Archives for June 2014

Michigan PGA Members Recognized!

Congratulations to Mike Fay, Boyne USA Resorts, on being name one of the recipients of the U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teachers Award, which annually recognizes the world’s most outstanding youth golf instructors. The class of 2013 includes golf professionals from 21 states, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico, with recipients chosen from a record 747 applicants.

Out of the 747 applicants, 100 teachers earned honorable mention recognition for the U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teacher Award. Congratulations to Brandon Roby, Cascade Hills Country Club, and Kelly Sivier, Meadowbrook Country Club, for earning honorable mention.




47th PGA Professional National Championship
Congratulations also to Matt Pesta, Lincoln Hills Golf Course, Brian Cairns, Fox Hills Learning Center, and Frank McAuliffe, Kendall Academy of Golf, for playing well in the 47th PGA Professional National Championship and making the cut, AND congratulations to Matt for playing well enough to qualify for the 96th PGA Championship, August 7-10, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Click HERE to read the entire article.

Becca Huffer’s Birdie-Birdie Finish Wins Michigan PGA Women’s Open at Crystal Mountain


THOMPSONVILLE – During the three hours and 40 minutes of rain delay Denver’s Becca Huffer tried to focus on one simple thought.

“I just kept thinking I will need some birdies to finish up,” she said.

And that’s what she did. Huffer, a former University of Notre Dame golf team captain and 23-year-old Symetra Tour professional birdied the final two holes to break away from a three-way tie and win the Michigan PGA Women’s Open Championship Wednesday on the Mountain Ridge Course at Crystal Mountain Resort.

“When we went to 17 all tied I knew it was time to make something happen if I wanted to finish strong,” she said. “That putt on 17 was the huge one I think. It was 20, 25-feet downhill and when I hit it I was like ‘oh boy, I hope it goes in.’”

Becca Huffer celebrates a birdie putt on No. 17.

Becca Huffer celebrates a birdie putt on No. 17.

The birdie on the par 3 17th followed by a birdie on par 5 18th gave Huffer a 2-under-par closing 70 for an 11-under-par 205 total, the Crystal trophy and a $5,500 first-place check that will help as she heads to Harris, Mich., for the next Symetra Tour stop Friday through Sunday.

Kimberly Dinh of Midland, the University of Wisconsin golfer who set a course and tournament record with a 62 in the opening round, and Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville, Ga., a recent Curtis Cup player who was playing in her first pro event, each closed with 72s for 207 and a tie for second.

Dinh was the low amateur for the second consecutive year, and Ramsey, 18 and a top-ranked amateur golfer in recent years, made $4,500 in her pro debut.

They had started the day tied with Huffer for the lead and battled through the first 16 holes and the rain delay only to find it was a three-way tie again.

 “I played pretty steady, but Becca played very steady and made the birdies when they really counted,” Dinh said. “I would have liked to win, but I take a lot of positives away from this. It motivates me to get better and better.”

Ramsey said she was pleased to have a chance to win with two holes to go in her first professional event, and feels the experience will help her as she moves on in her career.

“I feel like I could have played a lot better,” she said. “There were a lot of things I could have done better, but that is how golf is and obviously two birdies is hard to beat. Becca made the birdies at the right time. I take the good from this and work on my ball-striking.”

For Huffer it was her second win of the year to go with a Cactus Tour event, but she said the biggest since she won the Colorado Open last year. Her current status on the Symetra Tour, aided by a third-place finish earlier this season in Arizona, puts her full-time the rest of the schedule.

“It feels awesome to win,” she said. “I got it done today, and that feels so great. The money helps because every little bit helps, and I knew I was playing well the last few weeks and this just proves I’m doing the right things.”

Also making her professional debut was former Michigan State standout Allyssa Ferrell from Edgerton, Wis. She shot a closing 70 for 211 and fourth place.

Ashley Tail, another Colorado pro from Littleton, shot 71 for 212 and fifth place.

Aimee Neff of Carmel, Ind., the assistant women’s golf coach at Michigan State, shot 73 and was among four golfers who shot 214. Hannah Collier of Birmingham, Ala., shot 68 to join that group, and also there was Olivia Jordan-Higgins of the United Kingdom and Grosse Pointe Shores pro Samantha Troyanovich, who each shot 74s.

 For final results and payout click HERE


Michigan Section Junior PGA Championship Day 1


Battle Creek, MI – It’s a family affair after the first round at the Michigan Section Junior PGA Championship Qualifier as both Glenn and James Piot post scores of 68 and 69. Following the leaders are Joseph Croom of East Lansing, MI with a round of 70 and Brandon Barrows from Lake Orion, MI posting a 71 (1 under). The final group will tee off at 10:50 AM, and should make for a fantastic finish.

The boys in the 13-15 age division are also posting great scores as Justin Kapke of Canton, MI navigated the course and finished with a round of 74 (2 over). Following Justin is Joseph Hunter from Traverse City, MI shooting a round of 76, and rounding out the boys 13-15 final group is Cal Wollack of Saline, MI and Pierce Morrissey of Stanwood, MI both having rounds of 78 (6 over).

Both girls divisions are playing well as the final 16-18 girls group made up of Greer Clausen, Sydney Murphy, Elayna Bowser, and Jamie Greene are set to tee of at 11:30 AM. Greer Clausen from Bloomfield Hills, MI leads all girls with a first round score of 75 (3 over). She is followed closely by her playing partners Sydney Murphy of Plymouth, MI with a score of 77, Elayna Bowser from Dearborn, MI in third with a 79, and Jamie Greene of Troy, MI with a respectable first round 80.

Not to be outdone the girls 13-15 division are having a great tournament. Veronica Haque of Rochester Hills, MI, Moyea Russell of Lake Orion, and Sahiba Singh from Troy, MI will make up the final group of the day. Veronica leads her division with a first round score of 82. In second is Moyea Russell with a score of 84, and sitting in third place for her age division is Sahiba Singh posting a 90.

Good luck to all participants!




Drive, Chip and Putt Competition kicks off at Hawk Hollow!

East Lansing, MI – The road to Augusta kicked off Tuesday with the first of 11 local Michigan Drive, Chip and Putt Competitions. This first qualifier was held at Hawk Hollow Golf Course as 80 boys and girls ages 7-15 competed for the chance to move on to the sub regional at Binder Park in Battle Creek on August 23. From there they move on to the Regional Finals at Prestwick Village on September 6 where one boy and one girl from each division will move on to compete at Augusta the Sunday before the 2015 Masters.100_1791

It was a very windy day at this first qualifier, but that did not stop them from competing and having a great time. All the participants hit 3 drives, 3 chips and 3 putts in this competition. The top 3 in overall score in each of the age / gender division moved on to the sub -regionals. JJ Weaver ,the PGA Professional from Augusta National was on hand to help run the event and hand out the awards.

There is still plenty of time to enter one of the local Michigan Drive, Chip and Putt Competitions. To enter and for more information please visit .

You can also click HERE to see the schedule of local, sub regional and regional events here in Michigan.

President Bill Clinton receives 2014 PGA Distinguished Service Award

By mark.aumann

Bill Clinton

“President Clinton shares the mission of the PGA of America to encourage our country’s young people to develop a healthier lifestyle through golf,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The PGA of America has awarded President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States, its 2014 PGA Distinguished Service Award recipient for his lifetime love of golf and his commitment to health and wellness.

Begun in 1988, the PGA Distinguished Service Award honors outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf. President Clinton will receive the Association’s highest annual honor in conjunction with the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Previous honorees include Bob Hope, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Patty Berg, Jack Nicklaus, and Presidents Gerald Ford (1991) and George H.W. Bush (1997).

“President Clinton’s life in public service is a study in making a difference in people’s lives. His own journey to achieve wellness has resulted in a passion that involves the game of golf,” PGA of America President Ted Bishop said. “President Clinton shares the mission of the PGA of America to encourage our country’s young people to develop a healthier lifestyle through golf. For his work and the example he sets to motivate young people, we are honored to present this year’s PGA Distinguished Service Award to President Clinton.”

After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation with the mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment. In addition to his Foundation work, President Clinton has served as the top United Nations envoy for the Indian Ocean tsunami recovery effort and as the UN Special Envoy to Haiti.

Since 2012, the Clinton Foundation has partnered with Humana, the PGA Tour and the Desert Classic Charities to present the Humana Challenge. The Humana Challenge has showcased the long-term health benefits of simple lifestyle and behavioral changes.

PGA Distinguished Service Award Recipients

  • 1988 Herb Graffis
  • 1989 Bob Hope
  • 1990 No recipient
  • 1991 Hon. Gerald R. Ford
  • 1992 Gene Sarazen
  • 1993 Byron Nelson
  • 1994 Arnold Palmer
  • 1995 Patty Berg
  • 1996 Frank Chirkinian
  • 1997 Hon. George H.W. Bush
  • 1998 Paul Runyan
  • 1999 Bill Dickey
  • 2000 Jack Nicklaus
  • 2001 Mark McCormack
  • 2002 Tim Finchem
  • 2003 Vince Gill
  • 2004 Pete Dye
  • 2005 Wally Uihlein
  • 2006 Fred Ridley
  • 2007 Jack Burke Jr.
  • 2008 Dennis Walters
  • 2009 William Powell
  • 2010 Billy Casper
  • 2011 Larry Nelson
  • 2012 Dave Stockton
  • 2013 Lee Trevino
  • 2014 Hon. Bill Clinton


Ryan Brehm Holds Off Joey Garber Charge to Win Michigan Open Championship

HARTLAND – Ryan Brehm and his long game is not short on state championship trophies.

The 28-year-old PGA Tour Canada golfer has three after winning the 97th Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Cadillac at Prestwick Village Golf Club Thursday.

Ryan Brehm

Ryan Brehm

The Mount Pleasant native, Grand Rapids resident and former Michigan State star shot a closing 1-over-par 73 and had to hold off a the charge of Petoskey’s Joey Garber, who shot 68 and after nine holes of play in the final round was within one shot.

“It’s a lot of relief right now after a long day,” said Brehm, who finished with a 20-under-par total of 268, two shots better than Garber (270) and seven better than six-time Michigan Open champion Scott Hebert of Grand Traverse Resort and Spa (275).

“I started the day with a large lead and it was difficult to get the right mind-set throughout the day. Joey Garber played an awesome round of golf, too. He put a whole lot of pressure on me. I tried to stay patient and do the things I needed to do to win. It feels really good to have pulled it off.

For the victory he garnered $8,500 and a one-year lease from LaFontaine on a new Cadillac. He also will have his name inscribed on the James Standish Trophy. He is listed twice already having won the Michigan Open in 2009 and ’10.

“This tournament means so much to me because it is at home, in Michigan and honestly I feel every win gets me one step closer to my goal, which is to play at the highest level,” he said. “It’s not about the money or the car, though those are really great and I will enjoy them. It’s about the satisfaction of accomplishing something, getting the job done.”

Brehm set a Prestwick course record with a 9-under-par 63 in the third round Wednesday which gave him a seven-shot lead to start the day.

Garber, making his professional debut after a stellar college career at the University of Georgia, started on fire with five birdies in the first seven holes, and was within one shot after Brehm pushed a 5-iron shot over the ninth green and then three-putted for a double-bogey 6. Brehm birdied No. 10 though, matched Garber’s birdie at No. 15 and saved a clutch par from in front of the green at No. 17.

“I was feeling good with the putter when I was 5-under through seven, and I thought I could roll some in late if I needed,” Garber said. “They just didn’t fall and Ryan did exactly what he had to do. He played a great back nine given the circumstances. I’m pleased for him and for myself for giving it a great shot.”

Garber picked up a check of $5,000, Hebert took home $4,000 after his closing 70 and Andy Ruthkoski of Muskegon, the 2007 Michigan Open champion, tied for fourth at 277 with low amateur Alexander Dombrowski, a Princeton University golfer from Gaylord. Ruthkoski shot 72 to close and Dombrowski shot 68.

Willie Mack III of Grand Blanc, a co-leader with Brehm after each of the first two rounds, finished with a 75 for 278 and sixth place.

Brehm said he didn’t let himself think about the win, the money or the Cadillac on Wednesday night.

“I don’t even know how to feel about winning a Cadillac,” he said. “I’m thinking it might just be out of my league, but I’m really going to enjoy driving it.”

For final results and payout click HERE

Round 4 photos courtesy of Greg Johnson

Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Inducts Four at Ferris State


BIG RAPIDS – Becky Iverson, an LPGA Tour winner from the Upper Peninsula, won on the LPGA Tour and never lost a Solheim Cup match, but she said her best moments of golf were not during her professional career.

“The best moments will always be playing with my family in Michigan,” she said.

Iverson, history-making amateur golfer Tom Werkmeister, pioneer turfgrass educator Paul Rieke and journalist Vartan Kupelian were inducted Sunday in ceremonies at Ferris State University.

“We’re all citizens of the same nation, the golf nation,” said Kupelian, a native of Armenia. “We meet on the tee, shake hands and we become friends for the next few hours.”

Rieke said golf is blessed to have many of his former students working in Michigan and producing the turf for golf courses.

“Soil is a wonderful resource,” he said. “Don’t take it for granted.”

Werkmeister said the game has blessed him with talent, friends and wonderful honors.

“It’s a game I love, and sometimes hate, but I’m so fortunate and so humbled to be part of this,” he said.

Iverson was introduced by Hall of Fame member Sara Wold, Kupelian was introduced by his daughter Lisa, Rieke was introduced by colleague Joseph Vargas, Jr., and Werkmeister was introduced by former Grand Rapids Press golf writer Greg Johnson. Radio personality Michael Patrick Shiels was master of ceremonies.

Ferris, as part of the program, officially welcomed the Hall of Fame to campus and showed specifications of a new facility that is planned to house the school’s prominent Professional Golf Management Program as well as be the new home of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.

The induction of Iverson, Werkmeister, Rieke and Kupelian brings Hall of Fame membership to 105. In November it was announced that Ferris State University had been selected as the new location of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and its collection of plaques, portraits and memorabilia that commemorate its members.  Learn more about the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame at its website — www.<>.


Iverson, born in Escanaba and raised in Gladstone, played for 14 years on the LPGA Tour, was named to the U.S. Solheim Cup Team in 2000, won the 1987 Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship and played collegiate golf at Michigan State University where she was an Academic All-American in 1987-88.

Her playing career highlights include winning the 1995 Friendly’s Classic Title on the LPGA Tour, where she recorded a career-best 63 during the second round with nine birdies, and a tie for second in the 2000 Women’s British Open. She had LPGA Tour career earnings of more than $1.5 million, and also won six times while playing on three mini-tours, including the Central Florida Challenge Tour where she was Player of the Year in 1993.

Iverson, 46, started golf at eight years of age and credits her parents, George Clifton and Vickie Layton, as the individuals who have most influenced her career. She is the mother of one daughter, Emma, who was born in 2003.

Currently, she is the director of golf at The Bridges Golf Course in Madison, Wis., and recognized for leading a junior program emphasizing life lessons as well as golf skills. In 2013 she became eligible for and started playing on The LPGA Legends Tour.

Werkmeister, a Kentwood resident who was born in Warren, made Michigan golf history last summer when he became the first amateur in 38 years to win the Michigan Open Championship. His 2009 Michigan Amateur title along with the Open title placed him with Chuck Kocsis, Randy Erskine and Lynn Janson in an elite club of Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members who have won the two state titles.

Werkmeister also won the 2013 Michigan Mid-Amateur for the fifth time in the last six years, an unprecedented feat in the 31 years of the championship.  In addition, he made history in the Grand Rapids area by being the first to ever win the four local “Grand Slam” events, and was qualifying medalist in the Michigan Amateur before falling to eventual champion Andrew Chapman in Match Play.

His 2013 season simply added to an amateur career that includes being three-time Golf Association of Michigan Player of the Year, reaching the Michigan Amateur’s prestigious Sweet 16 six times, qualifying for the U.S. Amateur twice and qualifying for the U.S. Mid-Amateur four times.

Werkmeister, 46, started playing golf at age seven, was a two-time high school All-State player, a Junior College All-American and has been a force on the amateur scene in Michigan for almost 20 years. He currently runs his own internet sales business and his wife Leslie is known across the state as a constant gallery member and sometimes caddie.

Rieke, a Professor Emeritus at Michigan State University since 1999 and affiliated with the university since 1960, is generally regarded throughout the nation and world as the authority on turfgrass soils and nutrition and credited by his peers in the international development and advancement of turfgrass science.

He has co-authored five books in the area of soils and plant nutrition, published 32 journal articles and over 400 non-technical papers, taught over 5,000 students, worked with countless others on extension and research projects, served six years as leader of the MSU Turfgrass Team, served the International  Turfgrass Society, the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, the USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Committees, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the PGA Tour Agronomy Advisory Committee and the Golf Association of Michigan Green Committee.

He helped develop the Hancock Turfgrass Research Center at MSU, was involved in the indoor turfgrass project at the Silverdome for the 1994 World Cup and has played a role in securing some $1.2 million in external grants and donations to Michigan State.

Rieke, 79, is a resident of Okemos and among his many awards are distinguished service awards from the Golf Association of Michigan and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

Kupelian was the third Detroit golf writer to be elected President of the Golf Writers Association of America, an international organization of 950 members. He also joins join Jack Berry and John Walter in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.

He followed Berry as the golf writer at the Detroit News in 1994 after working for several years on a bevy of beats. He covered his first major golf championship in 1973 when Johnny Miller won at Oakmont.

Kupelian, a graduate of Highland Park High School and Wayne State University, has authored three books on golf, including one on Tiger Woods, the most recent “100-year History of Red Run Golf Club” and “Chuck Kocsis, Michigan’s Golfer of the 20th Century,” which he wrote pro-bono with proceeds going to the Michigan Golf Foundation. This year his book on Oakland Hills Country Club will be published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the prestigious club in 2016.

Currently, the 67-year-old Farmington Hills resident is part of a weekly radio show in the Detroit market, writes a weekly column for as Champions Tour insider, works as a lead writer for during the Masters Tournament each year at Augusta National Golf Club, is a senior correspondent for Global Golf Post, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Golf Association of Michigan and chairman of the GAM communications committee.

The induction of Iverson, Werkmeister, Rieke and Kupelian brings Hall of Fame membership to 105. In November it was announced that Ferris State University had been selected as the new location of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and its collection of plaques, portraits and memorabilia that commemorate its members.

Learn more about the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame at its website — www.<>. For more information about this year’s induction ceremony, contact Loretta Larkin at<> or (248) 719-0650<tel:%28248%29%20719-0650>.

Media contact: Greg Johnson 616-560-8995<tel:616-560-8995><>

Legislators Made Aware of Golf’s Impact at Michigan Golf Day at the Capitol



LANSING, MI – State Rep. Kevin Cotter lives next to Bucks Run Golf Club in Mount Pleasant and has a true passion for the game and the industry.

“Golf is truly special, especially in Michigan,” he said while attending “Michigan Golf Day at the Capitol” Thursday.

“It’s very important to Michigan, very important to our tourism and I’m a big advocate for the game. Mother Nature cooperated today. We’re getting this great lunch. It’s a great idea to get us all together to learn about the game and about its importance to Michigan.”

The Michigan Golf Alliance, made up of the state’s major golf industry associations, joined forces to bring the Michigan golf message to legislators.

The Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Michigan Section PGA, the Golf Association of Michigan, the Greater Michigan Club Managers Associations and the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation gathered on the lawn of the state Capitol and visited with each legislator in their Senate and House offices. Legislators and staff members were also treated to a “lunch at the turn” provided by Eagle Eye Golf Course in Bath.

Lieutenant Gov. Brian Calley made opening remarks and presented a proclamation from Gov. Rick Snyder that declared June as “Pure Michigan Golf Month.”

The golf leaders discussed various topics relating to the industry, including the well-received “Pure Michigan” campaign and golf’s efforts to have a positive effect on the environment.

Rep. Cotter said the golf course next to his home is a perfect example of the industry’s positive impact on Michigan.

“It’s a place that at one time was an open mine operation for gravel and sand,” he said. “It sat around for years and really wasn’t a high use property.  The idea came along to turn it into a golf club and it has led to tremendous thing, brought in jobs, increased home values in the area. It has been tremendous.”

Kate Moore, executive director of the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, was thrilled by the response of legislators and the large crowd that joined the alliance members for lunch.

“It’s a great response and a wonderful opportunity for our industry leaders to share their message,” she said. “Lieutenant Governor Calley made a great speech to kick things off and the proclamation shows that the Governor is aware of golf’s impact in the state.”

Contact: Kate Moore                                                                                       For Immediate Release

Tel. 800-860-8575, Cell Phone: 517-230-8040


Houtteman/Brons-Piche win Nike State Pro Am in dramatic fashion!

Harbor Springs, MI – It took one playoff hole as Lee Houtteman, professional from Manitou Passage Golf Club, holed out from 80 yards for eagle on the par 5 18th hole at the Boyne Highlands Hills Course. Both Ron English and his son Blake English had putts for eagle to extend the playoff but came up short making Lee Houtteman and his amateur partner Nikolaj’ Brons-Piche the 2014 Champions. Both teams finished the tournament at a  131 total ( -13 under) in this best ball format on the Boyne Highlands Hills and Heather courses.2014 Nike State Pro Am winners pic

With 14 teams starting the day within 3 shots of the lead we know it would make for an exciting finish. The teams of Brian Cairns from the Fox Hills Learning Center and his amateur partner Ian Harris along with the team of professional Gary Smithson from Thousand Oaks Golf Club and his amateur partner Nate Golomb both had birdie putts on hole #18 to get to -13 and join the playoff but both missed and finished at -12, one shot back.

For final scores as they finish please click HERE.

We are excited to have Nike back again this year as the sponsor of the event. They set up a  Nike mobile pro shop outside the clubhouse in front of the scoreboard a the Country Club of Boyne.  All participants received $60 to spend inside the shop courtesy of Nike Golf.

 Nike Mobile Pro Shop