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In This Issue VOLUME 32






The Berry Patch: Double Bogey Winter, But Hey, We’re Golfers By Jack Berry


Back Home in Indiana, Chapter Three By Mike Duff


Eagle Crest Golf Club: Michigan’s Next Premiere Golfing Destination By Chris Lewis


‘Walk With History’ Helps Lapsed Golfer Start from Scratch By Scott Sullivan


Legacy Dinner: It Was Celebration Time for Golf’s 3 Special Ladies By Jack Berry


Gaylord Golf By Doug Joy & Scott Moore


Every Day is Father’s Day at the Tribute – The Otsego Club & the Gornick Era – The Movie By Keith Gornick


Michigan Golf Summits Redux? By Susan Bairley


Slice of Life: Discovering Tom Doak’s Blue Course at Streamsong By Terry Moore

About the cover: Hole No. 1 at Eagle Crest Resort in Ypsilanti. Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

Michigan Golfer News Weekly email newsletter To join: email




The Berry Patch

Double Bogey Winter But Hey, We’re Golfers By Jack Berry his has been the


Photo by Art McCafferty

year of Survivor and I don’t mean the television show. We survived the worst winter in memory and while golf courses survived they struggled, hit by their worst winter kill in memory. It was snow, then ice, bitter cold and more snow of record depths. Pity the golf course superintendents after the snow finally melted, faced with dead greens, patchy fairways, upset members and cabin fevered trunk slammers. Temporary greens were the rule, rather than the exception, especially at a number of private clubs. Jack Berry

The worst winter contributed to the worst roads in memory with massive pits, not potholes, really massive pits in the road and a state legislature unwilling to face facts and fix them despite the pleas of the governor and motorists of every party. So we zig-zagged our way to the course where we watched putts zig-zag on the way to the cup. Imagine non-Michiganders watching those terrific, tempting 4


Pure Michigan commercials on television with Tim Allen’s so-smooth descriptions of our tree-lined courses and perfect streams, then loading the car for a trip to our beautiful state. They hit the state line and smooth is gone. They think they hit a war zone. The car shakes and wobbles. Blowout! Golf course fees go instead for new rims, tires and alignments. Think they’ll be back? We stay-at-homers are golfers, though. As a friend of mine says when the weather looks bad, go to the course, it’ll get better. Incredibly, it does. We’re optimists. The sun does shine although my league buddies were drenched recently by a Niagara-sized waterfall. But we don’t have wildfires or earthquakes, droughts or floods, three months of 100-degree temperatures or landslides, and, thank goodness we’re north of Tornado Alley. Lousy roads, yes. n another note. I doubt that Pinehurst’s back-tonature No. 2 course, featured on national TV for two straight weeks for the men’s and women’s U.S. Open, will result in a flock of clubs electing to get rid of grass and go back to scrub and


weeds. The closest we come to au naturel in Michigan is Tom Weiskopf ’s Forest Dunes at Roscommon. It’s in a sand belt and Weiskopf ’s creation has been a winner with high national rankings and a Deal of the Month in the July GOLF Magazine. It’s gained a “must play” reputation since it opened. I think of Weiskopf now as a talented course designer but he was a fly in the ointment of then PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman. Weiskopf grew a beard. It may have been while he was on a hunting trip. Beman didn’t like it. Tour players were clean shaven. They may be independent contractors but Beman ran the show and Weiskopf shaved. Now look at the Tour. Paul Casey. Dustin Johnson. Adam Scott. Steve Stricker (briefly). Tiger (occasionally). Keegan Bradley. Victor Dubuisson, Brendon de Jonge. Ernie Els. Hunter Mahan. Ben Crane with a moustache. And Joey Garber, former No. 1 collegiate golfer (Golfweek) from the University of Georgia and hometown Petoskey, looks like one of the oldtime House of David ballplayers. Whatever happened to Gillette? Schick? BurmaShave? At least they haven’t gone to the full body tattoos like MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL. Don’t think their bank, premium car and cloth-


Golfersskin lip balm. A prominent professional doesn’t have to worry about insider information. It’s out in the public.

ing sponsors would go for it. Not prudent.

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

One body work Tour players have gone to is sunscreen and now there’s one the company says is “specifically formulated for golfers, a very non-greasy formula.” I showed my dermatologist the list of ingredients and he said “Your hands aren’t slippery when you grip the clubs.” He’s a golfer. It’s called Golfersskin and the company says nearly 300 Tour players use it and every winner on the west coast swing used it. Sounds like a Titleist ad. It was developed in New Zealand which is supposed to have the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. As a favorite patient of dermatologists, thanks to fair skin and growing up in the 30s and 40s before sunscreens

n other notes, the TV ratings drop for the Masters wasn’t a surprise and U.S. Open ratings were likely to follow. No Tiger. And if California Chrome wasn’t going for the Triple Crown, there wouldn’t have been 100,000plus spectators at the Belmont Stakes. The TV ratings would have dropped like a rock and NBC wouldn’t have been on one of its platforms all week promoting the race. If Tiger makes it to the British Open the ratings will rocket up. Of course he’s missed. Babe Ruth was missed. Ben Hogan was missed.


were marketed, I’ve had my share of skin damage and am a fervent advocate of the screens and just bought a

On this side of the Atlantic, World No. 1 Adam Scott defeated 2013 PGA champion Jason Dufner on the second playoff hole with a birdie at the Colonial, Ben Hogan’s old playground. On the senior circuit, World Golf Hall of Famer Colin Montgomerie finally won in America, winning the oldest senior major title, the Senior PGA Championship. Monty made it two straight for British seniors at scenic Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor. Roger Chapman won there two years ago. The tournament will return to the Lake Michigan shore in 2016 and 2018. At the other end of the age circuit, 21-year-old Jessica Korda’s 7-under-par final round 65 gave the tall blond the LPGA’s Airbus championship in Mobile. It was especially sweet. Three of the next four players, Anna Photo opposite page: Colin Montgomery wins the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor.

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

But golf still is played without Tiger and Sunday, May 25, was a great golf day with star players winning on every front. It started in England where Rory McIlroy came to life and won the European Tour’s major, the BMW PGA Championship just days after he ended his relationship with Caroline Wozniacki. McIlroy said he wasn’t ready for marriage. Apparently the fact that wedding invitations had just been mailed out hit McIlroy like a triple bogey.

Roger Chapman, 2012 Senior PGA Champion, finished T55. Nordqvist, Charley Hull and Catriona Matthew, helped the European team hammer the LPGA for the Solheim Cup last summer in Colorado. And if the sponsor caused a second look it’s because

thEuropean airplane maker got a sweet tax bill to build in Alabama. I bet Alabama has smooth roads. - MG -




Back Home in Indiana, Chapter Three

Photo courtesy of Walnut Creek

By Mike Duff

One of the many attractive holes at Walnut Creek

pring weather…. it’s a gamble. We all complain about it, especially when you’re looking forward to the start of the golf Mike Duff season. Growing up in Michigan is always a gamblers’ choice as to when you begin your season. This year the Golfing Wilburys (GW) chose to skip Michigan and try Indiana again, for a third time. The GW’s were again looking for an early start, in late April or early May but the outcome wasn’t so good. I mention this only because weather makes a big difference when you are expecting your first outing to have good weather.

Photo courtesy of Club Run


But, let’s not dwell on the weather. I have been writing about our different golf adventures for the last few years and I refer to us as the Golfing Wiburys, not to be confused with the late eighties singing group known as theTraveling Wiburys. We don’t sing; we golf. Our group includes Bob Duff (81), Bob Moriarity (84), Bob Walker (68) and me, at the young age of 71. We love to play golf, don’t take ourselves too seriously and enjoy being together. I try never to compare Michigan courses with other states but we all know Michigan has some of the best courses in the nation. So, when you chose a destination for golf, Indiana generally isn’t on the radar.

However, the three years we’ve played there has made us think differently. There are some really nice courses at reasonable rates. This trip took us to Gas City, located on exit 259 off of I 69 between Fort Wayne and Indianapolis and only three hours from Detroit (212 miles) and 181 miles from Lansing. Natural gas was discovered in this area in 1887, hence, the name. By the way, passing gas is legal and openly permitted. There are three hotels within 2 miles of the courses. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. The service was great and the breakfast was terrific. The golf package included the room, breakfast and golf all for $65 a day. Unbelievable!

We played Walnut Creek and Club Run. These two courses were quite different in design and playability. A family owned business, in which both courses were designed by owner Randy Ballinger. The Walnut Creek course opened in 1970; Club Run in 1998.

Photo courtesy of Mike Duff

We played Walnut Creek first, which is 6900 yards from the tips. It is not a difficult course but has character and style with mature trees throughout. We were a little disappointed that it didn’t have bent grass greens or fairways. Some improvements might include ball washers and more signage. Sand traps needed some work too and the tee boxes were in fair shape. The two holes we found challenging were number 8 a 390 par four and number 17 a 330 yard par 4. On number 8, you have to avoid the trees on the right and it is a difficult shot to the green, although, it does have a spacious green. Number 17 is also a par four. Club selection is critical. A long ball will help but you have to avoid the slope to the dam. Our next day took us to Club Run, a 6200 yard track. The 150 acre Club Run is built on the original homestead of David and Amelia Ballinger, the great grandparents of Randy the owner and designer of the golf properties. The weather on our second day cut our round short, and we ended Photo opposite page: Hole number 9, Club Run.

The Golfing Wilburys after nine. However, this course offered a much improved design; the fairways and greens had the feel of a Northern Michigan course. Two holes to remember were number 8, a 165 par three and number 9, a short 265 par four. Number 8 required a long straight shot. If not, your ball could likely end up at the bottom of hill below the green near the swamp with a blind shop into a small 3 tier green. You could be facing an easy double bogey. Number 9, a 265 par four is a different story. You can’t see the green from the tee or where you should land your ball on your drive. If time permits, take your cart to a place where you can see the landing area for your drive. A driver is not recommended. Try something between a 6 or 8 iron depending on your skill. If you hit the fairway, make a 90 degree turn for your next shot roughly 130 yards over a

pond/dam to a narrow green with water on the back side. If you are a big hitter, you could try going over the trees on the right. It requires a precise shot to land in a safe area. We were pleasantly surprised to find two extraordinary things that we did not expect. The first, is probably the only one of its kind in the country….a 329 yard 9 hole course that offers kids 10 and under a chance to play golf on a specifically designed course for them. The course has short holes (44, 18, 29, 55, etc) with greens and pins. Leagues started in June and are called Big Sticks/Little Sticks. The second surprise was the 1840 historic Greek Revival Brick Home. This home has nearly all original features and is a rare outstanding example of Greek Revival architecture of the 1840’s, with several connections to the Civil War. Built by Israel Jenkins in 1840, it’s a




Photo courtesy of Club Run

18th Green at Club Run Golf Course with farmhouse in the background. “Hoosier Homestead” listed in the “Indiana Historic Sites and Structures” and the National Register of Historic Places. Randy took us on a guided tour, a treat and really was the highlight of our trip. You should make time to visit this home if you are in the area regardless if you play golf or not. The history comes alive with stories of the underground railroad and how this home and the area was a sanctuary to the slave movement in the North. The historic Israel Jenkins house also serves as the Pro Shop for the 12


Club Gun course. In 2004 Randy opened a Golf Museum which is located on the upper level of the house. It has golf memorabilia that will pique the interest of any golfer. Even though we ended our golf round early due to inclement weather, we quickly discovered with the help of Sara and Randy Ballinger that there is so much more to offer than just golf at this complex; golf, kids golf, a golf museum and most important, the Historic Jenkins house. So make it a stop on your next journey to Indiana. You will experience a 36 hole golf

facility on 300 scenic acres, friendly staff and the gracious hospitality of owners, Sara and Randy Ballinger. By the way it was named “Indiana course of the year” in 2011, and in addition, the prestigious Hoosier Hospitality award. Contact the course at, or at 800-998-7651. 7453 East 400 South, Marion , IN 36953. 769-998-7651.


- MG -

Photo courtesy of Eagle Crest Resort

Eagle Crest Golf Club: Michigan’s Next Premiere Golfing Destination By Chris Lewis estled near the shores of Ypsilanti’s Ford Lake, Eagle Crest Golf Club is often considered one of Michigan’s best kept secrets, offering guests breathtaking, “Up North”-esque views, country club appeal, and a challenging layout.


But PGA professional Wes Blevins, a native of Westland, is 14


determined to improve upon the course’s popularity, so that it is no longer a hidden gem. “I want Eagle Crest to become a destination – the number one golf course in the state,” says Blevins. “I have a great piece of property, along with very talented managers and employees. Now I just need to revise

a really good course so that it is even better in the future.” To do so, Blevins began working with Jack Nicklaus’s senior design associate Jim Lipe, the University of Michigan’s former assistant men’s golf coach, during the fall of 2012, about a year after Blevins was hired as Eagle Crest’s Director of Golf.


drainage and catch basins to help alleviate flooding issues. Perhaps the most crucial aspect of the renovation project will be hole 13’s green, which has also experienced flooding issues in recent years. The green will be completely stripped, floated, and re-sodded. “Each of these renovations will solve the course’s ‘problem areas’ that have arisen throughout the past decade, from bad tee boxes to waterlogged fairways and greens,” Blevins states. “The playability of the course will also be enhanced so that the pace of play improves and the total golf experience becomes more enjoyable for every golfer, no matter what their skill level or experience is.”

Eagle Crest Resort Golf Clubhouse and Course. Lipe suggested a five-year renovation plan, which would be entirely funded by Eagle Administrative Services, a subsidiary of Eastern Michigan University, as well as revenues from the golf club itself. The first phase of Lipe’s renovation plan was completed on November 5, 2012, as new tee complexes were developed on holes one, five, six, and seven, while bunkers were added to the first and fifth holes. The course, originally 6,735 yards long from the back tees, was lengthened by 155 yards.

The second phase of the course renovation will begin on October 1, 2014. When all is said and done, the course will be approximately 7,000 yards long. Tee complexes will be reshaped and regraded throughout the course, fairways will be expanded, fairway and greenside bunkers will be added, reshaped, or realigned, and greens will either be refloated, re-sodded, or enlarged. Lipe and his design team have also proposed the addition of new native fescues and wildflowers, the transplantation of evergreen trees, and the regrading of fairways with new

For more than three decades, Lipe has designed courses in 18 countries and five continents and has also renovated noteworthy layouts like Pebble Beach and Pinehurst #2, fully committed to providing golfers environmentally friendly and aesthetically-pleasing courses. Although his renovations of Eagle Crest have only just begun, golfers are already noticing the positive effects of his design initiatives. “Guests have provided positive feedback so far,” Blevins continues. “In fact, due to the renovations, our customer base, especially folks from Canada and the Midwest, is steadily increasing, as is our bottom line.”

World-class Instruction Last year, Blevins asked PGA professional Craig Piscopink to oversee the development of a golf academy, primarily focused on offering




individual lessons, junior golf camps and clinics, adult group lessons, oncourse instruction, short game schools, and corporate business clinics and group lessons. Blevins has known Piscopink for over 20 years and respected his background within the industry, as he has worked with world-renowned instructors like Jim Flick at the BOYNE Golf Academy and Sean Foley at Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge. “I like his philosophy as an instructor. He not only works on all facets of the game, but also provides lessons and clinics to people of all ages and experiences,” says Blevins.

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

For example, Piscopink offers an Elite Development Program Camp to juniors, in which he observes their shots for 18 holes and works with them individually to determine their

strengths and weaknesses, advising them on their course management and shotmaking skills. By developing personalized relationships with each client, he is able to customize each of his development programs and clinics to their unique abilities and aspirations, so that they can overcome their weaknesses and achieve their goals as quickly as possible. Unlike most instructors, he also helps clients learn the game by focusing on the ways in which they learn motor skills, rather than devoting their time solely to their golf swings, all while applying the laws of biometrics, physics, and geometry. “Because of technology, golf instruction is becoming too robotic and mechanical, as golfers no longer use their imaginations and natural instincts on the course as often as they used to,” Piscopink, PGA Director of Instruction, states. “Golfers are not machines and should not be treated as such.”

Piscopink is particularly interested in expanding his academy’s outreach, so that he can ultimately provide his instructional methods and distinctive teaching philosophy to clients throughout the world. “Through the Craig Piscopink Golf Academy, I want to help grow the game for generations to come and offer my teaching philosophies to different types of cultures,” says Piscopink. “My main goal is to show my clients the golf swing is a skill that requires visualization, and proper technique is of utmost importance, as it leads to consistency and lower scores.”

Honoring the Past, Visualizing the Future Wes Blevins and his crew understand that, without the efforts of

Photo courtesy of Eagle Crest Resort

The Eagle Crest Resort golf course featues an island green. past Eastern Michigan University leaders, Eagle Crest Golf Club may have never been established in the first place. To honor one such leader, the club hosted a dedication ceremony for Roy Wilbanks, former Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents chairman, on June 13th. During the ceremony, Wilbanks was honored for his decades of service to the university through the renaming of Eagle Crest Golf Club’s clubhouse. “The golf course and clubhouse was originally his vision,” says Blevins. “While serving as Executive Vice President of the Eastern Michigan University Foundation, he led the fundraising efforts for the course and its facilities.” Originally designed in 1989 by Karl Litten, known primarily for layouts like Delray Beach, Fla.’s Photo opposite page: Roy Wilbanks (center back in glasses) gathers with family during the clubhouse renaming ceremony.

Gleneagles Country Club and Wichita, Kan.’s Reflection Ridge Golf Club, the course has hosted Eastern Michigan University’s men’s and women’s teams throughout the last two decades, as well as dozens of tournaments and thousands of amateur and professional golfers alike, including the likes of Tiger Woods. “As a result of his work with the university and initial involvement with the development of the course, Mr. Wilbanks’s name will forever be engraved on the clubhouse,” Blevins states. Due to Wilbanks’s past efforts, Blevins and his team members can now honor his legacy by continuously improving upon the golf club and its surroundings, so that the property will be enjoyed by future generations of golfers. Aside from the golf club, Eagle Crest Resort also offers customers the 250-room, eight-story Ann Arbor Marriot Ypsilanti hotel, as

well as a 23,000-square-foot conference center, tennis courts, a pool and Jacuzzi, year-round fishing opportunities at Ford Lake, and North Bay Park, where guests can walk, hike, and picnic. “There are not many facilities within the country, let alone Michigan, in which guests can participate in meetings, eat, sleep at a hotel, play golf, and receive instruction all within one resort,” Blevins says. “Now is the time for the golf club and the resort to take advantage of its offerings and become a destination that offers golfers a complete golf experience they cannot find anywhere else, whether they are from Michigan or from outside of the United States.”

For further information about Eagle Crest Golf Club, please visit - 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


‘Walk With History’ Helps Lapsed Golfer Start from Scratch

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

By Scott Sullivan

Colin Montgomery (right) and Bernard Langer (left) battle it out. Langer finished third. ake a “Walk With History” and be careful of poison ivy. So I learned at the 75th annual Senior PGA Championship May 22-25 at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor.


This isn’t the Benton Harbor of urban decay and poverty. It’s the one of a luxury golf and residential complex on reclaimed industrial land, including three holes near Lake 18


Michigan on 22 acres of the cityowned Jean Klock Park. I stay out of class wars because I have none. The natural part of the park is lovely. So is its man-made (or -icured) golf part. If you think the last thing Benton Harbor needs is rich people spending money there, fine with me. If Whirlpool Corp.’s investment in having its KitchenAid brand host the tourney draws The

Golf Channel, NBC Sports and other media to see the town in a new light, let that be their loss. Golf has its fringe and I’m part of it. I fell hard for it as a teenager, shagging balls and clubs from my father’s closet to play “guerilla golf” — shoePhoto opposite page: Joe Durant blasts out of the bunker right of the 18th green.


Photo by Scott Sullivan

less, shirtless, ruleless — sneaking onto courses with friends before cart-riding marshals tossed us. Later, armed with or impaired by a bit more propriety and money from mowing lawns, I paid to play at the Par-Vu Golf Course, a parthree carved from farmland near Lafayette, Ind. It was mesmerizing and addictive. The landscaped playing fields, changing winds and weather, skills and strategies, players’ personalities … no other aesthetic matched it. So I quit. “If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing right,” my Dad said. Lack of money and time were factors. So were patience and, oh yeah, talent. I watched on TV and marveled at pros who had these things. Yet they got into pickles anyway. Could they extract themselves? Why do games matter? It was perfect.

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

I drove to Harbor Shores with a press pass May 21 to see live what I’d long been voyeur to. I’ve picked up a lot of bad habits in 30 years, but none have been on the golf end. I pictured Tom Watson, et al. taking note of my pristine swing. After getting lost a few times, I found my way to the media room, draped myself with credentials and tried not to feel intimidated. Thirty years of not golfing at least helped me fit in among the seniors.

Tom Watson with his caddy, Bruce Edwards. 20


It was pre-tourney Wednesday and some pros were shooting practice rounds. Trolleys ran every


10 minutes, carting viewers to seven drop-off points on the 530-acre Jack Nicklaus-designed course layout. Lacking the same time and patience I did when my hair was darker, I took the trolley to Drop-off 6, near Holes 7-9 on the Klock Park land. Fog was rolling in from the lake, which brought to mind Scotland, where golf began. I could have sworn I saw Old Tom Morris wearing knickers and a Tam o’ Shanter. The theme for this year’s event was a “Walk with History”; with view obscured by the mist, I could see it better. I stayed outside the ropes, walking far from the fairways in dunegrass rough that made me nostalgic for where the drives of my youth would land. The literal high point came near the seventh green on a ridge far above the lake. “Nice assignment,” I told the marshal who let me up there.

Coming down from the summit I noticed the three-leafed growth. “Don’t tell me there’s poison ivy … “Fine,” she said. “I won’t tell you.” Get the itch and it’s good to scratch. At least now and then. - MG -

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

“Seniority’s good for something,” she said. “It’s too bad you can’t see the lake.” She was right; it was white with fog.

Tom Lehman finished T48. M I C H I GAN G O LF E R MAGAZ I N E • J U LY /AU G U ST



Legacy Dinner: It was Celebration Time For Golf’s 3 Special Ladies

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

By Jack Berry

Shirley Spork, Betty Richart, and Mary Fossum oman Power is an awesome thing to watch. I’ve never seen a better golf party than the Michigan Women’s Golf Association’s Legacy Celebration that honored Shirley Spork, Betty Richart and Mary Fossum for their lifetime achievements.


The MWGA couldn’t have picked better honorees. Fossum was the longtime women’s golf coach at Michigan 22


State and four of her students, Joan Garety, Sue Ertl, Joyce Kazmierski and Bonnie Lauer are in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame with a fifth, Becky Iverson, going in next month. Fossum’s teams won five straight Big Ten titles and in preNCAA years, six straight AIAW championships. She is in the Golf Coaches Hall of Fame, her home state Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame and the Michigan Sate University Athletics Hall of Fame.

Richart was chairwoman of the United States Golf Association’s Women’s Committee and was instrumental in bringing the U.S.Women’s Open to Indianwood and the Women’s Amateur to Barton Hills where she is a member. Richart grew up on a golf course her father built in 1928 in New Jersey. It was designed by William Flynn who had a hand in Merion, Shinnecock Hills and Cherry Hills in Denver, all U.S. Open sites, plus Pine Valley, just down the road from the Richart’s


Woodcrest CC. Richart, just a kid then, wasn’t fond of the game because her father made her and her brothers pull weeds and swamp grass. When her father passed on neither Richart nor her brothers wanted the course. She said wryly that it recently went to auction and sold for $10.1 million.

Members of the women’s golf teams at University of Detroit Mercy, Michigan and Eastern Michigan were stationed at the par 5s and two long par 4s for a welcome touch – they hit drives for each foursome on the par 5s and second shots on the long par 4s.

MWGA members sold 14 major sponsorships plus hole sponsorships and 84 donors from all facets of golf. There was a slick 32 page program and a silent auction of equipment, golf rounds and dinners. A financial contribution was made to the golf programs selected by the honorees, MSU for Fossum, Michigan for Richart and Eastern Michigan for Spork.

Spork, who learned her short game when her family lived next to Bonnie Brook (the first club she bought when she was 13 was a putter), stationed herself at the 18th green. She gave chipping and putting tips to each group. At the dinner she told how she became a professional. “I played in tournaments as an amateur. Then Babe Zaharias came

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

Native Detroiter Spork not only was co-founder of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, she also founded the LPGA’s Teachers Division. Spork won the 1949 Michigan Amateur and won three straight Women’s District Match Play championships before moving on to the national scene with a victory in Chicagoan George S. May’s Tam O’Shanter All American Amateur.

The Legacy party almost overwhelmed the women who produced it. “It’s so much bigger than we expected,” a very pleased MWGA president Francine Pegues said of the day that drew 120 women and men to play golf and 200 for dinner at Travis Pointe CC in Ann Arbor.

U of M, EMU, and Detroit Mercy players gather around Betty Richart. MSU players sent greetings, but were away playing in the NCAA championships. M I C H I GAN G O LF E R MAGAZ I N E • J U LY /AU G U ST



along. Everyone wanted to see her and she wanted more women to play (to fill out a field). At the Western Open in Chicago Babe asked me if I was a professional. I told her I didn’t know how to become a professional. She tapped me on the head and said ‘I pronounce you a professional.’” That was in 1950 and Spork, along with Zaharias, Patty Berg, Louise Suggs and nine other women formed the LPGA.

I’ve never seen a better golf party . . . University and eventually in the Palm Springs area where her students included Kirk Douglas, Dean

Martin and Danny Kaye. She credited her teaching technique to skills she learned at Eastern Michigan University, then known as Michigan State Normal College, the teachers college. Teaching is one of the goals of the MWGA. In 2007 the members decided to “grow the game” by offering lessons to girls from age 6 and up. Last year there were 45 youngsters at Rouge Park Golf Course and 12 to 16 more experienced girls at Chandler Park. Debbie Williams-Hoak, an LPGA Teaching

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

Spork eventually gave up the car

trips of the playing circuit to teach golf, first at Bowling Green State

Front row from left: Shirley Spork, Betty Richart, Mary Fossum and Karen Strock. Middle row: Betsy French, Joan Garety, Jean Murray. Back row: Debbie Williams-Hoak, Barb Porter, Kathy Aznavorian, Janina Jacobs, Tonia Laird, Susan Bairley, Francine Pegues and Sara Wold. 24



Pro and PGA member Craig Piscopink work on golf instruction and a MWGA member goes with each group on the course, teaching golf etiquette and the rules.

“Susan Bairley said we should have a dinner and honor these three women who had done so much for women’s golf, Pegues said. “From that, it just took off.”

The idea for the Legacy Celebration grew out of the organization’s fund-raising St. Patrick’s Euchre Party that included a potluck dinner, a mulligan auction and cards.

Pegues, Bairley, Janina Jacobs, Sara Wold, Barbara Coury, Barbara Porter, Nancy Serra, Pat Shelton and Sandy Wagner were on the planning committee and 30 names were on the At-Large Committee. Basically,

the ladies didn’t take No for an answer and as the function grew it surprised them. Next year? The theme may be junior golf. In two years the MWGA will celebrate its 30th year and they do know how to throw a party. It will be Celebrate Good Times, Come On! - MG -




Photo courtesy of Marsh Ridge

The finishing hole at Marsh Ridge

Gaylord Golf By Doug Joy & Scott Moore unadorned appearance it had thirty years ago.

The Natural Jerry Mathews was brought to Gaylord by Larry Bowden, (currently the owner of Marsh Ridge.) Matthews carved 18 holes through the Gaylord forest in the early eighties with a landscape of rolling hills, mature woodland and a smattering of small ponds and marshland. The untrained eye could not have imagined the mature course it is today compared with the young 26


Today, it has matured into a lushly landscaped tree lined course which challenges all levels of skill. The course is unrecognizable from what it was when it first opened. Each tee-box affords a view of manicured rolling fairways that will distract you from your reason for being there. The eighteenth hole is so picturesque that weddings have been performed on the green which has a

chapel like setting. Accommodations are plentiful with chalet cottages dotting the perimeter. Be sure to check out the water slide which closely resembles a mile long bob-sled track

Marsh Ridge Positioned just a couple of miles south of Gaylord is the Mike Husby creation commissioned by Jack Bott,


the original owner of Marsh Ridge. Mike crafted this gem from a landscape of wetlands, flatlands, elevated vistas, and up-north woodlands.

you choose you wouldn’t have to leave the property in order to thoroughly enjoy one of Gaylord’s gems.

As a guest, owner Larry Bowden provides you with a first class clubhouse complete with pro-shop and dining facilities which receive rave reviews from locals as well. Weekend dining brings in folks from all around this area and includes vacationers, cottagers, and golfers.

The Otsego Club and Resort

Crafted through isolated rolling and wooded terrain, you are greeted by a course that stands alone and is surrounded by more wilderness in all directions. Unquestionably, the Tribute gives you the true up-north experience that cannot be found

Photo courtesy of the Otsego Club

Plentiful and updated accommodations are available on site and if

One of Gaylord’s most historic ski and golf venues the Otsego Club has gone through extensive renovations and additions. Known for classic Swiss style chalet cottages, coupled with contemporary suits, the old European flavor still abounds.

The resort features two golf courses. The most recent addition is an 18 hole gem designed by PGA Tour player Gary Koch.  Leaving the well-equipped pro-shop, you have a half-mile cart ride out into the wilderness before arriving at the first tee of the “Tribute.”

The Tribute, Hole Number 10. M I C H I GAN G O LF E R MAGAZ I N E • J U LY /AU G U ST

2 0 1 44


mindset of complacency. The reality is what most protects this course against shooting par is the greens.

Photo by Jennie McCafferty

Taking the advice of the newest rising star in the Treetops stable is Jim McGuigan, a Ferris University graduate and recent PGA Pro member. “Your best chance for a par round is to begin reading the greens from 150 yards out and continue paying close attention to what you see as you approach.” There will be times you are not sure if you are putting uphill or downhill as the natural terrain can create uncertainty. Rick Smith’s Signature at Treetops anywhere unless you are standing alone and lost in the forest.  The only sounds you will hear are the sounds of nature.  Every hole is unique and even the ride between tee boxes in a visual and natural hit. The Tribute is a must consideration amongst the many great golfing and destination options to choose from.

Treetops- “Rich Smith Signature” Most everyone agrees that the “Treetops” resort played a huge role in kick-starting the whole Gaylord Golf Mecca. Beginning with the original Robert Trent Jones course some thirty years ago, the resort has expanded to include the artistry of Tom Fazio and two additional Smith courses.  28


After working closely with Jones and Fazio, Rick designed the now famous “Three-Tops” course which gained national attention by hosting the once popular Par-Three Shootout. Lee Trevino loves “Three-Tops” as he won a million dollars for a hole in one which he carded on national television. I am not aware of another parthree course in the world that has received the kind of attention afforded to this geographical wonder.  This nine hole challenge can be played in less than two hours and can be included before or after your round on Rick’s signature course. Taking full advantage of terrain which can only be duplicated by the work of another glacier in a new iceage, “The Rick Smith Signature” course is remarkably playable with generous fairways and landing areas.   It is easy to be tricked into a

Certainly one of the most gratifying aspects of the whole experience is the level of courtesy and friendliness afforded to guests by the staff at each of these venues. They all seem to have been trained at the best colleges of hospitality. Whether it is the pro-shop, dining room, or golf range, you will be made to feel welcome by all of these dedicated employees. You are certain to have a great golf experience easily reached by only a few hours of travel from home. Try it again; you’ll like it even more.

Doug & Scott Scott Moore, J.D. Mayor, Birmingham, MI


Doug Joy, Ph.D. Retired

Photo courtesy of Keith Gornick

Keith and Alan Gornick

Every Day is Father’s Day at the Tribute – The Otsego Club & the Gornick Era – The Movie By Keith Gornick lan Lewis Gornick was born in 1908 at Leadville, Colorado, which at 11,000 feet is the highest altitude city in America. As a member of a large Catholic family, he was the 9th of 12 children.  After graduating from High School in Denver, Colorado, he went on to graduate from both Columbia University and Columbia Law School in New York City.


He went on to practice tax and

estate law at Millbank, Tweed where his clients included, Jules Bache of Bache and Co., David Rockefeller, the Dupont Family, Actress Tallulah Bankhead and Detroit’s Ford Family. At the Ford’s request, he came to Detroit in 1945 to help hire and team with the “Whiz Kids”, a group of bright young executives who, with Henry Ford II, are credited with rescuing the company during financially critical times following World War II.

Gornick was instrumental in reworking the Ford Foundation, setting up the Ford Fund and saving the family and company hundreds of Millions of late 1940’s dollars. He was also instrumental in the orchestration of Ford’s initial Public Stock offering in 1956.  In 1955, Gornick purchased what was then known as “Hidden Valley –home of the Otsego Ski Club” from the estate of the former McClouth Steel Co., president,




Donald McClouth.  At the time “Hidden Valley” was a small, winter only facility with 500 acres of land.  Alan Gornick’s first move was to commission legendary golf course architect William Diddle to design the 18 hole golf course now known as “The Classic”, thus transforming the resort into a year round tourist destination.  In 1976 Alan’s youngest son, Keith moved from Bloomfield Hills to Gaylord and purchased the club from his father.  Over the years Keith Gornick added the Loon and Lake golf courses to the then 4,000 acre resorts’ portfolio. In February 1998 Alan L. Gornick Sr., passed away at the age of 89.  His son Keith, desiring to

honor his beloved father, commissioned golf course designers, Gary Koch and Rick Robbins to build a new 18 hole course spreading over 1,100 acres. The new course was opened in September 2001 and named “The Tribute” in honor of Keith’s late father. Today recognized as one of the midwest’s finest courses, “The Tribute”  was recognized by Sports Illustrated Magazine as one of the “10 Best New Courses” in the world for 2001.  In late 2006 Keith Gornick sold “The Otsego Club and Resort” and retired from the hospitality industry thus closing 51 years of Gornick family stewardship of the resort.  At a resort  full of traditions, the spirit behind “the Tribute’s” creation

remains one of the strongest . The love and respect of a father/son team and a son’s desire to create a “Living Legacy” for multiple future generations of golfers to enjoy. In short, to quote Keith Gornick, “Every Day is Father’s Day at the Tribute.” ————ote: Since our first video in 2001, GLSP has produced over 5,000 online videos watched by just over three million viewers.  We chose to celebrate this accomplishment by producing our first movie.  Enjoy.


– The GLSP Team

The Otsego Club - The Gornick Era - The Movie Running Time 1:09:23 Now appearing on the following channels: You Tube: Vimeo: RN TV Network: Keith Gornick - The Gornick Era - Series




Michigan Golf Summits Redux? Spanning Eight Years, the Summits Made an Impact By Susan Bairley he last of the statewi de Michigan Golf Summits at Eastern Michigan University was in 1997. That year marked Susan Bairley the fifth Michigan Golf (Industry) Summit and the third Michigan Women’s Golf Summit.


Together, I knew Art and I could successfully lead the charge. We had the support of our respective EMU bosses, the support of a great Continuing Education team, and we assembled a skilled committee of women involved in Michigan golf to help with the planning. It was time when women’s golf nationwide was starting to boom. And it was time when issues– like private club access, golf instruction for women and creating a golf course environment that welcomed

Photo by Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

Beginning in 1989 and held every two years through 1997, the summits were the brainchild of Michigan Golfer Publisher and Great Lakes Sports Publications CEO Art McCafferty. Now also professor emeritus at Eastern Michigan University, McCafferty was then EMU’s associate director of Continuing Education. A savvy networker, businessman and educator, he could masterfully construct educational programs on and off campus, so pairing his teaching and planning skills with a passion for advancing Michigan’s golf industry, he pulled together a team to organize and run the first industry summit. Because of EMU, those attending could earn continuing education credits as well as join the conversation, and learn and partner with others to lead the industry. It was a formula for success.

One outcome of the first summit was a plan to reconvene again in two years. This resulted in an equally successful second Michigan Golf Summit in 1991. And when plans for the third summit started to take shape, Art met with me to discuss planning a national first– a statewide golf summit for women, right here in Michigan. Already an established golf writer with the Michigan Golfer magazine, I was a former educator and was EMU’s associate director of public relations.

Sara Wold, co-chair of 1995 & 1997 Michigan Women’s Golf Summits, is pictured here in 2014. M I C H I GAN G O LF E R MAGAZ I N E • J U LY /AU G U ST



he first Michigan Women’s Golf Summit was an astounding success. It attracted state politicians, women’s golf organization leaders and members, women golf course and business owners, and women golf professionals, including Carol Mann of the LPGA, and Nancy Oliver, founder of the newly organized Executive Women’s Golf Association. It also helped to assemble a formidable group of women who would serve on the planning committees for two subsequent women’s summits. This included Michigan Women’s Golf Association


(MWGA) Founder Sara Wold, who would become my co-chair for the 1995 and 1997 Michigan Women’s Golf Summits. The era of Michigan’s golf summits at EMU ushered in positive changes, promoted travel and tourism, supported Michigan course owners and teaching professionals, and invited those who were passionate about golf to step up and help others to enjoy and pursue the sport. It also created the Michigan Spirit of Golf Award, which was presented posthumously to WJR Radio legend J.P. McCarthy in 1995 and to former USGA Women’s Committee member and Rules Official Betty Richart in 1997. At the May 2014 inaugural MWGA Legacy Celebration, which was attended by leaders from the

Photo courtesy of the Michigan Women’s Golf Association

women– were challenges, if not obstacles, that needed to be addressed if women were to successfully join the ranks of leisure and competitive amateur golfers in the U.S.

Betty Richart received Michigan Spirit of Golf Award. USGA, LPGA, PGA, four Michigan universities, Golf Association of Michigan, Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, Michigan media, golf courses, golf businesses and others, LPGA Teaching Professional Debbie Williams-Hoak said she had “not seen such broad and comprehensive representation of golf leadership since the golf summits.” Coming out of the recent recession, the golf industry faces new issues, including waning interest of women golfers. It seems Michigan may be ready for a Golf Summits Redux. The question is when, where, and WHO will take the lead – financially, organizationally, and possibly with accreditation educationally – to make it happen? - MG -




Slice of Life Discovering Tom Doak’s Blue Course at Streamsong (Bowling Green, Fla.) When celebrated golf course architect Bill Coore received a phone call several years ago about Terry Moore designing a destination resort course in the middle of nowhere in north central Florida, he balked at the idea. Firmly. Given the struggling state of the golf economy in general and the sheer number of courses in Florida specifically, he just couldn’t get too excited about the idea. This in spite of it being proposed by the deeppocketed Mosaic Company, the world’s leading producer and marketer of phosphate-based crop nutrients and one of Florida’s largest landowners. But before making a final decision, Coore decided to visit the site in Polk County, nearly 50 miles northwest of Tampa. To his amazement, the architect found a stunning piece of property—once a phosphate land mine—amidst an eye-popping 16,000 acres. Afterwards, Coore called Ben Crenshaw, his design partner and two-time Masters champion. “Ben,

you gotta come down here,” he said. Firmly. The rest, as they say, is history. Or should I say history in the making, as that land has been transformed into Streamsong, a spectacular resort featuring world-class golf (18 holes each by Coore & Crenshaw and Tom Doak & Renaissance Design), clubhouse, lodge and spa. Only opened since January 2013, Streamsong has received such rave reviews, accolades and buzz it seemingly borders on hyperbole. I mean, Golf Digest’s rankings included it among the “Top 20 U.S. Golf Destinations” last year. And this ranking appeared before the lodge was even opened! Could it be true: is Streamsong

really that good? Well, after experiencing it recently on my way north from Naples, Fla., I can emphatically say, “Yes!” And although “brevity is the soul of wit and lingerie,” permit me to elaborate. With time only to play one of the courses, I opted for the Blue course designed by Tom Doak of Traverse City. As introduction, let me say the scenery, surroundings and topography of the golf course were beyond all my expectations. In fact, just getting to the resort was a journey in itself but there’s good signage to guide the way. Normally, when planning to play a high profile new course I try not to read too much background information. Why spoil the surprise? Accordingly, I’ll try to limit my remarks to a few

Photo courtesy of Streamsong

Photo courtesy of Terry Moore

By Terry Moore

Streamsong Blue Number One.




holes on each side and general overall impressions. Paired up with a couple (Ron & Mary) from Dallas, I tackled the Blue with a seasoned and knowledgeable caddie, Steve aka “Wheels,” whose nickname was apt as he expertly guided me around this notable track. (Streamsong has a strong caddie program and it’s a vital element of the experience.) After an aerobic walk to the elevated first tee, my heart kept pumping from the view. The terrain is vast, open and wide and virtually void of buildings and man-made construction other than the golf resort itself and a few mines far off in the distance. If you’re looking for a quiet, isolated and unique setting for championship golf, it’s evident and compelling right there on the first tee box. As a bonus, the starting hole is a smart and sure-footed parfour that gets play moving along. My impressions of the par-four third hole will always be colored by the memory of my second shot which found the left greenside bunker where a large alligator was basking in the sun. Wheels sized up the precarious situation and suggested a safe drop outside the bunker. But Brent, the other caddie in our group, promptly approached the reptile from the rear and slapped its tail with a towel which jolted it out of the sand, slithering down into a nearby pond. Note to self: “Do not attempt. Professional caddie on course.” As with many Florida courses, alligators are a common sight here but the resort does a vigilant job of monitoring them for player safety. One of my favorite holes on the 34


front is the 417-yard 4th. It’s a testing and uphill par-four where the green is naturally perched atop a land formation and guarded by yawning massive bunkers, scooped out of the hillside, on the left and right. It’s a shot that screams, “Don’t be short left or right or you’re dead.” In fact, Wheels said just that. I hit a good, high shot that carried up near the partially hidden green. Minutes later, I walked up to find my ball just over the green and thankfully no gator. In reaching the green, I was struck by its understated simplicity and wholeness, perfectly in synch with the land. To me, the entire hole summed up Doak’s genius for discovering and creating a winning hole out of native terrain. Nothing contrived, forced or alien. A signature hole on the Blue is the par-three 7th. From our tees, it played at 188 yards while Mary’s forward tee was a more apt 97 yards. Despite the scenery—elevated tee, carry over water, walking bridge to a green nestled near a large dune, and a hillside in the distance marked by mining remnants—it’s a terror. And the green was no slouch either with movement and a back shelf that held the flagstick. It was probably one of the toughest pins of the day and it made two-putting a triumph. A downside to this lovely and devilish green site is a slight backup in play because groups must not only clear the putting surface but also cross back over the walking bridge toward the next hole. It’s a minor routing concession to the rewards of a playing an exhilarating golf hole. Not giving too much of the plot away of this golf journey, I also liked how the nine ended and made its turn. Faithful to an old-timey out-

and-in routing, far from the clubhouse, the 9th is a stout par-five that features a few trees (a rare sight here) near the green. More trees help to define the par-three 10th while also hiding a comfort station near the tee. It all works and fits beautifully, like an oasis in the desert. The short par-four 13th is another charmer. Less than 300 yards from our tees, it’s a temptress with a small, narrow and well-guarded green. At Wheels’ urging, I hit a 5iron off the tee to take a bunker out of play which left me only a gap wedge to the green. It was the right call but I wish I’d had taken a crack with a driver. It would’ve been a feeble attempt to match Streamsong’s caddie master who aced it from 293 yards with a three-wood. The caddies warned us the closing holes on the Blue were a bear which they were although a few pars were had. My admiration for the uphill and long par-three 16th hole was tempered by seeing an annoying fairway bunker well short of the green. It appeared to be an unnecessary and too penal obstacle for the average and forward tee player. The 18th is a wonderful yet stern closer and it flows beautifully back toward yet to an angle from the clubhouse. I loved how a strong drive over the rise picked up added length by catching a downward slope. And the ingeniously conceived green and its contours demanded a proper approach to the flagstick, as Wheels wisely pointed out. Walking off the final green, the consensus of our little golf fraternity was that we had just played a marvelous and most uplifting course, one we’d jumped at playing again.


Professional and fellow Cleveland sports team sufferer Matt Jordan. I also spoke to a number of players then and afterwards about the Red and how it stacked up against the Blue.

Mary’s forward tees were thoughtful and forgiving and she managed her round well. Due to the speed, movement and contours of the greens, putting was onerous and often deflating. As mentioned, tough pin placements that day compounded the problem. Earlier, I spoke to a player who had played the Blue several times and he regularly incurred a rash of three-putts. But he also said his playing companion—“a very good putter”—handled the greens without difficulty.

The Cliff’s Notes version is this: Both courses are worthy of their accolades and agreeably fit and complement one another with their design sensibility. In general, the Blue is more forgiving off the tee while the Red is more forgiving on the greens. For turf quality, Blue currently has an edge because the first six holes on the Red were the last to be grassed on the property. But that difference will even itself out over time. As a side note, my brother played the Red course recently and he compared it favorably to Sand Hills Golf Club, the Coore & Crenshaw masterpiece in Nebraska.

In fairness, the demands of the greens are offset by wide, generous fairways and frequent open approaches to the putting surfaces. And Doak’s famed minimalist design philosophy—a deft discovery and shaping of natural land forms—is marvelously on display. The grassy dunes left over from mining excavation (pre-1960s) lend an epic Irish links look and appeal to the experience. And in spite of the rise and fall of the elevation throughout the round, the Blue was still a comfortable and soul-stirring walk over firm, fast and healthy turf. Kudos to Head Superintendent Rusty Mercer.

I particularly liked the short par3 eighth, only 147 yards from the championship tees but with plenty of teeth and guile. And like the Blue’s 13th, the Red has a reachable par-four that offers both risks and rewards. “Both the 7th and the 9th holes are favorites because they allow

players the chance to score but they’re not pushovers,” said Jordan. Jordan related the story about the how the courses were named. When the dual design teams were reviewing topography maps of the property, they alternated their selection of holes by using a red (Coore/Crenshaw) or a blue pencil (Doak.) Just those two primary colors. Now that’s minimalism. Designed by Alfonso Architects with unprecedented input by the golf course architects, Streamsong’s golf clubhouse features 12 guest rooms (accommodating 16 guests); 4,500 square-feet of meeting space, a three-meal steak and seafoodthemed restaurant with private dining, a lounge and golf shop. Like everything else at Streamsong, it’s a story onto itself.

For more information about Streamsong resort, golf and spa, visit - MG -

* * * * s noted, I didn’t have time to play the equally inviting and highly touted Red course by Coore & Crenshaw. I did receive, however, an extensive and insightful cart tour by the Head Golf


Photo courtesy of Streamsong

Taking a cue from the movie critic parlance, I’d confidently give the Blue four shining stars. Expertly conceived and directed, its plot and setting deliver suspense, surprise, joy and heartbreak. You just gotta come down to see it.

Streamsong Blue Number Seven




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Michigan Golfer, July / August 2014  
Michigan Golfer, July / August 2014  

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