Friday, April 27, 2012

Play Golf America day comes to Benton Harbor May 12 to celebrate the 2012 Senior PGA Championship

It's hard to believe the first major golf event in Michigan is just around the corner, the 2012 Senior PGA Championship at the Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor.

The club will host a fun-filled day of free golf and fitness activities during the Play Golf America Day from 1-4 p.m. on May 12 (a Saturday). The first 250 people who register online at and attend the Play Golf America Day will receive a pair of Championship practice round tickets for Tuesday or Wednesday for the practic rounds (one pair of tickets per household).

This free event will feature golf instruction from Michigan Section PGA Professionals and a fitness clinic led by PGA Director of Fitness David Donatucci. The Mercedes-Benz Mobile Performance Center will also be on-site and will feature other fun and interactive experiences for men, women and children. This event will help kick-off the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid as well as Welcome to Golf Month, a national promotion that is designed to create a welcoming atmosphere to encourage new players to try golf throughout the month of May.

Harbor Shores is located at 201 Graham Avenue in Benton Harbor. The phone number is 269-927-4653. Single day and Week-Long tickets to the Championship may be purchased by visiting, or by calling (800) PGA-GOLF (742-4653).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Golfers from Midland and Jackson awarded spots at Ryder Cup Junior Golf Academy

Today's world is always looking for the next big thing.

Don't pencil these kids in as the next Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam, but they could be your next generation of all-state players from Michigan.

Cameron Lippoldt of Midland, Mich., and Megan Klintworth of Jackson, Mich., representing the Michigan PGA Section, will participate in the 2012 Ryder Cup Junior Golf Academy, originally developed in response to recommendations from past United States Ryder Cup Team Captains, and part of the 2010 Ryder Cup Outreach program.

After a successful debut, the Academy returns July 1-8, at the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance in Port St. Lucie, Fla. A total of 84 juniors have been selected to participate.

“We had a tremendously successful first year of the Ryder Cup Junior Academy,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “I was able to see first-hand the impact this had on a special group of junior golfers from across the country. I am sure that this year will have the same positive impression on the future of our great game.”

The Ryder Cup Junior Academy is a week-long program that emphasizes a variety of skills, including playing and competing in both stroke- and match-play formats, swing mechanics, competitive course management, as well as fitness and physical assessments.

The initiative is designed to expand the outreach of the Ryder Cup and provide aspiring young players an opportunity to experience an elite player development academy, while targeting those who may not have the resources or means to attend. It will also offer the juniors expert instruction from past U.S. Ryder Cup Captains and award-winning PGA Professionals.

As part of the 2010 United States Ryder Cup Team’s charitable commitment — which has already impacted U.S-based charitable organizations and students at colleges and universities nationwide — the team designated a total of $650,000 to create and support the Ryder Cup Junior Golf Academy.

Each of the 41 PGA Sections nationwide were given the opportunity to nominate one boy and one girl each, with the remainder of the juniors selected through an at-large process. Also receiving invitations were boy and girl participants from the Notah Begay III Foundation, Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation, Bill Dickey Scholarship Association, Pan-American Golf Association, and the AJGA Ace Grant Program.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Forest Dunes joins forces with Boyne USA Resorts

There's another reason to book a great golf vacation with one of the three Boyne USA Resorts in northern Michigan this summer.

Golfers staying on any Boyne 2012 golf packages now have the option to add a round of golf at Forest Dunes for significantly discounted rates starting at $59.

Forest Dunes Golf Club is a 7,104-yard, par 72, Tom Weiskopf course that has drawn comparisons to Augusta National and Pine Valley. Forest Dunes was named one of America's Greatest Golf Courses by Golf Digest in 2011/12 and Golfweek listed it among the Best Modern Courses in the publication's 2012 list.

Guests driving to or from Boyne properties along I-75 can easily book a round at Forest Dunes on the first, or last, day of their golf trip. The course is located in Roscommon just 60 miles south of Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls and 90 miles from Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs. Call BOYNE Central Reservations at 800-462-6963 to book.

As good as Boyne's other top courses are - namely Bay Harbor Golf Club designed by Arthur Hills and The Heather designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. - Forest Dunes might be the best of the bunch.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Michigan off to a rousing start to the 2012 golf season

I look out my office window and can't believe what I see.

I see green and sunshine and blooming flowers and budding trees. Last year at this time, all I saw was white snow and black mud.

I haven't hit a tee shot in Michigan yet, but I know dozens of friends who have played a bunch. March was wonderful weather. April has started off a little wetter and colder, but I'm not complaining. Neither are courses south of Lansing. They've seen hundreds of bonus rounds, a real boost to the bottom line.

I have my first tee time set for tomorrow at Eagle Crest Golf Club, the place where I learned the game. I started working there in college and played every day I got the chance. It's where I got hooked on this beautiful game.

I hope the good weather continues. It should be a great season this year. We've got two Champions Tour majors in the state - the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor in May and the U.S. Senior Open at Indianwood Golf & Country Club in Lake Orion in June. The Gaylord Golf Mecca celebrates its 25th anniversary.

I doubt I can top last season on the course. I sank my first hole in one and shot a career low 76, but I sure am going to try.