Archives for February 2016

Michigan PGA Section & the Midnight Golf Program Spotlighted

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2016) – The Michigan PGA Section and its work with the Midnight Golf Program, developed by Detroit native Reneé Fluker and the PGA of America, will be spotlighted on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program on Saturday, Feb. 27 in celebration of the PGA of America’s Centennial. Click HERE for the link to the video.

The Midnight Golf Program was founded in 2001 through a partnership between Fluker and the PGA of America, prior to the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills Country Club located in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills.  

Michigan PGA Section Executive Director Kevin Helm is a member of the Board of Directors and PGA Professional Glenn A. Pulice coordinates the PGA Professional volunteers throughout the year. Section PGA Professionals volunteer to provide golf instruction to youth who would otherwise never be introduced to the game. In addition, the participants are trained in relevant life skills and given the tools to make it through college and into meaningful careers. All Midnight Golf Program graduates are given a set of golf clubs encouraging them to continue playing the game.

Fluker began with 17 participants in 2001, and to date over 1,400 youth have taken part in the Midnight Golf Program. Of these, more than 1,000 have either completed or are currently enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs at more than 100 colleges and universities across the country. Midnight Golf Program graduates have gone on to become practicing attorneys, dentists, accountants and more, and many also give back to the program by becoming mentors for the new classes of Midnight Golf Program students. This year, 15 Midnight Golf Program graduates are serving as mentors for the current class of 240 participants.

In celebration of its Centennial, the PGA of America has partnered with Golf Channel to shine a spotlight on all 41 PGA Sections, and their featured programs and initiatives nationwide, led by PGA Professionals. The PGA Section Spotlights are scheduled to air on Golf Channel from Jan. 27–May 4, spanning 100 days in honor of the Centennial.

“In celebrating our Centennial, we want to honor our 28,000 men and women PGA Professionals in all PGA Sections across the country,” said PGA President Derek Sprague. “Each day, they’re growing the game and using golf to better lives in their communities, as evidenced by efforts like those of the Michigan PGA Section. We’re very proud of these PGA Professionals and look forward to highlighting their efforts this year.”

The spotlights will run in conjunction with the #ThxPGAPro Centennial celebration social media campaign, where golfers everywhere can post videos, photos and messages in support of their favorite PGA Professionals on ThxPGAPro.com or through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Section Spotlights also will be featured prominently on ThxPGAPro.com.

About the PGA of America

Celebrating its Centennial, the PGA of America represents the very best in golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.org, follow @PGAofAmerica on Twitter, and find us on Facebook.

Media Contacts:

Hayley Wilson, Alday Communications, Inc., hayley@aldaycommunications.com, 615-791-1535 x28

Jamie Carbone, PGA of America, jcarbone@pgahq.com, 561-624-8446

Four Named to Michigan Golf Hall of Fame; Oakland Hills Country Club Honored

BIG RAPIDS – A winner of 20 Michigan PGA tournaments, one of the top-ranked golf instructors in the world, a decorated leader of junior golf, an international expert in the management of turfgrass diseases and one of our nation’s most famous country clubs are the 2016 honorees for the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame (MGHOF).

Three-time Michigan PGA Professional champion and Rochester teaching professional Ken Allard, Grand Rapids native and 2010 national PGA of America Teacher of the Year Todd Anderson, Flint native and Golf Association of Michigan officer Steve Braun and Michigan State University professor Joseph Vargas will give the Hall of Fame 113 members when they are inducted on June 5 at Ferris State University’s Katke Golf Club.

Oakland Hills Country Club will receive a MGHOF Special Award, also on June 5.  The state’s premier championship club, host to six U.S. Opens and this summer a U.S. Amateur host for the second time, celebrates its Centennial in 2016.

Allard, a Swingtek Golf Academy instructor and Michigan resident since 1967, has been one of the Michigan Section of the PGA’s top players for several years and served in various leadership roles. He was Michigan PGA Player of the Year in 1991 and played 12 times in the PGA Professional National Championship.  His three Michigan PGA Professional titles are part of 20 state individual and two-person titles in his career, and he has also played against the touring pros in six national PGA Championships and two U.S. Opens.

Anderson, the PGA director of instruction at Sea Island Golf Performance Center in St. Simons Island, Ga., is ranked No. 9 among the top 50 teachers in America by Golf Digest, and No. 1 in Georgia. His students have included PGA Tour stars Brandt Snedeker and Billy Horschel, and have claimed a combined 33 wins on PGA and Web.com Tours since 1994. Also, over 50 of his students have earned NCAA Division I golf scholarships and 23 have earned All-American honors. Anderson is a graduate of Rockford High School and was captain of the golf team at the University of Alabama.

Braun, who in 2016 will serve the Golf Association of Michigan as its president, has been helping junior golfers succeed since the 1960s. He helped grow the Flint Junior Golf Association to a membership of 1,100 golfers while serving as the executive director from 1975-’85, worked for the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) as a tournament director and received the AJGA’s national service award (Digger Smith Award) in 1992. The Charlevoix resident was a standout amateur golfer who became a PGA Professional, most notably working at Belvedere Golf Club in Charlevoix.

Vargas has been a professor of plant pathology (Ph.D.) at Michigan State University for 46 years and produced research with international implications for turfgrass, authored over 200 articles on turfgrass disease and related subjects, presented at turfgrass conferences around the world over 1,000 times and authored the most widely used turfgrass disease book (Management of Turfgrass Diseases). His body of work has earned him awards from around the world, including the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Distinguished Service Award in 1997.

Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township has served as a host for the best golf tournaments and golfers in the world in its 100-year history. It counts 15 major championships, including the six U.S. Opens and three PGA Championships, and hosted the Ryder Cup in 2004. Champions at Oakland Hills include Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.  Legendary architect Donald Ross designed the famous South course as well as the North course at the 36-hole facility. Former head professionals Walter Hagen, Al Watrous and Mike Souchak and current head professional Steve Brady are members of the MGHOF.

The MGHOF, which periodically recognizes organizations and clubs that have contributed to golf in the state with a Special Award, is a heralded collection of portraits, plaques and memorabilia that currently commemorates 109 members, including Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Horton Smith and more current notables Dave and Mike Hill, Dan Pohl, Meg Mallon and Kelly Robbins.

The Hall of Fame collection will soon be housed and displayed in the new Professional Golf Management Program learning center planned by Ferris State University at its Katke Golf Club facility on campus. A $4 million fundraising effort more than halfway complete continues for the state-of-the-art center.

The Michigan Golf Hall of Fame is administered by the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Committee, which is funded through the non-profit Michigan Golf Foundation (501(c) (3) since 1996) and includes 18 members representing a cross-section of the state’s golf associations as well as the golf media. The MGHOF committee conducts an annual election to recognize the achievements of competitive Michigan golfers, but also those of individuals who have contributed to the growth of the game.

Find out more at www.michigan-golf-foundation.com.

Media contact: Loretta Larkin (248)-719-0650

Team from Boyne Mountain wins the 2016 Michigan PGA Reunion Resort Pro Am presented by Sun Mountain

Orlando, Florida – The venue change from Hammock Beach Resort last year to the Reunion Resort this year did not effect the team from Boyne Mountain as they were able to successfully defend their Michigan PGA Pro Am presented by Sun Mountain title. Professional Casey Powers and his amateurs Bob Westover, Jim Costello and Malcom Fordyce finished with a  three round total of 32016 Champions website pic86 ( -46 under par) ,good for an 8 shot victory. 

25 teams of one Michigan PGA Professional and three amateurs competed this year in this 2 nest best ball format at the Reunion Resort in Orlando Florida. The teams played all three golf courses at the resort which included the Palmer, Nicklaus and Watson. The event kicked off with an opening cocktail party at the Seven Eagles Pool Pavilion  on Friday night  and the first round on the Palmer course on Saturday.

The team from Boyne got off to a fast start with the low round of the day on the Palmer course with a 129 the first day and the low round of the day the second day with a 125 on  the Nicklaus Course. This gave them an 11 shot lead heading into the final round where they were able to shoot a 134 on the Watson course, which was good enough for the 8 shot victory.

After a slow start the first round the team from The Wyndgate with professional Kevin Muir and his amateur partners Larry Ross, Kevin Milliken and Tom Dabney closed with rounds of 129 on both The Nicklaus and the Watson course the final two days to give them a second place finish overall.

With steady play all three days including an opening round of 128 the team from Edgewood Country Club with professional  Brian Bach and his amateur partners Bruce Bach, Brett Roberts and Kevin Tyrrell finished third overall with a 397 total.

The move to Reunion Resort this year provided a nice change and they proved to be an excellent host for this pro am. We would like to thank all of their staff for their efforts  making this such a nice event. We would also like to thank our presenting sponsor,  Sun Mountain for providing all of the professionals and amateurs tee gifts that they received at the opening party.

For final results click HERE