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Online: http://michigangolfer.com MICHIGAN GOLFER Publisher/Editor Art McCafferty artmccaf@glsp.com Editor Emeritus Terry Moore Associate Publisher/Producer Jennie McCafferty Writers Linda Allen Peter Allen Martin Ames Jeff Bairley Susan Bairley Phyllis Barone Jack Berry Mike Duff Keith Gornick Greg Johnson Doug Joy Brad King Tom Lang Chris Lewis Scott Moore

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Video

http://michigangolfer.tv http://michigantravel.tv http://youtube.com (search “glsp”)

104th Michigan Amateur at Plum Hollow; David Graham Reports Tullymore Classic 2015, Opening Round with Phyllis Barone Manistee National, Cutters Ridge Back Nine, a Jerry Matthews Design Mike Pearson, Head Professional at UAW Black Lake Resort Paul Galligan, Director of Golf & Grounds, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa Mark Hill, Head Professional, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa Nick Aune, GM of Black Lake Resort Black Lake Resort – Like Private Golf Only Public Scott Hebert - New Head Professional at Traverse City Golf & CC Walter Hagen & Traverse City Golf & CC, Where He Smelled the Flowers Craig Piscopink Golf Academy at Eagle Crest Resort – Junior Golf Instruction Eagle Crest GC Presents the Top 50 Scholarship Golf Tour Eagle Eye View of Eagle Crest Golf Club Bill Wright, Folds of Honor, Eagle Crest Resort, Hole in One Golf, Whispering Willows Les Cheneaux GC, 19th Century Michigan Golf Randy Erskine in Mike Bamberger’s Men in Green 2015 Michigan PGA Championship, Egypt Valley, Dan Urban Winner Wawashkamo National Hickory Stick Classic The Greens, an Executive Putting Course at Mission Point Resort Charlevoix Golf Club, 19th Century Michigan Golf Musical Tour, Harbor Point Golf Club, 19th Century Michigan Golf Wawashkamo Golf Course, 19th Century Michigan Golf The Lynx Golf Club, the Back Nine

FALL 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


In This Issue VOLUME 33

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FALL

2015

NUMBER

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Wawashkamo Golf Club – 19th Century Links Golf Preserved in its Entirely By Chris Lewis The Berry Patch: Fall By Jack Berry

19th Century Michigan Golf Courses, Charlevoix GC By Art McCafferty

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Treasure Island: Canada’s Prince Edward Island

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Vacation? Nuts to Nae Wind, Nae Rain, Nae Golf

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Playing Through Hell By Jeff Bairley

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By Martin Ames

By Jack Berry

Indiana Offers Michigan-Style Golf, Plus a Longer Season By Susan Bairley

Slice of Life: By Terry Moore

About the cover: One foursome participates in the National Hickory Stick Classic, Wawashkamo Golf Club, Mackinac Island, Michigan, August 15, 2015. Photo by Jennie McCafferty

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

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • FALL 2015

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Wawashkamo Golf Club

19th Century Links Golf Pre

Photo courtesy of Wawashkamo GC

by Chris Lewis


b– served in its Entirety

Alex Smith worked with chocolate drop mounds, cross bunkers and long narrow traps in building the course.


F

rom the moment you arrive at Mackinac Island’s Wawashkamo Golf Club after traveling in a horse drawn taxi for half an hour, you know it will be a unique experience. It is truly a step back in time, as the course has remained virtually unchanged since 1898, when twotime U.S. Open champion Alex Smith, a native of Carnoustie, Scotland, designed it.

“When you play, you can understand that getting the ball in the air back in the day was a chore and Alex put in a lot of berms and grass rings to complement his work,” says Chuck Olson, head golf professional and general manager, Wawashkamo Golf Club. “You get to see what Alex was trying to do with each hole. And— best of all—it still works today.” In fact, 3,000 guests, on average, currently visit the summer-only, semi-private course. “Guests that love historic and well-preserved places love Wawashkamo, as it has its own feel to it,” Olson continues. “This is

how golf was originally meant to be played.”

A Challenge Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow In addition to its “circus ring” and “chocolate drops,” the course is reminiscent of other links courses of the late 1800s in various other aspects, from its long rough and rolling terrain to its short holes and, for the most part, lack of trees. At the time the course was built, “niblicks” and “mashies” were being replaced by numbered irons, some of which were crafted by Smith himself. Given his experience in iron development, Smith knew exactly how to design a course that would challenge golfers to use each of their irons—through natural and man-

Photo by Jennie McCafferty

Smith’s design techniques are apparent throughout the par-72 links-style layout, from the “circus ring,” a two-foot-high mound that surrounds the third green, resulting in an island green without any water, to the “chocolate drops,” boulders that were too heavy to move when the course was first

built, that remain as hazards.

The clubhouse has not changed much in the past century. 6

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Photo courtesy of Wawashkamo GC

You can see the cross bunker in the fore ground. made hazards, undulations and rough. “And guests are really intrigued by the fact they can play a course designed during the early days of iron play and experience the challenges that golfers of that time period encountered,” Olson says. “To continue to provide this type of experience, staff members decided long ago to not change the course or turn it into something it wasn’t meant to be.” Not only is the course as wellpreserved as any on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, it is also the oldest continuously played golf course in the entire state of Michigan. It was even recognized by Golf Digest as one of America’s Historic Golf Landmarks back in 1996, two years prior to its centennial anniversary.

Although it is less than 6,000 yards long, the 18-hole course still remains a challenge for golfers in this day and age as well, no matter how much more advanced their equipment is now, compared to the 19th century. “The fairways are usually very firm and surrounded by heather, while the greens are small,” Olson says. “Therefore, precision remains as important today as ever before.”

A Treasure for History Buffs Much like the golf course, Wawashkamo’s clubhouse has not been altered much since it was first built in the early 1900s. To this day, it still doesn’t have air conditioning. Yet, guests and members

continue to frequent it, while purchasing golf balls, putters, sweaters, rain suits, and other types of equipment and clothing. It also hosts corporate events, family get-togethers and weddings. Olson, who has been a PGA member since 1982 and a full-time employee at Wawashkamo since 2011, provides lessons to guests and members outside the clubhouse, following in the footsteps of Frank Dufina. Arguably the longest-serving golf professional at one respective golf course in history, Dufina worked at the club for 63 years until his retirement in 1967. “Frank basically gave lessons the same way that I do 100 years later,” Olson states. “Wawashkamo is a really neat place at which to be a golf professional, and I strive to help

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my guests and members understand the historic nature of this great course, while also appreciating its longevity.” In celebration of the course’s extensive past, an annual tradition currently occurs in mid-August— the National Hickory Stick Classic, a tournament in which men dress up in knickers and women wear full-sleeved dresses.

“And if golfers are unable to participate in the tournament, they can also celebrate golf’s history by renting one of Wawashkamo’s seven sets of authentic hickory clubs,” Olson says. “They will truly respect Smith’s layout and admire the skills

of golfers from that era, as a result.” For the true history buff, Wawashkamo provides yet another interesting storyline—it was built on the property in which the Battle of Mackinac Island occurred on August 4, 1814. “The Americans were outnumbered by British, Canadian and Native American forces,” Olson states. “Our number one tee box would have held the British canons.

Photo by Jennie McCafferty

The two-day tournament begins

on a Friday, as participants play a practice round and compete in a shootout. On Saturday, participants enjoy an 18-hole scramble, followed by a dinner and fundraiser later in the evening.

Members are ready for a great day of golf on one of America’s oldest courses. 8

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And the American soldiers who died in the battle were buried by our sixth fairway, which is commemorated by a white plaque.”

“Chief Eagle could not figure out what cottagers were doing chasing a little white ball around the course,” Olson explains. “It looked to him like they were walking along a crooked trail.” Simply put, Wawashkamo is unlike any other golf course in the United States, whether guests visit it for the serenity of Mackinac Island, the preservation of 19th century links-style golf, or the aura of its historic nature.

Photo courtesy of Wawashkamo GC

Even the name of the course is historic. Wawashkamo is a Native American word for “to walk a crooked path.”

Wawashkamo Golf Club National Hickory Stick Classic

“It has stood the test of time and, in my opinion, will continue to do so, even as the game of golf steadily evolves,” Olson says. “It’s a bucket list kind of place—a course people should consider visiting at least once in their lifetimes.” For further information about Wawashkamo Golf Club, please visit http://wawashkamo.com. Note: Michigan Golfer TV features two Wawashkamo shows;

The Wawashkamo National Hickory Stick Classic 19th Century Michigan Golf - Wawashkamo GC http://tiny.cc/0s5h3x - MG -

Photo by Jennie McCafferty

http://tiny.cc/rs5h3x

Hickory Stick Classic players MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • FALL 2015

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The Berry Patch

Fall

Photo by Art McCafferty

B

Jack Berry

efore we get buried by football, hockey and hoops, think about what a year it has been for golf in Michigan and nationally.

Probably the peak of the six-year-old Club Day program was the day when play 10

was on both Oakland Hills courses and both Detroit Golf Club courses, four Donald Ross gems that have hosted U.S. Opens and PGA Championships and have been the home club of the game’s greats, Walter Hagen and Horton Smith. “That was the first day GAM flags were in the cups on Oakland Hills’ championship South Course,” GAM executive director David Graham said. Virtually all of this growth has occurred since Graham was appointed executive director 15 years ago. The GAM has expanded membership, made more competition available and enlisted volunteers to help run events.

The goal is to grow the game, and the newest initiative, begun by the PGA, USGA and Masters Tournament, is the Drive, Chip & Putt competition for boys and girls age 7 to 15. The prize is the finals held at the Augusta National Golf Club the Sunday before the Masters. The Michigan PGA Section and GAM ran nine qualifying sites around the state in June and July plus two sub-regional qualifiers at Prestwick Village in Hartland and Binder Creek in Battle Creek with those winners going on to a regional in Chicago. Eight hundred and seventy two youngsters competed. I watched play at Whispering

Photo courtesay of Oakland Hills

Imagine 120 days of competitive play. That’s what the Golf Association of Michigan has provided. Eight men’s championships, six women’s and two junior championships. Four net championships, 13 United States Golf Association qualifiers, a scramble championship with six qualifying courses, Father-Son and Parent-Child events, senior team and caddie championships, Atlas Trophy against the Michigan Publinx and pair with publinxers against the PGA in the Fuller Cup and golf days, 37 this year, whereby 84 players, men and women, got to play a round at top clubs around the state.

By Jack Berry

Oakland Hills, site of the 2016 U.S. Amateur.

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Wisconsin hasn’t blanketed the country copying Pure Michigan travel commercials but televising the Pete Dye course and Lake Michigan on Golf Channel, Turner and CBS was priceless. The aerial shots of Dye’s thousand and one sand traps looked like Matisse cutouts. Sensational.

Photo courtesy of Whistling Straits

Perhaps fittingly, that was the weather at St. Andrews for the British Open in July but other than that, the weather was sensational for the Masters, the Players, the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay and almost all of the PGA at Whistling Straits.

Pete Dye vs Jack Nicklaus on Lake Michigan courses: here is Whistling Straits.

Photo by Jennie McCafferty

Willows in Livonia and those 140 kids were dedicated. The weather was miserable. It was June 28 and it was like a March day in Scotland, cold, rainy and windy but play went on as bundled up parents tried to keep their umbrellas from blowing inside out.

At least next year the blimp will show Harbor Shores and our side of Lake Michigan when the Senior PGA Championship returns to the Jack Nicklaus course at Benton Harbor for a third run. Unfortunately, Nicklaus didn’t get as much shoreline to play with as Dye did.

Jack Nicklaus at the opening of Harbor Shores Jason Day’s PGA victory with the world’s Nos. 1-2 players in his wake, Jordan Spieth and now healthy Rory McIlroy, give golf a different excitement from Tiger Woods’ reign. Add Rickie Fowler and his career-best performance in the Players plus the

Scottish Open and Zach Johnson at the Open in tough weather, and the game’s top level arguably is the best it has ever been. Tiger was far and away superior for two decades and he cut a pattern

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • FALL 2015

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that all these young folks are following. He started hitting balls at age 2 and it seems that’s what they’re all doing. There is far more competition from the earliest level because of the American Junior Golf Association, state junior programs, high school and then college. There’s the Walker Cup and Palmer Cup, the Junior Ryder Cup and Junior Solheim Cup. The amateur tour has one first class stop after another, Western Amateur, Sunnehanna, Porter Cup and on and on. There are coaches galore, swing, mental and nutritional.

ed him. Virtually every top college program has foreign players and they win the U.S. Amateur, like San Diego State’s Gunn Yang of Korea in 2014 and Northwestern’s

Ricky Barnes, 2002 U.S. Amateur champion Oakland Hills hosts the U.S. Amateur again next year.

Thirty years ago college programs weren’t what they are now with first class lockerrooms, physical conditioning and all the technical tools. Thanks to Tiger and television, kids in Europe and Asia saw him play and emulat-

Matthew Fitzpatrick of England in 2013. Next year should be a treat to watch the U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills where Ricky Barnes beat Hunter Mahan in the 2002 final and Billy Haas scorched the course winning the medal in stroke play. Ending the Berry Patch for 2015, I’ve enjoyed the blueberry and red raspberry patches across the state this summer. Berry delicious thanks to a reasonably good winter and no frostbite spring. Fat, juicy blueberries are good for your health and red raspberries are my all-time favorite, going back to my kid days when a guy would drive a small truck down the neighborhood streets, yelling “Raspberries!” My mother bought boxes and a few days later, up and down the street, would come the aroma of fruit being “put up” in Ball jars. Jam that lasted through the winter. That was really priceless. - MG -

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FALL 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


Photo by Jennie McCafferty

19th Century Michigan Golf Cours

Charlevoix GC By Art McCafferty

Hole No. 2 is the only original hole on the course.


ses:


Photo by Jennie McCafferty

C

harlevoix GC, like so many of Michigan’s early courses, was built with Chicago money. In the 19th Century and into the 20th Century,   the main ways of travel were trains and boats.  Early maps of Michigan show all of the major Michigan settlements occurring on our coasts.  In waning years of the 19th century, Les Chenenaux GC, Harbor Point GC, Wequetonsing GC, Wawashkamo GC and Charlevoix GC were opened.  There were others, but these courses have either closed or the club has moved to a different location.

Hole No. 3 illustrates the scarcity of hazards on the course.

Charlevoix GC was the brainchild of two Chicago Club members; J.P Wilson and Edward Waller. Built in 1896, the course was designed and later renovated by William “Willie” Watson. It was originally 18 holes, but other uses for its land changed it to a nine hole layout in later years. Hole No.2 is the only hole left from the original design.

course to the City of Charlevoix for a dollar in 1937. The course is perfect for the locals and summer players, as they can drop in most any time and get in a quick nine. The fairways and greens are in terrific shape and the hazards do not have a lot of teeth in them.  Only pull carts are allowed on the course and

green fees are deliciously low. When we stopped by this summer, Donna Stein, a pro shop employee, gave us a quick history of the course. You can see our interview on the Michigan Golfer TV show: http://tiny.cc/ezhi3x - MG -

The Charlevoix Golf Club has had its moments in history. Appearances by Walter Hagen, Tommy Armour and Michigan’s great amateur, Chuck Kocsis have occurred on their fairways. The Chicago Club sold the 16

Photo by Jennie McCafferty

Other Michigan courses designed by Watson include: Kalamazoo Country Club – Kalamazoo in 1915, where he remodeled and expanded the original course and Belvedere Golf Club in Charlevoix in 1925.  Watson did most of his work in California where he designed a couple of dozen courses.

The sign in the clubhouse tells the whole story.

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MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • FALL 2015

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Treasure Island: Canada’s Prince Edward Island

Photo courtesy of Prince Edward Island Tourism

By Martin Ames

Island golf at its best on Prince Edward Island’s Crowbush Cove

Treasure Island

Photo by Paul Bairley

From one tip of pastoral Prince Edward Island to the other, Canada’s smallest province has always been big in its ability to inspire. Now golf has fallen firmly under the island’s magical spell. More than two-dozen golf courses, most positioned within a scenic half-hour drive from each other, are proof of that.

Prince Edward Island, Canada (July 2015) – As Canada’s only province with no land boundary, Prince Edward Island is a place 18

where fantasy comes alive. It is the place where a nation was conceptualized, where color collides with contour and where golf has become as much a part of the landscape as its iconic counterparts. Golf simply took a bit longer to do so. Golf seems like such an automatic to the land known as PEI. Indeed, had the game first appeared along the lapping waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in eastern Canada — the topography certainly would have allowed it — rather than off

FALL 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

the North Sea of Scotland, its history might have turned out somewhat altered. Imagine this: movies depicting early island farmers with sticks swatting rock-solid potatoes into openings dug out of the fragile soil … or fishermen launching stones toward a lighthouse somewhere along its hundreds of miles of sandy beaches. Instead, golf came along rather sluggishly to Prince Edward Island. Though no one knows for sure exactly how or why, the first actual golf course design debuted as early


as 1909 at a place called Belvedere in its capital city. Only sporadic golf course piggy backing took place over the next 80 years, however. In fact, an islander could almost count on one hand the number of playing grounds that existed within the province’s craggy shorelines as late as 1993.

But it teeing up on PEI these days, you’d hardly know the difference. As a golf destination, Prince Edward Island is as mature and well entrenched as you will find. The golfing “boom” there, for all intents and purposes, became official with the development of the Thomas McBroom-designed Links at Crowbush Cove located on the north shore of the island in 1993. The notoriety generated by this primarily seaside links-type course, with no less than eight holes playing near the sea or dunes, has continued

to reverberate across Canada ever since. “I remember going to Prince Edward Island when there were only a few courses on it to speak of,” Bryan Sullivan, a former touring professional from North Carolina who competed on the Canadian Tour back in the 1980s, recalled. “It was like going back in time.” These days, touring PEI is more like returning to a simpler way of life than a total rewind of the clock. That’s because the island’s imaginative inhabitants have kept up with the times, spurred on in large part by an

Photo courtesy of Prince Edward Island Tourism

While the Scots and their guests have been fervently swiping featheries, gutties and more recently ultra-distance golf balls over converted pastures, fields and links land since the early 1400s, PEI has only mirrored that passion for the game, on a grand scale at least, for less

than a quarter century.

Dr. Michael Hursdan and Dana Fry were Dundarave course designers. MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • FALL 2015

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engineering marvel known as the Confederation Bridge. Opened in 1997, this 8-mile crossing, the longest in the world over ice-covered waters, connects PEI with New Brunswick and ultimately the rest of Canada and the Northeast United States. Prior to this watershed event, the only way to get on or off PEI other than by plane was via one of two ferries.

“Until Crowbush Cove came along, there were only seven golf courses on PEI,” said Terry Hamilton, the general manager at the Links at Crowbush Cove. “When it opened for play, it became one of the few places in Canada you could golf right on the ocean.” So the word began to spread.

Photo courtesy of Prince Edward Island Tourism

Now, with such easy automotive access from the mainland, little wonder fine restaurants, elegant hotels and all types of businesses and industries flourish in its primary cities of Charlottetown and Summerside, not to mention the 27 golf courses featuring 405 holes of wide-ranging golf that dot the island.

But make no doubt about it, PEI (where fishing, farming and tourism dominate) is still a rural land shaped by Mother Nature. Its iron-rich red soil, evergreen trees, white birches, blue skies and sparkling waters are what make it colorful and the ideal location for outdoor adventure. And that certainly includes golf.

Dunarave, another spectacular treasure 20

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And golfers — including some of the big names — began to trickle in. In fact, Crowbush Cove would soon thereafter host a televised “Skins Game” with then recent British Open champions Mark O’Meara and John Daly along with former Masters champion Fred Couples and eventual Masters champion Mike Weir in attendance. “The event was held in absolutely perfect weather and it was broadcast across the country,” Hamilton added. “Crowbush Cove, and soon golf on PEI for that matter, really became famous after that.” Crowbush Cove’s success, along with the timely opening of the


Photo courtesy of Prince Edward Island Tourism Photo courtesy of Prince Edward Island Tourism

Crowbush Cove Stay and Play

You’ll not see many holes as pretty as this one at Crowbush Cove. MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • FALL 2015

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Confederation Bridge, helped spark the development of several other instant classics, including Dundarave on the eastern side of the island; Eagles Glenn, Glasgow Hills and Anderson’s Creek in the popular Cavendish region on the north shore; and Fox Meadow on the outskirts of Charlottetown in the south central portion of the island. Of course, they would join a group of pre-existing venues including the vintage 1971 Mill River in the west, the 1939 classic Green Gables in the north and the 1969 stunner Brudenell in the east. This blending of traditional 18-holers, which also includes Stanhope and Glen Afton, and modern designs — add Clyde River and Countryview to the mix — in the 1990s and early 2000s, in essence, is what truly put PEI golf on the global golf map.

So now golfers are regular visitors from all over. And like it is phrased locally, “Why play one course when you can play an island?”

Toast of the Coast Prince Edward Island, and its capital city of Charlottetown — named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen consort of the United Kingdom in the early 1800s — initially became famous back in 1864 when it hosted the Charlottetown Conference. That is where the unification of Canada as a nation was first proposed. PEI added to its notoriety in the early 1900s when its red sandstone cliffs and dramatic scenery served as the backdrop for Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic fictional novel “Anne of Green Gables,” which was eventually spun into North

Known as the “gentle island,” PEI stakes its reputation on being a family fun destination and an ideal retreat for couples. But don’t tell the avid golfer how ‘gentle’ it is when he or she has to knuckle down on a three iron while facing into a “two club” coastal wind. “It can be quite cruel at times,” Hamilton, spoken like a true islander, said.

Photo courtesy of Prince Edward Island Tourism

But that’s the beauty and the challenge of playing island golf. During the spring and fall, the prevailing winds across the province come from the north. During the summer, they shift from south to north bringing warm currents of air with them. Long days and no humidity make for ideal golfing conditions throughout the prime golfing season.

Golf Digest calls Crowbush Cove the best new course in P.E.I. 22

America’s longest continually running musical by the same name. Other claims to fame include its long stretches of dune-backed beaches, its “Cows” Creamery and brand of ice cream, its wide range of culinary delights, its brews and even its moonshine. As one of the world’s largest suppliers of mussels, PEI is also a haven for lobsters and potatoes (due to its rich soil). In fact, PEI represents nearly a third of all of its country’s potato production.

FALL 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

Whether you are playing along the descending hills overlooking Charlottetown Harbor of Fox Meadow, or deep within the forested corridors of Mill River — with its more subtle elevation changes and curving doglegs — golf variety is abundant on PEI. Here is just a sam-


pling of highlights to seek out when you travel Canada’s most desirable and affordable golf destination:

Gables is the one course on the island that is truly steeped in history. Designed in 1939 by worldrenowned Canadian architect Stanley Thompson, who was born in Toronto, it was rejuvenated by one of today’s leading designers, Thomas McBroom, in 2007. The course is tree-lined and honorably old school. When you are on any given hole, you almost don’t see anyone else with you other than your playing partners. As a bonus, from the course you can examine the famed Green Gables house and discover many of its main character’s (Anne Shirley) imaginative settings. It is truly a fictional creation that only a place like PEI can magically bring to life.

Links at Crowbush Cove (North Shore) — The course that started all the rage on the island is ideally located a mere 20 minutes from downtown Charlottetown. Crowbush Cove still maintains its presence in the top ten designs in Canada. Previously a coastal campground by the same name, this dramatic Thomas McBroom layout overlooks the Gulf of St. Lawrence and some of the best fishing grounds in world. This blended parkland and links-style design has been described as an “unbelievable combination of nature and imagination.” You’ll think you’ve crossed the big pond to Ireland or Scotland when you tee it up there.

Photo courtesy of Prince Edward Island Tourism

Green Gables Golf Club (Cavendish Region) — Green

Crowbush Cove was designed by Tom McBroom, one of Canada’s most famous designers.

Brudenel River Golf Course (Eastern Region) — Another of the more classic designs on PEI, the course is named after the river it showcases. This unique 1969 Robbie Robinson design offers six par 3s, 4s and 5s. It is accentuated by numerous gardens, lakes and ponds and jumps out at you with its pearly white bunkers that contrast the native red soil.

Dundarave Golf Course (Eastern Region) — A modern challenge crafted by the team of Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dany Fry, this turn-of-the-century venue plays right next to its sister course Brudenel River, yet couldn’t be any different. A red sandstone dominated creation, the 1999 stunner thrills with some of the most memorable bunker patterns in all of golf. As the host to the 2006 Legends of Golf featuring Jack Nicklaus and Tom

Watson, Dundarave is an experience that will leave you breathless.

Mill River Golf Course (Western Region) — Designed by Robbie Robinson, this mature golf layout overlooks the scenic Mill River. As home to a former Golf Channel “Big Break,” Mill River features wide rolling fairways that wind their way through mature forest. Its No. 7 hole, a par four, offers dual fairways because “a river runs through it” and is worth the price of admission alone. Of course, these are just a few of the highlights that golf on Prince Edward Island affords. More information at http://GolfPEI.ca, Reservations@golfpei.ca or 1-866GOLF-PEI (465-3734). - MG -

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • FALL 2015

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Vacation? Nuts to Nae Wind, Nae Rain, Nae Golf

Photo courtesy of PGA Tour.

By Jack Berry

St. Andrews is a tad wet.

T

hinking of a golf trip to the land where the grand old game began?

Ahhhhh. Warm sun. Gentle breezes. Land where the ball rolls and rolls and rolls. Guess that after the Irish Open, the Scottish Open and THE Open, you’re not thinking of the land of Rory and Old Tom and Young Tom, of golf’s real Donald, Donald Ross. Every one of those championships was a commercial for heavy duty rain suits, neckerchiefs, mittens and pull-down caps, wool sweaters, not cotton. Forget the sunscreen. 24

Windburn cream. But if you were watching, wasn’t it fun? Didn’t you get a kick out of watching those guys suffer, trying to figure how much the wind would blow a four foot putt? It was a masochist’s delight. Interesting that the players were dressed just like the Auld Grey Toon – grey and black, pants, sweaters, rain suits, caps and mittens. Only John Daly broke the pattern. No surprise that his trousers were an explosion of colors. Truthfully though, I covered Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo victo-

FALL 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

ries on the Old Course and Lee Trevino and Tom Watson victories at Muirfield and never was there a day like the ones at St. Andrews, Gullane and Royal County Down this year. Gray and cool at Muirfield for Watson but never torrential wind and rain. Sunny elsewhere. I’ve played blue sky and full wool at County Down but nothing like the cold rain that Rory McIlroy and friends had in the Irish Open. I’ve played more than 20 links around the Irish coasts, Atlantic side and Irish Sea side, and never conditions like we just saw for the Irish Open. So just blame a bit of climate


Despite the conditions, the Stars and Stripes flew high with Rickie Fowler winning the Scottish Open and Zach Johnson surviving on the Old Course where the conditions were perfect for one Johnson’s game, Zach’s, not Dustin’s. Johnson won the 2007 cold and windy Masters by playing the par 5s as three shot holes, trusting his wedge game to produce birdies and he was 11 under par on the fives. And his wedges and his putter were dead on at St. Andrews. He made 18 birdies on par 4s. There are only

two par 5s and he collected four birdies on them. There was some criticism prior to the Open that the Old Course was, well, old. Today’s game belongs to the bombers and Dustin Johnson was the top bomber. Instead he lost the U.S. Open to non-bomber Jordan Spieth and after he took a five shot lead halfway through the Open at St. Andrews he disappeared in the rain, wind and

Photo courtesy of rWorlde Press

change. Don’t cancel your reservations.

Nicklaus wins at St. Andrews. cold and finished 75-75 and tied for 49th. Think he’ll be a favorite in the PGA at Whistling Straits where failing to read notices posted in the players lockerroom said every sand area was a bunker? Only cost him at least a playoff spot.

Photo by McCall

Will the PGA be Jordan vs. Zach? Zach’s payback for losing the 2013 John Deere playoff to Spieth and then at the John Deere the Sunday before the Old Course he missed an 18th hole putt? It would have put him in a playoff again with Spieth but he did better. He stopped Spieth’s drive for three majors in a row that would have matched fellow Texan Ben Hogan’s 1953 trio.

Trevino wins at Muirfield.

I can’t say enough good things about Spieth. In all the years that I’ve covered golf, there’s been no

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Photo courtesy of Tallk Sport

shown. What did Spieth do after missing the playoff for golf’s oldest prize? He stayed around and when the four hole playoff was over, he hugged Zach, laughing and congratulating him. That’s class.

Tom Watson plays his final Open.

Ohoto courtesy of Royal County Down

one like him. Rory McIlroy is close and both have incredible personalities, not a false stitch in either. McIlroy hits it farther but he still is prone to double bogeys and almost needs to kick himself some times to wake up. Unfortunately Rory kicked a soccer ball wrong and unless there’s

Royal County Down

been a miracle it appears we’ll have to wait until next season to see him at full strength and make it a Rory vs. Jordan game. Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, both long hitters, were better players but neither matched the regular guy humanness Spieth and McIlroy have

This was a most memorable Open, the farewell to the championship by fivetime winner Tom Watson, Nick Faldo’s last at St. Andrews – he said he’ll play in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, where he played the Open for the first time – and it was the close for first tee announcer Ivor Robson after 43 years. The Florida-based World Golf Hall of Fame smartly moved the


Photo courtesy of ESPN

2015 induction of David Graham, Mark O’Meara, Laura Davies and A.W. Tillinghast to a hall at St. Andrews University and it was first class. It went over so well they will do the next class during the 2017 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

First class too was Ann Arbor’s Mike Tirico, anchor of ESPN’s excellent coverage of the Open which Tirico said was his 19th. Tirico’s had quite a summer. He went to St. Andrews after two

Mike Tirico and Nick Faldo: The Open Team for ESPN. weeks of anchoring ESPN’s equally excellent coverage of Wimbledon and the victory of another 30-plus year-old American, Serena Williams.

Ubiquitous Michigan Golf

http://glsp.com

-

He deserves a rest, a little time at home in Pure Michigan. - MG -

24/7/365

http://michigangolfer.com

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • FALL 2015

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Photo courtesy of Whispering Pines

Whispering Pines No. 8 Tee

Playing Through Hell By Jeff Bairley

L

iving in or around Hell may sound like first on the Worst Places to Live list, and golfing around Hell may sound even worse, but truly, both can be pretty sweet. As a recent Pinckney home buyer, I now live a mere two miles from Hell itself – Hell, Michigan, that is. And as a daily commuter from downtown Detroit, a city I love, it is still a pleasure to leave the cold, urban sprawl behind each day and drive home to the rolling, open countryside where Hell is my neighbor. It feels like driving up north every day after punching out, and as you might imagine, the area is home to some great local golf courses, including Whispering Pines, Timber 28

Trace and Rush Lake Hills. True to its location, Whispering Pines (http://www.whisperingpinesgc.com) is one devilish, dastardly track. Carved into an upscale subdivision just south of M-36, it is a mighty beast that is not easily tamed. Teeing it up, one will quickly discover that ‘Whispering Pines’ is not just a clever name, the place is downright packed with beautiful pines, as well as maples, oaks, cedars, and all manner of other trees designed to impede your golf ball’s flight. Even on a good day, you are destined to play Plinko through the forest at least a few times. The sound of balls whistling through the trees is your round’s

FALL 2015 • MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

soundtrack. The course is exceptionally tight, with trees lining virtually every hole, along with some well-placed bodies of water and marshlands for your forced-carrying pleasure. Whispering Pines is a true test of an unsuspecting golfer’s shot-making ability and imagination. While it is always important to hit it straight to score well, here, it is a necessity, along with distance control. From the back tees, nearly every tee shot is intimidating. It takes a while to get comfortable, especially for those who are not confident with their driver. Adding to the close feel of the course are the nearby houses. This lessens after the


Another recurring theme is the rolling elevation changes that leave you with all sorts of side hill, downhill and uphill lies, as well as blind approach shots. The par 5 eighth is a great example of this. It’s straight, but the fairway undulates the entire way to the green. At least one of your shots will likely land at the base of one of the fairway’s little valleys, leaving you with no sight line at all. The picturesque 14th and

Photo courtesy of Susan Bairley

Whispering Pines No. 1 Green

Photo courtesy of Susan Bairley

Although it’s not terribly long at 6,440 yards from the back tees and 4,583 yards from the front, Whispering Pines is difficult and borders on gimmicky at times. After three pretty straightforward, but tight, holes, the fourth hole is where the place starts to turn into an evil funhouse of sorts. A short par 4 at 315 yards, it sits at an odd angle and takes you straight up a huge hill to a small green. Visually, it might be the most deceptive hole on the course. The beautiful fifth, another short par 4, takes you back down the hill and doglegs over a marsh. You won’t need a driver on either hole. But if you want a shot at par, you will need three or four accurate, properly weighted iron shots in a row, given the relatively small optimal landing areas and angles involved.

Whispering Pines No. 16 Green

Photo courtesy of Susan Bairley

first few holes and the back nine is much more secluded, but initially the fairways lined on both sides with houses and generous helpings of trees are enough to give any golfer the yips off the tee early in the round. To score well, you have to muster your confidence and pipe it down the middle on almost every hole, plain and simple. If you can’t do that, you will be in for a very long day.

Whispering Pines No. 17 Tee MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • FALL 2015

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Photo courtesy of Timber Trace

15th holes provide some great elevation changes and sloping fairways as well. Even if you hit the fairway on these holes, you may be faced with a severe side hill lie that will have you chopping at the ball with a swing better suited for America’s pastime. Then there’s the double doglegging 17th that will easily put a dent in an otherwise good scorecard. It’s a bit

of a microcosm of the entire course — incredibly tight and wooded, twisting up and down a hill at almost comical angles. It may sound like a hellish challenge, but the trickiness of Whispering Pines is what makes it incredibly fun and endlessly playable. Pars are hard to come by and well deserved when they are made. It’s a tremendous mental challenge in addition to being a test of every shot you have in the bag. There are four sets of tees that will allow players of all skill levels to have a fair shot at scoring well, and the forward tees cut out a lot of the forced carries and mitigate the intimidating, angular nature of the back tees.

Photo courtesy of Rush Lake Hills

Timber Trace Hole No. 1

Photo courtesy of Rush Lake Hills

Rush Lake Hills Hole No. 2

If Whispering Pines is a hell ride, then by comparison, Timber Trace (http://timbertracegolfclub.com ), nestled off M-36 just a few miles west, is like a jaunt on a riverboat through the waters of heaven itself. Built on a majestic piece of property, it is especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves begin to change. There is a

Rush Lake Hills 30

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residential development surrounding the course, but it is minimally intrusive, and Timber Trace is positively Gaylordian in its “up north” style and feel. The vistas are beautiful, with the best view possibly being right off the first tee. With five sets of tees, Timber Trace is a very well-maintained 7,020 yards from the tips and 5,100 yards from the forward tees. Fairways are mostly wide open and forgiving, while subtle elevation changes and large, undulating green complexes provide challenges on approach shots and putts. Scottish-style heather appears along with towering pines and a generous helping of bunkers (72 in total). The layout is logical and generous. If your chipping and putting are sharp, you should score pretty well out here. Overall, Timber Trace offers a very fun, friendly round of golf at a very reasonable price. Even more affordable, and definitely worth mentioning is Rush Lake Hills (www.rushlakehills.com ). In a way, Rush Lake Hills is the embodiment of the Hell and Pinckney areas themselves – down home friendly, unpretentious, laid back and generous. Owned by the Henry Ford Health System, all profits at Rush Lake Hills benefit cancer research. Rush Lake Hills is a fun loop that offers a rustic charm all its own. Established in 1961, it is a picturesque par 73 featuring a long, wideopen feel on the front nine and shorter, rolling back nine. It may never host a U.S. Open, and it may not compare with some of the more high-end courses that grace


Michigan Golfer pages. But for a fun, albeit charitable, round of golf, it is worth checking out. While in the area, be sure to have some great pizza at Pinckney’s Zukey Lake Tavern or try some fine Italian cuisine at La Vita Bistro. Maybe even follow the winding country roads favored by motorcyclists everywhere to the Dam Site Inn at ground zero – in Hell itself,

for a cold brew. As charming a holein-the-wall as you will ever set foot (or golf shoe, or biker boot) into, it’s a great spot to sit and talk about how many balls you lost at Whispering Pines. Other Hell attractions include a year-round Halloween merchandise store and ice cream shop/general store (complete with putt-putt golf course), that serves up a hellish breakfast, “Down North” pasties, and other

fun and delicious novelties. Whichever course you choose to play, the Hell/Pinckney area is a great place to visit and play golf. And fear no evil spirits, that ‘ghost’ you see hacking its way out of the forest on Whispering Pines’ double dogleg 17th as the sun sets is probably just me. - MG -

MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2015

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Indiana Offers Michigan-style

Photo courtesy of Purgatory GC

By Susan Bairley

Purgatory, Hole No. 17, “Hell’s Half Acre”


e Golf, Plus a Longer Season


M

ichigan golf courses leave few wants unanswered. The sheer number, the beauty, the diverse architecture – we really do have it all. Our only wish may be for a longer golf season. But actually, we may have that covered, too. The solution? Cross the state line to Indiana.

Recently, I visited two great courses north of the city – Purgatory Golf Club in Noblesville, and Rock Hollow Golf Club in Peru. Truly, with courses around Hell also featured in this MG issue, the name association of Purgatory was not intentional. But I must say, Purgatory Golf Club (www.purgatorygolf.com) is a helluva track – and as course literature says, it’s ‘more heaven than Hell.’ Designed by Ron Kern,

Photo courtesy of Purgatory GC

Those looking to expand their local golf geography and bookend Michigan’s playing season by as much as two months will find greater Indianapolis to be an A+ destination. For one, its driving distance from Metro Detroit is comparable to that of Traverse City or Petoskey; two, it is home to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (which makes for a great golf trip pairing); three, its golf courses are

very much like Michigan’s, a.k.a., lined by trees, tall grasses or heather, green, lush, and you’re going to like them; and four, you generally can play them from late March through November.

Purgatory, Hole No. 6 34

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Purgatory offers 18 holes of scenic, fun and well-conceived golf. With six sets of tees, it is enjoyably playable for golfers of all levels. In addition, Kern’s horizontal variation of tee placements on most holes, along with distance, makes the course play very differently, and as easily or as difficult as you want, just based on tee choice. Opened in 2000, the course also has a beautiful, upscale clubhouse facility, expansive practice range and large putting and short-game practice greens. Purgatory is the dream project of owners Michael and Tenna (pronounced ‘Tina’) Merchent. Mike wanted to own a course, so he kept tabs on the local real estate market. When 218 acres of area farmland


Photo courtesy of Rock Hollow

Rock Hollow Hole No. 17 went up for sale, he worked with the local zoning board to secure the appropriate land-use approvals, purchased the land and hired Kern, a third-generation golf architect and area resident. Kern created the plans, designed the drainage, did the routing and oversaw the construction from start to finish. “I knew Ron could do the best job for us,” Mike said. “We are likeminded on a lot of things. He is an artist at heart, as well as ASGCA engineer, so he had his hands on everything related to the development of the course.” The Merchents also have put a lot of themselves into the course and facilities. Mike knows the club inside and out and is dedicated to ensuring its legacy through his promotion of junior golf and a quality golf experience for all visitors. He and Tenna had the course blessed by her Catholic priest uncle when it opened. She named all the holes individually, tapping Dante’s 14th century poems for inspiration. She

also assisted in the clubhouse design and has photographed the course, like a first-born baby, compiling text and amazingly beautiful hole-byhole photos into a self-published Purgatory Golf Club book. In addition, the staff, led by General Manager Brian Rhodes and Director of Golf John Stutz, reflect the Merchents’ passion and enthusiasm. The result is a grand golf club, worthy of its heavenly associations and Latin scorecard motto “Tempur in nortrum situm bene prematur” or “Time spent here will be time well rewarded.” Measuring 7,754 yards from the far-reaching ‘Purgatory’ tees (which include a 741-yard par 5), it is the longest course in Indiana and is said to be ‘the longest non-mountain, par 72 in the world.’ While few golfers will play from those or the 7,268-yard black tees, most will choose from the 6,796 blue through 4,562 forward-most yellow tees. Some stately trees preside over a few holes, but it’s the more than

125 crushed-limestone, white sand bunkers, graceful prairie grasses, low-lying scrub and four connected lakes that will catch your eye and possibly your golf ball as well! One of the most talked about holes is the par 3, 17th. Dubbed Hell’s Half Acre, it’s an island of green amid a sea of bunkers. It’s one of the few holes requiring a forced carry by players from all tees, except the yellow, where golfers are gifted with a surprising yet fun, chip or strong-arm putt from the tee. Among my personal favorites are the par 4, second hole, which is a dogleg left along one of the lakes; the straight-away, par 5, ninth hole; and the par 4-3-5 string of holes 11, 12 and 13. However, truth be told, I really like all 18 of Purgatory’s golf holes. An average or new golfer will fully appreciate how the forward tee placements ‘level the playing field,’ without compromising the experience of better players playing from other tees. Maybe that’s part of Purgatory’s spiritual reward. Simply

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by virtue of its design, and without you even thinking about it, the course helps you manage your game. porting a totally different look and feel, but coming at you with a similar Midwest family welcome, is Rock Hollow Golf Club (http://www.rockhollowgolf.com).

S

Once the site of an active sand and gravel mine, owner Terry Smith bought the 300-acre property in 1973, but didn’t decide to construct a golf course until 1992. Pete Dye walked the route with course architect, Tim Liddy, (a Dye assistant at various courses, including Crooked Stick),

and Rock Hollow became Liddy’s first solo course design. The front nine opened in 1994; the back in 1995. Smith brought 30,000 yards of topsoil onto the property and installed ‘lots of drainage’ to create a course to USGA specifications. The family, steeped in the business of sand, gravel and road construction, did all of the work themselves. As a matter of fact, Smith tells a story of how his family, including grandchildren, crawled up the 7th fairway on their hands and knees, removing stones one-by-one and tossing them into a wheelbarrow.

Photo courtesy of Rock Hollow

Taking that small bit of history and the club’s name into account, you might expect an open field-style course with lots of exposed rock, jagged elevation changes and a gravel pit lake or two. Instead, Rock Hollow is a mature course carved into a beautiful woodlot with lovely lakes, wetlands and ponds. Nearly every fairway is tree-lined and rolling, playing much like an established Northern-Michigan track. Decorative boulders are here and there, but even those are not ‘ordinary.’

Rock Hollow’s 537 yard, par 5, Hole No. 3 36

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Rock Hollow is ‘out in the country,’ so it’s a quiet, serene course where deer sightings are


With its open and rolling fairways, long hitters have a tendency to go all-in, which rewards handsomely if successful, but a few errant degrees left or right will easily result in a lost ball penalty to the water or woods, or distance lost as you punch back out into the fairway. Michigan golfers will find Rock Hollow incredibly familiar in its design and topography, and once fall colors set in, the setting will feel even more like home.

O

Brickyard Crossing

Photo courtesy of the Brickyard

Rock Hollow has four sets of tees and plays 6,944 yards from the tips and 4,967 yards from the forward-most gold tees. The course is comfortable, fun and playable for golfers of all levels. However, most forward tees are a short walk or cart ride in front of the ‘Rock’ and blue tees, so goldtee players often may feel like they’re essentially playing the same course, despite their 1,000yard overall advantage when compared with the blue.

Photo courtesy of the Brickyard

commonplace. Other than the expansive family homes of Terry, and his three sons - PGA Tour Player Chris Smith; Rock Hollow PGA Professional and nine-time Indiana PGA Player of the Year Todd Smith; and Terry Smith Jr. – there is no surrounding development. There also is no fancy clubhouse, but that’s just fine, too. The course is the star.

ther area courses worth checking out include Robert Trent Jones Jr.’s Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel; Bear Slide Golf Club in Cicero; and in Indianapolis, The Fort Golf

Brickyard Crossing Resort - course designed by Pete Dye and Tim Liddy, and Pete Dye’s Brickyard Crossing. Located at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Brickyard Crossing has four holes in the oval, with the other 14 adjacent to the backstretch of the race track.

Custom stay & play packages can be arranged through Hamiliton County Tourism Inc. at www.visithamiltoncounty.com/golf/stay-andplay or by calling 1-800-776-8687. - MG -

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Slice of Life By Terry Moore

Photo courtesy of Terry Moore

Whistling Straits where Jason Day conquered the field in record-setting fashion, permit me to share some thoughts and perspective about being a media member at a major championship.

Terry Moore

“W

hat’s it like to cover a major golf championship like the Masters or the PGA?” That’s a frequent question I’ve been asked over the years. And usually there’s a follow up query such as, “Sure you don’t need an assistant?”

Photo by Jennie McCafferty

Since I just returned from

It all begins with a credential process months ahead of the championship. It’s an electronic registration method that all tournaments now employ that’s quite simple. Due to the fact that I’ve covered golf for over 40 years, the major golf organizations know me (their burden) and the outlets I represent. Once the application has been received, a formal confirmation is emailed back in a short time. On this confirmation is a bar code that must be scanned at the Main Entrance, permitting access with a photo ID.

A day at Augusta 38

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Along with this piece of paper, I always make sure to bring along the following items to a major championship: my laptop, cell phone and related cables; rain gear; sun block; small pair of binoculars; and a fanny pack (approved size.) I occasionally get some grief from cronies about the fanny pack but I’ve found it quite handy and essential. In particular, you can store car keys without the worry of them falling out of your pockets if seated somewhere out on the course. I also store a pen and a small notebook. All of these items were examined by security at the PGA’s main tournament’s main entrance. Once checked through, I was then directed to the main Media Center. At Whistling Straits, it was a long and healthy walk from the main entrance to the Media Center. Passing a parade of sponsor tents, the massive merchandise tent and concessions, the welcoming banner proudly proclaimed, “This is Major.” Hard to argue otherwise. The Media Center was an enormous temporary structure that’s basically a big tent. Staffed by cheery volunteers, the registration desk was my first stop. Here I exchanged by temporary gate pass for my permanent tournament credential— a lanyard that includes a hard plastic media badge with my photo (my burden.) I also received a seating assignment, parking and


media bus information and other pertinent info. Across from this desk was a wall of tournament information—including transcripts of player interviews, course and tee-time information, the official tournament program, local newspapers and the like. The material was expertly organized and updated daily.

then moved ahead. I also spent some time in a grandstand to get a feel for the gallery and how the course looks from a fan’s perspective. Besides, I needed a breather as the Straits is a tough walk. There was a terrific grandstand at the par-three 12th hole that overlooked Lake Michigan. The hole is called “Pop Up,” as it plays

Photo courtesy of Terry Moore

I then made my way to my seat where I unpacked my laptop. At the Masters, I’ve been seated a few times next to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi, a fine reporter and interviewer with a knack for asking the right questions. And in Augusta, I’ve also been seated next to a Scottish golf writer who works for a German golf publication and website. This year at the PGA I was next to Alfie Lau, a friendly and knowledgeable golf writer from Vancouver. His major task was covering a handful of Canadians in the championship. Alfie is a solid golf writer who knows his beat well on both the local and national levels. He was also a font of useful information about golf in the Pacific Northwest.

fully appreciate the skill level of the modern game. I studied Howell and wonder how can “this can’t miss kid out of Oklahoma State” only have won two Tour events? And the last one was eight years ago! The short answer is: at this lofty level, it’s all about putting and getting the ball in the hole on Sunday when it really matters. I watched this grouping for a few holes and

It’s a major tournament.

After checking some emails, I headed out to the course within 45 minutes of my arrival. My game plan was to walk the second nine of Whistling Straits during the cooler morning clime as the forecast predicted hot and humid weather in the afternoon. At the tenth tee, I caught the threesome of Charles Howell III, Thomas Bjorn and Iowa PGA club pro Austin Peters. As much as I watch the Tour on television, there’s no substitute for seeing world-class golf up close and personal. The trajectory, speed and power of golfers must be seen in person to

Photo by Art McCafferty

Okay, what about the golf?

The Beauty of Whistling Straits M I C H I G A N G O L F E R M A G A Z I N E • F A L L 2 0 1 5 39


downhill to a large and rolling green. On Thursday, the pin was in a benign position in the center of the green. But on Friday and Sunday, it was placed on the back right tier and it was diabolical. From there any mis-hit may mean a ball will fall 40 feet to the dunes and Lake Michigan.

Photo courtesy of Whistling Straits

Dan Jenkins is a major Major writer.

Later, at the 14th green with

Famous finishing hole at the Straits 40

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only a few spectators, I watched the threesome of England’s David Howell, New York club pro Grant Sturgeon, and the PGA Tour’s Boo Weekley hit up to the green. Howell, a former Ryder Cup player who’s slowly regaining his form, stiffed his iron to within three feet of the cup. He made his birdie and nicely acknowledged the applause from the sparse crowd. That’s a plus about following early morning pairings without the marquee names: You get easy access and comfortable viewing of superb golf. After watching play at the final holes, I returned to the Media Center where I transcribed some notes and posted a few items to Facebook. I studied the huge electronic scoreboard and also watched


some televised action on the large screens in the front of the Media Center. At the Masters, each individual seat has its own TV monitor where you can access both cable and broadcast channels covering the tournament and marquee groups. Alfie and I walked over to a separate Media dining area where a complimentary buffer lunch was

served. My media badge was scanned and recorded in case I have an eating disorder. There were more TV screens on the wall offering the Golf Channel coverage when TNT was not covering live action. Here is where media colleagues meet, exchange pleasantries and catch up. Today I had a friendly little chat with John Garrity, Sports Illustrated’s notable writer and

author who wrote Ancestral Links, an engaging book about his Irish heritage and the Carne Golf Links in Ireland. A fellow admirer of Carne, I asked John the latest news about the Eddie Hackett-designed masterpiece located in western Ireland. After lunch, I returned to my seat for more writing while keeping

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an eye on the progress of Michigan’s lone representative, Fox Hills’ Brian Cairns. Unfortunately, Cairns was not off to a good start and he’s struggling. I calculated when he’ll finish as I planned to interview him after he signs his card and exits the scoring trailer behind the 18th green. This restricted area was also the “quick quote” area. On TV, it’s the outdoor interview area where players stand on a platform in front of a logo board and field questions about their round. If a player’s round is one of the day’s best, he’ll also be asked to come to the Media Center for another interview. But for marquee players who don’t score particularly well yet need to be asked questions—such as Tiger Woods—this is where the media gathers. There were also separate and restricted interview areas set aside for TNT/CBS and the Golf Channel. Suffice it to say, television rules the roost. Later, I waited for Cairns to sign his card and exit the scoring trailer. He walked down the stairs toward me and I said hello. Cairns smiled and replied, “Oh so you want to interview the guy with one of the high rounds (83) of the day?” I quickly reminded Cairns, 51, whom I known many years covering golf, that’s he’s only one of 20 club pros in the U.S. having the distinct honor of competing in this major. He appreciated that sentiment and it seemed to place him in the right frame of mind after a disappointing round. “I really expected to be around par today in spite of how long this course is. I had some good chances early on but I didn’t make any putts.” Cairns also relished his grouping which included PGA Tour winners Matt Jones and Matt Every.

42

“Jones shot an easy 68 and it could have been much lower,” said Cairns. Jones, in fact, ended up as the 36-hole leader (68-65) but faltered over the weekend. After wishing Cairns better luck on Friday, I walked back to the cooler confines of the Media Center. I wrote a few notes and added a new post about Cairns. I read some of the transcripts of earlier player interviews and it became apparent the morning wave had the best of it. By the afternoon, the wind had kicked up along with the temperature.

Pete Dye is course designer for Whistling Straits.

I decided to hop on the Media bus back to the downtown Hyatt Milwaukee at 6 pm (7 pm EST) realizing it’s a one-hour drive. The advantage of staying at the official Media hotel—despite its distance to Whistling Straits—was the complimentary bus transportation between it and the golf course. It’s a no worry, no fuss arrangement and there simply were not enough hotel rooms in nearby Sheboygan to handle all the media. Also on my bus was the esteemed golf writer Dan Jenkins who’s accompanied by his son who keeps him updated with live PGA action on his cell phone. Jenkins was very interested in the status of fellow Texan Jordan Spieth. At the Masters, Jenkins tweeted that Spieth possessed that rare combination of gifts mindful of Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Ben Crenshaw. With the bucolic Wisconsin countryside whizzing by in the windows, it was a pleasant and relaxing ride to Milwaukee. As I prepared a few thoughts for my morning radio

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interview on WOOD-AM in Grand Rapids I also realized covering a major golf championship, while it has its demands and headaches, is a most pleasing and rewarding endeavor. I’ve been very fortunate to cover quite a few. Reflecting on the day, I recalled two favorite quotes from one of my favorite authors and radio hosts, Garrison Keillor. He said: “Thank you, dear God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.” And equally appropriate as I’m sitting behind Jenkins: “When in doubt, look intelligent.”

A member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, Terry Moore is the founding editor of Michigan Golfer.

- MG -


Now on iPad

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Michigan Golfer, Fall 2015  
Michigan Golfer, Fall 2015  

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