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.


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

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  




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!


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.

Michigan PGA Spring Meeting/Teaching Summit Well Attended!

East Lansing,  MI – The Section held its Spring Meeting on Monday, March 27 with over 320 members and apprentices in attendance. President Ron Osborne welcomed everyone to Eagle Eye Golf Club. He also welcomed special guests John Allen, Legal Counsel, Pete Bevacqua, CEO PGA of America, Duane Bucklin, Tiffany, Marlee & Myles Eckert, Folds of Honor, Frank Chieppa, PGA, Player Development Regional Manager, David Graham, GAM, Tim Marks, PGA Employment Consultant, Sabrina Potterpin, and all Past Presidents in attendance. Jim Dewling delivered the invocation and remembered deceased Honorary Member Dr. Lowell LeClair.

After Ms. Potterpin sang a wonderful rendition of our national anthem, Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua provided updates on National activities. With Executive Director Kevin Helm being the facilitator, Pete, along with President Ron Osborne and District 5 Director John Lindert, fielded questions from the membership in a town hall session for the remainder of the morning session.

After a short break, Honorary President Doug White oversaw a candidate’s forum with John Pershern and Wally Sierakowski talking about their desire to run for the office of Secretary.

Business discussions included information from PGA Employment Consultant Tim Marks, Growth of the Game Chair Joe Simpson and Tournament Chair John Seltzer. Special Awards Chair Doug Kreis announced the 2017 Special Awards winners. David Graham from the Golf Association of Michigan talked about the Youth on Course Program whereby juniors can play golf at participating courses for $5.00 or less.

As part of the Patriot Golf Day report, Chair Kevin McKinley introduced Tiffany Eckert, who each gave an emotional speech and thanked PGA members for their continued support of the organization. Duane Bucklin awarded the top Michigan performers an official Brock Bucklin Challenge coin.

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

The 5th Michigan PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit began Monday afternoon which featured Jim Hackenberg, PGA, from Orange Whip, and also Mark Blackburn, PGA, founder of Blackburn Golf, and authorized Instructor of The Golfing Machine spoke about “Critical Thinking/Coaching”. Daniel Wolocko, Director of Mercy Elite Sports Performance & Therapy, talked about “Training Lateral vs. Vertical Power”.

Tuesday featured Jason Sutton, PGA, Director of Instruction at the prestigious Carmel Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, on the “Evolution of Teaching”, along with Jason Carbone, PGA, Director of Instruction at Baltusrol Golf Club, in “What I’ve Learned from the Best”.

The afternoon also featured discussion by leading Michigan Section teachers Jason Guss, Brandon Roby and Kelly Sivier. The discussion was moderated by Charley Vandenberg.

Approximately 140 members and apprentices attended the 1 ½ day Summit.

Thank you to Jim Hackenberg of Orange Whip for their sponsorship.

East Lansing, MI – We are excited to announce that Daniel Wolocko, the Director of Mercy Elite Sports Performance and Therapy at St. Mary Mercy in Livonia will present “Training Lateral vs. Vertical Power in the Golf Swing” at the upcoming Michigan PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit. Daniel will present the fist day of the summit ,Monday March 27. 

Please see the article and more info below on Mercy Elite,  a proud sponsor of the Michigan PGA

Recover from Injury or Enhance Your Game with MercyElite

Golf has seen a shift in how players prepare and maintain their bodies. Players are more powerful, more athletic and better equipped to perform. MercyElite Sports Performance offers golfers opportunities to enhance their game with golf-specific training. All of MercyElite’s trainers are Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certified and experienced with the body movements required in a golf swing. TPI certification ensures that MercyElite trainers can quickly identify physical restrictions that may impact a player’s swing and make recommendations to improve limitations, develop conditioning programs and prevent injury.

“Golfers need efficient body movements,” said Dan Wolocko, PT, SCS, CSCS, director, sports performance and physical therapy, MercyElite. “MercyElite can help golfers recovering from an injury, looking to improve distance or enhance swing technique.”

MercyElite provides golf-specific exercises that help:
• Improve distance
• Eliminate swing faults
• Enhance swing technique
• Relieve pain
• Score better

MercyElite Sports Performance is the sports medicine service of St. Mary Mercy Livonia, a member of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. For more information, visit or call 734-655-8240.

For more info on the upcoming Michigan PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit please click HERE

Registration is now open for the 100th playing of the Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Automotive

Bath, MI – The Michigan PGA Section is excited to announce that registration is now open for  100th Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Automotive Group. Please mark your calendars as the Championship returns to Prestwick Village Golf Club in Highland, MI and will take place on June 12-15, 2017. I encourage you to look at qualifying in what will be the historic 100th playing of this event

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 three 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 in Highland, MI 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  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 .

Qualifying / Entry Info
For online registration, click HERE. Please make sure that you click on one of the Qualifier and not the actual Championship to register.
Please note the following qualifiers:

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

Entry Procedure:
Due to PCI Compliance (secure handling of credit card information) no credit card information can be entered by staff into the Section computer system. Below are the ways in which you can enter :

• Enter online through
• Mail in the entry form and a check to the PO Box listed on the entry form

The Entry Deadline is Wednesday, May 17 at 5:00pm (No Exceptions).

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.

For more information and a printable entry form click HERE

Six Elite Players Named to Michigan Golf Hall of Fame

Six Elite Players Named to Michigan Golf Hall of Fame

  BIG RAPIDS – Six golfers with championship credentials – PGA Master Professional Bob Ackerman of West Bloomfield, PGA Professional Brian Cairns of Walled Lake, PGA Tour veteran Tom Gillis of Lake Orion, former LPGA Tour player Suzy Green-Roebuck of Ann Arbor, the late Alex Ross of Detroit who was a U.S. Open winner 110 years ago, and Michigan State University women’s golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll of Haslett – have been elected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame (MGHOF).

  They will be inducted Saturday, June 3, in ceremonies at Ferris State University’s Katke Golf Club, and bring the number of inductees to 119, the MGHOF announced today. The six-member 2017 class ties for the largest class in history with the induction group of 1990.

  Ackerman, 63, owner of Bob Ackerman Golf in West Bloomfield, won his first Michigan Open title in 1975 as an amateur and added a second in 2003 while also winning the Michigan Senior Open that year and being named Michigan PGA Player of the Year. He is a former Big Ten Conference individual champion from 1975 while playing for Indiana University, a former Illinois Open winner and four-time Illinois PGA Section Player of the Year.

 Cairns, 52 and a teaching professional at Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth, was named to the Michigan PGA Section’s Hall of Fame last year. His credentials include being a three-time Michigan PGA Professional Champion, playing in the 2016 U.S. Senior Open and playing in the PGA Championship three times. He was named Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year in 2015, the first Michigan PGA Section member to be named a national player of the year in any division.  Cairns has been the Michigan PGA Section Player of the Year five times and he also had Champions Tour status in 2014.

  Gillis, 48, has played nine seasons on the PGA Tour including 2016, and recently took a high school boys golf coaching job at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep. He has been a touring professional since 1993, including stints on the European Tour, the Tour and has played competitive golf in 26 countries. He plans to play the Champions Tour when he turns 50. He has been a runner-up twice on the PGA Tour with over $6 million in earnings, won on the Tour and won two Michigan Open titles.

  Green-Roebuck, who will be 50 in April, won her third Michigan Women’s Open title last summer at age 49. She played for seven years on the LPGA Tour in the 1990s, and was a four-time winner on what is now the LPGA’s Symetra Tour. As an amateur she won the Michigan Women’s Amateur, the Golf Association of Michigan Junior Amateur twice and was a two-time individual high school state champion. She is the daughter of Pete Green, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

  Ross, who died in 1952 at age 72 is the brother of famed golf course architect Donald Ross, and is credited with having won seven of golf’s major championships because of his 1907 U.S. Open win at the Philadelphia Cricket Club and six North and South Opens at Pinehurst Resort (considered a major in the early 1900s). The native of Dornoch, Scotland, was the head professional for 31 years at Detroit Golf Club starting in 1914 and was the first president of the Michigan PGA Section in 1922.

  Slobodnik-Stoll, 45 and a Grand Rapids native is the successful head women’s golf coach at Michigan State University with five Big Ten titles and 10 trips to the NCAA Championships, and as a player is the winningest golfer in Golf Association of Michigan history with 15 titles, including two Michigan Women’s Amateur Championships and an unprecedented eight GAM Mid-Amateur wins. She was named the GAM Women’s Player of the Decade in 2010 and is a four-time GAM Player of the Year.

   The MGHOF is a heralded collection of portraits, plaques and memorabilia that currently commemorates 113 members, including Walter Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Horton Smith and more current notables Dave and Mike Hill, Dan Pohl, Meg Mallon and Kelly Robbins. The collection will soon be housed and displayed in the new Professional Golf Management Learning Center planned by Ferris State University at its Katke facility. A $4 million fundraising effort is nearing completion.

 The MGHOF 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

  Media contact: Greg Johnson, co-chairman, 616-560-8995,

Team from The Wyndgate wins the 2017 Michigan PGA Reunion Resort Pro Am presented by Bushnell Golf

Orlando, Florida – Congratulations to the team of professional Kevin Muir and his amateur partners Kevin Milliken, Larry Ross and Tom Dabney from The Wyndgate in Rochester, MI on capturing the 2017 Michigan PGA Reunion Resort Pro Am presented by Bushnell Golf.

They started out hot in the first round with a score of 125 (-19 under) on the Watson Course in this 2 net best ball format and never looked back. They finished with a round of 127 Monday on the Palmer course which put them at a 383 total, good for a 8 shot victory. The team picks up $300 per player for the first place finish along with a new Bushnell Range Finder.

Coming in second place are the defending champions from Boyne professional Casey Powers and his amateur partners Bob Westover, Malcom Fordyce and Jim Costello. They started the day four back and were unable to make up any ground with a 131 today and a 391 total, good for $200 per player. Finishing third place with a 393 total was the team from Meadowbrook Country Club professional Frank McAuliffe and his amateur partners Dennis Kubica, Alessandro Bianco and Randy Seeley, winning $100 per player.

A total of 26 teams consisting of one Michigan PGA Professional and 3 amateurs participated in this years event. The teams played all three courses at the Reunion Resort – the Nicklaus, Watson and the Palmer and competed for daily prizes each day as well as overall prizes.

For complete results click HERE

We would like to thank our sponsor, Bushnell Golf & Bolle. Our Michigan sales rep Tim Grombala was onsite Friday and Saturday to welcome all the teams and provided each player with a pair of Bolle sunglasses.

We would also like to thank Reunion Resort for hosting this event as this is the second year they have hosted. They provide a top championship venue for our pro am.

Thank you to all of the professionals and amateurs for participating this year!

Congratulations Matt Barton!

Congratulations to Matt Barton, Michigan PGA Member at The Wyndgate in Rochester Hills, for being named one of the Top 50 Kids Teachers – Class of 2016.

Since 2004, U.S. Kids Golf has recognized golf’s best teachers with the Top 50 Kids Teacher Award. Applicants complete an online survey and winners are chosen based on a variety of factors that grade their contribution to youth golf. Considerations include, but are not limited to, experience, innovation, creativity, communication, parental engagement, organization, devotion and growing the game. Award recipients include teachers who work at public, private, resort and municipal courses.

Teachers who receive this recognition three times are then awarded a Master Kids Teacher Award. Since these awards were introduced in 2008, 134 coaches have earned this elite status, including an additional nine in 2016.

The Top 50 Kids Teachers and Master Kids Teachers will be celebrated Thursday, January 26th with a special presentation during the PGA Show in Orlando, Florida.


Michigan PGA Professional Championship moves to Flint Golf Club in 2017

Bath, MI – The Michigan PGA  is excited to announce that Flint Golf Club will host the 2017 Michigan PGA Professional Championship next August 21st – 23rd. This will be the first time that Flint Golf Club has hosted the Michigan PGA Professional Championship.

Flint Golf Club has a very rich history that dates back to 1910 when it first opened as a social club. J. Dallas Dort, one of America’s most prominent automotive pioneers, was the club’s first golf and greens chairman, and he single handedly designed the initial nine hole layout, creating a first-class course – complete with sand bunkers – by 1915. Members reached the course by way of the Detroit Inter-Urban Railway, which had stops in both Flint and Atlas.

By 1916 Mr. Dort had been appointed trustee to acquire property nearer to Flint that could accommodate an 18 hole golf course and be reached more conveniently. A new site required a new course, so the club hired world class architect Willie Park, Jr. to design and build the championship layout. Park was a two-time winner of the Open Championship and designed more than 100 courses in the U.S. – notably Maidstone and Olympia Fields. Flint is one of several Willie Park courses in this area, including Red Run, Pine Lake, Battle Creek and Meadowbrook.

Flint Golf Club has a rich tournament history over the years, from the PGA Carling Open in 1957, the Michigan Open Championship in 1949 won by Al Watrous to many other National, State qualifiers and State Championships including the 1995 and 2010 GAM Championship as well as the 1922 and 2001 Michigan Amateur Championship.

The Michigan 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 former Flint Golf Club professional Jeff Roth.

In addition to being a state championship for Michigan golf professionals this 96th Michigan PGA Professional Championship also  serves as the starting point on the road to the PGA Championship of 2018.

The low 10 golfers, besides former PGA Professional national champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club who is exempt from qualification, will have spots in the 2018 PGA Professional National Championship next June. The low 20 finishers from that national event move on to play with the best players in the world at the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St Louis, Missouri in August of 2018.

For more info on Flint Golf Club please click HERE

PGA Junior League Golf Captain Registration!


If you believe in

  • job security
  • changing the culture of junior golf
  • reaching new customers & keeping them engaged
  • building a fun, social and low pressure environment for golf
  • developing comradery
  • in being the center of an enriched golf community
  • being a part of a trending & cool program

Boy do I have a program for you- PGA Junior League Golf!

Think about the best golf experience you’ve had…did it have to do with a special moment with your teammate, learning great values from your coach/instructor, winning, learning a new skill, traveling to new facility, or feeling like you’re a part of something special? PGA Junior League golf offers all of these experiences to its participants. This program is revolutionary in giving kids exposure to the game of golf! They have a relaxing team environment to grow and develop in, all while playing matches, winning and playing new facilities.

PGA Junior League Golf continues to grow and reach a whole new level of golf development. In 2016 we had a record high of 2,068 captain, 36,535 junior players and 4.2 million dollars in net revenue that was distributed to the PGA Professional Captains. There is no doubt that PGA Junior League golf is here to stay. The impact on the golf industry is huge.  

Captain registration is now open! Register here!

Captain registration ends April 3rd, 2017!

I highly encourage you to sign up! Our hope is to get Captains to register early so that by the time player registration is opening the Captains will have an idea of their League, practice times and tentative playing schedule. This will allow the consumer to make an informed decision on their time requirements for PGA JLG!

Here are some important changes to PGA JLG for the 2017 Season

  • Faster & easier Captain registration
  • Earlier Captain & participant registration
  • Captains can edit the max player field, participant registration deadline and their program description anytime.

Team Kits will include:

  • 1 numbered jersey
  • 1 bag tag
  • Scorecards
  • Flag stickers
  • 1 T-Shirt
  • Certificate
  • Rules of Play

Captains Kits will include:

  • 2 Posters
  • 1 Rory head covers
  • A getting started info graph

After registering please talk to other facilities in your area, if you have facilities in mind that you would like to be in a League with please email myself, Devin or Lauren If you do not have a League request, don’t worry we will help you form a League!

Join in on all the fun!

If you have any questions or need more information feel free to contact Chelsea Guoynes at the Sction office!