Archives for May 2018

Michigan Golf Day at the Capitol


Allied Golf Associations Join Forces to Bring Message to Legislators

 LANSING – “Let’s do lunch at the turn Michigan Legislators!” The Michigan golf industry will share its message with each state legislator on Thursday, June 7, by presenting the popular Michigan Golf Day at the Capitol event.

The Michigan Golf Course Association, the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Michigan Section PGA, the Golf Association of Michigan, the Greater Michigan Club Managers Association, the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program and the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, which form the Michigan Golf Alliance, will convene on the lawn of the state Capitol and visit with each legislator.

For over a decade golf course owners, operators and superintendents have gathered each spring to voice a cooperative message. This year the leaders of Michigan golf have again created a dynamic day of activity to promote the game and the golf business. Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley will be on hand to proclaim “June is Michigan Golf Month”.

The executive directors and members of the organizations in the Michigan Golf Alliance will be under the big tent between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to meet with media and guests and discuss the wide range of topics regarding the golf industry, including and not limited to the effect on business, the impact on tourism and employment in the state, and the industry’s positive effect on the environment.

 “The Michigan Golf Alliance created this event to facilitate golf industry representatives introducing themselves and informing the Legislators and their staff on who we are and what our industry brings to the State of Michigan,” Kate Moore, executive director of the MGOA said. “I can’t overstate the importance of this day in delivering the message to our government leaders.”

The schedule will include Senate and House office visits and “lunch on the turn,” a traditional golfers fare. PGA professionals will be on hand to offer golf swing tips in a special netted hitting area, as well as putting tips on a portable putting green. All Legislators will be invited to lunch with their constituents.

Contact: Kate Moore at 800-860-8575 or 517-230-8040;

Pure Michigan tees up summer-long celebration of signature golf holes with Pure Michigan 18 video series

LANSING, Mich. – From the rolling hills of southeast Michigan to the craggy shores of Lake Superior, Michigan’s more than 650 public golf courses make the state one of the top golf destinations in the country.

To bring attention to this golf mecca, Pure Michigan is showcasing 18 signature holes that represent significant beauty and challenge in a new series, “Pure Michigan 18.”

“Michigan has long been recognized as one of the premier golf destinations in the country, attracting golfers from all over the U.S. and offering the best summer golf conditions in the nation,” said Dave Lorenz, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Our new video series featuring signature holes around the state is another way we can highlight the world-class golf experiences Michigan offers to travelers from around the U.S.”

Each Tuesday for 18 weeks, a new course and signature hole will be revealed featuring a video narrated by a golf professional familiar with the unique features of the hole. New videos will be shared on Pure Michigan’s Facebook page and will be available at

Well-known courses from across the state will be featured, including Harbor Shores Golf Club, site of 2018 KitchenAid Senior PGA tournament. Other courses that will be featured include The Jewel, Stoatin Brae, and Eagle Eye Championship Golf Course.

Fans are encouraged to share their golf experiences while playing these holes throughout the summer by sharing photos on Instagram or Twitter and using the hashtag #PureMichigan18, with the chance to win free rounds of golf at a number of the featured courses.

There will be many opportunities to win, including selecting two winners every month for a complimentary round of golf for 4, and a grand prize including more rounds of golf at one of the Pure Michigan 18 golf courses.

Visit for rules and details of the contest.

This program complements other exciting news for golfing in Michigan, including the addition of two new golf courses — The South Course at Arcadia Bluffs and Sage Run at Island Resort & Casino — six professional tournaments being held in the state this year, and the Inn at Bay Harbor being recognized by Golf Digest as one of the Best Resorts in the Americas.

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Media Contacts:
Kathy Achtenberg – MEDC
(517) 335-4590,

Entry Deadline Looming for June 11-14 Michigan Open Championship

  ACME —  In 2018 it’s back to The Bear for the 101st Michigan Open Championship June 11-14, but the entry deadline for the state’s elite golfers is next week.

  For the list of qualifiers and to register click HERE, the deadline to be part of the return to The Bear is Wednesday, March 16, at 5 p.m.

  A field of 156 starting golfers will be determined after entrants not in the exempt categories play in one of seven qualifiers presented around the state between May 22 and June 3. A special three-spot qualifier will also be held on June 9 at Traverse City Golf & Country Club, which can be used as a first or second attempt.

   Grand Traverse Resort and Spa hosted the state’s best golfers in the storied Michigan Open Championship 28 times between 1981 and 2008, and in the last 25 of those years The Bear course helped identify the champion.

  The 2018 championship is being presented by Yamaha Golf Cars Plus and MercyElite Sports Performance with additional support from Pepsi and Traverse City Tourism.

  Matt Thompson, the head golf professional at Marshall Country Club, is the defending champion. The Battle Creek native and former University of Michigan golfer made five birdies on the back nine at Prestwick Village Golf Club in Highland last year to win the historic 100th Michigan Open by six shots over 2013 champion Tom Werkmeister of Grandville.

  The field is traditionally made up of the top Michigan PGA professionals, touring professionals who maintain residency in the state and the top amateur players.

   Many of the state’s top golfers are excited about returning to The Bear for the first time in 10 years.

    “I think it goes back to all the great memories they have from when the tournament was played up there for all those years,” Justin Phillips, tournament director for the Michigan PGA said. “They took their families there and made it a vacation in Traverse City. It’s a great championship venue.”

   Tom McGee, the director of golf at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, said the resort is excited the best golfers in Michigan are coming back, too.

  “Everybody at the resort is excited to have the Michigan Open coming back, and I’ve heard from a lot of the PGA professionals and other very good golfers who are excited it is back as well,” he said.

  “The great challenge of The Bear is one thing, but also a lot of people feel it is really the home of the Michigan Open. To have it back here is exciting for them, and they remember making it a vacation for their families while they are playing in a great tournament.”

  The Michigan Open was first played in 1916 and won by Leo Diegel, who also played in the inaugural Ryder Cup matches and the first Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga. Many of golf’s most famous have their names listed on the Michigan Open’s James Standish Trophy including Walter Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Al Watrous, Horton Smith, Walter Burkemo and John Barnum.

Youth Serves GAM Team in Turning Back PGA Team in 46th Fuller Cup Matches

   BIRMINGHAM – With some long-hitting golfers fresh off their college seasons adding a spark the Golf Association of Michigan team rolled to a 12.5 – 5.5 win over the Michigan PGA team in the 46th Fuller Cup Matches Wednesday at Birmingham Country Club.

  The GAM won six of the first eight singles matches of the afternoon and scored 9.5 of the possible 12 available to break a 3-3 tie through the morning four-ball matches.

  “Our college guys have an advantage with their length on what is now a more open course,” said non-playing captain Ken Hartmann, the senior director of rules and competitions for the GAM. “With the renovation in the last few years the club took out a lot of trees and with the distance the college kids can hit it, they just cut across some of the doglegs and feel more confident swinging a way out there.”

  Jake Kneen of White Lake and Connor Jones of Rochester, who just completed their senior seasons at Oakland University, and Beau Breault, who just completed his junior year at Eastern Michigan, bombed away and had a hand in scoring points in the morning and afternoon. In addition, GAM veterans Nathan Clark of Charlotte and Mike Ignasiak of Saline also carded points in both sessions.


  “It feels good to get the cup back,” Hartmann said. “It’s been very competitive the last 10 years or so.”

  Brett Hudson of Bloomfield Hills beat host head pro Joe Herbstreith 6 and 5 in the first match of the afternoon, but assistant Birmingham pro Steve Vecellio topped John Quigley of St. Clair Shores 2-up to make the score 4-4.


  Then the GAM blitz started with four consecutive wins by Ignasiak, Clark, Jones and Kneen. Scott Strickland of Birmingham, a member at Birmingham CC, secured the clinching point with a 7 and 5 win over Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills Country Club.


   Vecellio and Travis Dodson of Meadowbrook Country Club were the only PGA players to be part of wins in both sessions. Kyle Martin of Lochmoor Club teamed with Dodson in the morning for a win, and earned a halve with AJ Varekois of Rockford in singles.


  The GAM has won six of the last 11 competitions, but still trail 35-10-1 in the series. Prior to 2001 the PGA teams dominated the Ryder Cup-style competition.


  The format has changed over the years, but the matches have always been presented to promote sportsmanship, friendship and great golf between the professionals and amateurs in the state. The GAM team is selected through the use of the GAM Honor Roll and the PGA selects its team via money list standing.


  Fairway & Greene was the clothing sponsor and outfitted both teams. The PGA Michigan Section Tournament Director Justin Phillips and Hartmann were the non-playing captains.


  Find more information on the Golf Association of Michigan at Find more information on the Michigan PGA at Learn more about Birmingham CC at


46th Fuller Cup Matches

Morning Results (four-ball matches) GAM 3, PGA 3

(PGA) Joe Herbstreith/Steve Vecellio def. (GAM) Brett Hudson/John Quigley 3 and 1

(GAM) Mike Ignasiak/Nathan Clark def. (PGA) Lee Houtteman/Gary Lewandowski 4 and 3

(GAM) Connor Jones/Jake Kneen def. (PGA) Ron Beurmann/Scott Hebert 1-up

(PGA) Travis Dodson/Kyle Martin def. (GAM) David Praet/AJ Varekois 3 and 2

(GAM) Jack Weller/Beau Breault def. (PGA) Cody Haughton/Jordan Young  4 and 2

(PGA) Brian Cairns/Josh Fryer def. (GAM) Jeff Champine/Scott Strickland 3 and 2

Afternoon Results (singles matches) GAM 9.5, PGA 2.5

(GAM) Brett Hudson def. (PGA) Joe Herbstreith 6 and 5

(PGA) Steve Vecellio def.  (GAM) John Quigley 2-up

(GAM) Mike Ignasiak def. (PGA) Lee Houtteman 1-up

(GAM) Nathan Clark def. (PGA) Gary Lewandowski 3 and 2

(GAM) Connor Jones def. (PGA) Ron Beurmann 2-up

(GAM) Jake Kneen def. (PGA) Scott Hebert 4 and 2

(PGA) Travis Dodson def. (GAM) David Praet 5 and 4

(GAM) AJ Varekois halved with (PGA) Kyle Martin

(GAM) Jack Weller def. (PGA) Cody Haughton 2-up

(GAM) Beau Breault def. (PGA) Jordan Young 1-up

(GAM) Jeff Champine def. (PGA) Brian Cairns 1-up

(GAM) Scott Strickland def. (PGA) Josh Fryer 7 and 5

Final score: GAM 12.5, PGA 5.5

Roth / Pohl win the Yamaha Golf Cars / Bushnell Golf Pro Pro Championship

Bloomfield Hills, MI – The team of two former Arizona Wildcat alums teamed up Monday to win the 2018 Yamaha Golf Cars / Bushnell Golf Pro Pro Championship at Franklin Hills Country Club and Bloomfield Hills Country Club. Jeff Roth from Boyne Highlands and former PGA Tour member Dan Pohl played great all day with consistent rounds of 64 in both the morning and afternoon for a 128 (-14 ) under total, which was good for a 4 shot victory over Al Kuhn from Oakhurst Golf & Country Club and Tom Harding from the Kendall Academy.

A total of 92 teams competed in this 36 hole best ball event. The field was split with half playing Franklin Hills CC and half playing Bloomfield Hills CC in the morning. The teams were then repaired in the afternoon when they played the opposite course.  Both Franklin Hills and Bloomfield Hills were in tremendous shape and made for a great event.

Jeff and Dan fired a (-7) under par round of 64 in the morning at Bloomfield Hills ,which gave them a one shot lead over George Forster and Jeffery Gunning from the Country Club of Detroit heading into the afternoon.  The low rounds of the morning at Franklin Hills went to the host professionals Jeff Ferry and Josh Fryer from Franklin Hills and Jeff Gniewek from Knollwood CC and Frank McAuliffe from Meadowbrook CC, both teams had rounds of (-5) 66.

With another round of (-7) under 64 Jeff and Dan were to tough to catch finishing at -14 under. Jeff Roth just returned to the Michigan Section after spending the past 8 seasons at San Juan Country Club in New Mexico. Jeff is currently teaching at Boyne Highlands. Dan Pohl is back in the Michigan Section under a new role of Director of Golf Operations at the PohlCat ,the course he designed in the early 1990’s. Dan is a Mt Pleasant native and played on the PGA Tour from 1978 to 1987 and has 2 PGA Tour wins.

For final results and payout click HERE

Congratulations to Al Kuhn for winning the Bushnell Range Finder for his closest to the pin shot on #17.

We would like to thank our host sites – Franklin Hills Country Club and Bloomfield Hills Country Club for opening their doors and hosting this event.

We would also like to thank our two sponsors  – Bushnell Golf along with Yamaha Golf Cars for stepping up this year to sponsor the event. We appreciate their support of the Section  and our Tournament program.









Dodson, Dodson, Gisi and Pesta win the Club Car Spring Scramble presented by Heartland

Ypsilanti, MI – It took 4 extra holes for the team of  Michigan PGA Professionals Andrew Dodson ( Golf TEC -Novi)  ,Travis Dodson ( Meadowbrook CC), Marlon Gisi ( GolfTEC -Troy) and Matt Pesta ( Lincoln Hills GC) to capture the championship held at the Marriott at Eagle Crest Resort on Monday. This was the opening event for the Michigan PGA Section Tournament season. 

Along with our champions we had 2 other teams  finish the day at  (-16 under ) 56 making it a 3 team playoff. The team from Red Run CC of Mark Johnson, Cody Haughton, Patrick Humphries and Steve Naelon as well as the team of professional Chis Sullivan from Sun Mountain and his amateur partners Pete Farner, Ryan Johnson and Anthony Sorentino both finished at (-16) under as well.

All 3 teams made par at  the first playoff hole and birdied the 2. The teams of Dodson ,Dodson, Pesta and Gisi along with Sullivan, Farner, Johnson and Sorentino both birdied the third playoff hole and it was finally decided at the fourth hole with a birdie from Dodson ,Dodson, Pesta and Gisi, giving them first place and $2,200 for the team.

Any team shooting a score of 58 or better finished in the money. Please see the final results  on the website by clicking HERE .

We had 3 skins yesterday including a Hole in One by amateur Ryan Tobin ! Each skin is worth $864 per team

#7 –  Eagle (2) – Rammler, Cheesman, Welsh, Bohm

#8 – Eagle (2) – Pershern, Martin, Wright, Clor

#14 – Hole In One -Sall, Tobin, Sall, Schopieray

For Course statistics click HERE

We would like to thank The Marriott at Eagle Crest for  hosting this event. Their staff did a great job hosting and really made for a nice event. The golf course was in great shape ,especially for this early in the year. It was nice for all of the Eastern Michigan University to come back as we had 8 alumni in the field.

We would also like to thank our sponsors – Club Car and specifically the team from Midwest Golf & Turf. This was the 27th  year that Club Car has been a  sponsor of this event. We greatly appreciate their support of the Section Tournament program and this event.

We would also like to thank Heartland Processing for joining Club Car and sponsoring this event for the first time .It was great to have their support and Barry Taylor onsite for the event.

To see pics of the event please visit the Michigan PGA Facebook page.