Archives for March 2015

Junior Golf Seminar Recap

Bath, MI – The section held it’s annual Junior Golf Seminar on Sunday, March 29th with over 100 players, parents, and coaches in attendance. Hawk Hollow Golf Club was the perfect setting for this event as Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, Jason Guss, and Aaron Waltz provided our guests with valuable information for all those present.

Coach Stacy touched on NCAA recruiting restrictions and provided important dates and timelines for kids looking to play golf beyond the junior ranks. She also focused on setting future goals and the importance of character on and off the course.

Jason Guss gave the audience a look into his teaching methods and provided parents and players with helpful tips to work on during the off-season. Jason along with Chris Mory also focused on setting reasonable goals and to focus on hard work and dedication. His teaching academy is located at Hawk Hollow Golf Club and will once again sponsor the Michigan PGA Junior Tour.

Our final presenter was Aaron Waltz representing Ferris State University. Aaron provided information on the nationally recognized PGM program for those looking to pursue a career in the golf industry. Ferris State University has consistently been regarded as a leading program in the country since it’s introduction in 1975.

Thank you presenters and all who attended. I hope to see many of the juniors on tour this summer.


Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll


Jason Guss


Aaron Waltz


Michigan PGA Spring Meeting/Teaching & Coaching Summit Well Attended

East Lansing, MI -The Section held its Spring Meeting on Monday, March 23 with over 280 members and apprentices in attendance. President Doug White welcomed everyone to Eagle Eye Golf Club. He also welcomed special guests Paul Levy, PGA, Vice President, Frank Chieppa, PGA, Player Development Regional Mgr, Tim Marks, PGA, Employment Services Consultant, Tiffany Eckert, Patriot Golf Day, and all Past Presidents in attendance. Jim Dewling delivered the invocation and remembered deceased members Jeff Sanborn and Tom Talkington.

Vice President Ron Osborne, along with Executive Director Kevin Helm, reviewed the Section’s investments as well as year-end financials.

Secretary Kevin McKinley explained the MSR requirements needed by June 15, 2015, and acknowledged and welcomed new members and quarter century members. He also congratulated Michigan Golf Hall of Fame inductees Scott Hebert and Dave Kendall.

President White and Secretary McKinley oversaw a candidate’s forum with Bob Bales talking about his desire to run for Secretary, and John Lindert for District 5 Director, respectively.

Business discussions included chapter/committee reports, as well as information from

PGA Employment Consultant Tim Marks who gave a brief statistical overview of consultations and resume critiquing he gave through the winter with Section Members. He also urged those that have not completed the compensation survey to do so.

Frank Chieppa, PGA of America Player Development Regional Manager, talked about Growing the Game of Golf through strategic initiatives and National programming.

PGA Vice President Paul Levy talked about the PGA’s long term strategic plan and mission statement which is to serve the Members and Grow the Game. He emphasized the initiatives of the plan: Employment, Education, Properties, Player Development, PGA Reach, Sections, Championships and Global Leadership.

Special Awards Chair Doug Kreis presented the 2015 Special Awards winners in attendance their plaques. TaylorMade Sales Rep Tracy Withey was on hand to present the Assistant Professional of the Year Award to Kyle Horton.

Tiffany Eckert

Tiffany Eckert

As part of the Patriot Golf Day report, Chair Kevin McKinley introduced Tiffany Eckert, whose son Myles found $20 in a parking lot and gave it to a soldier that reminded him of his deceased father.

Thanks to PGA National Resort & Spa for hosting the meeting and for sponsoring the luncheon.


In conjunction with the Spring Meeting the 2015 Michigan PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit took place. We had over 150 Michigan PGA Members attend the Summit over the two days.

On Monday afternoon the Summit featured Dennis Sales and Jon Sinclair. Jon Sinclair is the owner and lead instructor at Sinclair’s Golf Training Center in Euless, TX. Dennis has been a golf coach for 13 years. He owned his own academy in Rhode Island before moving to Texas to become a coach at Sinclair’s Training Center.

Jon talked about different technology including 3D swing analysis and Trackman and how to integrate those components into your client’s games. Dennis spoke about the juniors that he coaches and what he is currently working on with them.

On Tuesday the Summit’s featured presenter Michael Breed spoke. Michael was the 2012 PGA of America National Teacher of the Year and current host of The Golf Fix on the Golf Channel. Michael’s recent announcement of the opening of the Michael Breed Golf Academy at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point is the latest highlight of one of the world’s premier golf instructors.

Michael Breed

Michael Breed

Michael delivered a very passionate and motivational presentation that not only talked about some of his teaching philosophies and beliefs but shared some of his personal stories and practices that that has helped get him to where he is today.

Michael Johnson, the Senior Equipment Editor from Golf Digest, spoke on Tuesday afternoon and provided some nice insight on the process that goes into the annual Golf Digest Hot List.

James Ridyard, a leading golf instructor, researcher and co-owner of Short Game Secrets was the final presenter on Tuesday afternoon. James has spent a lot of time working with elite players and shared some of the insight on what he is working with them on in regards to the short game and wedge play.

PGA Vice President Paul Levy to be in East Lansing

PGA Vice President Paul Levy will speak at the Section’s Spring Meeting on Monday, March 23, 2015 at Eagle Eye Golf Club.

He is the President of Club Operations and Development for Sunrise Company, and also is the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager at Toscana Country Club in Indian Wells, California. He was elected PGA Secretary in 2012. Levy also briefly served as both Secretary and Interim Vice President before formally becoming PGA Vice President on Nov. 22, 2014.

Levy earned PGA membership in June 1986, and has served in a leadership capacity at both the Section and national levels since 1992. He is a dual member of the Southern Texas and Southern California PGA Sections.

From 2004-2008, Levy was a member of the PGA Board of Control. Since 2010, Levy has served on the National PGA Employment Committee and from 2009-10, on the PGA Member Relations Committee.

Levy was president of the Southern Texas PGA Section from 1998-2000, and earned the 2000 Southern Texas PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. He has also been named as a three-time Section PGA Junior Golf Leader recipient (1992, ’93, ’98); the 1999 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award winner; and the 1997 Section Merchandiser of the Year for public facilities.

From 1999-2004, Levy served as General Manager and PGA Director of Golf at Royal Oaks Country Club in Houston, and was the Senior Vice President of Club Operations for Sunrise Company, the developer of Royal Oaks Country Club, overseeing properties in Nevada, California, Colorado and Texas. In 2004, Levy moved to Southern California to oversee the development of Toscana. Four years later, he became the President of Club Operations and Development for Sunrise.

From 2007-2012, Levy was elected as an Independent Director on the Southern California PGA Board of Directors. In 1992, he founded PKL Golf Group Company, a golf management and development company, and served as its President and CEO.

A native of New Orleans, Levy is a 1983 graduate of Louisiana State University, where he was a three-year member of the Tigers golf team. Earlier in his career, Levy participated often in section events and in the Southern Texas PGA Assistant Championship, where he finished third in 1985, and runner-up in 1986. Levy guided a team to third place in the 1988 PGA Oldsmobile Scramble Championship.

His community involvement includes creating scholarship foundations for employees of both Royal Oaks Country Club and Toscana Country Club. Levy also has served as a member of the Southern California Golf Association Governmental Affairs Committee; was creator and director of the Fort Bend ISD PGA First Swing Program; and a member of Katy (Texas) School District Partners, which presented him with its Education Award of Excellence.

Levy and his wife, Heidi, live in Indian Wells, Calif. They are the parents of three sons: Nathan, Kristopher and Travis; two daughters: Nakayla and Destiny; and have five grandchildren.

Egypt Valley Country Club to host Michigan PGA Professional Championship

    ADA – Egypt Valley Country Club will be the site of the Michigan PGA Professional Championship for the next two years, Kevin Helm, executive director of the Michigan Section of the PGA of America announced today.

   The 94th Michigan PGA Professional Championship is scheduled for Aug. 17-19, and will be played on the Valley and Ridge courses at Egypt Valley, a 36-hole facility designed by Arthur Hills and celebrating its 25th year this summer.

“We are excited about Egypt Valley Country Club hosting the Michigan PGA Professional Championship in 2015 and ‘16,” Kevin Helm, the executive director of the Michigan PGA said. “It is an outstanding facility with a rich tournament history and we are proud to add to that tradition. Our PGA Professionals are going to enjoy the beauty and the challenge that Egypt Valley offers”.

  A field of approximately 140 Michigan PGA professionals will play in the 54-hole championship. The championship determines the top Michigan Section player, and top finishers qualify for the PGA Professional National Championship where they can earn a spot in the PGA Championship to play with the top golfers in the world.

  “Egypt Valley is excited about bringing the Michigan PGA Professional Championship to West Michigan,” General Manager Bo Picklesimer said. “It’s a way for the Egypt Valley membership to contribute to Michigan golf and see the top golf professionals in the state play their great golf courses. The tournament will add to rich tournament history in a year when Egypt Valley celebrates 25 years in our current Ada Township location.”

  The championship was played the last three years at Oakland University in Rochester Hills and has been played at many of the state’s top golf venues in its previous 93 years.Michigan pga 2014 final 127

  Scott Hebert, recently named the head professional at Traverse City Country Club, is the defending champion and expected to return to defend his title. He has won the championship seven times since 2006, just two short of the record nine won by Michigan golf legend Al Watrous. Brian Cairns of Fox Hills in Plymouth, the 2013 champion, and Ron Beurmann of Country Club of Jackson, the 2010 champion, are also expected in the field at Egypt Valley.

  The PGA Professional Championship dates to 1922 and past champions include Walter Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Jimmy Demaret, Chick Harbert, Horton Smith, John Barnum, Marvin Stahl, Randy Erskine, Buddy Whitten and Lynn Janson, all Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members.

  Janson, currently the owner of Hastings Country Club, is a four-time former champion who was the head golf professional at Egypt Valley and Green Ridge Country Club for 32 years. Green Ridge of Comstock Park was where the EVCC membership was first established as a club in 1931 with a purchase of the then Masonic Country Club. The Green Ridge site was sold for development in 1990 and the membership moved to the newly purchased site bordered by Egypt Valley Road in Ada Township.

  Other past champions with Egypt Valley ties include Tom Harding, who was an assistant professional at Egypt Valley when he won in 1997, and Joe Pollack, another former assistant professional who won his PGA title in 2004 when he was teaching at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Grand Rapids.

  Egypt Valley has a rich tournament history in just 25 years, including being host of a Champions Tour (then Senior PGA Tour) event from 1994 to 2003. Winners at Egypt Valley included Tony Jacklin, David Stockton, Gil Morgan, George Archer, Larry Nelson and Jim Thorpe.

  The club also hosted the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, which was won by Jim Liu, most recently a Stanford University golfer, and included in the field current PGA Tour standouts Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

  Egypt Valley also hosted the Michigan Amateur Championship in 1994 and will again in 2017. The 1994 Amateur was won by Brian Atkinson of Cassopolis, then a University of Illinois golfer, who beat Egypt Valley member Kurt Hassberger in the championship match. The Michigan Women’s Amateur has been played at the club twice (1996 and 2007). Then EVCC member Stacy Slobodnik (Stoll), who is now the head women’s golf coach at Michigan State University, won in 1996 and Laura Bavaird of Grosse Ile won in 2007.

 The Michigan PGA Professional Championship will be presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA with supporting sponsors Titleist/Footjoy, Nike Golf, TaylorMade-adidas, Ashworth Golf and the PGA Tour.  Justin Phillips of the Michigan PGA will be the tournament director.

Contacts: Justin Phillips can be reached at 517-641-7421 or Media contact is Greg Johnson. He can be reached at 616-560-8995 or

Michigan Section Tournament Registration opens March 4th !

Registration for Michigan PGA Section events opens on March 4th at 9:00am. You can register by clicking the online registration link on the right. The 2015 Tournament season will kick off with the Club Car Spring Scramble on Monday, April 27 at Travis Pointe Country Club. Please click HERE for a schedule and info on all Section events.

The 2015 Michigan Open Championship presented by Lafontaine Cadillac returns to Prestwick Village Golf Club and will take place on June 8-11 ,2015.hole 17 Prestwick Please click HERE for the list of 2015 Qualifiers.

This year the Michigan PGA Professional Championship moves to Egypt Valley Country Club and will take place on  August 17 – 19, 2015. After 3 great years at Oakland University we are excited about this move and know that Egypt Valley will provide an excellent championship venue. The field will play the Ridge Course on Monday and the Valley Course on Tuesday. After the 36 hole cut the final round will be played on the Championship Course ( back nine of the Ridge & Valley) for Wednesday. We will have more info coming soon regarding practice round opportunities throughout the summer.

The 2015 Club  Car Senior Open will once again take place at Bedford Valley Golf Club on July 14-15. This is open to all Michigan residents over the age of 50.

The 2015 Michigan PGA Women’s Open will once again take place at Crystal Mountain Resort on the Mountain Ridge Course on June 29 – July 1. This event is open to all female golfers regardless of residency.2013 Women's Open Banner new


This year the Sterling Cut Glass & Bushnell Golf Pro – Assistant Championship  will take place on Tuesday, September 8 at The Bear at Grand Traverse Resort. This year professionals can bring and play with

Grand Traverse Resort

Grand Traverse Resort

multiple assistants from their facility, however all teams must be formed from the same facility this year.

The Pro – Assistant Championship has swapped dates with the Winston Collection & Casa de Campo Senior Junior Championship  which will now take place on Monday, August 10 at the Lochmoor Club.

The Michigan PGA Section Match Play Championship presented by Golf MD’s moves to Eagle Eye Golf Club and will take place on September 14th – 15th . Four players from the Senior Organization. Eastern Chapter, Western Chapter and Northern Chapter will make up the final 16 at this Championship. Thank you to Midland Country Club for hosting this championship  the past 3 years. Please look for more info soon on all of the different Chapter / Senior Match Play formats.

We are excited to have Greg Norman Collection / Dunning Golf along with Yamaha Golf Cars step in as new sponsors of the Pro – Pro Championship. This event will take place at Hawk Hollow and Eagle Eye Golf Club on June 22nd .

 Taylor Made / adidas / Ashworth is back for the 4th   year as the title sponsor of the Pro Am that they helped create.  They are joined again by National Car Rental for the Taylor Made / National Car Rental Pro Am, an  18 hole event at Oakhurst Golf & Country Club on July 6th .Oakhurst clubhouse pic

Nike is back for the 6th year in a row as the title sponsor of the Nike Golf State Pro Am. This event will take place on June 1st –  2nd  at Boyne Highlands on the Heather and Ross courses.

All Star Pro Golf is back  and joined again by National Car Rental along with a new sponsor – TomTom Sport  as the title sponsors of the Fall Pro Scratch. This event will take place at the TPC of Michigan on October 5th .

The Pro – Junior Championship returns to Hawk Hollow for the 2nd year and will take place on Sunday, June 14. This is a Shamble format with one professional and 3 juniors ages 12-18.