Michigan PGA Spring Meeting/Teaching & Coaching Summit

The Section held its Spring Meeting on Monday, March 25 at Eagle Eye Golf Club with over 260 members and associates in attendance.

President Kevin McKinley welcomed special guests John Allen, Legal counsel, Chris Coffman, The Ally Challenge, Tiffany Eckert, Folds of Honor, John Lindert, PGA of America Secretary, Retired Sargent Dustin Mansour, Ron Osborne, District 5 Director, Kim Shafer, PGA Jr. League Regional League Manager and Todd Smith, Career Services Consultant.

Joe Schumer delivered the invocation.

Kevin apprised the membership on the Strategic Plan and some of the already finalized goals and objectives. Like football helmet stickers, also known as reward decals and pride stickers which denote either individual or team accomplishments, the Section has adopted the same approach. Each time an action item is completed, the Committee is awarded a success sticker. Aaron Waltz, Fritz Middleton, Stephanie Jennings, Ron Osborne, Adrian Jolliffe and Dave Mocini each placed success stickers on the helmet!

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

Secretary John Pershern acknowledged and welcomed newly-elected/transferred members who were given a PGA Member pin. He also recognized quarter century members, Golf Digest’s 100 Top Teacher Adam Schriber as well as Pilgrim Run’s Jeff O’Malley and his staff for being awarded the #1 friendliest staff in the country by website users of Golf Advisor.

Honorary President Ron Osborne oversaw a candidate’s forum with Stephanie Jennings, Dean Kolstad (video) and John Seltzer (video) talking about their desire to run for the office of Secretary.

Business discussions included information from Career Services Consultant Todd Smith, and PGA Jr League Regional Director Kim Shafer.

Tournament Chair Ian Ziska reviewed items for the 2019 season, and Education Chair Dave Mocini highlighted a 2 day Certified Professional Program December 9-10. He also spoke of the upcoming Teaching & Coaching Summit.

Special Awards Chair Doug Bell announced the 2019 Special Awards winners:

Assistant Professional of the Year – Emily Rohdy, PGA
Bill Strausbaugh – Bernie Friedrich, PGA
Golf Professional of the Year – Doug Kreis, PGA
Merchandiser of the Year–Private – Doug Brody, PGA
Merchandiser of the Year–Public – JP Westbrook, PGA
Merchandiser of the Year–Resort – Elliott Oscar, PGA
Patriot Award – Dean Kolstad, PGA
PGA Horton Smith – Kevin McKinley, PGA
Player Development – Mike Fay, PGA
Teacher of the Year – Dave VanLoozen, PGA
Youth Player Development – Scott Wilson, PGA

They will be honored at the President’s Dinner on October 27th.

The second portion of the meeting then went into a town hall format with Kevin Helm, John Lindert and Ron Osborne. A video was shown about PGA.COACH, which is the ultimate coaching resource that teaches PGA Professionals about the American Development Model (ADM), and how to apply the concepts to coaching golf. The trio also updated the membership on National activities.

Growth of the Game Chair Stephanie Jennings then recognized the Youth Grant Program of the Year to Michael Kettler and AdultGrant Program of the Year to Doug Temple. In Doug’s absence, Retired Sargent Dustin Mansour accepted the award on his behalf and recalled how the program was created based on their friendship. Kettler talked about his best practices as it relates to his junior program.

As part of the Patriot Golf Day portion, Chair Kevin McKinley introduced Tiffany Eckert, who gave an emotional speech and thanked PGA members for their continued support of the organization. Steve Brady and Doug Bell talked about their Patriot Golf Day successes.

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

The 6th Michigan PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit began Monday afternoon which featured Joe Hallett discussing some of the key elements that LPGA players have in their swings and game. Mike Napoleon and Kyle Shay from SuperSpeed Golf talked about coaching speed in the modern golf swing.

Tuesday’s featured speaker was Mike Shannon, who spoke of the evolution and commonalities of a great putter. Mike Borland and Matt Novak from Mizuno also spoke of the custom fitting with the Mizuno fitting system.

The afternoon also featured discussion by leading Michigan Section teachers Ed Laprade, Five Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Teaching, Zach Theut, Supporting Players to Become Their Own Best Coach, Stephanie Jennings, Kelly Kuhlman and Kelly Plaisier, College Golf Experience: What you Need to Know and How to Prepare your Prospective Student Athlete.

The afternoon concluded with Andy Matthews of Neuropeak Pro who broke down the science of peak performances.

Approximately 110 members and associates attended the 1 ½ day Summit.

Thank you to Mizuno and SuperSpeed Golf for their sponsorship of the Summit.

Michigan PGA Section Tournament registration begins on March 6th at 9:00am !

We are excited to announce that registration for all of the Michigan PGA Section events will open at 9:00am on Wednesday, March 6th. This includes all of the qualifiers for the Michigan Open Championship as well as the Pre Qualifier for the new PGA Tour Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.

Section Majors :

The 102nd  Michigan Open Championship presented by Yamaha Golf Cars Plus / Grand Traverse Resort is returning to Grand Traverse Resort and will take place on The Bear –  June 10-13. After a great event there last year we are excited about retuning to The Bear we look forward to another great championship this year. Qualifiers are listed on our website ,there will once again be a PGA Member only qualifier on May 22 at The Wyndgate.

To see all of the Michigan Open Qualifiers click HERE

The Pre – Qualifier for the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club will take place at TPC of Michigan on Wednesday ,June 19. From there the top 25 and ties will advance to the Monday Qualifier at The Orchards on June 24 and 4 will get into the actual event from there. For more info on the qualifier for the Rocket Mortgage Classic click HERE

The  Michigan PGA Professional  Championship  returns to Flint Golf Club and will take place on August 19-21, 2019. Participants will also be competing for 9 qualifying spots for the 2020 PGA Professional Championship at this event.

The Michigan PGA Section Match Play presented by the PGA Tour  moves to the Country Club of Lansing and will take place on Tuesday / Wednesday – September 24-25. The final 16 at this event will once again qualify through their respective Chapter or Senior Organization.

We look forward to another great first event on April 29th at Red Run Golf Club with the Club Car  Spring Scramble presented by Heartland.

The Club Car / Midwest Golf & Turf team will also sponsor the Midwest Golf & Turf Pro Am as this event returns to The Fortress on July 22nd . This event is a Pro Am format where your team is entered into both Gross and Net Divisions.

The  Yamaha Golf Cars Plus / Bushnell / TASC Pro – Pro Championship will take place on  Monday, May 6th at Orchard Lake Country Club and Pine Lake Country Club. Teams will play both courses with am / pm shotguns at each course.

After a great event last year Adidas is back as the sponsor of the Adidas State Pro Am at Boyne Highlands. Adidas will once again have a mobile pro shop set up onsite for participants to pick out their tee gifts. This event will take place on June 3rd – 4th on the Heather and Ross courses.

Winston Collection joins Evolve Golf  as the sponsors of the Pro – Assistant Championship. The event is heading to Wuskowhan Players Club and will take place on Tuesday, September 3rd.

St Andrews Products will join Sterling Cut Glass this year as co – sponsors of the Senior Junior Championship  that will take place on August 26th at Manistee National Golf & Resort. The Senior Junior will have a new format this year as teams can now be formed using any two players from 2 of the 3 different age divisions :
• Junior (49 or younger)
• Senior (50-64)• Super Senior 65 and up

Example: A Super Senior and Senior may play together, a Junior and Senior can play together, a Junior and Super Senior may play together.

The Section events in Michigan will wrap up with the year-end Earth Networks Fall Pro Scratch at Plum Hollow Country Club on October 7th.

Foursome Elected to Michigan Golf Hall of Fame; Golf Association of Michigan Honored

BIG RAPIDS – The late George Bayer, a former Detroit Golf Club head professional and PGA Tour player, Ron Beurmann, head professional at Country Club of Jackson, Bernie Friedrich, senior vice-president of golf operations and resort sales for Boyne Resorts, and Al Mengert, a former Oakland Hills Country Club head professional, have been elected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame (MGHOF).

In addition, the MGHOF has elected to present just its fourth Special Award in history to the Golf Association of Michigan, which in 2019 is celebrating its centennial year of service to the game.

The induction celebration is planned for Sunday, June 2, at Ferris State University’s Katke Golf Club, home of the new Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center which will soon house the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. The 2019 class will bring the number of inductees to 127.

Bayer, who died in 2003 in California at the age of 77, was once one of golf’s longest drivers and won four times on the PGA Tour between 1957 and 1960. He was the head golf professional at Detroit Golf Club for 12 years (1972-1983). Prior to becoming a golf professional at age 29, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Bayer was an All-American college football tackle and end for the University of Washington and was drafted and played briefly in the NFL. The native of Bremerton, Wash., was also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. While working at Detroit Golf Club he was the winner of the 1973 Michigan Open Championship.

Beurmann, 58, has been the head professional at CC of Jackson for 26 years, and one of the Michigan PGA Section’s top golfers. He won the Michigan PGA Professional Championship in 2010, and the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship in 1998, and has also won a Michigan PGA Senior Championship (2013) and two Michigan Senior Open Championship titles in (2012, ’13). He was the Michigan PGA Player of the Year in 2004, the Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2014 and twice has been the Michigan PGA Merchandiser of the Year (1998, 2008). He has also mentored caddies, including 25 who became Evans Scholars.

Friedrich, 66, has worked for Boyne Resorts for 44 years and currently oversees a staff of over 200 employees in agronomy, course and golf shop operations for 12 golf courses, including 10 at three resorts in Michigan and one course each at resorts in Maine and Montana. He is a two-time Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year (1998, 2001), a four-time Michigan PGA Resort Merchandizer of the Year and has served in various capacities with The First Tee of Northern Michigan, the Michigan Golf Course Association and the Michigan PGA Section. He is also co-founder and a leader of the annual Harbor Cup golf event, which has raised over $400,000 for charitable food projects in Northern Michigan.

Mengert, 89 and a resident of Carefree, Ariz., was a club professional who also played on the PGA Tour. He worked at many notable clubs, including Oakland Hills Country Club as head professional from 1976 to ’86. He won the 1976 and 1980 Michigan PGA Professional Championships, three Michigan Senior PGA Professional titles (1980, ’83, ‘86) and two Michigan Senior Open titles (’83 and ’85) as well as several other PGA section titles from around the country. He was a top-ranked amateur when he lost in the final match of the 1952 U.S. Amateur to Jack Westland. He worked as a club professional for steady income, yet played in 27 Grand Slam major championships, including nine U.S Opens and eight Masters Tournaments. The U.S. Air Force veteran was also the host professional at Oakland Hills for the 1979 PGA Championship, the 1981 U.S. Senior Open and the 1985 U.S. Open.

The MGHOF is a heralded collection of portraits, plaques and memorabilia that currently commemorates 123 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 Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center at Ferris State University’s Katke facility. The late Ken Janke Sr. is co-founder and a member of the MGHOF.

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 people representing a cross-section of the state’s golf associations as well as golf media. The MGHOF committee conducts an annual election to recognize the achievements of competitive Michigan golfers, but also accomplishments of individuals who have contributed to the growth of the game.

MEDIA CONTACT: Greg Johnson, chairman MGHOF, 616-560-8995, greggie24@hotmail.com

Foursome Elected to Michigan Golf Hall of Fame; Golf Association of Michigan Honored

BIG RAPIDS – The late George Bayer, a former Detroit Golf Club head professional and PGA Tour player, Ron Beurmann, head professional at Country Club of Jackson, Bernie Friedrich, senior vice-president of golf operations and resort sales for Boyne Resorts, and Al Mengert, a former Oakland Hills Country Club head professional, have been elected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame (MGHOF).

In addition, the MGHOF has elected to present just its fourth Special Award in history to the Golf Association of Michigan, which in 2019 is celebrating its centennial year of service to the game.

The induction celebration is planned for Sunday, June 2, at Ferris State University’s Katke Golf Club, home of the new Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center which will soon house the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. The 2019 class will bring the number of inductees to 127.

Bayer, who died in 2003 in California at the age of 77, was once one of golf’s longest drivers and won four times on the PGA Tour between 1957 and 1960. He was the head golf professional at Detroit Golf Club for 12 years (1972-1983). Prior to becoming a golf professional at age 29, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Bayer was an All-American college football tackle and end for the University of Washington and was drafted and played briefly in the NFL. The native of Bremerton, Wash., was also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. While working at Detroit Golf Club he was the winner of the 1973 Michigan Open Championship.

Beurmann, 58, has been the head professional at CC of Jackson for 26 years, and one of the Michigan PGA Section’s top golfers. He won the Michigan PGA Professional Championship in 2010, and the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship in 1998, and has also won a Michigan PGA Senior Championship (2013) and two Michigan Senior Open Championship titles in (2012, ’13). He was the Michigan PGA Player of the Year in 2004, the Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2014 and twice has been the Michigan PGA Merchandiser of the Year (1998, 2008). He has also mentored caddies, including 25 who became Evans Scholars.

Friedrich, 66, has worked for Boyne Resorts for 44 years and currently oversees a staff of over 200 employees in agronomy, course and golf shop operations for 12 golf courses, including 10 at three resorts in Michigan and one course each at resorts in Maine and Montana. He is a two-time Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year (1998, 2001), a four-time Michigan PGA Resort Merchandizer of the Year and has served in various capacities with The First Tee of Northern Michigan, the Michigan Golf Course Association and the Michigan PGA Section. He is also co-founder and a leader of the annual Harbor Cup golf event, which has raised over $400,000 for charitable food projects in Northern Michigan.

Mengert, 89 and a resident of Carefree, Ariz., was a club professional who also played on the PGA Tour. He worked at many notable clubs, including Oakland Hills Country Club as head professional from 1976 to ’86. He won the 1976 and 1980 Michigan PGA Professional Championships, three Michigan Senior PGA Professional titles (1980, ’83, ‘86) and two Michigan Senior Open titles (’83 and ’85) as well as several other PGA section titles from around the country. He was a top-ranked amateur when he lost in the final match of the 1952 U.S. Amateur to Jack Westland. He worked as a club professional for steady income, yet played in 27 Grand Slam major championships, including nine U.S Opens and eight Masters Tournaments. The U.S. Air Force veteran was also the host professional at Oakland Hills for the 1979 PGA Championship, the 1981 U.S. Senior Open and the 1985 U.S. Open.

The MGHOF is a heralded collection of portraits, plaques and memorabilia that currently commemorates 123 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 Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center at Ferris State University’s Katke facility. The late Ken Janke Sr. is co-founder and a member of the MGHOF.

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 people representing a cross-section of the state’s golf associations as well as golf media. The MGHOF committee conducts an annual election to recognize the achievements of competitive Michigan golfers, but also accomplishments of individuals who have contributed to the growth of the game.

MEDIA CONTACT: Greg Johnson, chairman MGHOF, 616-560-8995, greggie24@hotmail.com

Teams from Meadowbrook CC and Heritage Glen GC win the 2019 Villas of Grand Cypress Pro Am presented by Ahead & Tempercraft

Orlando, FL –  The Michigan PGA Villas of Grand Cypress Pro AM presented by Ahead & Tempercraft wrapped up Monday with the final round on the New Course. With the second round cancelled due to heavy rains it meant that we would have co – champions in each of the flights and teams could certainly jump into the lead with a great final round.

That is just what the team from Meadowbrook Country Club with professional Frank McAuliffe and his amateur partners Dennis Kubica, Dave Bur and Randy Seeley did as they fired the low round of the day with a (-11 under ) 133, putting them at a 275 total and a 5 shot victory in South East / New Course Flight. This was great playing in tough windy conditions on the links style New Course at the Villas of Grand Cypress.

The first round of the event was held on Monday as the teams played the South – East rotation and the North – South rotation in this 2 net best ball of four format. The weather was nice and gave way to some low scores. It was the team of professional Bill Wilson from Heritage Glen GC and his amateur partners Tim Cavanagh, Phil Pletcher and Don Gunden that put together an amazing low round of the day with a (-14 under ) 130. This lead proved to be large enough as they closed with a (-1) under par round of 144 the final day on the New Course and held on to a 2 shot overall victory in the North – South / New Course Flight.

The event kicked off with the opening party in the Executive Conference Center and Outdoor Terrace as the teams checked in and received their gift packages from Ahead & Tempercraft and Titleist. Darin Hoff, the resorts Sales Manager and Dean Helm ,the sales rep from Ahead and Tempercraft welcomed everyone.

Despite some cooler temps and unfortunately a rained out second round all 19 teams still had a great time and enjoyed the event. We look forward to returning to the Villas of Grand Cypress next year as they continue to do an excellent job and provide a great host resort for this event.

We would like to thank Ahead and Tempercraft  along with Titleist for their support as well as all the professionals and amateurs for participating.

For final results click HERE

Monty Elam, PGA wins PGA of America’s 2018 Deacon Palmer Award

PGA Members Monty Elam, Ken Juhn honored as they face physical hardships;
Joseph Hallett, Marvol Barnard, Cameron Doan, Cameron Milton also receive top awards

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2018) – In an emotional and inspiring ceremony, a class of eight PGA Members were spotlighted for their career achievements, as the annual PGA of America National Awards Night kicked off the 102nd PGA Annual Meeting at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa, in Indian Wells, California.

Dan Pasternak, the PGA General Manager at Essex Fells (New Jersey) Country Club, was presented the 65th PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. In addition, James Sieckmann, a 23-year PGA Member in the Nebraska Section and the PGA Director of Instruction at The Golf Academy at Shadow Ridge Country Club in Omaha, was the recipient of the 2018 PGA Teacher of the Year Award for his “outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach.”

The night also featured two prominent PGA Members battling significant physical setbacks among the Awards class.

Monty Elam, PGA Director of Golf at Whiteford Valley Golf Club in Ottawa Lake, Michigan, was presented the Deacon Palmer Award for overcoming a hardship to work at a high level. Elam was blinded during what was supposed to be a routine eye surgery. A procedure later restored partial sight in one eye. When asked what motivated him to continue in golf, Elam said, “Being told that I couldn’t do it…People inspire me every day.”

In addition, Patriot Award recipient Ken Juhn, PGA Head Professional at Terrace Hill Golf Center in Temple Terrace, Florida, is battling Stage 4 cancer. Yet, he regularly continues his work with military veterans through the PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program, which provides golf instruction to military veterans as a means of assimilation and rehabilitation.

“It is extremely special and humbling to receive this award,” said Juhn. “With PGA HOPE, we have an opportunity to express the value of the game and its importance as a rehab tool. We need more programs to help the men and women coming out of battle.”

In my 30-plus years with the PGA of America, I’ve never experienced a more meaningful moment than the Awards Night last evening,” said PGA President Paul Levy. “It was a moving night and a remarkable ceremony. Congratulations to this outstanding class of PGA Members who serve as consummate PGA Professionals and an inspiration to us all.”

In winning the highest annual honor given to a PGA Golf Professional, Pasternak headed the 2018 PGA National Awards class for “qualities of leadership, strong moral character, and a substantial record of service” to the PGA and the game of golf overall. The first New Jersey PGA Section Member named PGA Golf Professional of the Year, he has served as a New Jersey PGA Section Officer and on virtually every committee in the Section, as well as at the national level on the PGA of America’s Board of Directors. This commitment to volunteerism and service is reinforced by his role as President of the New Jersey Golf Foundation, which he helped launch in 2004, as the charitable arm of the NJPGA. Pasternak was also the national Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient in 2013.

“I’m a big believer in the PGA,” said Pasternak, who offered advice to the next generation of PGA Members. “I believe there’s a lot of opportunity in the business, and people looking to get in this industry should not limit themselves.”

Sieckmann currently instructs 14 PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Web.com Tour players, including Stewart Cink, Ben Crane, Anirban Lahiri, Cameron Tringale, Ben MartIn, Tom Pernice Jr., Duffy Waldorf and 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open Champion In-Kyung Kim, among others. He has also been named to Golf Digest’s “50 Best Teachers in America” list from 2015-2018.

“Many have inspired me but [PGA Tour Professional] Tom Pernice was the first to say to me, ‘You’re my guy,’ explained Sieckmann. “Golf is a lot like life. You are always working on yourself.”

A total of eight PGA Members were honored throughout the evening:*

  • PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Dan Pasternak, PGA, Essex Fells (New Jersey) C.C.
  • PGA Teacher of the Year: James Sieckmann, PGA, The Golf Academy at Shadow Ridge C.C.-Omaha, Nebraska
  • PGA Youth Player Development Award: Cameron Milton, PGA, Polson (Montana) Bay G.C.
  • Bill Strausbaugh Award: Cameron Doan, PGA, Preston Trail G.C.- Dallas
  • Horton Smith Award: Joseph Hallett, PGA, Vanderbilt Legends Club – Franklin, Tennessee
  • PGA Player Development Award: Marvol Barnard, PGA/LPGA, Haven G.C.- Green Valley, Arizona
  • Patriot Award: Ken Juhn, PGA, Terrace Hill Golf Center- Temple Terrace, Florida
  • Deacon Palmer Award: Monty Elam, PGA, Whiteford Valley G.C.- Ottawa Lake, Michigan

In addition, the Herb Graffis Award will be officially presented Thursday, Nov. 8, to the Colorado PGA Section during the 2018 PGA Annual Meeting. The three PGA Merchandisers of the Year will be honored at the 2019 PGA Magazine Merchandiser of the Year Conference in January, prior to the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.

  • Private Facilities: Nick Muller, PGA, C.C. of Lincoln (Neb.)
  • Public Facilities: Mark Rashell, PGA, The G.C. at Newcastle (Wash.)
  • Resort Facilities: Erik Wilson, PGA, Fairmont Grand G.C.- San Diego

For bios and information on the individual award winners, click here.

Michigan PGA Fall Meeting Well Attended!

EAST LANSING, MI – The Michigan PGA held its Annual Fall Meeting on Monday, October 29. With approximately 225 Members in attendance, President Kevin McKinley welcomed everyone to Eagle Eye Golf Club. He also welcomed special guests Legal Counsel John Allen, and Todd Smith, PGA Career Consultant, Alex Wassom, and all Past Presidents in attendance.

Randy White administered the invocation and remembered deceased PGA member Ken Foster.

After Mr. Wassom sang a great rendition of our national anthem town hall discussions then began with Stephanie Jennings moderating Shaun Bezilla, Tim Strickland and Scott Wilson who spoke about their successes in Golf in Schools programs they run.

Doug Kreis then recognized and celebrated Golf Professional of the Year Greg Babinec, PGA of America Deacon Palmer Award winner Monty Elam, and Dick Stewart, 2018 Michigan PGA Hall of Fame inductee, who gave brief overviews of their successes in the golf business.

The town hall portion wrapped up with President McKinley overseeing an At-Large Director candidates forum in which he asked about each candidates’ background and how their past experiences would help as a Board Member, and how does your job uniquely qualify you to serve on the board?

President McKinley presented outgoing Board plaques to Shaun Bezilla, Stephanie Jennings, Dean Kolstad, Doug Kreis and Aaron Waltz (absent).

Vice President Bob Bales then reviewed he Section’s investments and Executive Director Kevin Helm reviewed budget numbers through September 2018.

Hall of Fame Inductee Dick Stewart with Secretary John Pershern

Secretary John Pershern acknowledged and welcomed new members, quarter century members and announced the 2018 Michigan PGA Hall of Fame inductee Dick Stewart.  The Hall of Fame recognizes and acknowledges those PGA Professionals who have excelled in their profession, achieved remarkable accomplishments, and made significant contributions to the game, the industry and the Michigan PGA.

Honorary President Ron Osborne oversaw the voting for At-Large Directors. Those elected were Shaun Bezilla, Stephanie Jennings, Dean Kolstad, Chris Moore and Aaron Waltz.

Special Awards Chair Doug Kreis presented plaques to the 2018 Special Awards winners:

Assistant Professional of the Year – AJ Partenio, PGA
Bill Strausbaugh – Kevin McKinley, PGA
Golf Professional of the Year – Greg Babinec, PGA
Merchandiser of the Year–Private – Mike McGonigal, PGA
Merchandiser of the Year–Public – Ian Ziska, PGA
Merchandiser of the Year–Resort – Elliott Oscar, PGA
Patriot Award – Paul Hawkins, PGA
PGA Horton Smith – Ian Ziska, PGA
Player Development – Scott Wilson, PGA
Teacher of the Year – Adam Schriber, PGA
Youth Player Development – Kelly Sivier, PGA

Special Awards Chair Doug Kreis

The Special Awards winners, National Award winner and Michigan PGA Hall of Fame inductee were honored at a dinner Sunday evening at the Country Club of Lansing.

In Tournament Chair Ian Ziska’s absence, Shaun Bezilla gave a brief recap of the season, and acknowledged Player of the Year Scott Hebert.

All Chapters/Committees reports submitted can be found on www.michiganpgagolf.com.

Many thanks to Pepsi for sponsoring the meeting, and PGA National Resort & Spa the seminar.

The afternoon education seminar featured Michigan PGA Member Mark Wilson presenting “Changes to the Rules of Golf for 2019”.

Topics covered included a look at the new format and language in the Rules. The purpose statements at the start of each Rule will be discussed, along with the many significant changes to rules outcomes and penalties. Golfers at all levels will want to become familiar with what is changing when they start their golf season next year.

Team from Heritage Glen wins the Kiawah Island Resort Pro Am presented by Linksoul

Kiawah Island SC, -Congratulations to the team of professional Bill Wilson from Heritage Glen Golf Club and his amateurs partners Rick Depauw, Don Gunden and Phil Pletcher on winning the 2018 Kiawah Island Resort Pro Am presented by Linksoul.

The team from Heritage Glen was 13 shots back heading into the final round at Osprey Point. It was in this final round that it all came together for a score of 121 (-23 under ) in this 2 net best of 4 to win the overall championship by 3 shots.

It was the team from TPC of Michigan with professional Heath Morden and his amateur partners Kevin Lustig, Max Wegner and Greg Phillips that jumped out the early lead with a score of 127 ( -17 under ) on Monday at Cougar Point. The held onto the lead after posting a score of 131 on Tuesday at the Ocean Course but were unable to hold off the late charging team from Heritage Glen in the final round and finished in second place overall, 3 shots back.

Coming in 3rd overall was the team of professional Lynn Janson from The Legacy @ Hastings and his amateur partners Joe Abraham, Eric Hirsch and Fred Galfus. They had a great final round of 127 at Osprey Point that jumped them into 3rd place, only 5 shots back of the winning team.

The teams competed for low daily prizes each day as well as overall prizes in this best ball two net of four format. The teams all stayed in villas and homes at Kiawah Island Resort and played Cougar Point, The Ocean Course and Osprey Point. The resort and golf courses were wonderful and provided a great destination for this pro am.

We would like to thank our supporting sponsor of this event Linksoul ! All of the players received an apparel gift package courtesy of Linksoul at the opening party on Sunday night.

We would also like to thank all of the professionals and amateurs for participating in this event.

For complete results click HERE

Gniewek / Zito / Pearce / Husse win the Fall Pro Scratch

Ann Arbor ,MI -The Michigan PGA Section wrapped up the 2018 tournament season with the All Star Pro Golf / Earth Networks / 18 Birdies Fall Pro Scratch at Barton Hills Country Club on Monday. It was a beautiful sunny day and great way to end the season.

Congratulations to the winning team of Jeff Gniewek and Chris Zito from Knollwood Country Club, Barry Pearce from Beacon Hill Golf Club and Darren Husse from Warwick Hills Country Club. They shot a (-11) under par round of 131 in this scratch 2 best for 4 format to win by one shot.

Coming in second just one shot back was the team of Frank McAuliffe from Meadowbrook Country Club, Andrew Dodson from GolfTEC – Novi, Marlon Gisi from GolfTEC – Troy and Matt Pesta from Lincoln Hills Golf Course.

A big thanks to our host site Barton Hills Country Club. They did a wonderful job hosting and provided a terrific venue for this event.

We would also like to thank our three sponsors of this event : All Star Pro Golf, Earth Networks and 18 Birdies for their support of this event and the Michigan PGA Section. This is the 7th year in a row that All Star Pro Golf has sponsored this event.

Blythefield’s John Seltzer Wins Michigan PGA Match Play for Second Time

  BATH – John Seltzer made it to the final match of the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship for the sixth time in his career but had just one title to show for it.

  Make that two.

  The 39-year-old head golf professional from Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids held off Ferris State University golf coach Kyle Wittenbach to win 2-up in the championship match Wednesday at Eagle Eye Golf Club.

   “I lost in extra holes last year, lost another one on the 18th hole a few years ago, it was nice to close one out for a change,” said the 2017 Michigan PGA Professional Champion who first won the Match Play title in 2009.

  “Kyle is a really good player, and hits it past me like everybody, but I played steady, kept it in front of me, didn’t make a lot of mistakes, made some putts and it feels good to win again.”

  The 30-year-old Wittenbach said he was happy about his performance in the championship, especially beating defending champion and Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club in the rain-delayed semifinals on Tuesday.

  “No one expects to beat him,” he said. “They might believe they can because anybody can beat anybody especially in match play, but finishing that match and winning, I was proud of myself.

  “I hung in there today. I hit a lot of good putts – and John and I were just talking about it – they just didn’t fall. My speed on the greens was a little off all day. I played well. Down the stretch I made a nice birdie on 16 to get it closer, and I had a chance to tie it on 18 but didn’t quite execute by the green. John doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. I was two putts away from maybe winning it, but John made the shots.”

    Seltzer didn’t get up and down from a greenside bunker on No. 2 and made bogey to fall behind early. Wittenbach hit a drive out-of-bounds left on No. 4 and later conceded the hole to make the match all square. Then Seltzer rolled in a 25-foot putt for birdie on the long par 3 No. 5 hole to go 1-up before Wittenbach made things even again at No. 6 with a birdie.

   At No. 8 Wittenbach’s tee shot right of the fairway resulted in a lost ball and lost hole and Seltzer went 2-up at No. 11 when Wittenbach three-putted from about 35 feet above the hole.

  Wittenbach won No. 13 with a par when Seltzer’s approach shot missed the green short, and it looked like he might tie the match when he reached the par 5 No. 14 green in two shots. Seltzer, however, hit a bunker shot of about 35 yards to within eight feet and made the putt to match the two-putt birdie of Wittenbach and keep the 1-up lead.

  At 15, another three-putt for Wittenbach put him behind by two holes, and yet he rallied again with an eight-foot birdie at No. 16.

  At the perilous island green No. 17 Wittenbach hit first and found the water, and Seltzer followed suit. They ended up halving the hole with double-bogey 5s.

  With a 1-up lead Seltzer played the par 5 No. 18 straight away with three shots to the green, and Wittenbach’s second shot ended up on a lower portion of the fairway where he failed to get a shot over the railroad ties near the green and eventually conceded the hole and match.

  “I rely on my putter to beat people,” Seltzer said. “In match play that means I’m never really out of a hole. To beat me the other guys has to make some putts, and Kyle just couldn’t get any to drop.”

  Seltzer, a veteran section member in his fourth season at Blythefield, said the key hole in the match was his birdie with the long sand shot at the par 5 No. 14 hole.

  “I know he is going to at least make birdie so in match play you are not protecting a score and you stay aggressive,” he said. “I went after that bunker shot and pulled it off. I think there’s a lesson there. It’s usually better to play aggressive rather than try not to make a mistake. That was big for me there.”

  It was the first finals for Wittenbach and his best finish in the PGA Section as a fourth-year member. The Lowell native is in his third year as the Ferris coach after coaching first at Northern Michigan University.

  “I played in a lot of the chapter and section events this year and I had a good year,” he said. “I look forward to playing in more and becoming a contender more often.”

RESULTS: See the match play bracket : Click HERE

Seltzer / Wittenbach to meet in finals of the Michigan PGA Section Match Play Championship at Eagle Eye Golf Club

BATH –  The finals are set as John Seltzer, the head pro at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids  will face Kyle Wittenbach ,head golf coach at Ferris State University in the Michigan PGA Section Match Play Championship presented by the PGA Tour at the award winning  Eagle Eye Golf Club at 8:30am on Wednesday.

  John advanced to the finals in dramatic fashion with a chip in birdie at the par four 16th hole to defeat Kevin Muir from The Wyndgate 3 & 2. John defeated Scott Cook from the Golf Club at Thornapple Point 5 & 4 in the morning quarter – final match. John looks to claim his second Match Play Championship title as he won in 2009.

Kyle advanced to the finals by defeating the defending champ Scott Hebert from Traverse City Golf & Country Club 2 & 1 in the morning quarter – final match and then cruised to victory with a 6 & 4 victory in the afternoon over Josh Fryer from Franklin Hills Country Club. Kyle looks for his first Michigan PGA Match Play title.

Heavy rains overnight and into Monday morning has forced the finals into Wednesday  as players were only able to complete the Round of 16 matches on Monday and then the quarter and semi final matches on Tuesday. The finals will take place at 8:30am Wednesday morning. For live scoring of this final match click HERE

The 16 golfers that participated  have advanced from chapter or senior organization match play rounds to battle at Eagle Eye for the Jim Picard Trophy and a $3,600 first-place place prize.

 Eagle Eye, a previous host for the Michigan PGA Professional Championship, was designed by Chris Lutzke in collaboration with Pete Dye. It is a rolling “links” style design with multiple tee options. It has consistently won awards and received top ratings since it was founded in 2003.

   Among its most notable holes is No. 17, a 146-yard par 3 that Lutzke designed as a replica of the famous Dye-designed island hole 17th at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fla. Dye’s testy par 3 has beguiled the best golfers in the world, and the replica at Eagle Eye has the same effect.

  Bracket and tournament information can be found by clicking HERE

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