Hook & Slice May2024

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Hook & Slice

The Legend and Lore of the Mulligan Tour

Southeast Michigan’s Premier Recreational Golf League

In this Issue:

The Front Nine

Memorial Tournament Preview History of the Green Towels

Making the Turn Metroparks part of Mulligan Tour fabric

The Back Nine Closed for Business

Vanishing golf courses

The 19th Hole Where are they now? Kerry Homberger

w w w . t h e m u l l i g a n t o u r . c o m
Vol. 1 No. 2

Hook & Slice

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Published monthly during the golf season
Writers Sandy Savashot
Newpudda Willie Makaput
O’McFitzCallaghan Wendy Wildwood Publisher ELF Publishing Inc Mulligan Tour Historian Lenovo laptop www.tbaygroup.com Proud sponsor of the Dudlee’s Plymouth Open Proud sponsor of the Harbor Pointe Open www.getsmithinsurance.com Mulligan Tour Charity benefactors

The Front Nine

The Granddaddy of them all

30th edition of the Memorial Tournament at home at Links at Gateway

The 30th playing of the Memorial Tournament will be held on May 4th at the Links at Gateway. The season’s first major championship actually predatestheMulliganTour.

Long ago, a tournament called the “Erik Meland Memorial Hey, He’s not dead yet! Golf Tournament” debuted on the Willow Metropark course in New Boston. It was 1995 and the tournament host was

very much alive, winning the inaugural event with a gross 91 among a small fieldof9players.

The tournament format changed to a 2-player scramble the next year and continues to this day - now known, simply, as the MemorialTournament.

Meland launched the Mulligan Tour in 1999, with the Memorial Tournament

(Continued on page 4)

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joining the schedule a year later. The “granddaddy of them all” was given major championshipstatusasthe tournament host was always thinking about comparisonstotheMasters tournament of the “big leagues”.

“The Mulligan Tour concept was always planned to look similar to the PGA Tour but for the recreational golfer”, said Meland in a recent interview. “We had the Harbour Pointe Open as ourversionoftheUSOpen and then we had the Memorial Tournament as ourMasters. That’swhere the Green towels come from - a kind of homage to the Green Jackets of the Masters”.

The first Green Towels were awarded to the winners of the Memorial (Continued from page 3)

Tournament in 2002, with past winner’s getting their GreenTowelsretroactively. Originallyplayedonalate August date to coincide with the tournament host’s birthday, the Mulligan Tour event was soon moved to a late May spot on the scheduletobeclosertothe MemorialDayholiday.

But the spring time tournament was continually hampered by wet weather. The 2004 tournament had to be postponed to a July make-up date when the

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David Martin and Frank Caruana 2003 Memorial Tournament champs

Thom Bales and Mike Prieskorn 2010 Memorial Tournament Champs

course on the banks of the Huron River was flooded and unplayable. And the 2006 event was moved to Gateway GC just days before the scheduled start duetofloodingatWillow.

The tournament host decided to make the move to Gateway permanent in 2007andtheMemorialhas been played at the course now known as the Links at


With a pair of winner’s coming from the team event, there have been 48 green towels awarded in the last 24 Memorial Tournaments. And, there have been 12 2-time winner’s, although only 3 teams have won twice together, while the other 2time winners managed the featwithdifferentpartners.

Mulligan Tour Trivia

Which Mulligan Tour event was the first in history to need a playoff to determine a winner?

Answer on page 15

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Making the Turn Always There Metroparks

courses have long been prevalent partners of the Mulligan Tour

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks Authority (HCMA) wasestablishedin 1939 as a regional public park system and currently operates 7 regulation size golfcoursesinmetropolitan Detroit.

In all, the Tour has played57tournamentson a Metropark layout includingeveryMTSenior Open since the event debutedin2010.

The Mulligan Tour was born on a Metropark golf course. The Willow Metropark golf course was home to the Memorial Tournament, the predecessor of the Tour, from 1995 until 2005. And when the Mulligan Tourlaunchedin1999, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks played a prominent role in the Mulligan Tour’s early tournament schedules consistently advertising low prices and well groomed courses that presented the Tour with economically attractive choices for several tourevents.

And even though the Memorial Tournament eventually left Willow MetroparkfortheLinksat

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Gateway, the course has hosted 4 other different eventsovertheyears.

Recent Tour schedules have had as many as 4 tournaments on Metropark tracks, including the Fifty Cent Classic playing annually on Stony Creek and the C Cool Classic making its home on Huron Meadows. TheMTSenior Openusesa rotationof MP courses and the Match Play Championship currently resides at the Huron Meadows course as well.

“The Metroparks are always great to work with”, says Mulligan Tour CEO, Chuck Withey. “They are always in good shape and have great value. The pricing at Huron Meadows makesitconducivetothe36 holes of play required for 2 days of match play. There are no plans to move the C Cool or the Match Play Championship”.

Well Represented Metropark golf courses used by the Mulligan Tour

Stony Creek (15)

Fifty Cent Classic 2009-23

Willow (13)

Memorial Tournament 2000-05

Match Play Ch 2008, 2019

Big Dog Pro-Am 2006

Senior Open 2013, 17, 22

Tin Cup 1999

Lake Erie (11)

Senior Open 2010, 19,. 20, 23

Strokes on a Rope 1999, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2009

Two-Stick Classic 2001, 2003

Huron Meadows (9)

C Cool Classic 2019-23

Match Play Ch 2021-23

Senior Open 2015

Hudson Mills (3)

Go Blue Classic 2005, 2011

Senior Open 2016

Kensington (3)

Senior Open 2011, 2018

Caddyshack Classic 1999

Indian Springs (2)

Senior Open 2012, 2021

Wolcott Mills (1)

Senior Open 2014


The Back Nine

Come and Go

Some Michigan Golf Courses repurposed as 90’s golf boom waned in early 21st century

Roughly 200 Michigan golf courses have closed down in the last 15 years as land becomes more valuable as residential or commercialrealestate.

A number of those shuttered courses were home to one or more MulliganTourevents.

The Links at Pinewood hosted the inaugural Real McCoy Classic in 2005 but closed a couple of years later. The RMC moved to Farmington HillsGCin2006.

Hickory Sticks was another course that

Rest in Peace

Closed Courses once used by the Mulligan Tour Links at Pinewood (2008)

Hickory Sticks (2009)

Harbour Club (2016)

Reddeman Farms (2017)

Woodlands of VB (2018)

Harbor Shores (2021) (originally Links at Lake Erie)

Wolcott Mills Metropark (2020)

hosted a tournament just one time - the 2006 TwoStick Classic. That rural course located west of Ann Arbor closed permanentlyin2009.

The Woodlands of Van Buren, opened in 1995

(Continued on page 10)

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The 19th Hole

Where are they now?

Kerry Homberger, 74, still swings the sticks in the sunshine state

Kerry Homberger was the next door neighbor of Mulligan Tour founder Erik Meland. The two routinely played 9-hole matches during the week inthe 1990’s.

WhentheTourlaunched in 1999, Homberger was one of the original 16 members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of HarbourPointe.

Approaching retirement from Ford Motor Co, Homberger played 7 seasons on Tour before migrating south with his

Kerry Homberger

One of the 16 original members of the Mulligan Tour 7 seasons (1999-2005) 58 starts 4 wins

1999 Western Swing

2001 Animal House Classic

2004 Par-54 Classic

2005 Tin Cup

20 Top-4’s

Career Earnings $343.50

wife, Barbara, to enjoy theirgoldenyears.

Homberger still plays golf, now possible 12 months a year, in Spring Hill,Florida,locatednorth ofTampaBay.

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(Continued from page 8)

and owned by Waste Management - yes, the same WM that hosts the PGA Tour’s WM Phoenix Open each Februaryshut down at the end of the 2018 season. The host course to 15 tournaments, including the first HP Open and 11 Match Play Championships, was reportedly always earmarked for the planned expansion of the Van Buren township landfill, and indeed that dayfinallycame.

Reddeman Farms in Chelsea was a favorite Tour stop and hosted 13 tournaments, including 5 differentevents, between 2000 and 2016. The clubhouse was destroyed by fire in August of 2017 and the golf course never reopened.

The Harbor Dunes GC

Shootout in doubt

Madison Heights planning to turn Red Oaks golf course into a park

Click on link below for C&G story on Red Oaks Golf Course in Monroe, previously known as the Links at Lake Erie, hosted the Tour’s Caddyshack Classic for 20 years. That parcel of land became more valuable to the automotive industry as a warehousing and packaging center for Ford Motor Co. and closed at theendof2021season.

Andthelongtimehome of the Runny Nose Open - and one Menage a Trois Classique - Harbour Club

(Continued on page 12)

Page 11 w w w . t h e m u l l i g a n t o u r . c o m Breast Cancer Awareness Open August 25 Farmington Hills GC www.alz.org Thank You ! 2024 Tin Cup participants for raising $635 for

(Continued from page 10)

Page 12 GC in Belleville finally shuttered at the end of the2018season.

The next course on the listofpossibleclosuresis Red Oaks golf course, home of the Red Oaks Shootout. Part of the Oakland County Parks system, the course is losing money and the county is considering plans to open the space uptogeneralrecreational use with much lower operatingcosts.

New Again

Not all closures are permanent. Introducing the Cardinal (shown here)

The 27-hole course at the Inn at St.John’s, closed in 2022 and 2023, is set to reopen to the public at the end of June as an 18-hole championship layout. Greens fees are reported to be $150 during the week and $175 on the weekend!!

The multi-million dollar property update also added an 18-hole putting course (2 acres!!) with various contours and undulations, and a 7-hole short course (dubbed the Little Cardinal) built to expedite a quick short-game practice session.

Page 13 Mulligan Tour World Ranking Top-20 as of April 30 1 McCue, Corey 33.2 2 Fitzpatrick, Erika 30.8 3 Prieskorn, Mike 30.2 4 Kline, Greg 27.5 5 Hiestand, Ron 26.9 6 Stalo, Chris 26.7 7 Floyd, Tyler 25.5 8 Lardin, Brian 24.9 9 Martin, David 24.4 10 Ward, Don 24.1 11 Hesse, Willi 23.2 12 Withey, Charles 22.8 13 Markel, Tim 21.6 14 Loving, Ned 21.2 15 Gregoire, Kevin 21.1 16 Nothdurft, Gregg 21.0 17 Kiekbusch, Ryan 20.5 18 Ferlito, John 20.3 19 Brandenburg, Joe 20.1 20 Puffenberger, Helen 19.8 Money Standings Top-30 thru April 30 1 Kline, Greg $52.00 2 Cubel, Jeff $46.50 3 Litzler, Tom W $45.50 4 Hesse, Willi $34.50 McCue, Corey $34.50 6 Birkle, Eric $34.17 7 McCue, Justin $32.00 Levine, Stewart $32.00 9 Puffenberger, Helen $25.00 10 Martin, Dave $24.00 Hiestand, Ron $24.00 Litzler, Tom R $24.00 13 Parent, Philip $21.67 14 Wilsey, Scott $17.00 Parent, Paul $17.00 16 Ward, Don $16.00 Withey, Charles $16.00 18 Floyd, Rick $14.50 19 Stalo, Chris $13.50 20 Floyd, Tyler $12.50 21 Fitzpatrick, Erika $11.00 Nothdurft, Gregg $11.00 23 Oliver, Dave $10.00 24 Pasz, Jeff $8.00 Raymond, John $8.00 Fox, Mike $8.00 27 Kiekbusch, Eric $7.17 28 Dunmore, Rich $5.67 Theunissen, Rod $5.67 Hiestand, Nancy $5.67

Mulligan Tour Major Championships

Greg Kline 10 Major Victories

The Mulligan Tour Major Championships

The Memorial Tournament

Harbour Pointe Open

Match Play Championship

The PLAYERS Championship

The WESTERN Championship

The EASTERN Championship

The TOUR Championship

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Page 15 2024 Masters Fantasy Mulligan Tour League FINAL RESULTS points 1 Rod Theunissen 266 2 Justin McCue 264 3 JohnnyVette 262 4 Ken Westerman 255 5 Erika Fitzpatrick 252 6 Brian Lardin 246 7 Gregg Nothdurft 243 8 Barb Hoelzle 241 9 Greg Kline 234 9 Ludachrispins 234 11 Chuck Withey 228 12 Brian Pieszchala 224 13 Scott Wilsey 222 13 Mike Fox 222 15 Jeff Klipa 214 16 MikeyMike 209 Mulligan Tour Trivia Answer: The 2000 Memorial Tournament was the first Mulligan Tour event decided by a playoff. Jim & Sue Cwikla beat David Martin & Frank Caruana 8 to 9 in the 4-hole aggregate score playoff on the practice green after both teams tied with a net-66. Prizes Rod Theunissen $25 Outback card Justin McCue $15 Outback card

2024 Mulligan Tour Results / Schedule



DATE TOURNAMENT Winner Runner-up Apr 13 Pine View Classic Justin McCue 72 (E) Jeff Cubel Apr 14 Sweet Sixteen Willi Hesse (-7) Ron Hiestand
20 Animal House Classic Tom W Litzler 74 (+2) G.Kline / J.Cubel
21 Tin Cup Greg Kline 74 (+2) David Martin
27 Sparty Classic Corey McCue 71 (-1) Tom R Litzler
28 Chelsea Classic Stewart Levine 72 (E) P.Parent / S.Wilsey H. Puffenberger TOURNAMENT LOCATION FEE DUE May 4 The Memorial Tournament Links at Gateway GC $68 Apr 25 May 11 Cherry Creek Classic Cherry Creek GC $70 May 2 May 18 Dudlee’s Plymouth Open Fox Hills GC $63 May 9 May 19 Irish Open Twin Lakes GC $72 May 9 May 24 Par-54 Classic Strategic Fox $38 May 16 May 25 Strokes on a Rope Cattails GC $50 May 16 June 1 Alzheimer’s Awareness Open Farmington Hills GC $71 May 23 June 2 East Side Charity Classic Sylvan Glen GC $64 May 23 June 7 Fox Hunt Strategic Fox $39 May 30 June 8-9 Harbour Pointe Open Lakes of Taylor GC $54 (+56) May 30 June 15 MT Senior Open Kensington MP GC $60 June 6 June 21 Red Oaks Shootout Red Oaks GC $ TBD June 13 June 22 Quad-Tour Challenge Fox Creek GC $43 June 13 June 23 The Holy Grail Sandy Creek GC $52 June 13 June 29 Fifty Cent Classic Stony Creek Metropark $74.50 June 20 June 30 C Cool Classic Huron Meadows Metropark GC $58 June 20 July 7 Red, White & Blue Taylor Meadows GC $67 June 27 July 13-14 Match Play Championship Huron Meadows MP GC $81 (75) July 4 July 20 Carrington Classic Carrington GC $68 July 11 July 21 Ugly Pants Open Brae Burn GC $44 July 11 July 27 Big Dog Pro-Am Pontiac CC $61 July 18 July 28 Crazy Brit Whispering Willows GC $44 July 18 Aug 4 Caddyshack Classic Rackham GC $ TBD July 25 Aug 10 Little Diablo Western Swing Huntmore GC $76 Aug 1 Aug 11 Go Blue Classic Lake Forest GC $68 Aug 1 Aug 17 PLAYERS Championship Pheasant Run GC $74 Aug 8 Aug 17 WESTERN Championship Majestic at Lake Walden $82 Aug 8
18 EASTERN Championship TBD $ TBD Aug 8
25 Breast Cancer Awareness Open Farmington Hills GC $70 Aug 15 Aug 31 Canadian Open Fellows Creek GC $53 Aug 22 Sep 7 The TOUR Championship TBD $ TBD Aug 29 Sep 8 The President’s Cup TBD $ TBD Sep 20-22 The Commissioner’s Cup TBD $ TBD Sep 28 Tournament of Champions Kensington MP GC $ TBD Oct 5 The Division Bell Farmington Hills GC $44 Sep 26 Oct 12 The Skins Game Links at Gateway $50 Oct 3
13 U of M Open University of Michigan GC $ TBD
2 Runny Nose Open Brae Burn GC $ TBD

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