PGA Tournaments Happening in Michigan
Two PGA Tournaments will be hosted in Michigan in 2020. The Kitchen Aid Senior PGA Championship will take place in Benton Harbor at the Harbor Shores Resort in western Michigan. The purse for the 2019 New York edition was $3.25 million.
The Ally Challenge will be hosted in Grand Blanc at the Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club. The purse will remain $2 million, but the date has been changed to July 27th through August 2nd as opposed to September.
New Michigan Golf Courses
Golf Design of Traverse is creating two new course expansions in Michigan. The Roscommon Forest Dunes Golf Club will be expanded to two golf courses called The Loop, alternating daily. Each course will be played differently during the day and at night. The design originated in the United Kingdom. This is the first reversible course in United States history. The course will accommodate the knolls, wild grasses, dunes and hillocks of the Huron National Forest.
The second expansion is at the Gull Lake View Golf Club in Augusta. The Stoatin Brae course is being created as a championship course designed to appeal to every golfer. The course will offer different tees for every skill level and age including youth and female golfers. The course will encompass 6,800 yards, playable to par 71.
Celebrating Michigan Golfers
Four Michigan golfers have been elected to the MGHOF. David Graham previously served the Golf Association of Michigan as the Executive Director. Julie Massa is a prominent senior golfer. Roy Schultheiss won the GAM Championship and the Michigan Amateur. Dick Stewart previously served the Kalamazoo Country Club as a former head PGA professional. The ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Katke Golf Club on June 6th. Michigan’s Golf Hall of Fame is located at the Ferris State University housing the golf club. The new additions will increase the inductees to 131.
David Graham retired in 2019, and is currently age 63. He served as Executive Director for GAM for 18 years. During the association’s 100 year history, his tenure as an executive was the longest. He was responsible for turning around the association on the brink of declaring bankruptcy in 2001. He increased club memberships, tournament participation and offerings and created events and programs. He launched the GAM Foundation including working with Youth on Course. He is being inducted into the Hall of Fame due to his numerous accomplishments and contributions.
Julie Massa was born in Oregon. She was an Oregon Women’s Amateur Champion playing at Arizona State University. She moved to Holt in 1989, winning GAM championships 14 times including two titles as a Michigan Women’s Senior Amateur and two as a GAM Women’s Mid-Amateur. She has been honored with the title of Player of the Year for GAM senior women five years in a row including 2019. Julie Massa has participated in 20 USGA national championships. This includes playing five times in the United States Senior Women’s Amateur, nine times in the United States Women’s Mid-Amateur and two times in the United States Women’s Amateur.
Roy Schultheiss is currently age 64. He was dominant during the 1980s and 1990s in the amateur golf scene. He collected a title in 1984 at the Michigan Amateur and in 1990 and 1995 at the Gam Championship. He was the winner of the GAM Mid-Amateur in 1991. He qualified to match play at the Michigan Amateur 17 times. In 1984, he was the GAM Player of the Year. He has played nationally including the USGA national championships five times. He played in the United States Amateur in 1980, 1990 and 1990. He competed in two United States Mid-Amateur Champions, making it to match play both times. In 1991, he was the winner of two rounds of matches.
Dick Stewart is currently age 67 and a native of Petoskey. He retired in 2018 after serving the Kalamazoo Country Club as the head golf professional for 40 years. In 2018, he was elected to the PGA Hall of Fame in Michigan. He has won the Michigan PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award seven times. The reward is in recognition of PGA professionals showing mentoring leadership, integrity and exceptional character. He has won the Horton Smith Award twice as a PGA professional helping with the education of the other professionals. He was a PGA Michigan president, helped with the training of 4,000 caddies and helped with the placement of 22 former assistants.
Junior Player of the Year
Eastmanville’s August Meekhof has signed a letter of intent with the Michigan State University golf program. His goal since childhood was to be a college golfer and participate in the PGA tour. He stated he was grateful for the interest and commitment made by Michigan State. At age 18, he is the Junior Boy’s Player of the Year for GAM. The determining factor for Player of the Year is Honor Roll points. Additional players of the year will be announced by GAM shortly from the junior ranks.
The previous Players of the year included Yurika Tanida and Dan Ellis of East Lansing. The Player of the year for senior men was Jackson’s Steve Maddalena, the senior woman was Holt’s Julie Massa and the Super Senior Player was Bloomfield’s Ian Harris. August Meekhof currently plays for the varsity basketball team at Allendale High School in addition to attending Grand Valley State University for college courses. He took the early stroke play lead in Toledo at the United States Junior Amateur at Inverness Club. He tied for 16th, but lost in the first round of matches.
August Meekhof admits he made some mistakes in match play. He held the lead throughout the first 27 holes, proving he is capable of playing with the best juniors the world has to offer. He became a GAM member at Grand Valley State. During the GAM Junior Kickoff Championship, he was the winner of the overall title. He has competed for the circuit of the American Junior Golf Association, made match while playing at the Michigan Amateur Championship and attempted to qualify for the United States Amateur.
All of this helped with his total of 1,120 Honor Roll Points. He has an excellent lead on Coalter Smith, his runner up. Smith is from the Country Club of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Farms. He qualified for the Michigan Amateur semifinals with 745 points. In third place with 713 points was Tom Sullivan of Country Club of Detroit and Grosse Point Farms. He was the winner of the Michigan Junior State Amateur Championship portion for stroke play.
Justin Sui of Twin Lakes Golf and Lake Orion is the GAM Junior Invitational Champion. He came in fourth with 658 points. At number five with 637 points is Patrick Deardorff of Oakland University Golf and Clarkson. He won the Junior State Amateur Championship. The GAMs junior tournaments director is Kyle Wolf. He stated August Meekhof put in a lot of effort and time in improving his game. He has achieved the next developmental step with an excellent year both nationally and locally.
August Meekhof has improved his strength and control, exhibiting faster swings. He will be able to play at the next level due to his ability to drive. Although he is a right-hander, he feels more comfortable playing from the left side. During the past few years, his tee-to-green play has shown a lot of improvement. He is always working on his short game.
Michigan Golfer Wins PGA Tournament
Jeff Roth is the 61-year-old golfer winning the 98th PGA Professional Michigan Championship. Already a member of the Michigan Hall of Fame, this was his fifth PGA Professional title. During the 1990s, he worked as a head golf professional at Flint Golf Club. He is the winner of the Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain Resort and has more major Michigan wins than any other golfer. He earned $7,000 for his under 17 total in the first-place check. He beat Ben Cook by four shots.
Jeff Roth spends his summers working in Harbor Springs at the Boyne Highlands Resort. He was pleased with his putting using his former back-up putter. He was focused and putted just like he did in the past. Despite the couple puts he missed, his putting was exceptional. He is 30 years older than the majority of players, but he is in great shape. Although happy with his 64, he was not pleased with the first two rounds. He admitted both of the rounds were frustrating.
Other than the triple-bogey on 14, he played well all day. According to Jeff Roth, it is necessary to go low on the course to have a chance of winning due to the scores posted. Due to his national performance, he is planning on once again becoming a touring professional. He wants to see what happens prior to making any future plans. He has had a partial status for the PGA Tour Champions for the past few years. His intention is pre-qualifying for the PGA Tour Champions and the Ally Challenge in Grand Blanc.
Michigan Golfing News
According to the most recent rankings for GOLF Magazine, five courses in Michigan have made the list of the top 100 United States public courses. Michigan now holds the top position in the Midwest and is sixth throughout the nation. Roscommon’s Forest Dunes Golf Club is in the lead for Michigan courses. The Loop course was recently opened for playing in opposite directions during night and day through the use of the same greens and fairways. The course holds the number 21 spot.
At number 36 is the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club in Forest Dunes. As the Michigan course with the second-highest ranking, the course has become well known for numerous scenic holes located right along Lake Michigan. The other courses in Michigan on the list are Marquette Golf Club at number 80, Stanwood’s Tullymore Golf Resort at number 83 and Petoskey’s Bay Harbor Golf Club at number 87.
Michigan has earned the reputation as one of the country’s premier destinations for golf. Golfers from all over the United States travel to Michigan specifically for golfing. The summer conditions in Michigan for golfing are some of the best throughout the nation.
Another popular golf course in Michigan is located right next to Michigan University. A housing development with a $100 million budget is being planned for construction next to the course. The proposal includes 454 apartments on Valhalla Drive near the intersection of Scio Church Road and Main Street. Three sides of the property will be surrounded by the golf course. The development includes the demolition of seven residences and the construction of a few new apartment buildings.
Some of the buildings will be six stories in height. The plans were submitted last September, showing the highest section of the complex will be 85 feet in height. There will be parking spaces for 718 vehicles and 215 bicycles. The developer is VMG Development LLC. The plans are currently being updated. The 454 apartments will be constructed with 50 per acre.
According to R4E zoning, a maximum of 75 units can be built on each acre. There are propositions for height restrictions in addition to limiting the number of units to 50 per acre. Affordable units are expected to be offered for individuals earning 80, 70 and 60 percent of the average median income for the area.