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In This Issue V O L U M E

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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 Michael Caples Jason Deegan Tom Doak Mike Duff Bill Fountain Rob Franciosi Thad Gutowski Marty Henwood Kelly Hill Greg Johnson Vartan Kupelian Chris Lewis Brian Manning Jim Neff Norm Sinclair Michael Patrick Shiels Ron Whitten

Gary Holaway Janina Parrott Jacobs Chris Lewis Herschel Nathanial Bernice Phillips Dave Ruthenberg Scott Sullivan John Wukovits Photo/Video Mike Brown Kevin Frisch Tim Hygh Dave Richards Carter Sherline Director of Accounting Cheryl Clark

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Albion Britons – 75 Years of Golfing Success and Counting By Chris Lewis

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Ertl, Traub, Zylstra Elected to Michigan Golf Hall of Fame By Michigan Golf Foundation

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Treetops: Golf at its Best

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Shenandoah and the Michigan Golf Classic By Jack Berry John Dodge – A Tribute

By Bill Fountain

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43 Years at the Masters

By Jack Berry

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Slice of Life: Torrey Pines, San Diego and the Bucket List By Terry Moore

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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.

By Mike Duff

Cover: Mike Hill. Photo: Archive and Photography Resources, PGA of America

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Collegiate Spotlights:

Michigan Golf Programs Provide Vast Opportunities for Students – Albion College

Albion Britons – 75 Years of Golfing Success and Counting…..

To date, the Britons have maintained their traditional winning ways. Currently, the 2009-2010 team’s average of 305 ranks second in the MIAA, while their single round score of 291 against Hope College this past October is the best in the school’s history. Head coach Jordan Rich believes the Britons’ performance against Hope is certainly the team’s key accomplishment this past season.

“No other visiting team has won at Wuskowhan Players Club since Hope has hosted their MIAA jamboree event there,” said Rich. “I believe that alone says a lot about our team’s performance that day.”

Photo courtesy of Albion College

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ver since the Albion Britons first began competing in men’s golf events in 1934, the team has had various stretches of successes, including seven consecutive Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) titles from 1950 to 1956, as well as three consecutive MIAA championships from 1965 to 1967.

Chris Lewis

Albion Golf Team ‘09

Continuous Improvements, High Performances On and Off the Golf Course

As a fellow Albion alum and four-time member of the varsity golf team, Rich (’03) not only has passion for the game of golf, but undeniable school spirit as well. Each of these traits led Rich to pursue a varsity golf head coach position at Albion, which he attained in 2005. During the last four years, Rich has truly witnessed vast improvements in the team’s scoring, which ultimately led to a rather memorable conclusion to the team’s fall golf schedule. “The Britons simply could not

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have had a much better end to their season this year – two team wins in their last two MIAA tournaments in order to surge into second place in the MIAA standings,” said Rich.

“During the second to last match, the team shot a score of 300, despite having to play in rather poor weather conditions, and won its home tournament at The Medalist Golf Club,” said Rich. “Shortly after, the team then shot its record-breaking score of 291 against Hope. The team’s fall season definitely ended rather positively.” Meanwhile, Rich has not only been impressed by his team’s performance on the course, but off of it as well.

“Albion has recently been recognized by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) for having one of the 20 best grade point averages in NCAA Division III golf,” said Rich. “In the meantime, Mark McLaughlin (’10) was chosen to obtain the 2009 MIAA Men’s Golf Sportsmanship award. Since he •

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Mark McLaughlan ‘10

was selected by his fellow competitors, it seems that he is certainly well-respected around the state not only for his golfing abilities, but for his character traits as well.”

Briton Golf - A Rich History Since 1934

Aside from the successful Briton teams of the 1950s and 1960s, the school has also had four standout golfers throughout the last five decades, who have contributed their talents to the program’s rich history in order to not only obtain individual scoring records, but MIAA championships as well.

Vic Cuiss (’53) – Cuiss played during the midst of the school’s most successful decade, at a time in which the Britons obtained seven consecutive MIAA championships from 1950 to 1956. As one of the leading contributors of the successful 1950s teams, Cuiss continued his career in golf once he graduated from Albion. Not only did he serve as the chairman of the Michigan Amateur Committee from 1974 to 1986, but he was also chosen as the president of the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM), a position he held from 1987 to 1988. 4

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and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) All-America Scholar awards. Along with six MIAA tournament victories,

member of the 1983 MIAA championship team, Steve John not only attained success as a team member, but as an individual as well. During his golfing career, John was a three-time letter winner, the MIAA MVP in 1984, and a qualifier for the 1984 NCAA Championship. In 2001, John was inducted into Albion’s Athletic Hall of Fame – an achievement which will likely remain one of his greatest as a Division III golfer. With a variety of individualistic achievements, as well as membership on the 1983 MIAA championship team, John will surely be remembered as one of Albion’s greatest golfers well into the future.

Matt Lowman (’96) –

While representing the Britons from 1993 to 1996, Lowman was a member of the All-MIAA team for a record-tying four consecutive seasons. However, aside from his individualistic achievements on the course, Lowman was also a member of the 1994 MIAA championship team. Even though he has not yet been inducted into Albion’s Athletic Hall of Fame, he still holds the distinction of being the only Albion golfer in history to be a member of four consecutive AllMIAA teams.

Mark McLaughlin (’10) – During his golfing career at Albion, McLaughlin has become as wellknown for his sportsmanship, academics, and actions off the golf course as he has for his achievements on it. The senior is not only a two-time first team All-MIAA member, but a winner of both the 2009 MIAA Men’s Golf Sportsmanship

Photo courtesy of Albion College

Photo courtesy of Albion College

Steve John (’86) – As a

Matt Lowman ‘96 McLaughlin also has the lowest career scoring average (74.7) in Albion history. As McLaughlin prepares for the finale of his golfing

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career at Albion, as well as his graduation, he will surely be remembered as one of the most successful Briton golfers of all time.

become wellrespected for not only having successful athletic programs, but stellar educational curriculums as well, as evidenced through its addition of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, an academic national honor society that honors some of the brightest college and university students in the United States. Albion was the first private college in Michigan to have a chapter of the society.

In the meantime, although three of Albion’s top golfers (Mark McLaughlin, Mason Husby, and Mark Buckley) will be graduating this upcoming May in order to pursue their future careers, head coach Jordan Rich is still optimistic about the future of the Britons.

Photo courtesy of Albion College

Looking Ahead to the Future

“Even though the team will be rather young next year, it will have great leadership from both Zach Benedict (’11) and Scott Merritt (’12),” said Rich. “Once the team has additional young talent to support Zach and Scott, the Britons will surely have a chance to compete for MIAA championships again.”

Steve John ‘84

single round, 291, against Hope College this past fall.

While the 2009-2010 team did not attain the MIAA Championship, it will still be remembered as one of the most talented in the history of Albion’s golfing program. Not only did senior Mark McLaughlin score consistently well throughout his entire career with Albion, the team itself also obtained a record which may not be surpassed any time soon – the best score for a 6

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“In terms of scoring average, the 2009-2010 team is probably the best in Albion’s history, yet the team fell short of its goal of winning the MIAA championship,” said Rich. “Each year, the Britons strive to win the MIAA championship. The team will definitely have that goal in mind next year as well.”

Since its founding in 1835, Albion College has provided thousands of students a stellar, private liberal arts education within the community of Albion, in the outskirts of Battle Creek. Albion has

In addition, Albion’s athletic teams have obtained various successes during the last century. While the school has only obtained one NCAA Division III national championship throughout its history, it has attained a variety of MIAA championships in sports ranging from basketball to cross country. With 18 intercollegiate teams (nine men’s teams and nine women’s teams), the Albion Britons will surely be prepared to continuously earn more championships well into the future. For more information about Albion College, as well as its wide selection of athletic programs, please visit http:// www2.albion.edu/admission/. MG

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Ertl, Traub, Zylstra Elected to Michigan Golf Hall of Fame

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Park Country Club in Sarasota, and returns to Michigan each summer for the Michigan PGA Women’s Open. She was inducted into the MSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001 with Jud Heathcote and Steve Smith.

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Billy Zylstra

ue Ertl, who went from Big Ten champion to the LPGA Tour, long-driving John Traub who drove to the PGA Club Professional championship and Bill Zylstra who has found golf fame begins at age 55, have been named to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.

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rtl, born in Grand Rapids and raised in Ionia, starred at Michigan State where she made All-American, played on three conference championship teams and twice was conference medalist. She was the first ever Michigan State Sportswoman of the Year in 1979 and went on to 11 years on the LPGA circuit before turning to teaching and coaching.

Ertl was assistant women’s coach at MSU in 1993-94 and head coach two years at the University of Arkansas. She currently is head teaching professional at University

ylstra is another former Spartan golfer who primarily played Michigan Publinx events until he reached senior status. He made the Michigan Publinx Golf Assn. Honor Roll 17 times and played in the United States Golf Association Junior, Amateur and Amateur Public Links championships a total of six times.

Zylstra blossomed on the national senior amateur circuit when he turned 55, winning one championship after another, twice winning the Golf Week Senior Championship and being named Golfweek Titleist National Senior Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009. His 65 qualifying round in the 2007 USGA Senior Amateur broke the record and he was Golf Association of Michigan Senior Player of the Year the last four years.

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raub made an impressive fast start in golf, becoming a PGA member in 1977 and then named head professional at Great Oaks Country Club in 1978. In 1980 he rallied from seventh place, eight shots behind, to fire a 3-under-par 69 and win the National Club Professional

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Photo courtesy of Michigan Golf Foundation

Photo courtesy of Michigan Golf Foundation

By Michigan Golf Foundation

Sue Ertl

Championship. The round, in 30 mile-an-hour winds, was the low score of the day. That earned Traub a spot in the PGA Cup against Great Britain & Ireland and a year on the PGA Tour.

Meanwhile, back in Michigan, Traub won the PGA Championship in 1984 and, as a senior, twice won the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship. He won the Michigan PGA Senior, two Pro-Pro and two Pro-Assistant titles as well. Traub was head professional at Detroit Golf Club from 19912001, completely redesigned the practice facility and has made a name for himself among his peers locally and nationally as a topflight instructor and has spent six years on the PGA of America Instruction Staff. The election of Ertl, Traub and Zylstra brings membership in the Hall of Fame to 90. MG •

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Photo courtesy of Treetops

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Rick Smith’s Signature, Hole Number 3

he “Crowning Glory’ of golf courses in Michigan! Who could argue with Robert Trent Jones, world renown golf course designer, as he put his signature touch on the first, yet only one of the five magnificent courses that Treetops Golf and Resort in Gaylord Michigan offers.

Most golfers throughout Michigan tend to look for destination golf sites that offer you a variety of golf venues that match your playing abilities and are affordable. Well, look no more. If golf is your game, Treetops has what you need….five courses to choose 8

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By Mike Duff

from. Where in Michigan can you get this kind of golf experience.

Look, golfers are selective in what they want in a golf course. But, how can you go wrong with a selection that matches anything in the country for great golf. We all know that a test of golf is all relative to your own golfing skills. But, who wants to play a course that beats you up, not to mention, you never win a skin and you get your brains beat out on other side bets at the same time. Now, don’t get me wrong, Treetops is not going to solve you golfing inefficiencies, however, it is going to

give you the opportunity to experience one of the most dynamic golf venues anywhere in this state and maybe in the nation. Where do we start…..First there are five courses with varying degrees of difficulty. Let me list them:

Robert Trent Jones

143 to 130 Slope rating from Black to White. 7007 to 5799 yards. Very Challenging.

Tom Fazio Premier

134 to 125 (S), 6832 to 5857 yards. A superior test of golf.

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Rick Smith Signature

136 to 129 (S), 6653 to 5863 yards. Challenging yet playable. Not to mention its beauty.

Rick Smith Tradition

122 to 109 (S), 6357 to 5630 yards. Flatter, more open terrain and easier to keep your ball in play.

Treetops Par Three

Photo courtesy of Treetops

143 to 100 (S), 1297 to 967 yards.

Nothing can compare to it. You think you have played par three golf or pitch and putt golf before. I guarantee you have never experienced anything like this gem. You are in for a treat. Target golf at its best but fair distances and reasonable landing areas help keep your ball in play. I would rate this course challenging to say the least. Treetops Resort is a special

place to stay and relax. The hospitality and services match the same emphasis they have put in to their golf courses. Both rate high marks. There are a variety of lodging packages that will meet your particular budget. Look for, Stay and Play, Midweek and Perfect Week packages. For more information, go to their website at http://treetops.com. MG

Robert Trent Jones’ Masterpiece, Hole Number 1 MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

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Shenandoah and the Michigan Golf Classic

n these days of weekly $5,000,000 (those zeroes are impressive, aren’t they?) PGA Tour events with a $1,000,000 top prize (zeroes still impressive), it’s fun occasionally to remember the Michigan Golf Classic, the aptly nicknamed Mother Hubbard Open where the week’s leading money winner earned $500 (oops, the zeroes shrunk). That’s what Tom Shaw got for winning the pro-am.

It was September 7, 1969 and the purse at Shenandoah Golf Club was advertised as $100,000, fairly normal then.

Larry Adderley, then with Channel 7, walked back to the clubhouse with Ziegler and told him talk was going around that there wasn’t any money to pay the purse. Ziegler was incredulous. 10

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How did it happen? Go back one year earlier, 1968, to Birmingham Country Club. The club hosted the United States Women’s Amateur that summer and JoAnne Gunderson (Carner) won for the fifth time. She turned pro in 1969 and Birmingham members were happy they’d seen the Great Gundy in her final amateur championship.

and better than the Women’s National Amateur championship.

Jim Dewling, who has gone on to a long golf career including president of the Michigan PGA Section and building and managing courses around the state, was Birmingham caddymaster at the time. Dewling said that at the end of the season he sat in the grill with Chambers and club pro Ray Maguire and Chambers raised the idea of putting on a PGA tournament and looking for a site. Dewling, who’d been at Edgewood Country Club in Union Lake before going to Birmingham, said he knew that some former Edgewood members built a course on Walnut Lake Rd. in West Bloomfield.

Photo courtesy of Archive and Photography Resources, PGA of America

Larry Ziegler got Zero, just a plain Zero with nothing in front of it for winning the tournament, beating Homero Blancas on the second playoff hole with a birdie. It had been Ziegler’s best day as a pro, rallying from three shots back with a course record 64, the lowest round of the tournament.

By Jack Berry

It was Shenandoah Country Club and the father-son team of Bruce and Jerry Matthews designed it in 1963 and it opened in 1964.

J.C. Snead tied for 3rd and “won” a $5,900.00 share of the purse. Marshall Chambers, the club member who was General Chairman, was very pleased and thought of doing something bigger

“There wasn’t a lot of money and it was a basic, simple design,” Jerry Matthews said. “It was a fun experience. Designing on paper is one thing but getting on the ground is different and it was the first one with housing that I worked on.”

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with housing that I worked on.”

Chambers toured the facility and made a deal with the owners to rent it for the tournament. Up to then, the Motor City Opens, which ended in 1962, had been held at Detroit’s premier clubs – Meadowbrook, Plum Hollow, Red Run, Western and Knollwood, which staged the 11th and last Motor City Open. The MCO died because it was upstaged by the Buick Open in 1958 and paid a purse double the size of the MCOs.

The top pros knew and liked the MCO courses. Ben Hogan, Cary Middlecoff, Lloyd Mangrum, Doug Ford, Mike Souchak, Bob Rosburg and Doug Sanders were among the winners.

But when the Michigan Golf Classic was announced, word spread on the tour that Shenandoah wasn’t the caliber of the courses they knew.

Further, the date conflicted with the World Series of Golf which pitted Masters champion George

Archer, U.S. Open winner Orville Moody, British Open champion Tony Jacklin and PGA winner Raymond Floyd against each other at Firestone Country Club in Akron. It was nationally televised.

And it came when the tournament players were breaking away from the club pro-dominated Professional Golfers Association of America and hired respected former U.S. Golf Association executive director Joseph C. Dey Jr. to lead them. The tour players wanted to run their own game. Consequently only three of the top 20 money winners entered the Shenandoah tournament. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, golf’s Big Three, didn’t enter. Neither did Billy Casper, Tom Weiskopf or Lee Trevino. The biggest names were Chi Chi Rodriguez and Doug Sanders, and Sanders withdrew before the tournament started. Hale Irwin, in his second pro year, didn’t make the cut.

of Jackson and Cass Jawor of Detroit, did well, tying for fifth. But Mike’s brother Dave, always a crowd-pleaser, didn’t enter.

Tickets didn’t sell. The weather was wet. Galleries were embarrassingly low. There wasn’t an organization like the old Motor City Open Steering Committee that was accustomed to bringing the clubs together to sell tickets and supply volunteers. Chambers’ money men were Phil Lachman, who owned a trophy store, and John Brennan, the general manager of Oakland Hills Country Club. No one had deep pockets.

Dewling had been hired to recruit caddies for the tournament and he went around to local clubs to get them. That was the time when tour players were required to hire local caddies. “At 1 o’clock on Sunday after-

Shenandoah continues on p. 14 following Michigan Golf Classic scorecard summary

Two Michigan pros, Mike Hill

Shenandoah Banquet, Golf and Conference Center today MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

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Shenandoah continued from p. 11 before Michigan Golf Classic scorecard summary.

would’ve liked to get the trophy and would’ve paid $10,000 for it.”

noon,” Dewling said, “Mr. Lachman says ‘Jimmy, let’s go for a cart ride.’ He said I seemed to be the only one around there who knew what went on. We drove out to a spot where there was no one around and he told me there was no money and they weren’t going to pay the purse.”

On the morning after the “Un-Classic,” Dewling said Lachman drove to Birmingham Country Club and paid him the $500 he’d been hired for to recruit the caddies. “I wish now I’d made a photocopy of it,” Dewling said.

“When presentation time came, everyone disappeared,” Dewling said.

Dey got word, he was furious. In April a regulation was established that a tournament had to have the prize money in escrow before the first ball was struck. Unfortunately, the Michigan Golf Classic contract was signed prior to the rule.

Photo by Todd DeHaven

“I think ‘Wow! This is wild.’ He said Chambers hadn’t come up with any money and the pro-am didn’t generate any money. We drove back to the clubhouse and he got in his car and left.

The Tour did eventually pay all of the players and when Ziegler won for a second time, the 1975 Greater Jacksonville Open, he cracked “I have my check (for $30,000) but I haven’t taken it to the bank yet.”

Charles Sifford shot 283, T42 to “earn” a whopping $332.00.

Mike Bergsma, the Shenandoah caddymaster and starter at the time, said the trophy was in a storeroom and he figured Lachman had retrieved it “and probably melted it down.”

Dewling said Lachman made “a beautiful trophy” but no one seemed to know where it was and what happened to it. 14

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Bergsma, official scorer at a number of regular Tour and Senior Tour events, said he found a box of crests with the Michigan Golf Classic logo – a car superimposed on the outline of the state of Michigan — when he moved two years ago. He presented one to Ziegler at a Florida Champions Tour stop. “He said he still

David DeBenedictis, an Evans Scholar at the University of Michigan, had caddied for R.H. Sikes at the Buick Open that summer and Sikes hired him at Shenandoah. Sikes tied for 37th and DeBenedictis, now a financial planner, said Sikes paid him after the tournament. It wasn’t much but it was more than Sikes got that day.

Months later Lachman told the Associated Press that “By far, the majority of the creditors have been taken care of. Most have been very patient about it. The first thing we did was pay all the little people.” Earlier Lachman said Chambers “was a terrific smoothie.”

While the Mother Hubbard Open lives on in infamy, the embarrassment of a golf community that regarded itself quite highly led to Oakland Hills Country Club taking on the PGA Championship in 1972.

Gary Player won. And was paid. MG

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John Dodge – a Tribute

Photo courtesy of the Bill Fountain Family

By Bill Fountain

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From left: Justin Peckens - Majestic Superintendent, John Dodge, Steve Tannar - Majestic Golf Professional, Bill Fountain

s we journey through our lives, we meet many, many people. Most of the people we meet have a minimal impact on our lives while a few people change us forever. This is a tribute to a man who did in fact, change my life forever. That great man was John Dodge. 16

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When we begin our careers, we hope to gain experience, knowledge, personal growth and opportunity in a job. We also hope to find a great coach, teacher and mentor to assist us in reaching our personal and professional goals. In 1988, I was very lucky to have crossed paths John Dodge, a man who epitomized all of these traits.

John’s first business experience was working at the Indian Head Motel in Williamston, Michigan. Following that, he owned and/or managed several Lansing restaurants including Uncle Johns Pancake House, the Dodge House, Sneakers and Eddie O’Flynn’s. He also taught hospitality courses and mentored numerous interns at Lansing Community College. He was a part-

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Photo courtesy of the MGCOA

Michigan Golfer TV http://michigangolfer.tv/2010shows/john_dodge/

ner in several golf courses including Timber Ridge, ElDorado and The Majestic at Lake Walden. In addition he developed and owned ROI Golf Management which provided consulting and management services to several golf courses over the years.

What made John so unique was that, in addition to developing and growing businesses, he was completely committed to using his vast experience to help other people reach their full potential. It was this commitment to others that resulted in the classes he taught at LCC. John also facilitated two successful CEO groups, offering his experience and network of professionals to assist local business owners with fresh approaches to their own operations.

His leadership expanded to active roles in the Michigan Restaurant Association and the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association where he became the legislative voice of the golf business as its Government Affairs Coordinator.

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ohn was active and instrumental in setting the direction the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association. Just as importantly John was one of the visionaries who

saw golf not just as a sport, but more importantly, as an entertainment business. His passion and energy about golf being an entertainment business helped change the golf industry to what it is today.

When I first met John and his wife Diane, in March of 1988, they owned and operated the popular Sneakers Restaurant in East Lansing. John had also just become an owner/ partner in the construction of the new Timber Ridge Golf Course. After explaining to me that, “if you want to eat seven days a week, you have to work seven days a week,” John hired me to help him build Timber Ridge.

We bonded immediately and because we were both fresh to the golf industry we quickly learned a lot about the golf business as a team. Little did we know at the time that a golf boom was on the horizon and that we would spend the next 22 years working as partners, confidants and best friends in an industry that we grew to love together.

The longer we worked together, the more my respect and admiration grew for John. He was both a friend and mentor without peer. There is no way I could recap all

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that I learned from John but some of the things that made him so special to me were: - John loved his wife Diane and his family in a truly special way. - He offered excellent, well thought out advice. - John never complained.

- You always knew where John stood.

- John always got the best out of you, by challenging you through inspiration, thoughtfulness and kindness. - He had a contagious laugh.

- John was loyal, had integrity, and stood by his word. - Last but not least, John “Celebrated Life” everyday!

John, you will be missed daily and never forgotten. My greatest memories, respect, admiration and appreciation will always be with you.

Your forever friend, Bill Fountain MG

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Photo by Art McCafferty

43 Years at the Masters

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his will be my 43rd Masters Tournament. Springtime in Augusta, the land of a million azaleas, pink and white dogwood, rhododendron and giant live oaks.

Lyndon Baines Johnson was president when I covered my first Masters for the Detroit Free Press and Tiger Woods hadn’t been born. Or Phil Mickelson.

How do you sum up all those years? Victories by Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper, Tom Watson, Seve

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By Jack Berry

Ballesteros and Ben Crenshaw and now Woods and Mickelson?

I remember Ben Hogan’s last great round, a six-under-par 66 on Saturday, the third round in 1967. Hogan’s once-great putting was gone and he froze trying to take the putter back. He said every green was “like going to the blood bank.” He was two shots off the lead after the 66 but the blood bank was closed on Sunday. He shot 77. When I first went to Augusta it

was a pretty sleepy town despite the Fort Gordon U.S. Army base west of town and the Savannah River nuclear weapons plant across the muddy brown river in South Carolina. Street signs were four foot tall cement pillars, miniature Washington Monuments with the name of the street running upright from top to bottom and almost impossible to see and read. Tickets to the Masters weren’t difficult to get. Now Washington Road, in front of the green oasis that is the

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The city isn’t so sleepy now. There are good restaurants, the park-like Georgia Golf Hall of Fame with statues of the greats. The River Walk along the Savannah and legible street signs, like those on James Brown Blvd. that runs past the James Brown Convention Center. You feel Gooooood! in Augusta.

Long before the Masters Tournament outfitted Arnold Palmer and Nicklaus in Green Jackets, and before the King of Soul became The Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Augusta’s minor league baseball team, the Tourists, produced a left-handed hitting centerfielder who they sold to the Detroit Tigers for $750 in 1905. Ty Cobb, the greatest player in baseball history. History in Augusta goes back to the Civil War, when it was a munitions center for the South, and before to the founding of the United States of America. Augustans George Walton signed the Declaration of Independence and William Few signed the Constitution. But even though the Masters is the youngest of golf’s four major championships, it holds a special place because it’s the only one of the four that is played on the same ground every year. And I’ve been fortunate to report on so many of them.

Photo by Art McCafferty

Augusta National Golf Club, “the National,” as the locals call it, is lined with every fast food place you can imagine and a Hooters where John Daly parks his RV and sells his shirts.

Billy Payne (r) presents the Masters Major Achievement Award to Jack Berry

Golf fans know a few holes at Pebble Beach and some other U.S. Open and PGA Championship sites. They know every hole at Augusta and no place matches those roars up from the valley of Amen Corner, the long downhill par 4 11th with a green that Hogan said if you’re on it with your second shot, it was a mistake, and the par 3 12th, tucked behind Rae’s Creek and a hillside. On 12 I think of Fred Couples’ shot clinging to the normally slick bank as though it was Velcro.

Great grandstands take in the water-guarded 11th green and 12th and the 13th tee. Raymond Floyd drowned his approach shot on the 11th in the 1990 playoff with Nick Faldo, for Sir Nick’s second straight playoff victory on that hole. Scott Hoch missed a threefoot par putt on the 10th, the first playoff hole, the previous year that would have won and lost to Faldo’s birdie on 11. While Horton Smith won the

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first and third Masters, they came before he became Detroit Golf Club’s professional. In my years at the Masters, the only Michigan player who came close to winning was Mt. Pleasant’s Dan Pohl, the longest hitter on the pro tour. Pohl won a lot of Waterford crystal for eagles in 1982, but Craig Stadler slipped into the green jacket. Pohl started 75-75 and seemingly was out of the picture but he caught fire in the third round when he eagled the par 5 13th and holed his second shot on the tough 14th for another eagle. Pohl then birdied 15 and 16 for one of the hottest streaks anywhere in golf. The eagles were good for two pair of crystal goblets and a 5-under-par 67. On Sunday Pohl was six shots behind Stadler going into the final nine, the most exciting final nine holes in golf with water on five of the holes.

Pohl was hot again with 67 and had to wait for Stadler to finish. Stadler shot 73, but in the playoff, •

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Photo by Art McCafferty

Golfers play Augusta National Golf Club during Wednesday’s practice round. Pohl missed the green on the first playoff hole, the long downhill 10th, then missed his par putt, and Stadler two-putted to win. Pohl collected a crystal vase for Sunday’s low round.

holes. That’s Masters luck because they start flirting with darkness.

Once television became a major revenue source, Monday playoffs were abandoned. The first sudden death was 1979 when Fuzzy Zoeller beat Ed Sneed and Tom Watson on the 11th. There have been eight sudden death playoffs and none have gone beyond two 20

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The 13th, 15th and 16th greens are at the low spot of the course with giant loblolly pines and azaleas dressing the “stage” and thousands of spectators – “Patrons” in Masterspeak – enjoying every minute, every shot, and their cheers roll up to the clubhouse area.

My favorite Masters was 1986. Nicklaus reached his 46th birthday in January and he was showing it.

In six starts prior to the Masters he’d tied for 60th at Phoenix, missed the cut at Pebble Beach, tied for 39th in Hawaii, missed the cut at the Honda, tied for 47th at Doral and missed the cut at the Players.

I was president of the Golf Writers Association of America then and when I got to the Masters, the Press Committee chairman asked me if he should invite Nicklaus, the five-time champion, in for an interview.

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Michigan Golfer TV http://michigangolfer.tv/2010shows/john_dodge/

Stupidly, I said I didn’t want to see him embarrassed because he’d been such a great player and remains my all-time choice as No. 1. So he wasn’t invited. And that came on top of a piece in the

Photo by Art McCafferty

Michigan Golfer TV http://michigangolfer.tv/2010shows/john_dodge/

Sunday Atlanta Journal when Tom McCollister wrote that Nicklaus had no chance to win. Nicklaus’s close friend clipped the story and taped it to the refrigerator in the house Nicklaus rented for the week.

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You know what happened. And that roar for the birdie on 16 on Sunday rose from the valley like a tsunami. It’s my favorite moment from my favorite Masters, a tournament that has no equal. MG

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Slice of Life

Torrey Pines, San Diego and The Bucket List grasp has been Torrey Pines, the celebrated 36-hole public course, located north of San Diego, site of a long-standing Tour stop (now the Farmers Insurance Open) and the historic 2008 U.S. Open won in a playoff by Tiger Woods. Until now, that is. A few weeks ago, joined by my spouse who is to efficient travel planning as General Eisenhower was to D-Day, I managed to check off Torrey Pines and San Diego in a whirling 72-hour bucket list romp. Here’s how it went.

By Terry Moore

The Bucket List (2007): Tuesday, 11 a.m “Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off Due to a fast-approaching teeon a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.” -The Internet Movie Database

In my modest career as a golf writer, I’ve been fortunate to play many such bucket list courses. But one course long eluding my 22

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Photo courtesy of Torrey Pines Buick Invitational

A

“bucket list” is something many golfers talk about. For some, it’s attending the Masters or the British Open. Others dream about playing Pebble Beach, Cypress Point, Augusta National or St. Andrews. In my native Michigan, a bucket list might include playing Oakland Hills, Crystal Downs or Arcadia Bluffs, all larger-than-life layouts and each with a special appeal.

time, we managed to check in early at elegant The Lodge at Torrey Pines that sits magnificently next to the golf course in La Jolla. Opened in 2002, The Lodge is a Five-Diamond Award winner by AAA and suffice it to say more than exceeded that lofty accolade. With its architecture inspired by the early 1900s California Craftsman Movement, The Lodge and its 170 guest rooms, meeting and banquet space all neatly complement the area’s pristine environment with an emphasis on natural materials, attention to detail and service, ambience, and yes, craftsmanship. There’s no better place to

The Lodge at Torrey Pines MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE


stay if you’re playing Torrey Pines. (Heck, if you have a broken leg and can’t even play, stay here.) Splurge and take the plunge like we did. Visit http://www.lodgetorreypines.com

is a

As witnessed by my three cordial and just met playing partners from Hawaii, I striped a healthy drive down the first fairway on the North Course, the sibling course of the more celebrated and brawnier South Course redesigned for the ’08 Open by Rees Jones. As an asterisk to my bucket list, the preferred South Course was closed for two days due to aeration and some other course improvements, all diligently supervised by Jon Maddern, whom I’ve known for many years as the former superintendent at Elk Ridge in Michigan and as the past president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. In 2007, the City of San Diego hired Jon as its deputy director/golf operations manager and he was instrumental in the preparation of the South Course for the U.S. Open.

Still, I have no regrets about not playing the South. The North was a joy to play and it offered the same breathtaking views of the ocean, the beaches, the cliffs, ridges and canyons. And under sunny skies and mild temperatures, we had a perfect day for the round. Luckily, one of my playing companions also walked and pulled his clubs with a trolley and so the pace of play for our group was ideal. My oft-said advice about not using a riding cart when playing a memorable course couldn’t have been

Photo by Terry Moore

Tuesday, 11:56 a.m.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines’ pool

truer. Walking enhanced the journey of the game, heightened the senses and the pleasures of Torrey Pines.

The conditions were very good with healthy fairways and quick greens that were surprisingly smooth given the amount of play. The rough was gnarlier than expected but supposedly it was benign in comparison to when the Tour players visited only a few weeks previously. My favorite hole was the par-four 7th at 399 yards that runs parallel to the Pacific along the coastline. What a sight from the back elevated tee! Playing uphill and a slight dogleg left, this

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tight driving hole with a canyon on the left with signature Torrey Pines and trees and a bunker lurking right. The second shot requires more club to the elevated green which nicely holds even a wellstruck hybrid. Par is a good score here yet our humble foursome played it at only one-over par. Ah, grinders. At the turn, Maddern greeted me and informed me he had just taken a new position at The Cliffs, a notable Jack Nicklaus design opened in 2007. “I’m a short timer,” said Maddern with a smile. Jon said he’ll miss both the •

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links journey, thanks to the relaxing and bountiful amenities of The Lodge which included a first-class spa treatment. Tuesday evening

Jon Maddern

demands of such a celebrated complex and the hard-working staff at Torrey Pines. But the move back East allows Jon and his wife to be closer to family. So I’m glad I was able to play Torrey and observe first-hand Jon’s skill and devotion to his craft. (Note: Maddern’s last day at Torrey Pines was March 12.) 3:20 p.m.

In spite of missing a six-footer for birdie on the 487 yard par-five 18th hole, I walked off Torrey Pines exhilarated by the experience and buoyed by my courteous and ready-golf playing companions. Torrey Pines North offers up a thoroughly enjoyable round, marked by a walkable layout with many scenic holes. And it’s no pushover. Visit www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation/golf/torreypines/ Meanwhile, my spouse hardly ever knew I was gone on my 24

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That’s what we did. Kooza is a must-see experience for those, like us, utterly fascinated by the artistry, acrobatic wizardry, theatrics and humor of Cirque Du Soliel. Kooza delivered a knockout “throwback” to the distinctive essence of Cirque, amazing feats of acrobatics and Olympian skill with the timeless art of circus clowning and mime. Without being a spoiler, there are some unbelievable contortionists (Oh, if only my back swing

Photo courtesy of Torrey Pines Buick Invitational

Photo courtesy of the GCSSA

If you're traveling to the West Coast this spring and summer, go online and book tickets for Kooza, the new show by Cirque Du Soliel at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, just a short drive from Torrey Pines. (Kooza will also open in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.

were so limber!), trapeze, unicycle and tightrope acts, and a showstopping Wheel of Death where two sinister-looking performers electrify the audience while running and jumping inside and atop a pair of spinning 1600-pound cylinders. Such jaw-dropping acts and laugh-producing slapstick reign supreme under the Big Top (Grand Chapiteau) at Del Mar, another nostalgic yet fitting touch for this modern day circus that never skimps on entertainment value and never gets old for the young at heart. For more information about Kooza visit www.cirquedusoliel.com Wednesday morning

Since the South Course was closed, we opted for a sleep-in (by our EST inner clock) and then a hearty breakfast at The Grille, with views of the golf course. Fueled for action, we then engaged in one of the best sidelights of visiting La Jolla: the convenience (walking distance from The Lodge) and wonders of the Torrey Pines State

Torrey Pines

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Noon

Photo courtesy of Torrey Pines Buick Invitational

Nature Preserve. Home to the nation’s rarest pine tree—yes, the Torrey Pine—this State Preserve offers unparallel beauty as its array of hiking trails overlook ocean bluffs, sandstone formations, gorges, and chaparral. Don’t miss it. The experience won’t be tarnished by any missed birdie putts.

Checking out of The Lodge, I realized one tale-tell sign of the enchantment of this acutely tuned and finely appointed hotel and, come to think of it, Torrey Pines itself: that noisy portal to the outside world—the HD television—remained blissfully silent and dark. Rounding out a visit to San Diego

There’s no way to take in all of this lively city in 48 hours so we focused on a few major attractions and stayed downtown near the famed Gaslamp Quarter district. For accommodations, we received a savvy tip about the Hotel Indigo that’s only a few blocks from the Padres baseball stadium, PETCO Park. It rightfully prides itself as an environmentally conscious, sustainable and “green” property, and with LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification. Hotel Indigo is San Diego’s first LEED-built hotel and one of only seven in the state. More on this winning hotel later.

2:00 p.m.

Torrey Pines

Our first downtown destination was Balboa Park, located just minutes from our hotel, and home to 15 major museums, gardens, and performing arts venues. It offers a “one stop” cultural experience, one noted for its striking architecture and landscaping. The buildings and grounds all originate from two major historic Expositions held here: The 1915-16 PanamaCalifornia Expo and the 1935-36 California Pacific International Expo. Could there be a better example of sustainable architecture and smart land use? With the opening in May of Shanghai’s World Expo, San Diego should take a bow for its heritage and sizable contributions to such expositions. Oh yes, we particularly liked the Mingei International Museum, the bonsai trees at the Japanese Garden, the SD Museum of Art, and the quirky but fun Model

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Railroad Museum, the continent’s largest such operating museum. All Aboard? Visit www.balboapark.org 6:00 p.m.

A special delight and amenity of the Hotel Indigo was the Phi Terrace, its hip 9th floor outdoor lounge. Again using sustainable and green principles, the Phi Terrace offered stunning views of the city, the baseball park, and the sunset-washed harbor while we sipped a libation during its extended Happy Hour. To add to the cozy atmosphere, there are two natural gas-fueled fire pits (lined with recycled glass) providing warm and mesmerizing conversational areas. It’s a highly recommended oasis as is this entire hotel with its ideal location, spotless and colorful decor, spacious rooms and friendly service. Visit www.hotelindigo.com/sandiego •

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Wednesday 11 a.m.

Photo courtesy of Adrian College

A first trip to San Diego must include a visit to its world-class zoo, again only minutes from downtown and actually a part of Balboa Park. The San Diego Zoo offers the ultimate in environmental awareness with its expertly managed, organized and naturally presented displays of over 4,000 animals from forests and jungles the world over. Seeing giraffes up close and personal and strutting their stuff is an unforgettable sight and I’m sure the feeling is mutual. There’s so much to tell and too little space or time here. But don’t miss the koala bears, the rhinos, the new elephant odyssey, snow

leopards, meerkats and two regular shows: Take Flight (a wonderful free-flight bird show) and the Sea Lion Show. Special note: The Zoo can be physically taxing for some but buses, trams and even single motorized carts all make it accessible and do-able. Check out www.sandiegozoo.org

Wednesday 7 p.m.

After paying a return visit to the Phi Terrace for another glorious and gratis sunset, we took a cab for one last memorable dinner and evening in San Diego. We chose the award-winning Bertrand at Mister A’s restaurant located atop a 12-story building overlooking the brightly lit city center and harbor

areas. Seated at a table near the floor to ceiling windows, we marveled at the view that included planes in their descent for San Diego International Airport. The service was spot-on and the food was delicious. What more could one ask? Lifting our glasses for a final toast: “To golf, to travel, and to bucket lists checked off– because we’re all terminal cases, all short timers. Cheers!”

A member of the Golf Writers Association of America and founding editor of Michigan Golfer, Terry Moore serves as a Board member for the Michigan Golf Foundation and the Golf

Hotel Indigo Terrace 26

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MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE

Michigan Golfer, Spring 2010  

A quarterly publication on Michigan Golf Courses, Michigan Golfers, and Michigan Golf events.

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