MICHIGAN OPEN, 100 YEARS: Horton Smith, John Barnum, Walter Burkemo and Dave Hill Represent Second 25 Years of the Championship

EAST LANSING – Michigan Open champions have made history with their wins, but are part of history in other ways as well.
Walter Burkemo won the national 1953 PGA Championship, but also was awarded two Purple Hearts by the U.S. Army for serious wounds suffered in World War II. The second came when the Sergeant was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge.Horton Smith won the 1934 Masters Tournament, the very first Masters, and also won the third. He is also credited with being the first professional to truly study the putting stroke to gain an advantage on opponents, and his name has become synonymous with golf education.
John Barnum, a four-time Michigan Open champion, was the first golfer to win his first PGA Tour event past the age of 50, and was also the first player to win a PGA Tour event using a PING putter, which has become the most popular putter in golf.
Dave Hill won 13 times on the PGA Tour, but might be best known for a willingness to take on the tour leadership and shoot from the lip. That includes filing an unprecedented $1 million anti-trust suit against the Tour following a suspension. It was settled out of court and he played on.
Burkemo, Smith, Barnum and Hill make up a standout foursome to represent the second 25 Michigan Open Championships.
Burkemo won in 1951, ’55, ’57 and 13 years later in ’70 at the age of 52. Smith won his only Michigan Open in 1954, 20 years after his history making win at Augusta National. Barnum won in 1950, ’58, ’60 and ’61. Hill won his only Michigan Open in 1959 during his first year as a professional.
Burkemo, a Detroit native, was the youngest of 13 children born to Norwegian immigrants and started his golf career as a caddie at Lochmoor Club. He was 21 and a professional golfer when World War II started and recovery from his war wounds delayed his return to professional golf.
In the 1950s he became one of the world’s top players, winning the 1953 PGA Championship played in Michigan at Birmingham Country Club, and twice was runner-up in the major championship (’51 and ’54). He also was on the 1953 U.S. Ryder Cup team.
He was a head professional at Franklin Hills, and an assistant at Oakland Hills during his career, and Burkemo and his brother Vic opened a popular driving range in St. Clair Shores as well. He is a member of the Michigan PGA Hall of Fame and the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. He died Oct. 8, 1986 in Fenton, just one day before his birthday. He was 67.
Smith, a Missouri native, won 32 times on the PGA Tour between 1928 and ’41, including his only two majors in the Masters (1934, ’36). He was part of five Ryder Cup teams and served a non-combat role in the U.S. Army during World War II. He became the head professional at Detroit Golf Club in 1946 and worked there until death at the age of 55 in 1963 from Hodgkin’s disease.
He played in every Masters from 1934 to ’63, though he was retired from the tour and devoted to Detroit Golf Club where he is remembered as a stoic man and fine teacher of the game. In 1962 he received the Bob Jones Award from the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship. The PGA of America and its many state sections annually grant the Horton Smith Award to a PGA professional who has made outstanding and continuing contributions to PGA education.
In September of 2013 his green jacket, which was awarded for his Masters wins, was sold at auction by relatives for over $682,000, which at the time was believed to be the most ever paid for golf memorabilia. He is a member of the Michigan PGA Hall of Fame, the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Barnum was he head golf professional at Blythefield Country Club near Grand Rapids for more than 20 years and played the PGA Tour on a part-time basis. In addition to his four Michigan Open wins, he was a three-time Michigan PGA winner and five times won the Michigan PGA Senior title.
He was 50 when he started making big news nationally. He won the PGA Tour’s 1962 Cajun Classic by six shots over Gay Brewer, which put him in the history books as the first player to win his first PGA Tour event after turning 50. He is also one of six golfers who have won on the tour after turning 50.
Barnum made noise in the senior major championships, too, finishing second three times in the Senior PGA Championship. He was runner-up to Herman Barron in 1963, second to Sam Snead in ’64 and second to Fred Haas Jr. in ’66.
Barnum, who died in 1996 at the age of 85, is a member of the Michigan PGA Hall of Fame and the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. The PING putter he won the Cajun Classic with is in a collection of historical club items at Blythefield.
Hill, whose brother Mike also had a standout professional career, had his share of controversies and blunt statements that made news, but there was no doubting his talent. In addition to his 13 wins, he won the Vardon Trophy in 1969 for the lowest scoring average on the PGA Tour, and was on the Ryder Cup team that year, too. He would also be on Ryder Cup teams in ’73 and ’77, and win six times on the Senior PGA Tour, which is now the Champions Tour.
He was known as a great ball-striker and had his best finish in a major championship when he was second in the 1970 U.S. Open at Hazeltine in Chaska, Minn. Of course, his criticisms of the course in which he said they ruined a good farm when they built it, made the headlines instead of his play.
He was sarcastic and blunt. When asked by a Grand Rapids Press reporter about hitting a drive out-of-bounds on the final hole of a Senior PGA Tour event in 1990 and finishing second by a shot, he was quick with his temper and an answer: “Wasn’t playing for second place you (bleep).”
He was popular beyond his hometown of Jackson, and made a cameo appearance in a Walt Disney movie called “Now You See Him, Now You Don’t.” Hill died in 2011 after a long battle with emphysema. He is a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.
Burkemo, Smith, Barnum and Hill stand out in the second 25 year collection of Michigan Opens, but other notable winners marked the era as well.
Chick Harbert, who won four Michigan Opens (1937, ’42, ’48 and ’53) and went on to win seven times on the PGA Tour, including the 1954 PGA Championship, set the four-round scoring record for the Michigan Open of 23-under par at Tam O’Shanter Country Club in West Bloomfield in 1948. It was tied in 2012 by Kalamazoo’s Barrett Kelpin at The Orchards Golf Club in Washington Township.
Amateur Chuck Kocsis, Michigan’s version of Bobby Jones, won back-to-back Michigan Opens in 1945 and ’46 after winning his first at age 18 in 1931. His incredible record included being low amateur in the Masters once and the U.S. Open twice, winning six Michigan Amateur Championship titles and leading the University of Michigan to a pair of collegiate national match play championships, the forerunner to the NCAA Championships.
Pete Cooper, who won the 1956 Michigan Open, won five times on the PGA Tour and was a respected teacher who also won eight Florida Opens. His most famous pupil – Chi Chi Rodriguez who often lauded his praises and dedicated wins to him.
Gene Bone won the last two Michigan Opens of the era back-to-back in 1965 and ’66. The Bay Pointe Golf Club professional won at least one of every Michigan PGA conducted tournament, including two Michigan PGA titles.
Sammy or Sam Byrd won the 1940 Michigan Open while representing Plum Hollow Country Club in Detroit, and built a legend in both baseball and golf. The Georgia native played Major League Baseball with the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds from 1929 to ‘36, and reportedly was called “Babe Ruth’s Legs” because he would often appear as a pinch runner for the legend late in games near the end of Ruth’s career.
Byrd successfully made the jump to professional golf and later won six times on the PGA Tour between 1942 and ’46. He was also reportedly a friend of the great Ben Hogan, who liked to talk about the golf swing with him.

FEATURED PIC: Collage image including John Barnum’s historic PING putter that is the property of Blythefield CC, the front page of the Augusta Chronicle newspaper the day after Horton Smith won the first of what would become known as the Masters, a Walter Burkemo personalized golf ball that was once available on eBay and a picture of a collectible Dave Hill bubblegum card.

MICHIGAN PGA CONTACT: Justin Phillips, director of tournament operations, jphillips@michiganpga.com or 517-641-7421
MEDIA CONTACT: Greg Johnson, consultant, greggie24@hotmail.com, 616-560-8995
Visit www.michiganpgagolf.com for more information

Deadline for the 100th Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Automotive is Wednesday !

East Lansing, MI –  Don’t miss your chance to participate in the historic 100th playing of the Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Automotive. The deadline to register is Wednesday, May 17th at 5:00pm.  The Championship returns to Prestwick Village Golf Club and will take place on June 12-15, 2017.

You can register for a qualifier online by clicking HERE. Please see the list of qualifying sites and dates below :

Sunday, May 21
Eagle Eye Golf Club ,Bath

Tuesday, May 23
Country Club of Lansing
Oakland U – Sharf, Rochester

Tuesday, May 30
Detroit Golf Club – North Course

Wednesday, May 31
Quail Ridge Golf Club, Grand Rapids
Forest Lake Country Club ( PGA Members Only)

Sunday, June 4
Black Lake Golf Club, Onaway

Saturday, June 10, (3 Spot Qualifier)
Flint Elks Golf Club
(Can be used as 1st or 2nd Attempt – 2nd Attempt is $105)

The entry fees are as follows:
Amateur – $180
PGA Professional – $205
Non-PGA Professional – $355

Eligibility:
Male Golfers who have established and maintained a Domicile in the State of Michigan (60) sixty days prior to the Championship or any Michigan Section Member in good standing having been employed for no less than (60) sixty days at a recognized golf facility prior to the Championship. Life Member / Retired Member must be a member of the Michigan Section 60 days prior to the Championship. Upon request, must provide three (3) documents to prove Domicile.

Championship Site
We are excited as this will be the fourth year that the Championship will be held at Prestwick Village Golf Club, which is located just north of Milford in Highland Township. Prestwick Village Golf Club provided a great championship atmosphere the last two years and will do the same again this year. Award-winning and internationally renowned architect Ron Garl designed the championship course. The club’s stellar and expansive 26-acre practice facility was selected as a 2012 Golf Range Association of America Top 50 Range in the Private Category by PGA Magazine.

Championship Sponsor
We excited to announce that LaFontaine Automotive Group and LaFontaine Cadillac — one of 18 LaFontaine Automotive Group franchises in nine locations across southeast Michigan – is once again the presenting sponsor of the event. LaFontaine will once again be adding to the Championship experience by providing lunch to all the players and caddies at Prestwick Village Golf Club.

The LaFontaine Cadillac dealership is located at 4000 West Highland Road in Highland Township, features the famous “LaFontaine Family Deal,” which offers its customers more than the best price on a new or pre-owned vehicle. It also offers the attitude and approach to business developed and nurtured by the LaFontaine family since the company founding in 1980.

For more info on LaFontaine Automotive Group please visit their website at www.familydeal.com .

MICHIGAN OPEN, 100 YEARS: Hagen, Diegel, Watrous, Stahl Represent First 25 Years

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of four releases regarding 25-year segments of the Michigan Open Championship, which will be played for the 100th time June 12-15 at Prestwick Village Golf Club in Highland. The first 25 tournaments were presented from 1916 – ‘42 with tournaments not being played in World War I years of 1917 and ’18.
By Greg Johnson

EAST LANSING – Golf professionals in the early years of golf in the United States were considered at best hired help, and often simply declared unworthy for entry to the best of golf clubhouses or even admittance to the locker rooms.

Walter Hagen helped change that with flamboyant showmanship, popularity and talent in becoming the winner of the most major championships (11) before Jack Nicklaus (18) and Tiger Woods (14) came along.

Leo Diegel, born in Wayne County, was just 17 when he won the first Michigan Open Championship in 1916 at Saginaw Country Club and became one of the game’s top players, though he was often overshadowed by rivals Hagen and Gene Sarazen.

Al Watrous set the standard for major wins in Michigan with six Michigan Open wins and nine Michigan PGA Championships, and also set the standard as a golf professional at Oakland Hills Country Club for 37 years. He was part of the first U.S. Ryder Cup team as well, which was captained by Hagen and included Diegel.

Marvin Stahl was the golf professional at Blythefield Country Club near Grand Rapids and worked in California in winters becoming known as the golf pro of the stars. He counted Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Jimmy Cagney among his students and golf partners, and screen actor Buddy Rogers was a lifelong friend.

Hagen, Diegel, Watrous and Stahl make up a standout foursome to represent the first 25 Michigan Open Championships. Hagen won in 1921 at Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods. Diegel won in 1916 and again in 1919 after no tournaments were held in 1917 and ’18. Watrous won in 1926, ’27, ’29, ’30, ’43 and ’49. Stahl won in 1936, ’38 and ’39.

Hagen, the first Oakland Hills Country Club professional for a two-year period in 1918 and ’19, became the first unaffiliated professional to travel the world seeking championships and exhibition golf. He helped to popularize golf with his play, his dashing wardrobe and his endorsement of Walter Hagen and Haig Ultra clubs through Wilson Sports.

He is one of the game’s biggest names, regarded as perhaps the most flamboyant great player, and spent the final years of his life living in Traverse City where he died at his home in 1969 at the age of 76. Arnold Palmer was one of his pall bearers, and he rests at Holy Sepulchre Mausoleum in Southfield.

Hagen wrote in his autobiography: “My game was my business and as a business it demanded constant playing in the championship bracket, for a current title was my selling commodity.” He is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, the Michigan PGA Hall of Fame and the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.

Diegel is perhaps the most accomplished Michigan native golfer ever. He is credited with 28 PGA Tour wins, including two major championships, the 1928 and ’29 National PGA Championships. He beat Hagen in match play on the way to both wins, and was runner-up in the title match to Hagen in ’26. The U.S. Open title eluded him, though he was in the top 10 eight times and finished second once and third twice.

Known as a great ball-striker, he battled a balky putter and eventually developed a unique putting style. His elbows-out technique with a dramatic bend at the waist became known as “Diegeling.” LPGA star Michelle Wie is among the most recent to employ a “Diegeling” look.

Diegel is also known for writing with author Jim Dante the highly regarded instructional book; “The Nine Bad shots of Golf.” He is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.

Watrous moved to Michigan from New York at an early age and made it his home as the professional at Oakland Hills. He is credited with eight PGA Tour wins, and played in 55 of golf’s major championship where he made the cut 49 times. He won three PGA Senior Championships on the national level, and in his adopted state was dominant. His 15 Michigan PGA Section “major” wins has only recently been tied by Jeff Roth and Scott Hebert.

Watrous came very close to winning the 1926 British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 1926. He was tied with Bobby Jones in the final round, only to fall victim to Jones hitting what is regarded as one of the greatest recovery shots in golf history – a 175-yard blast from dune grass left of the 17th fairway.

Hagen called Watrous one of the game’s real stylists, a pro’s pro with a classic swing Watrous said he developed by watching Harry Vardon among others. He is a member of the Michigan PGA Hall of Fame, the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, as well as the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.

Stahl, abandoned by his father as a youngster, dropped out of high school, worked as a caddie at Cascade Hills Country Club in Grand Rapids, learned the game, worked as a professional at Blythefield, later worked in Palm Springs, Calif., and became a Hollywood filmmaker for a time, too. He was partner of founder Bing Crosby in the “Clambake,” now known as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, on more than one occasion.

He is one of three former Blythefield pros in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame with John Barnum and Buddy Whitten. In addition to his three Michigan Open titles, he won the 1942 Michigan PGA Championship and the 1943 Southern California PGA Championship.

After his golf career he became a prominent Grand Rapids businessman based on contacts he had made as a caddie with legendary Grand Rapids businessman A.J. Sparks. Stahl died at the age of 93 in Palm Springs in 2002.

Hagen, Diegel, Watrous and Stahl stand out, but other notable winners marked the first 25 Michigan Opens as well.
Mike Brady won the third Michigan Open in 1920. He was the second golf pro at Oakland Hills, hired after Hagen resigned and had lost to Hagen in a notable playoff in the 1919 U.S. Open. He won the 1922 Western Open at Oakland Hills.

George Von Elm was the U.S. Amateur champion of 1926 when he won the Michigan Open in 1928.
Chuck Kocsis was 18 and an amateur, and well on his way to becoming Michigan’s version of Bobby Jones, when he won his first of three Michigan Opens in 1931. Brother Emerick won in 1940.

Chick Harbert, who won his first of four Michigan Opens in 1937 (’37, ’42, ’48 and ’53), went on to win seven times on the PGA Tour, including the 1954 PGA Championship and was a Ryder Cup captain.

Finally, Gib Sellers, who won in 1941, was a gifted player and alleged golf hustler known as the baby-faced “Round Man” who would often partner with the famous con-man/golfer Titanic Thompson.

Thompson would reportedly set up opponents by pointing at Sellers, who would be standing innocently nearby with just two woods in a beat-up golf bag: “I’ll just take that kid over there and play you two guys.”

Featured Pic: Collage image of Michigan Golf Hall of Fame paintings (clockwise from top left) Walter Hagen, Al Watrous, Marvin Stahl and Leo Diegel.

Michigan PGA Contact: Justin Phillips, director of tournament operations, jphillips@michiganpga.com or 517-641-7421

Media contact: Greg Johnson, consultant, greggie24@hotmail.com, 616-560-8995

Visit www.michiganpgagolf.com for more information

PGA Team Stops GAM Team’s Winning Streak in 45th Fuller Cup Matches

CLARKSTON – Lochmoor Club’s Kyle Martin of the Michigan PGA Team chipped in on holes 16 and 17 at Oakhurst Golf & Country Club to key a 2 and 1 win over Canton’s Josh Heinze of the Golf Association of Michigan Team and the Fuller Cup was secured by the PGA.

The PGA won 10-8 and wrestled the cup away from the GAM, which had won two consecutive years and five times in the previous nine years of the Fuller Cup, which pits a team representing the top money winners among the Michigan PGA professionals from last year’s competition and the leading Honor Roll amateur players of the GAM.
The two teams competed in a Ryder Cup like format with six four-ball matches and 12 singles matches, and Cutter & Buck was the clothing sponsor that outfitted both teams.

“It was a fun day, it’s a fun event,” said Martin, who is an assistant professional at Lochmoor in Grosse Pointe Woods. “Our match went back and forth, and at 16 I hit a poor first chip, and then hit about a 30-foot chip from the first cut that hit the hole pretty hard and fell in. At 17 I hit a poor second shot short in the fairway, but hit the one-hop stop perfect and it just fell in the cup.”

Representing the PGA team with Martin was Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth, John Pershern of Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods, Jim Deiters of Midland Country Club, Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills Country Club in Franklin, Scott Hebert of Traverse City Country Club, Steve Vecellio of Birmingham Country Club, Jordan Young of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth, Billy Mory of Meridian Sun Golf Club in Haslett, Travis Dodson of Meadowbrook Country Club in Northville, Dan Urban of Gull Lake Country Club in Richland and John Seltzer of Blythefield Country Club in Belmont.

Representing the GAM, in addition to Heinze, was Tom Gelardi of Whitmore Lake, Scott Strickland of Birmingham, Andy Matthews of Ada, Brad Bastion of Clinton Township, David Hall of Birmingham, Dan Ellis of East Lansing, Carson Castellani of Okemos, Jake Kneen of White Lake, Garret Buckley of Novi, Anthony Sorentino of Shelby Township and Tom Werkmeister of Grandville.

Mory, Dieters and Young had their hands in four-ball and singles wins to each garner two points for the PGA team. Mory and Dieters were teammates in topping Gelardi and Hall 7 and 6 in their four-ball match. Then Mory topped Gelardi 6 and 5 in singles, and Deiters outlasted Hall 1-up. Young, meanwhile, teamed up with Cairns to beat Buckley and Kneen in four-ball, and then Young topped Kneen 2 and 1 in singles.
Ellis, the assistant men’s golf coach at Michigan State University, was the only GAM Team member to score two points. He and Werkmeister topped Seltzer and Urban 1-up in four-ball, then Ellis made a birdie on 18 to slip past Urban 1-up in singles play.

The PGA had a 3½-2½ lead after the four-ball matches, and then took the singles 6½ to 5½. The GAM team has won seven times since 2001, but the PGA maintains a 35-9-1 advantage in the series.
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.

Find more information on the Michigan PGA at www.michiganpgagolf.com .
Find more information on the Golf Association of Michigan at www.gam.org.

45th Fuller Cup Matches Results
Tuesday May 9, 2017, Oakhurst Golf & Country Club
(GAM team listed on left, PGA or right)

Four-Ball Matches
Andy Matthews Scott Strickland All square John Pershern Josh Fryer
Tom Werkmeister Dan Ellis GAM 1 Up John Seltzer Dan Urban
Brad Bastion Anthony Sorentino PGA 5 &3 Travis Dodson Steve Vecellio
Josh Heinze Carson Castellani GAM 1 Up Kyle Martin Scott Hebert
Tom Gelardi David Hall PGA 7 & 6 Bill Mory Jim Deiters
Garret Buckley Jake Kneen PGA 4 &3 Brian Cairns Jordan Young
GAM 2 ½ PGA 3 ½

Singles Matches
Andy Matthews PGA 3 &2 John Pershern
Scott Strickland GAM 5 & 4 Josh Fryer
Tom Werkmeister PGA 1 UP John Seltzer
Dan Ellis GAM 1 UP Dan Urban
Brad Bastion GAM 2 UP Travis Dodson
Anthony Sorentino GAM 1 UP Steve Vecellio
Josh Heinze PGA 2 & 1 Kyle Martin
Carson Castellani All square Scott Hebert
Tom Gelardi PGA 6 &5 Bill Mory
David Hall PGA 1 UP Jim Deiters
Garret Buckley GAM 4 & 3 Brian Cairns
Jake Kneen PGA 2 & 1 Jordan Young
Singles GAM 5 ½, PGA 6 ½

FINAL – PGA 10, GAM 8

Oakhurst Golf & Country Club Hosting GAM and PGA Teams for 45th Fuller Cup Matches

CLARKSTON –After the morning four ball matches the Michigan PGA has taken a 3 1/2 to 2  1/2 lead.  The players are heading out this afternoon for the singles matches with 12 points still available.

For results click HERE

Oakhurst Golf & Country Club’s 18-hole championship golf course, which was designed by Arthur Hills, winds through spectacular trees, and navigates stunning marshlands for 7,400 yards, and simply put, requires well-placed shots from multiple clubs.

That makes it a fitting host when the best amateur golfers representing the Golf Association of Michigan and top PGA professionals representing the Michigan Section of the PGA square off in the 45th Fuller Cup Matches Tuesday.
The two teams will compete in a Ryder Cup like format with six four-ball matches and 12 singles matches to determine a winning team. Cutter & Buck is the clothing sponsor and will outfit both teams. The Golf Association of Michigan’s tournament staff directed by Ken Hartmann will administer the competition.

Representing the GAM will be Tom Gelardi of Whitmore Lake, Scott Strickland of Birmingham, Andy Matthews of Ada, Brad Bastion of Clinton Township, David Hall of Birmingham, Josh Heinze of Canton, Dan Ellis of East Lansing, Carson Castellani of Okemos, Jake Kneen of White Lake, Garret Buckley of Novi, Anthony Sorentino of Shelby Township and Tom Werkmeister of Grandville.

Representing the PGA will be Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth, John Pershern of Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods, Jim Deiters of Midland Country Club, Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills Country Club in Franklin, Scott Hebert of Traverse City Country Club, Steve Vecellio of Birmingham Country Club, Jordan Young of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth, Kyle Martin of Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods, Billy Mory of Meridian Sun Golf Club in Haslett, Travis Dodson of Meadowbrook Country Club in Northville, Dan Urban of Gull Lake Country Club in Richland and John Seltzer of Blythefield Country Club in Belmont.

Last year, the Golf Association of Michigan team slipped past the PGA 9½ -8½ in the 44th version of the Fuller Cup Matches, which were played at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont. The GAM built its second consecutive win with a 3½ – 2½ advantage in the six morning four-ball matches, and then each team won six of the afternoon singles matches in a relentless rain.

The GAM won the Cup for the fifth time in the last nine years and seventh time since 2001. Prior to 2001 the PGA dominated the Ryder Cup-style competition and maintains a 34-9-1 advantage in the series.

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.

Morning four-ball matches will start at 8 a.m. and afternoon singles will start at 12:40 p.m. Pairings are listed below.
Oakhurst, in addition to championship golf, has a spectacular 42,000 square-foot clubhouse with dining, lounges, meeting rooms, event space, pro shop and locker rooms, as well as a swimming pool and six tennis courts. George Bowman is the host PGA professional, and Adam Hosler is the superintendent. Learn more about the club at www.oakhurstgolf.com.

Find more information on the Golf Association of Michigan at www.gam.org.
Find more information on the Michigan PGA at www.michiganpgagolf.com .

45th Fuller Cup Matches Pairings
Tuesday May 9, 2017, Oakhurst Golf & Country Club

MORNING MATCHES: GAM team listed first
8 a.m. Andy Matthews / Scott Strickland vs John Pershern / Josh Fryer
8:10: Tom Werkmeister / Dan Ellis vs John Seltzer / Dan Urban
8:20: Brad Bastion / Anthony Sorentino vs Travis Dodson / Steve Vecellio
8:30: Josh Heinze / Carson Castellani vs Kyle Martin / Scott Hebert
8:40: Tom Gelardi / David Hall vs Bill Mory / Jim Deiters
8:50: Garret Buckley / Jake Kneen vs Brian Cairns / Jordan Young

AFTERNOON MATCHES: GAM team members listed first
12:40pm: Andy Matthews vs John Pershern
12:40pm: Scott Strickland vs Josh Fryer
12:50pm: Tom Werkmeister vs John Seltzer
12:50pm: Dan Ellis vs Dan Urban
1:00pm: Brad Bastion vs Travis Dodson
1:00pm: Anthony Sorentino vs Steve Vecellio
1:10pm: Josh Heinze vs Kyle Martin
1:10pm: Carson Castellani vs Scott Hebert
1:20pm: Tom Gelardi vs Bill Mory
1:20pm: David Hall vs Jim Deiters
1:30pm: Garret Buckley vs Brian Cairns
1:30pm: Jake Kneen vs Jordan Young

Deiters / Ziska win the Yamaha Golf Cars / Ahead Pro Pro Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club !

Bloomfield Hills, MI – Congratulations to Jim Deiters and Ian Ziska who battled a fierce wind and a championship golf course to take home the prestigious win with a score of 134 (-8 under) at the Michigan PGA Yamaha Golf Cars Plus / Ahead Pro Pro at Oakland Hills Country Club. Their two rounds included 11 birdies and 3 bogeys and was good enough for a two shot victory over Scott Hebert and Gary Smithson at (-6 under).

Herbert/Smithson took second place with a total score of 136 (-6 under). Herbert/Smithson carded 8 birdies and 2 bogeys.

The competition was tough with a sold out field of 108 teams. The teams played 36 continuous holes on both the North and the South Course in a best ball format.

Any team shooting 145 or better finished in the money; for the full payout list click HERE.

Matt Swan & Matthew Flaherty along with John Pershern & Kyle Martin took home a skin from the North course, paying out $972 for the team. Swan/Flaherty eagled hole number 2 a 389 yard par 4. Pershern/Martin eagled hole number 12 a 516 yard par 5.

There were three skins awarded on the South course paying $648 each per team. Bret Hartman & Garrick Hunger Eagled hole number 12- a 560 yard par 5. Justin Mack & James Raymond eagled hole number 2 a 525 yard par 5. Lucas Emrich & Joe Pollack birdied hole number 5 a 425 yard par 4.

We would like to thank Oakland Hills Country Club for hosting this event. Their staff did an amazing job helping the Michigan PGA prepare for this event. Everyone from the greens crew to the golf staff and food & beverage pulled their team together and put forth an amazing effort to help make this event run smoothly.

We would also like to thank Yamaha Golf Cars Plus for sponsoring the event. They were onsite yesterday showcasing their new golf cars. We appreciate their support of the Section Tournament program and this event.

We would also like to thank Ahead for their sponsorship and awesome tee gift of a Michigan PGA hat. Thank you for your support of the Section Tournament program and this event.

It was great to have of sponsors on site for this event, please make sure you pass along your appreciation to our host facility & sponsors. Without them this event wouldn’t be possible.

Yamaha Golf Cars /Ahead Pro Pro Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club

Bloomfield Hills, MI – The Michigan PGA Yamaha Golf Cars Plus / Ahead Pro Pro Championship will visit the famed Oakland Hills Country Club this Monday. The sold out field of 108 teams will play both the North and the South Course in this 36 hole best ball format.

The morning shotgun kicks off at 8:30am. The team of Dan Urban from Gull Lake Country Club and Jim Troy from the Golf Performance Academy will look to defend their title as the will tee off on the South course for their opening round. Dan and Jim  won last year at Arcadia Bluffs with a 36 hole score of 131 (-13) under.

This will be the second time that Oakland Hills Country Club has hosted this event as it was held there back in 2001 with no other than Jeff Roth and Steve Brady winning with a (-15) under par total. Steve was named the head golf professional of Oakland Hills Country Club last year after Pat Croswell retired. Steve had been the Director of Instruction there since 1997.

Oakland Hills Country Club was founded in 1916 and the famous South Course designed by Donald Ross opened in 1918. Walter Hagen, five time PGA Champion, was the club’s first head professional. The South Course has played host to 17 Major Championships including: six U.S. Opens; two U.S. Senior Opens; U.S. Women’s Amateur; Western Open; the Carling World Open; the 35th Ryder Cup in 2004; three PGA Championships and two U.S. Men’s Amateurs Championships including the most recent on this past year.

We are excited to have both Yamaha Golf Cars Plus and Ahead back as title sponsors of this event. This will be the 3rd year in a row that Yamaha Golf Cars Plus has sponsored this event. Ahead came on board and joined Yamaha last year as co title sponsors when the event was held at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club.

For more info, pairings and for results as teams finish click HERE

Club Car / Mercy Elite Spring Scramble Results

Congratulations the team of professionals: Dominick Izzo, Jeff Rachar, Justin Pollock and amateur Brandon Horrocks (a) who took home the top honors with a very impressive score of 56 (-16 under). This round included 16 birdies and 2 pars and was good enough for a one shot victory over 2 teams at (-15 under ).

Finishing tied second place at (-15 under) were the teams of Marlon Gisi, Matt Pesta, Andrew Dodson, Travis Dodson and the team of Steve Vecellio, Frank McAuliffe, Andrew Mogg and Aaron Bush.

Any team shooting a score of 60 or better finished in the money. Please see the final results and payout attached to this email and also on the website by clicking HERE  For those of you that have amateurs on your team that finished in the money please respond and let me know what facility those amateur gift certificates should be applied to.

There were no actual skins yesterday so the money goes hole with the fewest low score. The following two teams that made eagle (3) on hole #15 will receive $1,296 per team:

  • Steve Vecellio, Frank McAuliffe, Andrew Mogg , Aaron Bush
  • Brian Dice, Aaron McMaster, Jordan Weigner, Mark Lahnala

We would like to thank The Orchards Golf Club for  hosting this event. Their staff does 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.

We would also like to thank our sponsors – Club Car and specifically the team from Midwest Golf & Turf. This was the 26th  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 Mercy Elite Sports Performance for joining Club Car and sponsoring this event for the first time .It was great to have their support and their team onsite for the event.

National Golf Day 2017 Set for April 26 in Washington, D.C.

National Golf Day 2017 Set for April 26 in Washington, D.C.

 Industry Leaders to Celebrate 10th Anniversary with National Mall Service Project

(ST. AUGUSTINE, FL) WE ARE GOLF – a coalition of the game’s leading associations and industry partners – announces the 10th annual National Golf Day will be held Wednesday, April 26 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

National Golf Day celebrates the game’s nearly $70 billion economy, $4 billion annual charitable impact and many environmental and fitness benefits. Industry leaders will meet with Members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies to discuss golf’s 15,200-plus diverse businesses, two million jobs impacted, tax revenue creation and tourism value.

New for 2017, golf industry leaders arrive today to participate in a community service initiative on the National Mall the morning of Tuesday, April 25. The initiative will focus on beautification, preservation and helping the National Park Service with turf deferred maintenance.

“We look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of National Golf Day by educating our country’s lawmakers about the game’s significant impact,” said Steve Mona, Chief Executive Officer of World Golf Foundation, administrator of WE ARE GOLF. “As we await a new Presidential administration this month, we are optimistic about the momentum for golf in 2017 and also pleased with the strides our industry has made on Capitol Hill in the last decade to ensure that golf’s interests are effectively represented.”

In May 2016, National Golf Day was the most successful to date with over 120 scheduled Congressional meetings in one day. Globally, the #NGD16 Twitter campaign eclipsed 52 million impressions and reached 17.7 million accounts, including 4.4 million users in a one-hour span.

Organizations who participated include the Club Managers Association of America, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Ladies Professional Golf Association, National Golf Course Owners Association, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, United States Golf Association, United States Golf Manufacturers Council, World Golf Foundation and others.

To join the conversation, visit the WE ARE GOLF social media hub. Use #NGD17 and @wearegolf on Twitter and Instagram to show your support for the golf industry.

About WE ARE GOLF

WE ARE GOLF, created in 2010, is an industry coalition that communicates the economic, charitable and environmental impact of golf, as well the health and wellness benefits of the game and the affordability and accessibility of golf, to Members of Congress, the Executive Branch and regulatory agencies.  The goal of WE ARE GOLF is to ensure that laws and regulations that impact the golf industry are fair and appropriate to an industry that generates nearly $70 billion in economic impact annually, impacts close to two million American jobs and generates nearly $4 billion in charitable giving each year.

For more information, please visit www.wearegolf.org.

Max VanderMolen Takes 2nd Place at Augusta in the National Drive, Chip & Putt Competition

Max VanderMolen Takes 2nd Place at Augusta in the National Drive, Chip & Putt Competition

Max VanderMolen from Gull Lake Country Club took home the second place trophy for boys age 7-9 in the National Drive, Chip & Putt Competition! Max took second place in the Driving competition, 7th place in the chipping and 1st place in the putting to land him a total of 21 points.

Max had to go through three stages of qualify to get to Augusta  

LOCAL QUALIFYING SITE: The Moors Golf Club

SUBREGIONAL QUALIFYING SITE: Battle Creek Country Club

REGIONAL QUALIFYING SITE: Medinah Country Club

Max was very determined to get to the National Championship this year. This was his first time at Augusta National. Last year he missed qualifying at the Regional site by one point. Max practiced all season to get ready for the competition & his hard work surely did pay off.

Max got interested in the game of golf by watching Tiger Woods on TV with his Dad every weekend. As soon as he could walk, he started swinging a toy club. Max loves to play golf with his dad. He also plays a variety of other sports including hockey, football, snowboarding/skiing, little league baseball, basketball, wakeboard surfing, tennis and mountain biking. Max wants to be a Professional Golfer when he grows up. His lowest scores are 31 (for 9 holes) & 64 (for 18 holes). Max will return to the Local Drive Chip and Putt competitions this summer to attempt to qualify again. If you would like a chance to compete sign up for your local Drive, Chip & Putt Qualifier today! Registration is open and completely free!! Sign up at drivechipandputt.com!

 

Max Vandermolen reacts to his putt in the Boys 7-9 group on No. 18 during the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 2, 2017.

Masters Champion Ben Crenshaw stands with Boys 7-9 division participants after the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 2, 2017.