Michigan Golfer ON-LINE

Michigan Golf History 1981-1990
By Art McCafferty

The Bear, probably more than any course in Michigan, is responsible for the growth of golf in this state. The course was ultimately the vision of Grand Traverse Resort’s GM and owner at the time, Paul Nine. Nine had worked with Bill Newcomb in bringing the Resort Course, now Spruce Run to GTR and wanted something different for his second course. He contracted with Jack Nicklaus, but was not satisfied with the original “resort course” design. “Jack was here quite a bit during construction. He was just getting into the business and he was more hands on then,“ said Nine. “I challenged him to do something better. I remember that we were doing a walk through of the back nine one day and Jack and I began to have quite an argument at the 15th tee. I thought it should be longer and therefore more challenging. There was Jack with his entourage and me with mine and all being dumbfounded as Jack and I carried on with this shouting match. We were really at loggerheads. Finally, Jack summoned his construction chief, John Cotter and said, ‘John take this *&#@& dirt and move it back there.’ The changes cost us a lot of money, but the ink we got on the course was worth it,” said Nine. The Bear brought “up north” visibility to golf in the 80’s, as did the Heather course at Boyne in the 70’s.

The other great player and designer of the day, Arnold Palmer, left his mark on Michigan with The Legend. I can still recall that morning, Ed Seay at his side, when Arnold described what has become one of the top golf courses in the Midwest. It was a special day as hundreds of golf course fans, trudged around the rolling terrain of Shanty Creek, watching this great course unfold and watching Arnold play the course. He continues to add to his own legend in the 90’s with his other Michigan courses, Kings’ Challenge, The Preserve, Northville Hills and The Ravines.

It had already been a long day in Gaylord, but Robert Trent Jones obliged a number of the media who had gathered at Sylvan Resort to celebrate his newest creation, Treetops. We had gathered to record his thoughts on a video we were preparing for the resort. Tom Durant, soon to be executive producer of Golfing Michigan and later Golfing the Great Lakes set up the camera, arranged mikes and lighting, and began to record the image and the words of the one of the greatest golf architects ever. On hand for the taping and question and answer session were owner Harry Melling, with the ever present cigar and beer just off camera, the new head pro, Rick Smith, Michigan’s premier golf writer, Jack Berry and Michigan Golfer editor, Terry Moore. Also in the room was Michigan Golfer writer Sharon Collins and her father, Dr. Ron Collins, currently the Provost of Eastern Michigan University. An hour later the taping ended, but for those in the room, it was an hour that would last a lifetime. As Jonesdescribed his work, you could feel he had a real love for the course, had a genuine friendship for Harry Melling and had acquired a deep admiration for Michigan’s newest head professional, Rick Smith. Robert Trent Jones’ passing at age 93 in June was a day of sadness for all of golf. We are fortunate that he left a history of his fine work at Point O’Woods, Oakland Hills, Heather and finally, Treetops.

While The Bear, The Legend and Treetops captured much of the ink for Michigan’s emerging role as a golf destination, other courses such as Ron Otto’s Swampfire and Monarch, Tom Doak’s Highpoint and Black Forest, Harry Bowers’, The Rock, Jerry Matthews’ The Lake and Bill Newcomb’s, Monument and Donald Ross Memorial, contributed heavily to our state’s new stature as a golf power.

The 80’s saw the launch of Par Golf, a firm that began to schedule golf tours of Michigan’s new destinations. Par Golf’s chief marketer was Dave Richards. Dave later started Golf Marketing Services, and has been a force in golf marketing since then. Par Golf was followed by other golf marketing combines that have surfaced in the past 20 years: Gaylord Golf Mecca, America’s Summer Golf Capital, the Sunrise Side, Lakeshore Golf and others.

The 80’s also brought the first issue of the Michigan Golfer to the newsstands. Our publication has achieved much of its status through the efforts of our editor, Terry Moore. Terry is everything you would want from an editor. He is bright, hard working, very creative, a dead solid perfect journalist, a wordsmith of the first order and a great stick. He won “Man of the Match” in a British and American journalist tournament at Gaylord a number of years ago. He served two terms on the board with the Golf Writers Association of America. He is a well-respected writer and we are very fortunate to have him.

On the tournament side of golf in the 80’s, the Michigan Amateur was won by William McDonald, David Graulau, John Johnson, Roy Schultheiss, John Morgan, Peter Green, Patrick Chisholm, David Van Loozen, Todd Marston and Stephen Maddalena. Steve also won the championship in the 70’s. The Michigan Open champions were Fred Muller, Buddy Whitten who won it in ’82 and ’83, Randy Erskine who won it in ’84 and repeated it in ’85, Tim Mathews, Jack Seltzer, Ed Humenik, Barry Redmond and Robert Proben. Michigan PGA winners included: Lynn Janson ’81, ’85, and ’87, Tom Doozan, Buddy Whitten, John Traub, Gary Robinson, Jack Seltzer, Ken Allard and Barry Redmond.

Mulberry Fore GC - Nashville
Designed by Bill Hecker
Woodland Hills GC - Sandusky

Apple Valley GC - West Branch
Designed by Alton LeDuc
Mitchell Creek GC - Traverse City
Designed by W.Bruce & Jerry Matthews
Tamaracks GC - Harrison
Designed by Steven Hawkins

Dunes GC - Empire
Gracewil Pines GC - Jackson
Designed by Morris Wilson - Lakes/ Woodlands
Course at Fox Hills - Plymouth
Pine Mountain GC - Iron Mountain.
William Newcomb designed the back nine 1986

Bear at Grand Traverse Resort - Acme
Designed by Jack Nicklaus
Edgewood GC - Prescott
George Young Recreation - Gaastra
Designed by George Young
Monument at Boyne Mountain - Boyne Falls
Designed by William Newcomb
Sault Ste.Marie CC - Sault Ste. Marie
Jerry Matthews
Renovation 1996

Links at Pinewood - Walled Lake.
Designed by Ernie Fuller
Pine Hill GC - Name changed to Maple River - Brutus
Designed by Larry Holbert
Players Club - Lansing
Designed by Jerry Matthews
Washakie Golf & RV Resort - North Branch
Designed by Brian Ferrier

A-Ga-Ming - Kewadin
Designed by Chick Harbert
Forest Hills GC - Grand Rapids
Designed by Mark DeVries
Legend at Shanty Creek - Bellaire
Designed by Arnold Palmer
Scalawags CC - Chesterfield
Designed by Don Childs

Eagle Crest GC - Ypsilanti
Designed by Karl Litten
Heathers Club
Bloomfield Hills
Designed by William Newcomb
Kincheloe Memorial GC - Kincheloe
Pleasant View GC - Saginaw
Designed by Bruce Eccleton
Rock at Woodmoor - Drummond Island
Designed by Harry Bowers
Stonehedge - Augusta
Designed by Charlie Scott
Swampfire at Garland GC - Lewiston
Designed by Ron Otto
Treetops-Jones - Gaylord
Designed by Robert Trent Jones

Fox Creek GC - Livonia
Designed by Mark DeVries
Honors Course at Oak Pointe - Brighton
Designed by Arthur Hills
Huron Breeze GC - Au Gres
William Newcomb
Indian Springs Metropark
Designed by Sue Nyquist - White Lake
Indianwood-New Course - Lake Orion
Designed by Bob Cupp & Jerry Pate
Otsego Club-Lake GC - Gaylord
Designed by Jerry Matthews
Remodeled in 1994 by Mike Husby
Singing Bridge GC - Tawas City
Designed by Bill Brown

Bird Creek GC - Port Austin
Designed Jerry Matthews
and Bruce Matthews III
Briar Downs - Mesick
Designed by Orin Bishop
Brigadoon GC - Grant
Designed by Grant McKinley
Cedar Valley GC - Comins
Designed by John Holberton
Cyrstal Springs CC - Caledonia
Designed by Ernie Schrock
Donald Ross Memorial Course at Boyne - Harbor Springs
Designed by William Newcomb, Everett Kircher, Jim Flick & Steve Kircher
Golden Fox at Fox Hills - Plymouth
Designed by Arthur Hills
Hartland Glenn-South - Hartland
Designed by George Duke
High Pointe GC - Williamsburg
Designed by Tom Doak
Links of Novi-
East and South Courses - Novi
Designed by Jerry Matthews And Bruce Matthews III
Taylor Meadows GC - Taylor
Designed by Arthur Hills
Timber Ridge GC - East Lansing
Designed by Jerry Matthews And Bruce Matthews III

Black Forest at Wilderness Valley
Designed by Tom Doak
Chocolay Downs - Marquette
Designed by Jerry Matthews and Bruce Matthews III
Cracklewood - Mt. Clements
Designed by Jerry Matthews and Bruce Matthews III
Fox Run CC - Grayling
Designed by Jeff Gorney
Heather Club - Bloomfield Hills
William Newcomb
Huron Breeze Golf & CC - Au Gres
Designed by William Newcomb
Links of Novi - Novi
Designed by Jerry Matthews and Bruce Matthews III
Lum International Golf - Lum
Marion Oaks - Howell
Frank Godwin and Harry Bowers
Matheson Greens GC - Northport
Steve White and Gary Pulsipher
Monarch Course at Garland
Lewiston - Designed by Ron Otto
Pine Trace - Rochester Hills
Designed by Arthur Hills
Pine View GC - Ypsilanti
Designed by Harley Hodges
Reddeman Farms GC - Chelsea
Designed by Howard Smith
Reflections at Garland - Lewiston
Designed by Ron Otto
Stonebridge GC - Ann Arbor
Designed by Arthur Hills
Sycamore Hills GC - Mt. Clements
Designed by Jerry Matthews
and Bruce Matthews III
Tournament Players Club - Dearborn
Designed by Jack Nicklaus
Wallinwood Springs GC - Jenison
Designed by Jerry Matthews and Bruce Matthews III

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