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In This Issue V O L U M E

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N U M B E R

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Publisher/Editor Art McCafferty artmccaf@glsp.com Editor Emeritus Terry Moore Associate Publisher/Producer Jennie McCafferty Writers Jeff Bairley Susan Bairley L’anse Bannon Mike Beckman Jack Berry Tom Doak Mike Duff Rob Ford Rob Franciosi Thad Gutowski Kelly Hill Greg Johnson Doug Joy B.R. Koehnemann Vartan Kupelian Chris Lewis Scott Moncrieff Jim Neff Norm Sinclair Michael Patrick Shiels

Ron Whitten Janina Parrott Jacobs Herschel Nathanial Bernice Phillips Bill Shelton Brad Shelton Photo/Video Kevin Frisch Susan Moore Kuschell Dave Richards Carter Sherline Brian Walters Director of Accounting Cheryl Clark Michigan Golfer is produced by

Photo by Sarah Moore Kuschell

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20 Doug Joy on LochenHeath

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

Island Paradise in Southwest Michigan By Jeff Bairley

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When Irene Teed It Up . . . By Bill Shelton

Collegiate Spotlight: Ferris State University By Chris Lewis

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Collegiate Spotlight: Finlandia University By Chris Lewis

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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LochenHeath’s DNA

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Where Would You Play?

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The U.P.’s Perfect Foursome

By Dr. Doug Joy

By Bill Shelton

By Susan Bairley

Cover: Island Hills Golf Course. Photo by Golf and Resort Marketing

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Photo by Golf and Resort Marketing

Island Paradise in Southw

By Jeff Bairley

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ucked away off of M-60, just outside of downtown Three Rivers, is a hidden gem of Southwest Michigan golf. Island Hills Golf Club is gorgeous, dynamic and challenging, yet a playable and enjoyable 18 holes. 4

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Its picturesque vistas and lightning fast greens are sure to make it a destination for golfers from Detroit to Indiana and beyond. Purchased at auction, owner Bob Griffioen teamed up with renowned

golf course architect Raymond Hearn and ace superintendent Joe Jehnsen to restore Island Hills from a fractured state of disrepair to its current glory. It is now a near-championship level course.

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west Michigan

This is not to say that the course is only for serious or very talented players. Island Hills, which measures 7,027 yards from the back and 4,882 from the forward-most tees, boasts five sets of tees, allowing for five very different looks and yardages and making the course as playable and fun for

scratch golfers playing from the tips as for those hitting from the forward tees. However, regardless of tee choice, everyone who plays Island Hills is going to have to contend with the monstrous greens. They are also, without a doubt, among the

fastest greens I’ve ever played on. Registering at a mighty 11.5 on the Stimp meter, which I believe is the setting just below ‘greased lightning,’ they require a strong stomach and a light touch, but roll true and fair. Getting on any green in regulation is no guarantee of par or even bogey on most holes.

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Island Hills golfers also have to contend with a wide array of challenges. Some holes are tucked into tight, lush forest while others offer a links-style look through open, windy heathers. The par 4, 16th is a classic strategy hole. At only 298 yards, it seems like a great hole to grab the driver and go for it. But when you see the water that runs all the way up the right side of the fairway and protects the green, you will be forced to think about taking an iron off the tee and a short iron or wedge to the green. Yet, this option is no easy task, as it will require two precision shots around the water to reach the green.

There are also more traditional holes with plenty of water and bunkers. However, with a little strategy and execution, the course is very playable and you can avoid the trouble without too much difficulty. Everything about Island Hills is fair (including the sometimes frustrating greens) and challenging without being gimmicky. The forced carries and really tough shots are dramatically reduced from the forward tees as well.

The clubhouse and pro shop are warm and friendly, projecting a very down to earth feel and winning you over with great service. There is also a great restaurant called The Grille Tavern, where the prime rib is a MUST. Make your way out there and play Island Hills; it needs to be seen and experienced. An affordable golf getaway is closer than you think, and you can spend the money you save on extra balls. Island Hills Golf Club, 23510 Island Hills Drive, Centreville, Michigan, (269) 467-7261, http://www.islandhillsgolf.info - MG -

Photo by Golf and Resort Marketing

Others challenge your driving

distance, like the 178-yard par 3, third hole, which requires a forced carry over a visually intimidating swampland.

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When Irene Teed It Up . . .

By Bill Shelton

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he Ironwood Golf and Country Club in Greenville (NC) is widely acknowledged as the premier club in eastern North Carolina. Built in 1996, the 7100+ yard championship layout was the first Lee Trevino Signature course east of the Mississippi River. Golf Digest rated it as one of the “Top 15 New Courses in America” that year and Ironwood has subsequently been the site of numerous tournaments including most recently the 2010 NCAA Women’s Eastern Regional. The course is complimented by a 14,000 square foot clubhouse designed as an “updated stately southern mansion.” Traveling golf groups regularly schedule their itineraries to include a stop at the immaculately manicured course meandering through stands of old oaks, beech, and towering pines bordering on the historic Tar River. Golf

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is played year-round on the bent grass greens and Bermuda fairways. What possibly could be a downside to the almost idyllic golfing venue? Namely, hurricanes that seem to enjoy dropping in on a fairly regular schedule are an unwelcome downside. A few weeks ago, hurricane Irene decided to tee it up in eastern North Carolina for a 10 hour round and she literally “tore up” the course. To better understand the impact of Irene’s wrath on the course and clubhouse I recently interviewed John LaMonica, Ironwood PGA professional and general manager, and Danny Ray Britt, Ironwood Golf Course superintendent. Both professionals have been associated with Ironwood since it opened. During that time, they have experienced approximately seven hurricanes and have vivid memories from each.

Bill Shelton-John, thinking back over the past hurricanes, which one stands out to you? John LaMonica—Actually, two stand out. A few years after we opened, two hurricanes came through our area. The first one dropped torrents of rain and the ground was soaked. Then came the second storm and the wind uprooted hundreds of trees and we experienced major flooding. BS—Danny, what is your most vivid memory? Danny Ray Britt—Clearly it was hurricane Floyd in 1999. We lost every piece of our equipment along with some personal possessions of my staff that were stored in our maintenance facility. The rain and the storm

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surge from Pamlico Sound up the Tar River had the water up to the roof of the building. BS—So, in late August 2011, along comes Irene, seemingly a “minor” category 1 or low cat 2 hurricane. Most of us were curious but not too concerned. What happened? JL—It was a destructive storm primarily because it was so big and took most of the day to move through our area. It just stayed around a very long time. BS—What did both of you do to prepare the club and course for the hurricane? JL—In the clubhouse we turned off the electrical equipment, moved the porch and patio furniture inside, moved the golf carts to a safer location, removed signage and range equipment. We also tried to provide our membership with as much infor-

mation as we could attain about the progress of the hurricane. DB—From a course preparation perspective, my staff and I had several priorities. We removed all of the drain covers on the course to minimize flooding due to debris clogging the covers. We also checked all of the ditches where our irrigation lines cross to make sure there was nothing that could rupture the system. We shut down our pump station and switched off our electric circuits. Of course, we also pulled the flags and portable signage on the course. Finally we mowed the greens in the event that we couldn’t get back on them for days. Then I had the staff to remove any personal items from the maintenance area and told them how we would communicate after the hurricane. BS—So, how did Irene treat Ironwood? Much damage? JL—As I mentioned, it was a very

big storm and stayed around for a

long time. Luckily, the clubhouse did not have too much damage. We had some water damage and had to dry or replace some carpet and ceiling tiles. We had a contractor come in following the storm and he made a thorough examination of the structure and systems. Thankfully, we have a very good insurance policy and, although the damage to the club totaled about $250,000, our financial exposure was relatively modest. DB—The hurricane was worse than I expected. As opposed to Floyd, flooding was not as big an issue as the wind. We did have between 12-13 inches of rain but the real damage occurred from the strong winds. We lost approximately 125 trees and the course was littered with limbs and leaves. The Tar River did flood a part of the course for a day and a half but there was no permanent damage. We were fortunate in that we have several bridges on the course and luckily not one was washed out. BS—The hurricane moved into the area around 8 am in the morning and didn’t really clear out until almost midnight. Much of the surrounding area was without electricity for an extended period. Many roads were blocked by fallen trees or flooding. Sadly, there were several deaths attributed to the storm. Yet, on Sunday morning, recovery and clean up began. Along with most of my neighbors, we were in our yards clearing debris or repairing shutters and fences damaged by the hurricane. How did you start the process for the club? JL—We started with an assessment of the damage and checked our systems out. We began scheduling repairs and clean up support. Most importantly, we began communicating with our members—to the extent possible—to determine their situations. (Electricity and phone service was out in many

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Photo courtesy of Ironwood Golf and Country Club

DB—Most of my staff got here at 5:30 am on Sunday and from then until 1:30 pm we worked to get two roads to the maintenance building and to the course open. Once we were able to get to our equipment, my first priority was to get the greens cleared. It was crucial that we not let them remain covered with all the moisture because of the potential for algae and disease. The back nine was far worse than the front so our next step was to begin a clearing the front nine so the course could reopen. (The front nine reopened on Wednesday following the Saturday hurricane and the back nine opened on Friday. Several area courses were still closed two weeks after the storm.) Since then, it has been a continuing effort to remove downed trees from the rough and wooded areas.

Ironwood Golf and Country Club

Photo courtesy of Ironwood Golf and Country Club

parts of the area for several days.) That was our priority.

BS—Speaking of trees, Danny, I heard that you were out during the storm in your truck actually watching the trees fall. And, even more amazing, you took your wife out with you! Now the club members know how much pride you take in the appearance and maintenance of the course but really . . .

DB—I just couldn’t stay inside. Jackie is a realtor in the Ironwood community and was also interested in what was happening. (Note: She is THE realtor in the Ironwood community.) And, yes, we actually did see many of the trees fall. But we were also checking on some of the residential properties that she represents. BS—In your role as a PGA golf professional what else is left to be done once the course is cleared and the fallen trees and limbs removed? JL—We will need to determine if the course routing and playability has

Ironwood Golf and Country Club Clubhouse been compromised. If so, we will plant new trees where needed. Some of the trees we lost served as visual indicators of the edges of water hazards that may not be seen from the tee. Those will be replaced.

for my staff of eight to get the course opened by Wednesday if the volunteers had not help pick up limbs and debris and clean up the tee areas. They made a huge difference in such a quick turn around after the storm.

BS— Finally, both of you have repeatedly mentioned the importance of volunteers in getting things put back together. JL—If there was anything good that came out of this challenge, I think it brought our membership closer together. We had many members that helped in the clean up. Without them, we would not be where we are today. They were super.

Several weeks after Irene, the roar of chain saws could still be heard at Ironwood but also heard were the cries of agony and delight as golfers continued to enjoy the great sport. Although John and Danny, their staffs, and many members put in some long days, not once did anyone hear that the effort was not worth it. But, neither did anyone challenge Katia or Floyd or Maria to stop by Ironwood for a quick eighteen!

DB—It would have been impossible

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Collegiate Spotlight

Ferris State University Bulldogs Capture 2010 GLIAC Championship

Anticipate Further Success This Fall

Photo courtesy Feris State University

By Chris Lewis

Ferris State University Golf Team celebrat3es winning GLIAC Championship As the head coach of Ferris State University’s men’s golf team, Michael Mignano has several reasons to be especially excited as he prepares for his fifth season at the helm of the program this fall. 12

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First, his squad’s level of leadership and experience is simply incomparable to a majority of the other participants within the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).

With eight senior members and 12 of 14 total golfers as upperclassmen, the 2011 – 2012 Bulldogs may arguably be the most experienced in school history. Second, the 2010 – 2011

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team earned its place in the university’s record books by winning last October’s GLIAC Championship – the first time the Bulldogs have claimed the tournament since the 2004 – 2005 season. The squad defeated 10 other teams during its march towards victory, including Wayne State University. A victory of such significance will likely help the team build momentum as it prepares for the upcoming season and strives to earn its second consecutive GLIAC Championship title this October. Finally, last year’s team was highly respected within the GLIAC for its level of consistency throughout the entire duration of the 2010 – 2011 season. With two third-place and two fourth-place finishes, the Bulldogs did not finish any worse than 16th place in all of the tournaments in which they competed. With even further improved depth and experience this year, the team’s stability will likely be enhanced even more during the start of the fall season – and well after. Leadership. Experience. Chemistry – Well-versed Team Members Prepare for Final Seasons as Bulldogs A variety of team facets, such as extensive leadership capabilities, vast experience, both individually and collectively at the collegiate-level, and ties as a cohesive, established unit, will be well-utilized by the Bulldogs throughout the upcoming fall season. As three of the team’s most talented and experienced members – Garrett Simons (’12), Kyle Wittenbach (’12), and Ian Straayer (’12) – return for their final seasons as Bulldogs, Mignano expects his squad to continue its run 14

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as a consistent performer within the GLIAC throughout the coming months. “This year’s team will be among the most unique squads in Ferris State history since a majority of the members are upperclassmen,” Mignano said. “Only two members are freshmen.” Such team depth is highly unusual and will certainly factor into the squad’s capabilities to build upon last season’s successes. Furthermore, as most members have been teammates for at least two consecutive seasons, the team’s chemistry will be even greater than it was a year ago. This interconnectedness should serve the team well as it strives to earn additional victories and top-five finishes this fall.

“Our team’s scores were very close with Wayne State’s throughout the tournament. I knew it would be a tight finish,” Mignano said. “We did not end the championship very strongly, especially during the last three holes of regulation, but everyone stepped up to the plate and played exceptionally well when it mattered the most – during the playoff.” As one of the most prestigious and anticipated events of the year, a victory at the GLIAC Championship is truly significant and, for Mignano, remains the Bulldogs’ greatest achievement of the 2010 – 2011 season.

“Our playoff victory over Wayne State is undoubtedly my favorite memory of the past season,” Mignano said. “It was quite impressive and very, very exciting “With so much team leader- for everyone involved. That tourship and experience, this will like- nament was such a confidence ly be a very exciting season. I booster for the team, as it led to expect to see several players step further success and steady play into leadership roles this year, throughout the fall and even the guide the younger team members, springtime.” and help them prepare for the future,” Mignano said. “As a For Mignano, the 2010 coach, it will be enjoyable to GLIAC Championship was a sign watch each member continue to that hard work had paid – and develop and improve throughout would continue to pay – dividends, the fall and spring.” as long as each team member remained focused on his goals and the ways in which he would Champions! – The achieve, and even surpass, such Bulldogs Capture the 2010 goals in the future. GLIAC Championship “It was a weekend in which Last year, in early October, everything we had been working the Bulldogs defeated the Wayne on, during the summer and fall, State University Warriors in a five- had come together at the right player playoff. Both teams had fin- time,” Mignano said. “Although ished with a total score of 889 we did not win any other tournastrokes after 54 holes of regulation ments last year, the team’s work play on the challenging Grosse Ille ethic was well-noticed during Golf and Country Club layout. many other events as we earned additional top-ten finishes.”

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The Bulldogs Secure a Consistent Track Record Throughout 2010 – 2011 Upon capturing the GLIAC Championship, the Bulldogs acquired four more top-five finishes at a wide range of events throughout the Midwest. One week after its dramatic playoff victory over Wayne State, the team continued its run of steady play, finishing fourth out of 10 teams, with a 36-hole score of 595, at the Tiffin Kyle Ryman Memorial Tournament, held at Mohawk Golf and Country Club, which is located in Tiffin, Ohio, just south of Toledo. The team placed even higher the following week, with a third-place finish at the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Invitational Tournament II. The Bulldogs played 36 holes on the daunting, par-71 layout at Glen Echo Country Club, located on the outskirts of St. Louis. The squad contended for the title throughout the entire event, earning a final score of 597. In April, the team secured yet another strong finish at a Division II tournament, finishing third out of 25 teams at the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Invitational Tournament II. With a 36-hole score of 597 at the highly reputable Purgatory Golf Club, located just outside of Indianapolis, the Bulldogs proved their GLIAC Championship victory was not a fluke. Coach Mignano was especially pleased with his team’s performance at the club. “Aside from the GLIAC Championship, one event that stands out in my mind was the 16

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Great Lakes Region Tournament at Purgatory,” Mignano said. “We started to gain some momentum for the spring during this tournament and had a terrific team effort from everyone involved.” During the last two weeks of the Bulldogs’ spring season, the team obtained a fourth-place finish at the GLIAC Championship Preview Tournament, held at Bath, Michigan’s Eagle Eye Golf Club, and a sixteenth-place finish at the NCAA Division II Midwest/South Central Super Regional, contested at Georgetown, Kentucky’s Cherry Blossom Golf and Country Club. Both courses have become wellknown in their respective states for offering golfers an array of challenges with every club in the bag, as well as unmatched, natural scenery that is treasured by all guests. By playing consistently well at some of the Midwest’s most daunting courses, the Bulldogs have shown they are ready for a highly successful 2011 – 2012 campaign.

A Bright Outlook – Coach Mignano and the Bulldogs Look Ahead to the Future Undoubtedly, the 2010 – 2011 season was one of Coach Mignano’s most successful in recent years. Not only did the Bulldogs earn a victory at the GLIAC Championship and a variety of top-ten finishes in numerous Midwestern locales, but the team also acquired a berth in the esteemed NCAA Division II Midwest/South Central Super Regional, an event for which Mignano hopes his squad continues to qualify.

“The future of our team looks very bright for the 2011 – 2012 season – and beyond,” Mignano said. “I am looking forward to watching the seniors provide the leadership we need to compete for another GLIAC Championship and for the Division II national title itself.” With such goals in mind, Mignano is optimistic his squad’s leaders will pass the torch of the university’s traditional, winning ways on to younger team members in order to create a path of consistency, determination, and achievement both now and into the future. “Every team is different from year to year, but our program’s goals remain the same. We will be focused on returning to the super regional next May to contend for a national title,” Mignano said. “If I have 14 guys who are committed to that goal, it will be a great ride for everyone involved and it will be exciting to have the younger players be a part of that goal-oriented culture.” For more information about Ferris State University, as well as its wide selection of athletic programs, please visit http://www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com. During the coming months, the “Collegiate Spotlights” series will continue to profile each one of Michigan’s four-year colleges or universities that provide golf programs to male students. In the Winter 2011 issue of Michigan Golfer Magazine, you will learn about the histories and exciting futures of Hope College’s and Kalamazoo College’s men’s golf programs. Stay tuned.

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Collegiate Spotlight

Finlandia University Lions Relish Successful Inaugural Season

Photo courtesy Finlandia University

By Chris Lewis

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Finlandia University’s men’s golf team just completed its initial season.

s Pete Rouleau, the head coach of Finlandia University’s men’s golf team, which competes in the Upper Peninsula, prepares to guide his squad throughout the 2011 – 2012 season…and beyond, the future certainly appears to be bright. “I am really looking forward to the upcoming fall season,” Rouleau said. “As a whole, the team may be quite young, as it is comprised of only freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, but every member will be well-prepared for success and consistency as they begin to compete in September.”

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Without a doubt, age, as well as experience, will not be deciding factors regarding the squad’s ability to achieve – and exceed – their goals this upcoming season. As fans, spectators, and members of the Finlandia University community observe the team’s performance this fall, they should not be surprised if the team strives to regularly compete and acquire high finishes much like a veteran squad would, even though it may be one of the youngest teams in the entire state. After all, the Lions’ men’s golf team has just completed its initial season as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic

Association’s (NCAA) Division III this past April. At the same time, Coach Rouleau will be leading this fall’s squad as head coach for the very first time in his career. Various opponents within the NCAA may view Rouleau’s team as far too young and inexperienced to truly compete on a regular basis this fall and next spring. But, don’t let the Lions’ lack of experience lead you to believe the team is ill-prepared for its upcoming schedule. Coach Rouleau surely believes his squad is anything but. “On a daily basis, every member of my team will be focused

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on improving their scores and their performances with every club in the bag,” Rouleau said. “Most importantly, they will also be determined to set and surpass both their individual and team goals, which will likely lead to consistency as the season begins and progresses.” Such focus and determination will serve the team well as it prepares for only its second season of competition as a NCCA Division III participant. If last year’s results are of any indication, Finlandia’s men’s golf squad will likely exceed their previous achievements this upcoming season, which were quite considerable this past spring and fall.

The 2010 – 2011 Squad Acquires Four Top-15 Finishes in First Five Tournament Appearances During the team’s first tournament appearance last fall, the Lions finished with a two-day score of 701 at Culver’s Invitational, which was hosted by Edgewood College, a liberal arts college located in Madison, Wisconsin, in early September. The tournament was contested at Glen Erin Golf Club, a 6,849 yard layout located in Janesville, a town which is situated in southern Wisconsin. The Lions, led by Mark Gauthier (’14), who posted scores of 84 and 80, finished the tournament in a tie for 20th. Meanwhile, the Lions finished in a tie for 13th at the Lake Superior State University Invite the following week. The tournament was held at Kincheloe Golf Course, which is located in the small Upper Peninsula town of Kincheloe. Led once again by Gauthier, as well as Jacob Hogan (’13), each of whom

shot rounds of 81 and 89, Finlandia finished the tournament with a twoday total score of 723 for its first top-15 finish of the season. The Lions continued to improve as the fall season progressed. During the middle of September, Finlandia finished in a tie for 3rd at the Ripon College Co-Ed Invite, with a final score of 682, for the team’s best finish of the entire season. Collin Saint-Onge (’14) shot a two-day total score of 169, which was followed closely by Hogan, who shot a 171, and Lincoln Marshall (’13), who shot a 172. “For me, the Ripon College Co-Ed Invite will always be a very special, very meaningful event in the history of the Finlandia golf program, as it was the first tournament in which the team acquired a topfive finish,” Rouleau said. “Every member of the team played to the best of their abilities that week. It will be interesting to see whether or not the team will have such a strong finish again this season.” The team continued to play at a high level throughout the remainder of the 2010 – 2011 season, as it acquired two more top-15 finishes. First, the team earned a tie-13th finish at the Ronnie Eastman Invitational, a tournament contested in Onalaska, Wisconsin, which is located just outside of La Crosse, home to the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Second, the team finished the season with yet another top-15 finish at the Ripon College Invite, which was hosted during the second week of April in Ripon, Wisconsin.

ful inaugural season – a season in which a young, yet determined team surpassed most fans’ and competitors’ expectations and earned four top-15 finishes during its first five tournament appearances as a member of the NCAA? Also, will a team comprised of only freshmen, sophomores, and juniors be able to acquire further tournament success in 2011 and 2012? Is the team capable of not only obtaining more top-15 finishes, but also earning its very first tournament victory? As Coach Rouleau and his squad prepare for the future, they will certainly be well-prepared to continuously prove their fellow competitors wrong as they strive to achieve – and surpass – their predetermined seasonal goals, both now and into the future.

Finlandia University Lions 2011 – 2012 Men’s Golf Schedule* Edgewood College Invitational, September 2nd – 3rd, 2011 (Janesville, Wisconsin) Marian University Invitational, September 11th – 12th, 2011 (Fond Ripon College Invitational, September 17th – 18th, 2011 (Ripon, Wisconsin) UW-Eau Claire Invitational, September 25th – 26th, 2011 (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) * Fall season only (as of August 14th, 2011)

As the team prepares for its second season of competition this September, three questions linger.

For more information about Finlandia University, as well as its wide selection of athletic programs, please visit http://www.fulions.com.

First, how will the Finlandia Lions improve upon such a success-

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LochenHeath’s DNA by Dr. Doug Joy


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cientists are in general agreement that one of the pathways for resurrection of extinct species would be to locate exact DNA. In the case of newly reclaimed Lochen Heath Golf Club on the shores of East Grand Traverse Bay, the call went out to find the right guy with the right DNA to resurrect a jewel abandoned and overgrown for several years. Photo preceding page: LochenHeath, Hole Number 16. Photo courtesy of LochenHeath.

Known for his playing, administrative and design talents, Mike put together a dedicated crew and for about a year, worked to reclaim all that had overgrown and disappeared through years of neglect. What emerged is a venue which should be on the top of everyone’s “must play” list. Upon arrival you first notice a practice facility which is second to none. Ben Hogan proclaimed that he would never practice in a left to

right wind. This facility has multidirectional tees and prevailing Westerly winds providing you with practice greens, a practice fairway bunker with target greens and bunkers dotting the practice area. You will experience a world class training facility and if the wind is in the wrong direction, simply go to the other end. The Grand Traverse Bay views, elevated terrain, and Scottish bunkers are garnering rave reviews throughout the community. Sixteen of the eighteen holes have views of the Bay. The course plays 7200 yards from the black, 6700 from the blue tees, and 6024 from the white tees.

Photo by Sarah Moore Kuschell

Photo opposite page: LochenHeath, practice green. Photo by Sarah Moore Kuschell.

The DNA search was completed, the planets and stars were realigned and only one name emerged from all the others – Mike Husby.

Sixteen of LochenHeath’s eighteen holes have views of East Grand Traverse Bay. 22

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Playing from the white tees, you will find yourself doing a lot of math because of the elevation changes. It’s hard to pick a favorite hole because they just keep coming at you with different views and vistas. Certainly one of the best is hole # 7. A five par paralleling the bay. I found it hard to concentrate as the view was so profound. As I walked off the 18th green the feeling I had was “I want to play this again.”

Photo by Sarah Moore Kuschell

After the round I went to the restaurant and was greeted by Chef Joseph George who was kidnapped from the resort next

door. Joseph laid out a luncheon hamburger with all the trimmings which could only be described as an epicurean delight. Luncheons and dinners are served and the response has been so overwhelming that reservations are recommended. Try the lemon crusted whitefish. The Pro-Shop duties are easily handled by Travis Caan (231938-9800) who will cheerfully book your T-times, arrange for instruction and other golfing needs. In closing, I’m reminded of one other restoration project that gained attention recently – that

being the old Tom Morris course built around 1890 called Askernish on the island of South Uist, thirty miles off the coast of Scotland. This course was rediscovered through satellite imagery and brought back to life. The strategy here was to maintain the course the old way by using goats to trim the fairways and rabbits to trim the greens. Mike assures us that while he can’t promise no rabbits, he will use modern technology for maintenance and there will be no GOATS. - MG -


Photos courtesy of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Pinehurst area features a variety of courses. For packages see http://www.homeofgolf.com/

Where Would You Play?

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By Bill Shelton

he three most important factors in real estate seem to be “location, location, location.” For serious golfers, it is all about favorite courses and golfing destinations, so I pose this question: “If you could only play golf in one area for the rest of your life, where would it be?” Most golfers would probably identify their home course as the favorite venue but thinking more broadly, what is your favorite golfing destination where you would play ALL of your

future rounds? For the moment forget about cost, travel time, professional and personal obligations. Several choices come quickly to mind: Northern Michigan has to be a top candidate because of the quality of the championship courses, resort amenities, scenic vistas with rolling terrain, verdant woodlands, and crystal lakes. For pure golfing pleasure in the summer, it would be hard to find a more alluring venue. Desert golf in the

Phoenix/Scottsdale area of Arizona offers a plethora of courses featuring lush fairways and greens carved into the cacti-covered wasteland. For golfers who value “target” golf, this area is a mecca! And, golf can be played all year but expect super heat in the summer months and keep an eye out for the ever-present rattlers and other varmints. Myrtle Beach, SC, may well be home to more golf courses, over

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100, than anywhere else in the world. Originally considered a primary late winter/early spring destination for Canadian golfers, MB has become a year-round playground for both golfers and families, with over 25 miles of white sand beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. Less recognized but growing in golfing popularity are the Orlando, Florida area and the Robert Trent Jones Trail in Alabama. Outside the USA, the Scottish links would surely rank high. Golfing those windswept, potbunkered, grouse-lined fairways is a golfing experience unique to all others—and those after-round pub times cap off a memorable day!

In 1895, Boston philanthropist James Walker Tufts purchased 5000 acres for $1.25 per acre to construct a “first rate” health spa and resort. He hired Fredrick Law Olmsted (designer of Central Park and the Biltmore Estate) to layout the resort and surrounding village. In 1900, he contracted Donald Ross to develop the golf facilities. Interestingly, Ross did not actually design the first Pinehurst course. An original 9-hole course was built by Leroy Culver in 1898 (Course 1) but immediately redone and expanded by Ross in 1900. In addition to the health spa and golf, a variety of other sporting activities offered in the Village included polo, hunting, archery, and tennis. The legendary markswoman, Annie Oakley, was in charge of the Pinehurst Gun Club. The centerpiece of the Village is the famed Carolina hotel, dubbed the “White House of Golf.” Opened in 1901, the four diamond edifice offers 230 guest

Photos courtesy of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

The final entry to the best venues for serious golf happens to be my favorite— the Pinehurst area in the sandhills of North Carolina. Recently I returned to the quaint, New England style village for three days and rekindled those warm fuzzy feelings that began over 30 years ago. Admittedly, there is more traffic, 43 golf courses as compared to the dozen or so a few decades ago, and a bit more

commercialization. But, the aura and magic is still awe-inspiring.

Pine Needles resort has hosted the LPGA Open. 26

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rooms, formal dining rooms, and numerous other lounges and novelty shops. The 31,000 sq. feet spa has won numerous awards and ranks among the “best pampering” experiences in America. Three other inns, Holly, Magnolia, and Pine Crest were among the earliest Village establishments and continue to operate today. In my opinion, for the true golfer there is no better choice than the Pine Crest Inn. Certainly the Carolina offers more elegance and southern gentility, but what golfer would not want to stay in an inn owned by the great course architect Donald Ross. The inn was constructed in 1913 but purchased by Ross in 1921 and owned until his death in 1948. The white-planked, canopied structure with a dozen rockers on the front porch reeks of golfing history. There are 35 standard rooms and 5 “corner rooms” in the inn plus the Telephone Cottage just across the parking lot. If you want some golfing magic to rub off on you, request room 205. In 1959 Jack Nicklaus stayed in it and won the North and South Amateur. In 1989 Jack Nicklaus II stayed in the room and won the North and South Amateur. Room rates include a country breakfast and four-course dinner—and the food is so good! To relive the day’s round, golfers gather in Mr. B’s Lounge (once voted “Best 19th Hole in America) or have a friendly wager at the chipping hole in front of the lobby fireplace. On my first stay at the Pine Crest Inn, PGA pro Gary Hallberg was working on his pitching skills at the chipping hole. For those less energetic, sitting and rocking on the porch with a favorite beverage is always an option.

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Photos courtesy of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area in Moore County, North Carolina is home to 43 outstanding courses within a 15 mile radius. But, first and foremost, Pinehurst is about golf. From the original five resort courses starting and ending at the Pinehurst Resort clubhouse, today there are 43 courses within a 15-mile radius of the Village (actually now a municipality). The resort has expanded to eight courses but continues to be known for the unsurpassed Number 2 layout. The courses have hosted the Ryder Cup, US Opens, PGA Championships, and prestigious amateur tournaments. Additionally, the Pine Needles resort, owned by Peggy Kirk Bell, has hosted the LPGA Open and is recognized along with its sister course, Mid Pines, as premier golf experiences. (Pine Needles is my favorite course.) Both courses are Ross designs. Among the other

courses, Tobacco Road offers a rather unique course challenge. Today almost all of the big-time architects have designed courses here, including Jones, Palmer, Nicklaus, Fazio, Love III, and both Ellis and Dan Maples. The CooreCrenshaw restoration of Number 2 to the original layout of Donald Ross has been completed in preparation for both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open in 2014. Golf can be played year-round, although occasional winter extremes and a few mid-summer days may be uncomfortable. Pinehurst Village, nestled among the elegant long-leaf pines of the North Carolina sand hills, has been dubbed “Home of

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

American Golf” and compared favorably to St. Andrews for its impact on the game. In 1996 it was declared a National Landmark for its role in US golf history. It is truly a golfer’s paradise and my favorite destination. I have had the pleasure of playing golf all around our nation and in Scotland but Pinehurst has a golfing aura that cannot be matched. There’s a country song that says something to the effect that when I die, let me go to heaven but if I can’t, just let me go the Texas. For me, the words are let me go to heaven but if I can’t, just let me go to Pinehurst! And where do you want to go? - MG•

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The U.P.’s Perfect Foursome – Sweetgrass, Greywalls, TimberStone and You! By Susan Bairley

T

here’s something really special about golf in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Maybe it’s the clean air or cool, clear water in lakes, ponds and streams. Or maybe it’s the smell of the pines and sandy soil that gives a U.P. day its special aura. Whatever ‘it’ is, add fantastic golf, and you’ll feel like you just found your own little piece of heaven. Although it’s a bit of drive from the Metro Detroit area to Escanaba, one can land in the city’s small airport via a direct flight from Detroit’s Metropolitan airport in less than 1 and one-half hours. From there it’s an easy ride (about 13 miles) to the Island Resort and Casino in Harris, where Sweetgrass Golf Club (http://www.sweetgrassgolfclub.com) awaits. The Island Resort hotel, which recently added a convention center, offers comfortable lodging, an indoor pool and hot tub, small fitness room, a fantastic concert showplace, and a good-sized, island-themed gaming floor with 140 slots, table games, two bars, three restaurants, a coffee and ice cream shop, and live entertainment most nights. It also has a poker room and bingo hall. Best of all, Island Resort and Casino offers Stay n’ Play packages

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that pair lodging with golf rounds at three fabulous courses – its own Sweetgrass Golf Club, Greywalls at Marquette Golf Club and TimberStone at Pine Mountain in Iron Mountain, starting as low as $265 per person,. This trio of courses offers three very different golf experiences. Sweetgrass, designed by Paul Albanese, opened in 2008 and is a three-year home to an LPGA Futures Tour event, which completed its inaugural year with great community support and player accolades this past June. The course has five sets of tees, which play 7,275 yards from the tips to 5,075 yards from the front. Many of its well-groomed, rolling fairways are lined by tall breezy grasses, as the course name implies. And while the grasses can make for a challenging out, they are playable and errant shots are typically retrievable. The course plays well from all sets of tees, generally offering generous landing areas and broad greens that putt true, but require a good eye and confident touch. The par 3, 15th hole,

named the “Turtle,’ presents a very reachable island green and finely rusted trestle bridge which adds to its distinction. The 9th and 18th holes aes-

thetically exit the course similarly with par 5 stretches to expansive, connected greens. Thick, wind-sculpted

grasses guard the left side of 18th fairway and the cascading waterfalls near the green make it an especially pretty finishing hole. The wood-sculpted eagles guarding the 16th green surprise you in a fun

way, yet remind you of the Indian heritage that blesses the track An easy ride 80 miles to the north lands you at Marquette Golf Club (http://marquettegolfclub.com) home of the awe-inspiring Greywalls. While the Marquette Golf Club’s original course, which opened in 1926, is a classic design by William Langford and David Gill, Greywalls designer Mike DeVries steals the show with his contemporary masterpiece. Opened in 2005, its rugged, natural rock outcroppings accent fairways, guard approach shots and greens, and on the picturesque par 4, 5th hole, nearly edge the green, towering high above the putting surface below. Fairways slope and tunnel like a snowboarder’s half-pipe at times, which confirms DeVries minimalist approach to course design. And while nary a level fairway lie can be found on some holes, the course is an absolute delight to play.

Opposite: Sweetgrass. Photo by Brian Oar Media

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Photo courtesy of TimberStone.

TimberStone Of course, all of the challenge and fun of Greywalls is set amid dramatic views of one of nature’s most pristine jewels, Lake Superior. And you don’t have to wait long to see it. From the country-simple pro shop, a nearly mile-long golf car ride through enchanted northern forest brings you to the first tee and practice green, where the majestic lake spreads beyond the treetops before you. Perched on the hilltop you can literally see for miles to a horizon where the lake’s deep, blue waters blend with the sky and the cliffs of Grand Island look like miniatures some 50 miles away. You can feel and smell the lake breezes, which on a sunny day are immeasurably refreshing. But like the two-faced beauty she is, a cold, cloudy day on Lake Superior could turn gentle breezes into harsh whip-

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ping winds, making work out of the normally enjoyable high-ground tees and fairways. With its five tee sets, Greywalls plays 6,828 yards from the back and 4,631 yards from the front. Generous and forgiving front tee placements give golfers from those tees the boost needed to keep their game competitive and enjoyable. And on the par 5, 18th, everyone can enjoy the ride, and

finish with a flourish, as the fairway plays like a broad, tiered chute, funneling most tee shots toward the center and down to a slightly domed green.

Two added notes about Greywalls: With natural rock face tiers in many of its fairways, golf car drivers need to carefully heed fairway signage, i.e.,

no reckless shortcuts. And while the tee-to-green vistas are consistently captivating, sometimes the prettiest views are behind you, so to fully experience the course, you sometimes need to pause and take-in the 360 view. The third course, TimberStone at Pine Mountain (http://pinemountainresort.com) is a pleasant ride 39 miles west of Island Resort and Casino to Iron Mountain. Here, Jerry Matthews has created one of his characteristic natural-design masterpieces. Amid towering pines, he has carved out a beautiful course with generally lush, wide fairways and large rolling greens. Everything about TimberStone says Northern Michigan and Upper

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Peninsula – from the natural pine construction of the pro shop/clubhouse to the campfire that often greets golfers near the practice green on cool mornings. Throughout the course, deer casually cross fairways, nibble leaves from low branches and bed down in woods near tees and greens, unfettered by passing golfers. And the golf is wonderful. TimberStone opens the U.P. forest before you, asking only that you keep it fairly straight and out of the woods. That seems pretty easy. But give a golfer a bit of latitude and he or she will often confidently over-hit, sailing a ball high into the woods or otherwise finding the hardest way to the green. Take in the beauty around you, relax and the course will be good to you. As a matter of fact, TimberStone holds a coveted Golf Digest 5-star rating.

Photo courtesy of Greywalls.

Measuring 6,937 yards from the back ‘Forest’ tees and 5,060 from the

forward-most ‘Stone’ tees, the course plays well for golfers of all levels. Its forested fairways mirror the look and feel of some of the Gaylord area tracks, with an extra touch of natural U.P. wilderness. The cart path to the Fourth tee, shows off a great stand of medium-size white pines and fragrant greenery on the right, and the 17th “Sagoia” hole is a ‘Threetops’-style par 3, with a view of the town of – you got it – Sagoia in the distance. Holes 5 and 6 present visually narrow landing areas guarded by a shared pond. And while the par 5, 5th Hole

presents a narrower fairway throat, the water is more in play on the par 4, number one handicap 6th, despite its

larger landing area.

Like the other engaging golf directors, Dave Douglas at Sweetgrass and Marc Gilmore at Greywalls, Timber Stone Golf Director Joe Rizzo is a terrific host. Ironically, he and General

Manager Scott Grubb are East and West Coast transplants, respectively, who both landed in the U.P. by marrying women who were born and raised in the area. So, here in the remote wilds of TimberStone at Pine Mountain Brooklyn meets L.A., which partially explains the New York Yankee ball caps for sale in the Pro Shop. Great golf, beautiful vistas, nice lodging with gaming entertainment, and wonderful food at places like upscale Elizabeth’s Chop House (http://elizabethschophouse.com) in Marquette or casual fine dining at The Stone House in Escanaba (http://www.stonehouseescanaba.com), it’s the U.P. at its best. For more information or reservations for Stay n’ Play packages, call Island Resort and Casino at 1-800682-6040.

- MG -

Michigan Golfer, Fall 2011  

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

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