournaments, it might be assumed that little preparation would be needed for the 2014 Opens. But, whether it is the anticipated 400,000 spectators or the 80 million television viewers or the expectation of a record economic impact on the area, changes abound both on and off the golf course. Most notably, the architectural team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw have returned the #2 course to its original Ross design by restoring the sandy waste areas abutting the fairways, eliminating all rough, and planting native vegetation. The bent grass greens largely remain in Ross’s dome shaped design and are sure to be firm and fast. (Interestingly, Pinehurst announced plans to replace the bent with Bermuda grass shortly after the Opens). In past Opens on #2 the practice area was the first fairway of #1. Because of

Photo courtesy of Pinehurst

Changes Are Made

Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw at Pinehurst

executives have been invited as guests to play the course and be “wined and dined” by the Resort and USGA. The private clubhouse for Pinehurst members recently underwent a $5 million renovation. Away from the course there is no shortage of preparations though perhaps not as noticeable to the media. As a part-time resident of Pinehurst, several other indicators of preparation seem worthy of note. In transportation, the Moore County Airport is preparing to accommodate a record number of takeoffs and landings during the two weeks. Highway 211, the major west to east artery into Pinehurst is being expanded to four lanes approximately 10 miles west from the Pinehurst roundabout. It serves as the major connector to Interstate 73 and the Charlotte area. Public parking lots in the Village have been updated as well as some street improvements. Anyone who has ever been to Pinehurst Village has probably either stayed, eaten, imbibed in Mr. B‘s

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


Photo courtesy of Pinehurst

rates! The real financial winners are the owners of local homes, condos, and apartments who are willing to rent out their place for the weeks. Waiting for a table at a local restaurant, I overheard the hostess ask a couple if there were planning to attend the Opens. They replied no because they had rented their place out and the income for the weeks would buy a new bathroom and a washer/dryer!

Payne Stewart’s winning pose Lounge, or chipped golf balls into the lobby fireplace at the Pine Crest Inn. Once owned by Donald Ross, it seemed successor owners did not want the Inn to “lose its character.” Consequently yellowing flowered wallpaper, uncomfortable beds, dim lamps, old box-style Tvs, and limited cable channels added to the aura of the hundred year old village mainstay. Things are different now! Closed for several weeks, the Inn went through major renovations in its 35 guest rooms including fresh paint, new mattresses, flat screen televisions, and “theme” rooms. Hiring a new food and drink manager, the dining room and pub menus have been updated. (The Pinehurst Resort also renovated its formal dining room). The Pine Crest Inn and most other hotels and motels in the entire Sandhills region are fully booked for the men’s Open but many are accepting reservations for the women’s championship. Many of the golf communities are offering “deals” for the Open of lodging and golf—but definitely at premium 12


The Greater of Two Equals—A Few Bogeys The USGA has consistently portrayed the 2014 arrangement as an opportunity for golf fans to compare the men’s and women’s games by using the same course in adjoining weeks, in other words, supposedly “leveling the playing field.” But does the reality match the rhetoric? The traditional symbol of the Pinehurst Resort is the little “Putter Boy” and he adorns the merchandise for the 2014 men’s Open (in full disclosure the men’s event is simply “The U. S. Open”). The mark for the women’s Open is a bright red Cardinal sitting on the Open trophy. More equal? Men. Stopping by the Pinehurst clubhouse to pick up posters for framing (cheap art for the condo), there was a plentiful supply for the men’s event but, alas, no posters for the women’s Open. The sales person was not aware if any would be forthcoming. More equal? Men. The most frequently used representation to announce the 2014 Opens by the local publications

including the telephone book is a picture of Payne Stewart in his 1999 victory pose after sinking a lengthy putt on the 18th hole to beat Phil Mickelson by a stroke. (Bonus question—who won the 2005 Open at Pinehurst?). The three previous winners of women’s U.S. Opens were Karrie Webb, Annika Sorenstam, and Christie Kerr! How many total majors have those three amassed? More equal? Men. Pinehurst #2 will be closed several weeks before the men’s Open so insured a pristine track without divots, ball and spike marks on the greens, and “manicured” waste areas. The impact of several hundred thousand fans on the crosswalks and waste areas will be basically nil. If inclement weather should occur, the greater course distress will be felt in the second week. The ability to come in earlier to prepare will be much easier for the men while the women’s access to the course will not occur until the Monday of their Open. And, what if either weather or darkness requires the men to finish play on Monday? More equal? Men. The intangible—How much golf watching is enough, especially for the television audience? Will there be more interest in playing rather than watching golf the second week or catching up on the previous week‘s responsibilities? Fan interest could be heightened or it could be diminished. More equal? Inconclusive.

Plenty of Birdies There are many positives in the USGA’s back-to-back Opens schedule. As of the middle of February, the USGA announced that all first-


ever Series ticket packages were sold out. These packages allows the ticket holder admission to each day of both Open Championships and access to VIP parking. North Carolina Governor Pat McCroy announced that the Opens would a “major jumping off place” for the implementation of a new statewide economic development plan. He emphasized the women’s Open would be used to encourage Asian companies to attract and invest in North Carolina.

There is merit in the USGA taking the risk of staging the Opens

- MG -

Pinehurst No. 2

Photo courtesy of Pinehurst

The two weeks will provide to some extent a comparison of the men’s and women’s game by using the same course. If not a valid comparison, it will provide an insight as to how the men and women approach similar challenges on the same course. For the USGA, Pinehurst, and the corporate sponsors, there are clearly some economies of scale. The cost of transporting and setting up grandstands, corporate tents, and broadcast facilities will be cut in half. Many of the USGA volunteers are working both championships thus reducing recruitment and training. And, it’s a safe bet that the

back-to-back. Hopefully this experiment will lead to other changes in the game so many of us enjoy. Now, if only the weather will cooperate, the championships feature superb play, and the rounds be completed in less than five hours, we can spend two great weeks in the Home of American Golf.

Photo courtesy of Pinehurst

Holding the women’s U.S. Open on a consistently ranked World Top Ten course, regardless of other issues, is a great plus for the event. Barring some bizarre storm system, the course can “weather” two consecutive weeks of championship play. The sandy soil absorbs water quickly, having waste areas instead of the typical fairway traps plus not having to maintain a rough all will assist in expediting the course readiness for week two of the Championships.

USGA and Pinehurst staff will do everything possible to insure the best possible conditions for the women, both on and off the course. Finally, because of the sandy soil, typical weather, and expansive facilities, Pinehurst #2 may well be the best venue to try this double format.

Pinehurst No. 2

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


The Berry Patch

Joe Hornyak Really Is a Veteran Senior By Jack Berry oe Hornyak took 138 strokes the first time he played golf. His friend took 142.

Now Hornyak plays in the nine hole Ackroyd League at Glenhurst on six Mile Rd. in Redford. It was started 50 years or so ago by Al Ackroyd who had a Scottish bakery around the corner from Glenhurst. I don’t know about the beginning but no one walks in the Ackroyd League including Al.

Photo by Art McCafferty


That was at the long gone (as Ernie Harwell would say) Riverbank on Northwestern Highway. Hornyak didn’t pick up a club until he was 27. He hit balls at a range and it seemed there was one on every major cross road corner on Northwestern. He bought his first set for “$15 or $16, a couple of woods and irons and a putter with a little canvas bag at a pawn shop.” Eventually he upgraded to a set of Haig Ultras. Hornyak is self taught, never had a lesson, got his handicap down to a 7, holed a second shot for double eagle at Riverbank and has played courses most golfers only dream about, including Cypress Point. “I’ve played courses in 30 states and the Bahamas. I’ve played the courses up north and some courses around here that are gone. Courses that you walked. I liked that but I can’t walk anymore.” 14


Photo courtesy of Joe Hornyak

Jack Berry

Joe Hornyak, Florence, Italy

On April 2 Hornyak celebrated his 90th birthday, waiting for the weather to clear after a winter we’d love to forget. Joe is senior to everyone else in the league where anyone in his 60s is regarded as a rookie. Hornyak ended last season tied for

10th in the “A” group, with a 10.5 handicap for 19 rounds. “My right shoulder is sore,” Hornyak said, filing his excuse before play this season. “I can’t throw overhand.” Maybe not but he has the best shoulder turn of his old boy compatriots, short and wiry he doesn’t have new knees or hips, never had a rotator cuff operation and his only problem is a streaky putter and the usual aches and pains of seniors. It’s something of a miracle that he’s here. Drafted in 1943 at 18 in World War II, he went through mechanics school, flight school, gunnery school and was off to Europe where he survived 51 missions as a tech sergeant flight engineer of a B-24 Liberator bomber. On his first mission from a base in the heel of Italy, the navigator was killed. A co-pilot was hit on Hornyak’s 25th mission. They bombed targets in Romania, Germany, Austria and northern Italy, oilfields, railroad marshalling yards, airfield runways. Hornyak said the Germans still had Rome when he got to Italy. His plane was hit so hard by anti-aircraft fire that it couldn’t get back to Manduria “four or five times we had to land somewhere else.


Once we landed on Corsica and it (the plane) was in such bad condition they just left it there. My last mission was on Christmas in 1944.” Fifty-one missions got him back to America. Merry Christmas. Hornyak hometown-boasted a bit and said the Ypsilanti-made Liberators “could fly faster, had a longer range and carried a bigger bomb load” than the B-17 Flying Fortresses that seemed to get more publicity. Getting a job after he was discharged wasn’t easy with so many veterans getting out of service. He was briefly at the Ford glass plant, “ripped pages out of the phone book and went to places trying to get a job.” Then he tried to get into photoengraving.

phone and arrange our trips.” One trip was to Italy and Joe took Sandy to Manduria in the heel of Italy, where olive orchards were leveled to put down steel mats for the B-24 runways. “We rented a car and for 27 days, we drove from the bottom to the top, up to Venice, everywhere.” Hornyak said. Sadly, Sandy was planning a trip to Majorca when she became ill and passed on six years ago. There probably are a few more Joe Hornyaks in the senior leagues you see around the public munys. Not just a bunch of old guys getting a “senior rate.” Guys who won the war that made possible what we have. - MG -

“I went to the union office and the guy said photoengraving was going downhill and I got into lithography. At the beginning I had no experience. I was getting 90 cents an hour and I worked double shift because I was married and had a kid. The apprenticeship was five years. I learned fast and in two years I had my card.” Hornyak worked his way up and eventually got into sales “and that’s where I made money.” e retired in 1993 and there were golf trips to Myrtle Beach, Florida, the Boulders in Scottsdale, courses on the four main Hawaiian islands, the big three of the Canadian Rockies, Kananaskis, with two Robert Trent Jones courses, Banff and Jasper, designed by the great Canadian, Stanley Thompson, the Toronto Terror. Jones started his career as an assistant to Thompson.


Then Hornyak and his golfer wife Sandy took the scenic train ride from Calgary to Vancouver and a Jack Nicklaus course. In California there was Pebble Beach and then the almost impossible to get on Cypress Point with one of the most pictured par 3s in the world, the cross water 16th. Cypress is a No. 1 Bucket List course for hard core golfers. In a friend of a friend arrangement Hornyak and Sandy played Cypress Point. “She was a good golfer. She was a 14 and had seven holes in one. I have two. She’d get on the

Joe Hornyak

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals Continue to Make Their Mark in Michigan By Susan Bairley ou’ve probably heard the old rub, ‘Those who can’t, teach.’

window of opportunity. Ability would be affected by age, and new talent would inevitably be ready enter the pipeline and take the reins. It’s the natural cycle of professional athletics.


Spork also was a trained teacher. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University (then Michigan State Normal College), she had just come out of one of the nation’s top programs for teachers. As a matter of fact, during her first year on the LPGA tour, she taught at Bowling Green State University during the week and flew to tournament sites on weekends.

When it comes to sports, especially golf, good teachers need to be able to do what they say and say what they do. Golf teaching professionals have to be exceptional golfers and smart, skilled instructors. How else could they help others pair appropriate body movements with mental attitude and know-how? And how else could they bring a beginner to competence, and take competence to extraordinary? When the LPGA – Ladies Professional Golf Association – started in 1950, Co-founder Shirley Spork was one of the early pros who traveled and competed for the LPGA’s relatively small purses. Similar to professional golf today, unless you were consistently taking home the top prizes, it was hard to make a living wage, pay expenses, etc. In addition, Spork realized that tour players had a limited 16


Photo courtesy of Michigan Women’s Golf Association

It’s a ridiculous saying, Susan Bairley and not even close to the truth when it comes to good teachers. More appropriately, the adage should be, ‘Those who can – and who are smart enough to understand why they can, and how others can – teach!’

Shirley Spork

In the mid-1950s, Spork started to push for a formal teaching division in the LPGA. “The Executive Board (composed of players) said, ‘We don’t need any teaching division,’ and I said ‘Yes, you do,’

because when you get older, you won’t be able to compete, and you’ll want to use your talent to teach golf,” Spork said. “They said, ’Oh, we can just go out and teach,’ and I said, ‘Oh no you can’t, you have to learn how to teach!’” Spork persisted, through three LPGA commissioners and four years of hearing ‘no,’ before she finally got what she wanted. In 1959, by a onevote margin of the Executive Board, the LPGA agreed to form a Teaching Division. Today, there are there are more than 1,500 LPGA women teaching and club professionals in 23 countries, including 114, who also are dual members of the LPGA Tour and 210 who have dual membership in the PGA. The division continues its emphasis on teaching golf professionals how to excel as golf instructors. “Seventy percent of our LPGA members are teachers, and our certification program has over 80 hours of teacher training,” said Nancy Henderson, a Class A member of the both the LPGA and PGA who is senior vice president of the LPGA, serving as both president of The LPGA Foundation and executive director of the LPGA Teaching & Club Professional Membership. “(By comparison), the PGA certification has around 8 hours of teacher training. The curriculum has more business-related training.”


LPGA Professionals achieve certification by completing a multi-year series of educational programs. They must first pass a Playing Ability Test (PAT) to ensure that they are qualified to play and teach the game of golf. After passing the PAT, they go through three levels of education and testing in order to obtain Class A membership status. Once certified, they are consid-

ered expert instructors, industry leading businesswomen and highly trained college coaches. They also are regarded as ‘uniquely qualified’ to teach the game and conduct the business of golf. In Michigan, there are 22 LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals, as listed on the LPGA website. Among them:

atti Butcher is a Class A member of the LPGA and PGA, who is director of Golf and Club Operations at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Mich. In 2010, Butcher was recognized as the LPGA National Golf Professional of the Year and Golf Digest included Patti as one of the 50 Greatest Women Teachers in America. She has been named one of Golf For Women Magazine’s Top


M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


Photo courtesy of Blythfield CC

Patti Butcher 50 Teachers seven times and recognized by her peers twice as LPGA Midwest Teacher of the Year.

ebbie Williams-Hoak is a Class A member of the LPGA, who is a former player on the LPGA and its former Futures Tours. She now coaches the girls and boys golf teams at Saline High School, is starting her own golf academy at Brookside Golf Club in Saline and teaches at Reddeman Farms Golf Club in Chelsea.


“I was still looking at the LPGA in terms of playing opportunities,

Photo courtesy of Saline Reporter

Butcher says being a member of the LPGA and PGA has given her two distinct networks, different perspectives and different, yet complementary, professional training. But “the education I received from the LPGA on how people learn, and its focus on student-centered teaching…combined with the sense of history, the legacy and how hard it was…what women gave up to work in golf ” is unmatched, she said.

Although teaching is now just a small part of her broader golf enterprise career, it’s importance has never faded. Butcher has been a corporate trainer, ran golf schools and has done a lot of experiential training. She’s coached eight Michigan High School Athletic Association State Golf Champions, an NCAA National Champion and about 18 girls and boys who made Michigan Super Teams. She also is golf coach to Symetra Tour player Laura Kueny and 2009 Walker Cup team member and Canadian Tour Player Brendan Gielow, both of Muskegon.

and wanted to get my feet wet in teaching and start the process, so I could make the transition when I was done playing,” she said. “I was trying to combine the two, and the LPGA Teaching Division offers a lot of playing opportunities. It still is a potential avenue to playing on the Tour, allowing all Class A LPGA members to go to any Monday qualifier and also being able to play in one LPGA event that’s the closest to where you teach. “So initially, it was the playing opportunities that would be presented to me as opposed to the PGA,” she said. “However, once I got into the LPGA program, I was so very impressed with how they taught people to teach,” Williams-Hoak said. “I’ve been involved in a lot of sports in my life, and dealt with a lot of different sports governing bodies, and the LPGA is just above and beyond, in terms of the effort they put forth into creating great teachers. That’s what really distinguishes them from any other golf teaching organization. “The LPGA really puts a lot of time, energy and effort into helping you understand your student,” she added. “(I learned) to recognize their learning preferences, personality traits, physical differences and have a game plan, so I could ascertain all those different things and come up with what’s best for that student.” nne Gajda is also a Class A member of the LPGA who teaches at Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center in Plymouth, Mich. She joined the LPGA in midlife.

A Debbie Williams-Hoak with Saline Hornets 18



Photo courtesy of Fox Hills

A full-time music professor at EMU for the last 35 years, Gajda learned golf as a child in Detroit. Each summer, she attended the Detroit Free Press Junior Golf School, which after three weeks of instruction, gave each kid a pass to golf at any of the city courses for just 25 cents. So Anne spent her summers golfing, then as an adult, competed as an amateur as her schedule allowed. She saw the LPGA as a way to turn golf into a second career. Joining the association in 2005, she earned her Class A certification in 2009. She describes the certification process as rigorous, but rewarding. “It’s a really involved process, and lucky for me, I was in position, when passing the tests, the next (instructional) levels fit times when I could do them. So I was able to get through the program in three and a-half years, when normally it can take quite a bit longer,” she said. “Getting into the LPGA wasn’t that difficult, because I just had to pass the playing ability test, but getting through all the levels once you’re in the teaching program, that is a challenge. It was a lot, but it was all worth it.” Anne Gajda Once she had her Class-A card, Gajda started an LPGA Girls Golf Club at Fox Hills. Beginning with only 21 girls in 2010, her program now attracts about 70 participants each summer. As to what Shirley Spork started 50-plus years ago, Butcher likely sums up the thoughts of these and thousands of others LPGA members, when she says, “I have the utmost respect for Shirley and what she did. I absolutely believe my career would not have been possible without her.” - MG -

Michigan LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals include: Carolyn Allingham, Canadian Lakes GC, Canadian Lakes Jan Brintnall, Jan Brintall Golf School LLC, Dewitt Patti Butcher, Blythefield CC, Belmont Susan Fox, Pine Grove CC, Iron Mountain Anne Gajda, Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center, Plymouth Patricia Gray, Walnut Creek CC, South Lyon Sara Katt, Crooked Tree GC, Bay Harbor Janelle Marshall, Spring Lake CC, Spring Lake Debbie Moss, Carl’s Golfland, Bloomfield Hills Ann Parvin, Golf Getaways, White Lake Abby Pearson, Golf Performance Academy of SW Michigan, Portage Pam Phipps, Black Lake GC, Onaway Robin Rasch, Oak Point CC, ClubCorp, Brighton Jeri Reid, Garland Lodge and Resort, Lewiston Cheryl Stacy, self-employed, Saline Emily Szafran, Kendall Academy at Great Lakes Golf Center, Auburn Hills Sheila Tansey, Women’s Golf Academy, East Lansing Kathleen Teichert, Kathy Teichert Golf, Ann Arbor Lois Thompson, Busch’s Fresh Food Markets, Saline Joan Waha, Ye Nyne Olde Holes, Charlevoix County Debbie Williams-Hoak, Brookside GC, Saline and Reddeman Farms GC, Chelsea Lisa Woodcox, White Pine Transport, Royal Oak

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


Photo courtesy of Pursell Farms

World’s First Research and Demonstration Go Has Down Home Feel By Tom Lang

FarmLinks Golf Club, Hole Number 17

olf Course

ursell Farms in Sylacauga, Alabama bills itself as “a place you can call home.”


And it sure feels like it. FarmLinks Golf Club at Pursell Farms is a special championship golf course, on a property offering truly world-class modern amenities and services – yet which visitors can experience in an old-fashioned, down-home southern hospitality and personal charm atmosphere. And that’s the point.

FarmLinks opened in 2003. It has more than 30 types of grass that allow for research and experimentation (such as watering patterns and fertilizers) by turf grass educators and course superintendents that they couldn’t risk tinkering with at their private club or for-profit public courses back home. The research facility has also partnered with the likes of Toro and Club Car and others in the golf industry so they could additionally demonstrate prototype products on a golf course that has players on fairways and greens on a

daily basis. And in the end, golfers win. While initially built for golf turf research and demonstration, golfers are not Guinea Pigs at this 7,444yard layout (5,224 from forward tees). Rather, they will enjoy an excellent experience at the course voted the No. 1 public course in Alabama by GolfWeek. Unless you’re a turf pro, the average golfer will never notice more then 3-4 types of grass, not the 30 onsite. The course is kept in immaculate condition with a playable design that works for all skill levels. Although most holes have treelined backdrops the fairways are wide, and open. The property has significant elevation drops, especially on three of the four par 3s, like almost no other course in the southern state.

Photo courtesy of Pursell Farms

Still a working farm in some areas of the 3,500-acre property, the Pursell family and FarmLinks staff want nothing more than to offer visitors a reprieve from the hectic grind of daily life in a relaxed, southern setting filled with rich heritage in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

FarmLinks Golf Club is the world’s first research and demonstration golf course. Each year for more than a decade, 1,200 turf professionals and golf course superintendents have converged on Pursell Farms for a three-day experience, reviewing advanced technologies and discussing agronomic testing on a working golf course.

FarmLinks Golf Club, Hole Number 17 22



No. 5 is the signature hole, a par 3 sporting a vertical drop of 170 feet from the back tees and one of the best views in the region, where golfers regularly pull out their cameras for a few memorable shots. A staff member can often be found at the same tee, passing out free in-season produce from the farm – fresh watermelon on an August trip there – all part of the normal hospitality shown toward visitors. Water comes into play on just three holes, but the design offers other hazardous challenges to the lowest of handicappers, while still providing many areas to hit for the higher scorers. The design offers an excellent mix of long and short holes, doglegs, straight shots and elevation changes like those found in northern Michigan. It’s one course

Photo courtesy of Pursell Farms

History abounds on the natural, pastoral property and in the surrounding area. Two of the holes border a former rail-line that went through the property and to a quarry that still harvests marble today, eventually carrying that marble to Washington, D.C. to be used in many of the monuments there. The Pursell’s former personal home just off the resort property, now a house rented often for weddings, is a large Civil War-era structure that brings an aura of classic southern stateliness to the property. Remnants of a Civil War iron mine are not far from the 18th fairway, the longest hole on the course at 616 yards. The highest point on the property, and yet to be developed, overlooks Lay Lake and Talladega Springs where a century ago travelers would ride the rails from hundreds of miles to dip into the then-thought-health-relief of the spring-fed mineral waters.

FarmLinks you’ll not tire of playing. And it’s not standing still. Pursell Farms is a resort that’s ever changing. While starting simply as a research site, over the years modern, spacious and well-appointed cottages and cabins designed for golf groups have been added as more visitors learn of the attractive destination. The farm’s game plan is not to become the next kid-friendly resort as activities are aimed at the men and women who enjoy traditional outdoor activities additional to golf; like hunting in-season for quail, deer, dove, duck, and turkey – aided by the dogs raised onsite. Those wishing to sharpen their shooting skills, or just have a little fun, are also treaded to a first-class 5-stand clay shooting range. Three small lakes are also well stocked with fisherman in mind. Near-future expansion plans include a small hotel and full-service, high-class spa. Layne Savoie heads up the

FarmLinks Golf Academy. Savoie has a college coaching and professional teaching background. He was on the Auburn University golf team with Jason Dufner and later coached Dufner for several years. Lessons are available in groups or individually and always include the use of TrackMan JC Video swing analysis. Another newer addition to the staff is Executive Chef Andrea Griffith, winner of nearly a dozen culinary medals, including those for cold food salon, hot food and ice carving. Her staff stresses a farm-to-table atmosphere for the freshest Southern specialties, but Griffith adds in a special world-wide approach to offer some unique tastes. She also takes the time to produce and bottle her own condiments for each table from ingredients grown at Pursell Farms. Any trip south from Michigan should include a stop at Pursell Farms. - MG -

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


Collegiate Spotlight

Calvin College Knights: Consistency. Progress. Record-breaking Performances

Photo courtesy of Alma College Sports Information

By Chris Lewis

Calvin College Women’s Golf Team or as long as he can remember, Jerry Bergsma, head coach of Calvin College’s women’s golf team, has been particularly passionate – and curious – about the game of golf. He first began to observe golfers of all ages and skill levels while working at a golf course during the summertime, when he was enrolled at Calvin College. Intrigued

F 24


by the unique physical and mental challenges of the game, he carefully considered how he could help them improve their games, potentially as a coach. His fervent passion for coaching was initially discovered at this time, not only for golf, but for other sports as well. After graduating from

Calvin in 1990, where he was a member of the men’s volleyball club team, he was hired to coach junior varsity volleyball at Grandville Christian High School. Four years later, he moved to Barrie, Ontario and taught at Timothy Christian Elementary School. Upon earning a master’s degree in physical education, he decided to move back to


Photo courtesy of Calvin College

Furniture City Classic. Hosted by Davenport University, the classic was contested at Grand Rapids’ Mines Golf Course, which was ranked by Golf Digest as a “Best New Public Golf Course Under $75” in 2006. Senior Carlia Canto, who had set Calvin’s single-season average record the previous season, led the Knights to a second-place team finish, while shooting a careerbest round of 75 and claiming medalist honors. “The Furniture City Classic was an important match to show that we could pick up where we left off,” Bergsma states. “I was very proud of everyone on the team to come out and play that well after some time away from competition.” Casey Harkema Grand Rapids in 1996, after receiving a call from his alma mater, Calvin College. Two job opportunities had recently become available, which he soon accepted – to work as a physical education instructor and as an assistant volleyball coach. For the next six years, he gained further experience within the kinesiology field as an instructor and coach, until he was offered yet another opportunity he could not resist, a full-time assistant professorship within the Kinesiology Department. His good fortune continued later that spring, when he was also hired to oversee Calvin’s women’s golf program as its head coach. Under Bergsma’s helm, the women’s golf program has consistently improved throughout the last 12 years, culminating in a record26


breaking Fall 2012 season, when the Knights averaged a single-season team average of 343 strokes per round, an all-time low. As a result, Bergsma anticipated his team would have its most successful campaign to date during the Fall 2013 season. “Before the season began, I, along with everyone on the team, had a clearly stated goal: to be one of the four Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) teams that qualified for the spring Automatic Qualifier Tournament,” says Bergsma.

Carlia Canto Leads the Knights to Multiple Topfive Finishes The Knights began their 20132014 season on August 31st at the

Although the team’s strong start did not result in a top-ten finish at the following week’s Olivet Fall Invitational, the Knights displayed their potential at the North Central College Classic. Held at Plainfield, Ill.’s 5,964-yard-long Naperbrook Golf Course on September 10th, the Classic was one of the Knights’ most successful tournaments. Not only did Carlia Canto record her third consecutive individual top-ten finish, but the team also shot a 348 total, low enough for a tie-fourth showing. Canto’s consistency continued on September 21st, when she finished tie-seventh individually at the Calvin-Hope DIII Challenge, hosted at Byron Center’s Railside Golf Club, a well-renowned private club, especially in the West Michigan area. Three days later, Canto competed in the first MIAA Jamboree of the season at Marshall’s The Medalist Golf Club, shooting a pair of 80s for a tie-second individual


Photo courtesy of Calvin College

Carlia Canto showing, while also leading the Knights to a third-place finish. Another MIAA Jamboree, hosted by Kalamazoo College on September 28th, occurred at Milham Park Golf Club, where Canto yet again led the Knights to a third-place showing, with an 81 and another top-five individual finish. Canto’s positive momentum continued on October 2nd, as the Knights hosted the third MIAA Jamboree of the season at Grand Rapids’ The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe. Despite the course’s length (6,544 yards), slope (131), and rating (71.2), sophomore Jennie Poole, of Summit, NJ, and Canto led the Knights with an 84 and an 85, respectively. As a result, the team shot a 348 and recorded its fifth straight top-five. The final MIAA Jamboree of the season was held three days later. Hosted by Trine University at Angola, Ind.’s Zollner Golf Course,

the Jamboree resulted in yet another tie-third team finish, as well as a historical round from Canto. With a front-nine score of 35, Canto secured her second individual medalist honors of the season, while also establishing a new 18-hole, Calvin women’s golf scoring record – 73. Soon afterwards, she was honored as the MIAA’s Golfer of the Week for the third time in her collegiate career. “It has been a joy to work with Carlia during her time at Calvin,” Bergsma says. “From her very first day of practice as a freshman, she showed that no one would outwork her and that she would get the most out of her small frame.” He adds, “She has honed a long, smooth golf swing that is complemented by her calm and positive mental approach to the game.”

The Knights Prepare for the 2014 Automatic Qualifier Tournament On October 11th and 12th, the Knights competed in the 36-hole MIAA Fall Tournament. Canto once again led her teammates with a 73 and a 79, tying Olivet College’s Adrienne Plourde for first-place individually. The team itself posted a 679 total for a fourth-place finish. “Carlia’s back-to-back 73s are, of course, an all-time record for Calvin’s women’s golf program,” Bergsma says. “To shoot 73s in back-to-back events is a fabulous accomplishment, especially at the NCAA Division III level.” As proud as Bergsma was of Canto’s achievements, he was equally pleased with his team’s camaraderie and consistency. With a 344 team scoring average, one stroke

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


Upon the conclusion of the headto-head tournament, the Knights travelled north to participate in the first round of the Automatic Qualifier at South Bend, Ind.’s Blackthorn Golf Club. The first round concluded on April 16th, providing the Knights additional practice time to prepare for the second and third rounds of the automatic qualifier tournament, which will be hosted by Marshall’s The Medalist Golf Club on April 26th and 28th.

Due to her consistency and accomplishments, Canto was named to the All-MIAA first team for the second successive year. Two other Calvin College Knights, Poole and sophomore Casey Harkema, of Holt, were also honored, as they were each named to the All-MIAA second team. A few months after the AllMIAA teams were announced, the Knights began to prepare for the 2014 Automatic Qualifier Tournament – by travelling to Avon Park, Fla.’s River Greens Golf Course. While in Florida, they com-

Photo courtesy of Calvin College

above 2012’s all-time record low, the Knights placed third in the Fall 2013’s final MIAA standings – and secured their third consecutive appearance in the MIAA Automatic Qualifier Tournament. Canto, meanwhile, averaged 78.5 strokes last fall, another Calvin College single-season record.

Jennie Poole peted in a head-to-head tournament with Babson Park, Fla.’s Webber International University on March 26th, three weeks prior to the first round of the MIAA’s automatic qualifier to May’s NCAA Division III Championship.

Ubiquitous Michigan Golf



Since the Knights have already achieved their pre-season objective of competing in this spring’s Automatic Qualifier, Bergsma expects his team will now be focused on improving upon its seasonal scoring average next fall, despite Carlia Canto’s upcoming graduation. “To fill the leadership void left when Carlia leaves this spring, I expect Jennie and Casey, who are still quite young, will become the team’s next leaders,” Bergsma states. “I believe every member of the team will continue to improve, as they find the determination and drive to continuously work on their games, just like Carlia did.” He concludes, “Our program has steadily improved throughout the last 10 years because my coaching philosophy has remained the same: help players compete to the best of their abilities through consistent practice, mental discipline, and a positive, encouraging approach to competition. This philosophy will continue next fall.”



For further information concerning Calvin College’s athletic programs, please visit - MG -


St. Andrews Golf House

Photo by Chris Mackenzie Photography

By Brad King

St. Andrews Golf House includes a three hole practice putting green. ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND — As managing director of a new and unique accommodation designed specifically for American golfers visiting the game’s storied Scottish birthplace — appropriately named “St Andrews Golf House” — Eddie Papczun said he became convinced he and the home’s investment team had created something special during a recent wine and cheese cocktail party at the house.  The party was hosted for many of the St. Andrews locals and travel companies around town. One

longtime Royal & Ancient member and native of St. Andrews made a point to corral Papczun during the event to tell him: “I’ve never seen anything like this home. There is nothing like this around St. Andrews.” “To me that is a strong endorsement of what we have created in this special place,” said Papczun, a former Air Force Major who served as a weapons launch officer during the Cold War. The native Ohioan now living in Florida first entered the golf industry nearly two decades ago in his role as

founder of Golf Links to the Past, one of the preeminent creators, acquirers and marketers of premium golf collectibles. Papczun’s latest project is an ideal combination of his two loves: history and golf. Geared toward Americans coming over to play golf in the game’s birthplace and the surrounding Scottish countryside, the St. Andrews Golf House was custom designed and built to the very highest standards — a 5star accommodation offering guests a perfect home base for any Scottish holiday or business trip

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


that is truly unlike any other luxury accommodation within the “Auld Grey Toon.” Said Papczun: “Accommodations in St. Andrews range from the very high-end, where you can stay at the Old Course Hotel, to the more country-wide guesthouse experience, but nobody thinks about things that Americans take for granted: Big, walk-in showers with great water pressure, vented tumble dryers, heated club storage, ice makers — those things were present in my mind when I was laying the house out with a very creative, St. Andrews-based architect.

The first feature that catches a guest’s eye on the entry level of the St. Andrew Golf Home are a laundry room with full-size washer and vented electric dryer, along with its four en-suite bedrooms that can be configured to comfortably sleep from four to eight guests (“two four-balls,” as Papczun describes it). The stone and hardwood floors throughout feature under floor, radiant heat. All of the bedrooms are named after bunkers on the Old Course, so there is a “Hell Bunker,” a “Road Hole Bunker,” a “Strath Bunker” — you get the picture. Guests rest their heads on top-of-the-line Serta mattresses

— the same as those used in the famed Fairmont Hotel — with goose-down quilts, high threadcount linens and luxury pillows to help ensure a sound night’s sleep even for the most restless traveller. Beautifully appointed with elegant contemporary pieces that offer a nod to Scottish tradition as well as classic antiques, the house is extremely cozy and above all comfortable — clearly designed to offer each guest every imaginable convenience including elegant interiors and fine furnishings. Its circa-1890 Scottish oak dining table seats eight comfortably, so there is no need to go out every night for dinner — stay in, cook and enjoy each others company in this very special space. The house’s fully equipped,

Photo by Chris Mackenzie Photography

“We wanted to have a lot of natural illumination in the house so we put in huge, west-facing bay windows,” he said. “Those who have been to Scotland know that

sunlight can be an issue. So we were able to build a very high-end type of home with plenty of green components to leave a small energy footprint.”

West-facing bay windows provide lots of natural light. 30



Photo by Chris Mackenzie Photography

The state-of-the-art kitchen includes a 40-bottle wine refrigerator. state-of-the-art Ashley Ann Custom Gourmet Kitchen allows guests the option to either dine or cater in while enjoying the art of cooking. The kitchen is perfect for social cooking and entertaining featuring state-of-the-art amenities including custom appliances, a sixburner gas range, dual ovens, a French country sink, granite counter-tops, a 40-bottle wine refrigerator and an icemaker. In addition, the St. Andrews Golf House also features three spacious marble baths with large walk-in American style showers, lightening fast internet Wi-Fi, zoned iPod music system, a billiard’s and pub room (called the “Valley of Sin”), a heated exterior club store, three-hole practice putting green and much more. Indeed, once a guest sinks into one of the St. Andrews Golf House’s

down-filled leather chairs — single malt in hand and golf on the 50inch plasma satellite “telly” — they likely will not want to get up.  “Even before you get into the house, we have put in club storage that only has access from the outside, so if you are pulling your clubs out and everything is wet, you can throw all your gear into this room that is heated and in the morning everything will be dry, so there is no reason for the golf clubs to come into the house,” said Papczun. “That idea came from playing over [in Scotland] so much and realizing that is a big problem. “I wanted to keep the golf clubs out of the house,” he said. “You don’t want to be bringing your clubs in the house and banging up the walls. I said there’s got to be a better way around this problem.

And that’s why there is a laundry room right when you walk in, so when you head off to your bedrooms and you start changing and getting ready to go upstairs hopefully you will not be bringing all that water and the golf course with you.” Papczun says he and the designers of the St. Andrews Golf House envisioned guests reminiscing about the day’s round while enjoying a cigar and a scotch in the house’s cedar-roofed “Cigar Pavilion,” a hand-built, eight-seat heated seating area offering the perfect space to enjoy the long sunlit nights — a staple of Scotland’s summers. Sitting in the garden or back yard, the pavilion overlooks a three-hole links inspired putting green, which was designed and built by renowned greens keeper, Andy Campbell —

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


former superintendent at Ireland’s famed Loch Erne Golf Club. Additionally, there is an Americanstyle barbeque grill near by so guests can grill up steaks while they enjoy this incredible outdoor space.      “Every kind of little nuance we could incorporate we did,” said Papczun. “We tried to use every square inch of space in the house in a positive and user-friendly way. We wanted this to be an off-thecharts hotel experience that is all yours while you are in Scotland.”

The town of St Andrews and the surrounding countryside has one of the greatest concentrations of world-class golf courses on the planet. Courses in the town include; the Old Course, the New Course, the Jubilee, the Castle, the

Eden, the Strathyrum, the Balgove as well as Kingsbarns, the Duke’s, Crail, the Torrance and Kittocks courses at the Fairmont, which are all within 10 miles of the town center. And just a little further on down the road is Carnoustie — popular member of the Open Championship rotation and one of the most demanding tracks in all of golf. Ideally situated near the Westport gate and the town center, St Andrews Golf House is the perfect location for a memorable Scottish vacation or special corporate business getaway.  Easy walking distance to every significant attraction in town, to include the numerous golf courses, you’ll love

Photo by Chris Mackenzie Photography

St. Andrews Golf House is just a short stroll to anywhere in the historic university town. The Old Course, cathedral ruins and castle,

as well as the West Sands beach (made famous in the filming of Chariots of Fire) takes but a few enjoyable minutes to reach on foot via the many walkways that dissect this wonderful town. St Andrews is a town begging to be explored and discovered — one ancient medieval building and pub at a time.  Oh, and there is the fact that St Andrews is possibly the greatest golfing destination in the World.

The Scottish oak dining table seats eight comfortably. 32



Photo by Chris Mackenzie Photography

A billiard’s and pub room is called the “Valley of Sin”. being so close to everything. Although St Andrews is renowned for its golf courses, there are many other attractions available in the vicinity including the British Golf Museum, Byre Theatre, Fife Coastal Path, Preservation Trust Museum, St Andrews Aquarium, Botanic Garden, St Andrews Castle, St Andrews Museum and plenty of Scotch Whiskey Tours. And while the town of St Andrews and the historic Kingdom of Fife provides endless opportunities for adventure and exploration, the St. Andrews Golf Home offers a concierge happy to answer questions, help set up golf, and arrange activities that guests will enjoy —

as well as to bring in a chef to create a gourmet meal at the house. “You can literally walk from the house to the center of town without getting on any main roads get on the foot path used by the people for hundreds of years to get around the town,” said Papczun, who also runs The Great Republic at Colorado’s historic Broadmoor Hotel, specializing in extremely rare and unique United States flags, maps and Americana as well as vintage British Empire sporting antiques and collectibles. “You can get from the house to the middle of Market Street and all the way down to the Links in 10 minutes. That’s the other thing. We can even arrange for them to be picked up as part of our à la carte

concierge services. We can pick them up for golf. We can arrange for them to be picked up.” Papczun said rates for 2014 are £500 per high-season per night for the entire house. High season runs from April 1 through October 31. Low season runs from November 1 to March 31 and rates are £300 per night. Minimum stay is four nights – regardless of the time of year. To check for room availability and make arrangements for your stay, please visit or contact Eddie Papczun at - MG -

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


Slice of Life Building Community with Flagsticks, Fun & Fire (Naples, Fla.) With the goal of increasing growth in the game, the PGA of America announced in March a new task Terry Moore force charged with developing and evaluating innovative concepts to drive participation. Composed of a diverse group of individuals from both inside and outside the golf industry—including representatives from tennis and skiing—the task force, in the words of PGA President Ted Bishop, will “consider any and all potential alternatives to enhance consumers’ enjoyment of the game.” Here’s my suggestion to Mr. Bishop and the task force: reach out to your fellow PGA members at Grey Oaks Country Club in Naples, Fla. These folks know what they’re doing when it comes to adding a needed dash of fun to the game while not abandoning its competitive roots. Case in point is Grey Oaks’ phenomenally successful Ladies Invitational. Celebrating its 14th 34


anniversary in February, the event has grown from a one-day event on a single course for less than one hundred participants, to a two-day extravaganza over three courses attracting nearly 300 players. The six-flighted field plays two nine-hole segments each day, in various team formats, for low net/low gross awards. Since its inception, Head Golf Professional Leslye Dyke has overseen the Invitational and watched it flourish. “The first year, I ran the whole thing and it was a nice event,” said Dyke, a former Duke University and Futures Golf Tour competitor. “But with member

input and involvement, the Invitational has evolved over the years, incorporating more fun and entertaining features. The emphasis has been on having a good time with one’s fellow members and guests.” Helping the cause, a different theme is chosen each year by a member chairperson and the Grey Oaks staff. In the past, such themes as Circus, James Bond, Under the Sea, Slow Boat to China and Out of Africa have set the stage for the event. “This year our theme was Hawaiian Luau and it was carried out in the names of the flights,

Photo courtesy of Grey Oaks CC

Photo courtesy of Terry Moore

By Terry Moore

Grey Oaks Country Club


Karl Bublitz, Director of Golf & Operations at Grey Oaks, described the enthusiasm level of the Ladies Invitational as “off the charts with an incredible energy level.” He attributed the event’s popularity to several factors. “One, is how proud the members feel about it. The ladies are eager to show off their club while guests are able to experience the social fabric of Grey Oaks over a compact two days,” said Bublitz, a former Michigan native (St. Clair), golf pro and GM (Railside GC in Grand Rapids) who was named Southwest Florida PGA’s Golf Professional of the Year. “Second, the ladies have input and influence in how the Invitational is conducted. It’s their event and we’re here to make it happen.”

“Along with name recognition of members and guests, we work hard on memberto-member relationships,” said Dyke. “By getting to know our members, the staff often sees if there are commonalities among them for introductions. Positive relationships and friendships can build from there.” With such a community mindset and fire batons lighting the way, Grey Oaks remains on the right path to make the game more fun and welcoming. - MG -

Photo courtesy of Terry Moore

Building member relationships is also a tenet at Grey Oaks (, a luxury gated community opened in 1993, that has garnered a host of notable awards and national recognition and is experiencing double digit growth this season in the activity level of various member amenities.

Karl Bublitz

Photo courtesy of Terry Moore

courses, decorations and entertainment,” said Dyke. “Unlike the Men’s Invitational, the social aspect is more important than the golf. Many of the women decorate their golf carts and wear special team outfits and all of it is done in a let’s-have-fun atmosphere.” Dinner entertainment this year fittingly included hula dancers and fire baton performers.

Leslye Dyke

On that last point, Bublitz added “understanding your audience” is critical for country clubs and golf in general. “We’ve learned to adjust the golf event calendar to reflect both the social and competitive wants of our golfers. Traditional medal and match play events, both team and individual, are important and will always have a place at the club; but frankly they’re becoming a smaller piece of the pie.” While citing that women’s play comprises over 40% of the rounds at Grey Oaks, he sees the importance of “designing events that help build community and are responsive to member wishes.”

M I C H I GAN G O L F E R MAGAZ I N E • MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4


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Michigan Golfer, May / June 2014  
Michigan Golfer, May / June 2014  

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