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Online: http://michigangolfer.com MICHIGAN GOLFER Publisher/Editor Art McCafferty artmccaf@glsp.com

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

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19th Century Michigan Golf with Peter Fitzsimons and Jack Berry Lost Lake Woods With Ron Lamrock, Jack Berry, Scott Moore and Jim Dennis Senior PGA Championship at French Lick Resort - Dave Harner - Director of Golf Colin Montgomerie Presser at French Lick

Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center- Grand Opening - New Performance Center

French Lick : Donald Ross, Joe Louis, Pete Dye, Tom Bendelow, Elvis Jr. and Dave Harner Craig Piscopink Golf Academy at Eagle Crest Resort - Track Man Instruction

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.

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Wes Blevins: Update On Phase II of Eagle Crest Golf Course Master Plan

SUMMER 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


In This Issue VOLUME 33

4

SUMMER

2015

NUMBER

2

Tullymore Golf Resort Creating Excitement as Michigan Golf Destination

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The Berry Patch: Summer Time and Michigan’s Past Tournament Greatness By Jack Berry

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Les Cheneaux Golf Club – Michigan’s ‘True Natural’ By Susan Bairley

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Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club – A Tranquil Layout Depicts Mother Nature’s Beauty By Chris Lewis

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LPGA Women Make Michigan a Top Stop By Susan Bairley

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Palm Springs: Golf, Hollywood Memories, Desert Tours and – More Golf By Tom Lang

33

Slice of Life: Review of Unplayable Lies By Terry Moore

About the cover: Hole Number 17, Tullymore Golf Course, designed by Jim Engh. Photo by Tango & Associates

Michigan Golfer News Weekly email newsletter To join: email artmccaf@glsp.com

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2015

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Š Tango & Associates

Tullymore Golf Resort Creating Excitement as Michig


gan Golf Destination


S

tanwood, Mich. – Tullymore Golf Resort, an award-winning world-class golf and lodging destination in the heart of Michigan, has a not-so-secret secret it wants to share. See, it’s clearly a wonderful place to visit for many reasons, and those reasons include the Tullymore Classic, a Symetra Tour event featuring the future stars of the LPGA Tour on the Fourth of July weekend. That makes Tullymore THE place to play, stay and watch golf, too. There, the not-so-secret secret is out. Terry Schieber, the CEO at the resort, knows from first-hand experience in his previous position at the famous Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina that having professional tournaments visit a resort adds a special excitement and brings added recognition to special golf destinations. “This is the place to be,” he said. “That’s what we want everybody to know. Tullymore Golf Resort has so much to offer. Once people visit, they see it, they get it. We have great golf courses, great lodging, great dining, really the perfect golf destination here.” Two distinct world-class golf courses welcome golfers to Tullymore, including the awardwinning Tullymore course designed by the renowned James Engh, which will play host to the pros in the Tullymore Classic. In addition, St. Ives Golf Club is a prime example 6

of the best design work by Michigan’s own Jerry Matthews. The 36 holes of great golf wind amid 800 acres of glacier-carved rolling Michigan woodlands and wetlands in the captivating Canadian Lakes area. The luxuriously appointed accommodations and premium amenities like the fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and two comfortable clubhouses with great dining service options make for more reasons to visit and stay for a while. Choose from a getaway for two in the cozy inns, or a cottage, condominium or rental home for an unforgettable few days away or even a home away from home. As for those who would like to watch the great golf, as in the Symetra Tour, the Road to the LPGA, the Tullymore Classic will be played June 29 through July 5, including a fun-filled pro-am event where golfers can rub elbows and play a round with the young professionals like Michigan’s own Laura Kueny of Whitehall, a former Michigan State star on the cusp of becoming an LPGA standout. The 54-hole stroke play championship will tee off on Friday, July 3, and conclude on Sunday, July 5. The top 144 up-and-coming professionals in women’s golf will compete for a purse of $100,000. The winner will earn $15,000 and have an opportunity to move into the top10 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list. The top-10 on the yearend Symetra Tour money list earns LPGA Tour membership for the 2016 season.

Former Michigan resident Meg Mallon, an 18-time LPGA Tour winner and 2013 Solheim Cup captain, will be the honorary host of the Tullymore Classic. She will attend the pairings party on June 31 and play in the pro-am on July 1. She attended Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, won the 1983 Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship and is a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. “I’m honored that they asked and I’m excited to be a part of the Tullymore Classic,” she said. “My first two years as a professional were spent on the Symetra Tour and it means a lot to come full circle and be a part of a Symetra Tour event.” Mike Nichols, current Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour and former Executive Director of the Champions Tour’s Farmers Charity Classic in Grand Rapids from 1998-2002, is proud to be bringing this event to Tullymore. “As someone who lived in Grand Rapids for five years and always enjoyed the short trip to stay and play at Tullymore, I’m excited to bring a Symetra Tour tournament to one of my favorite resorts,” he said. Schieber said being selected by the LPGA to host the Symetra Tour event is an honor and the resort is excited. “Our staff members are eager to host the players and spectators and provide everyone an exceptional

SUMMER 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


© Tango & Associates © Tango & Associates

Tullymore Golf Course, Hole #6 Bunker

Tullymore Golf Course, Hole No. 3 MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2015

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experience, and we’ve had a wonderful response by our membership and people from the community stepping forward to volunteer and be part of the event,” he said.

Kueny, a dominant junior golfer in Michigan and All-Big Ten performer at Michigan State, said golf fans will be thrilled by the competition. “It’s the best of competitive golfers from all over the world and we all have this chance to realize our dreams of playing on the LPGA Tour,” she said. “It’s intense, exciting and just great golf.” Kueny said the Tullymore course

will work perfectly as a means to determine the top player that week. “You have to use all of your clubs and think your way around this golf course,” she said. “The golfer who executes the shots consistently that week will win. I know that will be my goal.” Tullymore is a must-stop for golfers who want to play, stay and watch. The not-so-secret secret is out. The resort has hauled in a page of awards and honors including being named Michigan’s No. 1 Golf Resort and one of the Top 50 Golf Resorts in the U.S. in the

© Tango & Associates

Meanwhile, the golf staff is working to make sure the Tullymore course is ready for the world-class competition. Superintendent Alex Greenacre and his staff will work with the LPGA to provide a perfect tournament course condition. Golf professionals Scot Cucksey and Gary Lewandowski are making sure golf operations run smoothly so resort visitors can enjoy the experience as

they play where the pros will be playing in July.

Tullymore Golf Course, Hole, No. 17 8

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© Tango & Associates

2010 Golf World Readers Choice Awards, as well as being named the Silver Medal Winner – Premier Resorts 2010 – The Best Destinations in Golf by Golf Magazine, and earning a five-star rating for the Tullymore course by Golf Digest several times since 2007 and being ranked among the top 100 Greatest Courses in America by Golf Digest multiple times. Sponsorship opportunities, playing spots in the pro-am and some volunteer slots remain available. Visit http://tullymoreclassic.com for more tournament information and to be a part of the Tullymore Classic.

- MR -

© Tango & Associates

Visit http://tullymoregolf.com for resort information, and for reservations, call 1 (800) 972-3837 ext. 239.

Tullymore Golf Course, Hole No. 14

© Tango & Associates

Tullymore Hole Golf Course, No. 16

Tullymore Golf Course, Hole No. 18 Viewed from Tee MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2015

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The Berry Patch

Summer Time and Michigan’s Past Tournament Greatness By Jack Berry

Photo by Art McCafferty

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ummer time and how’s the living? Here’s a trio of tough starts: Rory McIlroy in the BMW Jack Berry PGA and Irish Open at Royal County Down; Pete Dye’s course at French Lick where the old boys took a lickin’ in the PGA Senior Championship and yours truly who has blown the first half of the Ackroyd Golf League season. McIlroy missed the cut in the European Tour’s major and then missed the cut in the Irish Open, where he packed the field with superstars that made it a rare European sellout before a ball was blown off a tee by the strong winds. County Down and the weather starred in the Irish Open which featured every kind of miserable weather possible and then mixed in some sunshine to show some of the most beautiful scenery on earth and a course that ranks in the top five in the world. It also proved that Euro tour regulars handle the stuff far better than the spoiled bentgrass greens and fairways-loving American tour players. 10

We’ll have to check Tourism Ireland to see how many packages the tournament sold. Personally, I love Ireland and have played 20some links from Royal Portrush in the north to Old Head in the south. I lost balls in the rough, not the Atlantic or Irish water hazards.

French Lick’s worst ball that day was 69-59. But Colin Montgomerie, accustomed to the beat-you-down bluster of Irish and Scottish links, glorified in the conditions at French Lick,

F

rench Lick showed an Indiana most of us wouldn’t recognize —- hills, great horizons and chocolate drops topped not by a string to unfold a silver packing but sand traps. Leave it to Pete Dye, the man who gave us island and timber-fortified greens and innumerable sand pits. Wild winds ripped across the open course and 47 players shot the first round in the 80s, Program Cover, U.S. Open including major champions Lee Janzen, Jerry Pate, shot 4-under-par and successfully Bob Tway, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite defended the title he won last year at and Mark Calcavecchia. It reminded Harbor Shores, and next year he me of the “worst ball” I did in the can triple it when the championship first Michigan Open on the Jack returns to Benton Harbor. Nicklaus-designed Bear. I believe

SUMMER 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Littler nipped Doug Sanders and Bob Goalby to win the U.S. Open at Oakland Hills. Great cast of winners and no year like it. Because of the Open, the Motor City Open took a pass on the summer. The MCO teed off in 1949 at Meadowbrook CC and Ben Hogan beat Dutch Harrison in a playoff, 73-74. The 1949 MCO set a record that stands to this day. Cary

© Golfweek

T

he “kids” have dominated golf, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, McIlroy, and Lydia Ko in the lead but there’s life in the senior class as proved by Monty, 51, and my favorite, the Most Interesting Man in Golf, Miguel Angel Jimenez, also 51, who at this writing has made three aces this season to raise the European Tour record to 10. If he gets in a hole-inone contest, bet the family farm on him. He dropped one in Abu Dhabi, then the Spanish Open (good for 288 bottles of beer) and the third in the BMW PGA in London.

Palmer wins at Western Open at Blythfield CC.

“There is no secret,” said the red hair pony-tailed Jimenez. “Good food, good wine, good cigars and some exercise.” You can check his exercises on YouTube. Jimenez and Montgomerie were on the European team that shellacked the United States at Oakland Hills in 2004. Big Time golf has been quiet around here lately and I went back in history to remember the best year ever in Michigan.

© Tracy Wilcox

I

t was 1961. Arnold Palmer edged Sam Snead to win the Western Open at Blythefield CC in Grand Rapids, Jackie Burke beat Billy Casper and Johnny Pott in the Buick Open, R.H. Sikes beat hometowner John Molenda in the United States Public Links Championship at Rackham Golf Course and Gene

Sam Snead congratulates Palmer after Western win. MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2015

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Middlecoff and Lloyd Mangrum tied, went 11 sudden death holes before darkness ended it and they were declared co-winners. Middlecoff did win outright twice, birdying the first hole in sudden death to beat Ted Kroll in 1952 and he won again in 1954. Mangrum won outright in 1950.

Other winners were Bob Rosburg, Doug Ford, Doug Sanders, Mike Souchak, Stan Leonard. Bruce Crampton won the last MCO in 1962 at Knollwood. Those were great times for the game but the purse was only $25,000 in those days and Motor City backers were unable to match the $52,000 the Buick opened with in 1958.

W

© Getty Images

e ma y

Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella called DeVries the “most underrated of designers and the Kingsley Club the most underrated best course in Michigan.” DeVries has done Greywalls in Marquette, the Mines, Diamond Springs and he was codesigner of Pilgrim’s Run. For spectacular he has Cape Wickham in Tasmania. Jerry Matthews has been busy in nearly every county of the state and while fishing is his main occupation now, he manages to get a hand in here and there with the new Northport Creek nine hole course at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula. And, definitely, nine is fine.

© Corbis Images

Cary Middlecoff and Lloyd Mangrum, Co-winners of the 1949 Motor City Open

not be the tournament capital of the country but a good case can be made for the golf course design capital with Tom Doak and Mike DeVries in Traverse City at the top

of the pack. It seems every time a new bucket list complex opens, Doak is there – Bandon Dunes and Streamsong the latest and now he’s working at Forest Dunes in Roscommon on a course that can be played front to back one day and back to front the next. His Renaissance Design team is working on a new course for the Scott family in Augusta (that’s our Augusta, not Georgia’s).

Gardner Dickenson congratulates Littler. 12

SUMMER 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

Ray Hearn started under Matthews and has been busy in and out of state since going on his own with Moose Ridge, Macatawa Legends and


Hemlock among his many Michigan designs.

VOA, CIMB and SAP. What do they mean?

Chris Wilczynski, a Michigan State alum like Matthews and Hearn, worked 20 designs with Arthur Hills including Red Hawk in East Tawas before moving on his own and recently did a course in Naples, FL. Michigan has exceptional golf typography and designers to show them off.

Now you know what I’ve been doing for the last month while recovering from surgery. I’m looking forward to July and in the meantime, here are the answers: Phil Mickelson’s KPMG is Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler, a Netherlands company. Tournament sponsor HSBC is Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp. LOTTE is a Korean company that started with confectionary and now seems to be in everything including golf tourna-

TEST TIME – If you’re a Golf Channel addict you have seen these: KMPG, HSBC, LOTTE, ISPS,

Ubiquitous Michigan Golf

http://glsp.com

-

ment sponsorship. ISPS is another Asian company operated by Japanese businessman Dr.Haruhisa Handa and he sponsors tournaments. VOYA is the new name for ING, the company whose name was on benches in commercials. CIMB is a Malaysian banking company, and SAP, as seen on Ernie Els’ cap, is a German software company, Systems, Applications and Products. Imagine what the Olympics will do…at least Sepp Blatter won’t be commissioner. - MG -

24/7/365

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MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2015

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Photo by Paul Bairley

Les Cheneaux Golf Club – By Susan Bairley

Off third tee looking toward second green.


Michigan’s ‘True Natural’


Forget about fluffy white sand bunkers, manicured greens, lush fairways and pricey greens fees. Now think 19th century golf,

Tagging itself as “The True

unique golf experience. For exam-

pure and simple. That’s close to

Natural,” Les Cheneaux’s golf haz-

ple, many of the hazards are over-

what you’ll find at Les Cheneaux

ards are native sand, water, forest

grown piles of fieldstone, which

Golf Club in Cedarville Mich.

and rock. As described on its web-

were cleared from the original fair-

site, “the land dictates the design of

ways. The rest are merely natural

the holes rather than having a

features of the course’s ‘up north’

course imposed on it.”

lakeside terrain.

This nine-hole track began operation in 1898, and is Michigan’s oldest continuously played links course. It was chartered and devel-

Though some changes, such as

Painted boat cleats mark the tees,

lengthening some holes, have

which measure 2,459 yards from the

Cheneaux Club, an organization

occurred since its creation, Les

red, 2,893 from the white and 2,947

established 10 years earlier.

Cheneaux’s original, rustic character

from the blue, some with alternate

remains, which makes it a fun and

tees for those wishing to change up

Photo by Paul Bairley

oped by early members of the Les

Second hole at Les Cheneaux


Photo by Paul Bairley

Les Cheneaux Hole No. 7. the ‘back nine’ of an 18-hole round. The par 3, 2nd hole plays toward

yards) and red tees (429 yards), whose longest yardages occur on the

of the Mackinac Bridge and St.

number 2 handicap eighth hole.

Ignace in Michigan’s Upper

the water, a channel of Lake Huron between the mainland and one of

Located about 32 miles northeast

Peninsula, Les Cheneaux Golf Club Greens fees are $15 for nine, $21

is rare find, as is the surrounding

the many islands of Les Cheneaux,

for 18; or with power cart: $22 (9)

relatively undeveloped Les

offering a picturesque backdrop

and $35 (18) per person. Pull cart

Cheneaux Islands community, and

from the tee and green. Another

rentals, trail fees for those with

both are well worth the trip.

. . . Les Cheneaux’s original, rustic character remains, which makes it a fun and unique golf experience. favorite is the par 5, number 3

their own golf car, season and multi-

handicap, seventh. Measuring 524

round rates also are offered. The

For more information, visit

yards from the blue, it is the longest

log cabin clubhouse has a limited

http://www.lescheneauxgolfclub.co

on the course from that tee, yet sec-

amount of merchandise, but does

m/ or call 906-484-3606.

ond longest from the white (507

sell balls and tees.

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SUMMER 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

- MG-


©2007 LC Lambrecht

Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club, Hole No. 18

Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club – A Tranquil Layout Depicts Mother Nature’s Beauty By Chris Lewis

A

s golfers approach the clubhouse at Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club for the very first time, they are typically awe-struck by the serenity of the area. Unlike many golf clubs, Pilgrim’s Run is not surrounded by real estate. There are no condos, tennis courts, or swimming pools. In fact, aside from the course itself, there is hardly any sign of civilization whatsoever – just golfers and Mother Nature. Mike DeVries and Kris 20

Shumaker intended this type of experience when they designed the course nearly 20 years ago. After all, DeVries is renowned for his naturalistic approach to design, utilizing land formations to personally shape his greens and bunkers, while creating classic layouts like Marquette’s Greywalls. Yet, despite the tranquility of the 400 acre property, its location (Pierson) actually offers golfers the best of both worlds: time to unwind, regroup, and recharge on the course, as well as a short drive –

30 minutes, at most – to one of West Michigan’s cultural meccas, Grand Rapids, where they can dine at fine restaurants, entertain their families, and explore attractions like the John Ball Zoo and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. And, if they prefer, they can even invite their children to golf with them as well, as the course offers six yardage options to choose from, ranging from 4,863 to 7,093 yards. “We actually just added two of these yardage options this year,” says

SUMMER 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Jeff O’Malley, PGA director of golf. “The additional options have definitely improved the playability of the course. Now everyone can select a yardage that fits their game, no matter what their skill level is.”

To avoid double or triple bogies, golfers should consider hitting their drives to a large landing area, located left of the hazard, instead. Although they may have to hit longer second shots with their short or mid irons, rather than their wedges, at least they won’t be holding their breaths as their drives approach the water.

But make no mistake about it. Pilgrim’s Run is certainly not a cakewalk. Its bentgrass fairways are surrounded by towering pines and oaks. Its greens are often undulated, requiring precise approach shots and deft touch. And its signature holes are the epitome of risk/reward golf.

“There really aren’t many similarities from hole to hole,” O’Malley says. “Since each hole is unique, every aspect of golfers’ games will probably be tested, and they will need to use a variety of clubs.” Since opening to the public on July 24, 1998, some of the game’s finest golfers have been challenged by the risk/reward layout as well, as

In the meantime, the 18th hole also tends to lure some golfers into taking chances – by hitting their drives over a water hazard, potentially resulting in short approach shots into yet another elevated green. A mishit may result in a high number though, as many golfers unfortunately hit their drives into the water.

Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club Clubhouse

©2007 LC Lambrecht

However, some golfers may also choose to attempt fate by hitting their drives over (or to the right of) the bunker to a narrow portion of the fairway. If they are able to avoid the bunker, they may have an opportunity to hit their second shots onto the green and walk away with a birdie or an eagle on their scorecards. On the other hand, they may also have very challenging approach shots, especially if their drives are not precise enough, since the left side of the hole’s elevated green is guarded by bunkers.

©2007 LC Lambrecht

For example, the par-five sixth, which ranges from 369 to 498 yards, can be birdied if golfers are conservative and hit their drives onto the hole’s large landing area, located just to the left of a fairway bunker.

Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club, Hole No. 6

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©2007 LC Lambrecht

Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club, Hole No. 15 Place to Play in West Michigan” by readers of The Grand Rapids Press and mlive.com.

©2007 LC Lambrecht

Furthermore, Pilgrim’s Run’s clubhouse has previously been rated number two for “Best Course for Lunch at the Turn” by Great Lakes Golf Magazine, as it offers golfers freshly grilled jumbo hot dogs, brats, and half-pound burgers, along with a wide assortment of snacks. While golfers are enjoying their meals, they are also welcomed to explore the clubhouse’s pro shop, which offers apparel from brand names like Titleist, FootJoy, and Adidas. Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club, Hole No. 15, Another View the course hosted a U.S. Open qualifier in 2007 and a Michigan Open qualifier in 2010. As a result of its layout, it has also received recognition from some of the country’s most renowned golf publications and television networks.

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For instance, back in 1999, it was ranked by Golf Digest as the fourth “Best Affordable Public Course in the U.S. and Canada.” Last year, Golf Channel included it in its list of the “Top 10 Hidden Gems in the Country.” And it has even been voted as the “Favorite

And if they are interested in receiving pointers from a PGA professional, they can also schedule private, 45 minute lessons with O’Malley. Aside from lessons, he also offers corporate clinics, which feature instruction and a round of golf, women’s clinics that focus on fundamentals like chipping and putting, and junior golf clinics for children aged nine to 17.

SUMMER 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


For information about Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club’s rates, golf packages, and instruction offerings, please visit pilgrimsrun.com.

©2007 LC Lambrecht

“It is such a privilege to work at a facility like this,” O’Malley says. “Whether golfers are looking for some time to relax, visit with friends and loved ones, or test their games, I know they will not be disappointed by Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club’s serenity, pristine conditions, and gorgeous views.”

- MG -

©2007 LC Lambrecht

Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club, Hole No. 16

Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club, Hole No. 18 MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2015

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Photo courtesy of Susan Bairley

Legends Tour players compete at the Wendy’s Charity Classic in Jackson.

LPGA Women Make Michigan a Top Stop By Susan Bairley

R

anked by Links magazine earlier this year as the second best ‘golf state’ in the United States, Michigan has long been considered a world-class playground for golfers. Following top ranked Florida, and edging out third place Ohio, statistical factors helping to earn Michigan a solid second place are a combination of its facilities (ranked sixth nationwide) “with outstanding resort golf in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula in particular, and it’s hosted a dozen men’s major championships”; along with its pop24

ulation (ninth), percentage of estimated golfers (eighth nationwide) and total rounds played (fourth in the U.S.) despite our relatively short playing season. (Source: Links magazine and National Golf Foundation). Michigan historically also has hosted numerous women’s majors and amateur tournaments. So it should be no surprise that this year, Michigan will be host to one LPGA tournament, three LPGA Symetra tournaments, and one LPGA Legends event.

The Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft will be July 23-26 at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont. In its second consecutive year, the tourney has a $2 million purse. For defending champion Mirim Lee, the Classic was a memorable first win. Spectators will love the venue and golf, plus the course’s proximity to Grand Rapids. Dubbed America’s Beer City, Grand Rapids is home to a plethora of microbreweries, including the renowned Founders. Add great restaurants, Meijer Gardens and the artworks that tell of the city’s annual Art Prize competition, and the destina-

SUMMER 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


tion could hardly be better! For more information, visit http://meijerlpgaclassic.com/ The FireKeeper’s Casino Hotel Championship June 5-7 at Battle Creek Country Club in Battle Creek was in its second year. With a $100,000 purse, it is the first of the three Symetra Tour (former Futures Tour) events, which show-

case up and coming professional women golfers competing for 10 spots on next year’s LPGA Tour. 2014 Champion Min Seo Kwak, who took home her second tour win at the FireKeeper’s last year, ended her season with winnings of $69,143 and placed second in last year’s run for LPGA Tour Cards. Players of this event also have the opportunity to compete in the

Potawatomi Cup which consists of play in all 4 tournaments hosted by Potawatomi Tribes, culminating at the Symetra Tour final event. For more information, visit http://FireKeepersCasino.com The Island Resort Championship will be June 26-28 at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris. Now in its fifth year, the

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2015

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Island Resort Championship has a $125,000 purse and offers a great excuse to visit one of Michigan’s premiere Upper Peninsula golf destinations. Located near Escanaba, the course is a beautiful, open track amid Michigan’s pristine wilderness and welcoming ‘Yooper’ hospitality. Last year, Molly Aronsson made Sweetgrass the site of her first win. For more information, visit http://sweetgrassgolfclub.com/sym etra-tour-2015

Of course, all of the events have related Pro-Ams, which benefit worthy charities and offer amateur golfers of all playing abilities unique opportunities to golf with the pros, pick up a few tips to improve their own games and generally enjoy a day of pampered golf and dining luxury.

Charity Classic, Aug. 9-10, at Country Club of Jackson in Jackson will celebrate its 15th year anniversary this year. Since the event’s inception in 1999, it has raised more than $2.25 million for Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Two-time LPGA champion and Jackson native Elaine Crosby is host and co-chair. Although last year’s Classic featured a Sunday tournament, this year’s event will consist of a Sunday benefit and Monday Pro-Am. What could be better than partying and golfing with the Legends?! For more information, visit http://wendyscharityclassic.com

Speaking of which, the Wendy’s

Photo courtesy of Susan Bairley

New this year, is the Tullymore Classic July 3-5 at Tullymore Golf Resort in Stanwood. Located 30 miles west of Mount Pleasant and about an hour north of Grand Rapids in the Canadian Lakes, the resort is home to the beautiful Tullymore and St. Ives golf courses.

With its $100,000 purse and a commitment to hold the tournament for the next three years, the inaugural event will be special to experience. In addition, 18-time LPGA Tour winner Meg Mallon will be honorary host. For more information, visit http://www.tullymoregolf.com/golf /tournaments/tullymore-classic/

Pat Bradley competes on the Legends Tour. 26

SUMMER 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

- MG -


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Palm Springs: Golf, Hollywood Memories, Desert Tours and – More Golf By Tom Lang

I

f the Gaylord Golf Mecca is the geographic epicenter for numerous golf options in Michigan, then Palm Springs is the big, big brother on the U.S. west coast. With more than 100 golf courses to choose from in Palm Springs and the sprawling Coachella Valley of southern California, golf lovers can play on… and on… and on.

What began as the Palm Springs Golf Classic in 1960 turned into world-renowned comedian Bob Hope’s baby in 1965 (his named carried on through the 2011 tournament) and it became a regular winter-time reprieve. In partnership with Chrysler and NBC television in the 1980’s, ‘90s and 2000’s, the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and its cavalcade of celebrities from Hollywood, sports and politics delivered warm comic relief and TV images of palm trees, mountain backdrops and desert heat to help Michigan golf viewers temporarily forget the snow outside. Just announced this spring, the former Bob Hope Classic will now be known as the CareerBuilder

©2008 Lonna Tucker

Many Michigan golfers were first introduced to the Palm Springs area courtesy of two long running professional tour events – one for the men and then one for the ladies.

Photo, right: Indian Wells Players Course, Hole No. 17 28

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Challenge for the next six years. The PGA Tour announced that it came to an agreement through 2021, after the past several years being branded the Humana Challenge. Not to be out-done, Dinah Shore’s Kraft Nabisco tournament became just as recognizable of a flagship event for the area, bringing a lot of solid attention to the LPGA Tour since 1972. It has since become the ANA Inspiration, the LPGA’s first major played each year on that tour, at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

Three options I tried in early December were the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West, the Indian Wells Resort Players Course, and Pete Dye’s Challenge

Course at Mission Hills (across the road from the Dinah Shore layout). The following snippets are paraphrases of my GolfWeek Rating submissions.

Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, PGA West Some elements are typical Nicklaus – heavy bunkering to protect greens, and wide, open fairways off the tee that become pinched closer to the green. Nicklaus added several cavernous traps as well for challenge and a different aesthetic look. Several green complexes have hard edge drops offs that require crisp and accurate shots to the putting surface, one reason the course

© Jonathan May

Michigan native and the late President Gerald R. Ford was a huge supporter of both pro golf events.

The longevity of the two tournaments has helped build Palm Springs into a global golf destination that’s enjoyed by golfers of all skill levels – from those seeking a tough challenge like the pros, to recreational golfers who simply want to enjoy a relaxing vacation spot with 350 days a year of sunshine, warm temperatures plus stunning southern California mountain and desert views. The trouble is, with more than 100 courses in the Palm Springs area alone, where does one begin?

Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, PGA West 30

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© Jonathan May

Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, PGA West has hosted the PGA Tour Q-school in prior years. A cool look and different challenge is the deep "trenches" Nicklaus designed running parallel to many fairways. They collect off-target shots but are not overly penalizing as they still allow a decent chance at recovery.

Huge bunkers are carved to catch balls and do cause players to adjust normal club selections for risk/reward, but in some cases look more like works of art dotting the property.

Mission Hills, Pete Dye Challenge Course

Indian Wells Resort, Players Course An overall excellent experience, with immaculate playing conditions. The use of the land’s topography is solid, making the best of some local undulations and elevation changes in an area that’s otherwise a flat, desert floor. Nearby mountains feel intimate and provide a wonderful backdrop. Water hazards were added at higher elevations of the property to produce nice visuals and playing elements on several holes.

A very nice Dye course, and yet not nearly as tricked up as some of his more well-known designs. Fairly basic layout but housing development hindered his freedom to some extent, especially in routing. Dye made great use of a few water holes to add beauty and challenge, especially the closing No. 18. Very thoughtful tee box options make the course playable for every skill level. All-in-all the foursome had a good time and enjoyed Dye’s efforts.

Other Attractions include Ariel Tram, Jeep Desert Tours and WWI Air Museum: Spend time in downtown Palm Springs to enjoy some simple throwback-in-time storefronts and pleasing restaurants. Downtown’s main thoroughfare is Palm Canyon Drive, Highway 111, which drew many other Hollywood types west for retreats from the fast lane, like Lucile Ball. Downtown is a shopping mecca for anyone who loves antique treasures, cigars, music boxes, collectable coins and much more. The Backstreet Art District is a dedicated hang out for local artists to create sculptures, photography, jewelry, paintings and more – where visitors can browse galleries and watch artists create new sculptures in their studios.

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Visitors can view the largest collection of flyable World War II planes in the world at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Many of the museum’s volunteers served during WWII and are eager to talk about the planes, the war and American history. One of the fighter planes was flown by Ben Affleck’s character in “Pearl Harbor.” In addition to its impressive plane collection, the museum also has vintage cars, flight simulators and documentary screenings.

Desert Adventures offers a unique perspective and informational ride in open topped red Jeeps. Tours include Joshua Tree National Park, the Agua Caliente Indian Canyons, Mecca Hills and the San Andreas Fault Line. Desert Adventures has exclusive access to parts of the fault line through

Metate Ranch, a 840-acre site that includes a recreated Cahuilla village and mining camp. (760-340-2345) Our travel group had the pleasure of the accommodations at Rancho Las Palmas, one of many quiet, family-focused resorts available in the valley that includes a huge pool and water play area with tubing river and large slides. Attached to the property is also a friendly 27-hole layout for all skill levels, and scrumptious restaurant choices. Learn more at: www.visitpalmsprings.com.

© Jonathan May

Don’t settle for the aerial view from your airplane window when landing at Palm Spring International Airport. For the best views of the desert, take a cable car into the mountains at the Palm

Springs Aerial Tramway, claimed as the world’s largest rotating aerial tramway. It offers a 360-degree view of the greater Palm Springs area as you climb 2.5 miles to Mountain Station in Mount San Jacinto State Park. The mountain is snow-capped in winter months, but be prepared for dramatic temperature changes all year long.

Pete Dye Challenge Course 32

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Slice of Life Review Of Unplayable Lies By Terry Moore

Photo courtesy of Terry Moore

I

f you’re looking for a good golf book for a gift you might consider Dan Jenkins’ Unplayable Lies Terry Moore (Doubleday, $25.95.) One of the foremost golf writers of our time, Jenkins has compiled a tome of thirty-eight essays on a variety of golf subjects, many of which are imparted in Jenkins’ wickedly funny and sardonic manner.  Half of the essays are original while the balance has been reworked based on previously published articles in Golf Digest. Accordingly, if you’re a GD subscriber many of these essays will be familiar. What I found most entertaining and surprising about this book was its insight and studied reflection on the history of the game. Yes, there’s plenty of Jenkins patented wit and sharp one-liners at play here. But there’s also a wealth of golf history and appreciation for the game’s most revered figures and milestones. Given Jenkins’ admitted idolization of Ben Hogan, there are also a number of references and mentions about Hogan throughout the book.

As it’s been said, these Texans really stick together. For those in Michigan who count Walter Hagen as an adopted favorite son, Jenkins rightfully elevates his stature by a thoughtful

review of his distinguished career. For one, he quotes Gene Sarazen saying, “We owe a greater debt to Walter Hagen than we do to anything else that’s happened in this game. Walter took the club pro out of the kitchen and the repair shop and put us on the map.” Later in an

essay titled “The Match of the Century” he reports on the head-tohead matches in 1926 between Hagen and Bobby Jones. Hagen got the better of Jones while also donating $5,000, half of the purse, to a local hospital. The Haig was “giving back” before it became a corporate branding tactic. I also appreciated Jenkins reexamination of what constitutes a “major” from a historical perspective. As he writes, “First you have to go with me and acknowledge there were majors before there were majors.” In this vein, the Masters as a major was preceded by a number of other tournaments, including the Western Open, North and South Open and the Metropolitan Open. As such, Jenkins establishes a “new count of the all-time multiple winners of golf’s major championships.” For would-be golf historians or those who love to regale buddies at the 19th hole, this chapter alone is reward enough for purchasing the book. It’s no revelation that Jack Nicklaus still tops the list with 23 “majors” but many will be enlightened to see Hagen in second place with 22. Jenkins goes on for six pages, listing the majors of past and current players (male.) 33


But those who relish Jenkins for his wit and biting humor won’t be disappointed. As in, “take the sports agent. Please.” Or his recalling a locker room incident between two angry players when one of them accused the other of having an affair with his wife. According to Jenkins, the player retorted, “I thought about it, but the line was too long.” Similarly in an essay titled “Letter of Resignation” he has a devilish nickname for a philandering tennis pro at a club. Along the way, Jenkins shares his special memories and anecdotes, in individual chapters, for the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA. Along with Michigan’s Jack Berry, Jenkins was presented the Masters Majors Achievement Award for having covered over 40 Masters (now 65!) and like Berry was issued a reserved parking spot in the Media lot. In that chapter, he nicely credits the much maligned Hootie Johnson by saying he “stood up to the media heat. Refused to be intimidated by 34

howling ladies and other protesters.” At the time, the Augusta National (and thus the Masters by association) was mischaracterized as being a “stag club” (see Pine Valley) and categorically banning female members. Current Masters Chairman Billy Payne receives a favorable nod by Jenkins for being smart enough to defuse the situation and wisely admitting female members Condi Rice and Darla Moore.

spite of recalling that at the 1996 PGA at Valhalla the caddies rebelled and refused to wear pants in the insufferable Louisville heat that caused several of their brethren to incur heat stroke. “Now it’s shorts everywhere. Caddies, sportswriters— everywhere but on me.” Guess one could say after reading admirable Unplayable Lies, Jenkins’ writing definitely has legs even if he doesn’t.

Jenkins does have an odd and old school prejudice against wearing shorts on the golf course. This in

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Now on iPad

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Michigan Golfer, Summer 2015  

A regular publication about Michigan Golf courses, Michigan golfers and Michigan golf events. michigan golf, tournaments, courses, glsp

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