Michigan Golfer ON-LINE

Michigan Golf History 1991-2000
By Art McCafferty

Michigan was the place to be in golf course construction during the 1990s. This state built more golf courses than anyone, anywhere. I remember the reception I got when I visited the National Golf Foundation in the early ‘90s. I was preparing for one of our Michigan Golf Summits as well as doing some research for the state and had asked to meet with Joe Beditz, the Executive Director of the NGF. I was ushered into his office for my interview with him only to spend the first hour being interviewed by him and his staff. “How long can you keep building all of those golf courses in Michigan?” he led off. His staff was clearly astounded by our construction record. At that time, the NGF which publishes among other things, Golf Market Today, had Michigan leading the nation in new golf course openings, new course construction and new course planning for the third consecutive year. Michigan, was the flat-out winner of the trifecta of golf course construction in the nation.

There was work everywhere for our Michigan golf course architects. Those that had excelled in the ’80s - Jerry Matthews, Bruce Matthews III, William Newcomb, Warner Bowen, Ron Otto, Mark Devries and Harley Hodges - were joined in the ’90s by newcomers Mike Husby, Ray Hearn, Mike DeVries, Jeff Gorney, Kevin Aldridge, Susan Nyquist, John Sanford Jr., Rick Smith, Pat Conway, Jim Dewling and Tom Doak. In addition, they had help from outside the state from Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Rees Jones, Dick Nugent, Arthur Hills, Ray Floyd, Lanny Wadkins and Tom Weiskopf. Indeed, from 1991-2000, an average of 22 new golf courses per year were built.

During the ’90s the State of Michigan became a very active partner in the golf course industry. Michigan had a golf course inventory that was exceeded only by Florida, Texas and California. The state had suddenly become “America’s Summer Golf Capital,” complete with the Gaylord Golf Mecca, Sunrise Side Golf and Golf’s Gold Coast. Names like Boyne, Treetops, Arcadia Bluffs, Shanty Creek, Crystal Mountain, Bay Harbor, Garland, and Mackinac Island were becoming national golf destinations. Photos of Elk Ridge, the Thoroughbred, the Gailes, the Rock, Timberstone, Highpoint and Wild Bluff were appearing in national and regional golf publications. Golfing the Great Lakes, a Michigan-based television show that was shown on Midwest PBS stations, produced over 50 half-hour shows that highlighted Michigan courses. On national television, Michigan golf was showcased by the annual Buick Open telecasts, and special broadcasts like Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf show at Bay Harbor and the new Par-3 Shootout at Treetops. Finally, on March 10, 1995, Michigan Golfer Online became the world’s first golf publication on the Internet. The site was launched at the Novi Golf Show and Patrick Newcomb was the first webmaster. Today the site draws millions of hits from people all over the world.

Michigan produced its share of nationally known golf talent during the ’90s as Dan Pohl continued his golf career by going into broadcasting. Meg Mallon, Kelly Robbins and Cindy Figg distinguished themselves on the LPGA Tour. Jason Buha, Agim Bardha, Buddy Whitten and Ed Humenik were some of the locals that picked up checks on pro golf tours. Rick Smith became one of America’s new teaching gurus, Jack Berry ran the Golf Writers Association of America as Secretary/
Treasurer, after serving two terms as its President. Everett Kircher and his Boyne USA company continued to grow into a national resort power. And finally, the successful graduates of Ferris State University’s Golf Management Program, and Michigan State University’s Turf Management School, continued to have a national impact on the quality of the game’s overall management.

The associations MPGA, MGCOA and GAM thrived during the ’90s. Ken Devine, Executive Director of the Michigan PGA, was responsible for turning around a near bankrupt Michigan Section of the PGA. Today the section is sitting on top of more than $1 million and in the process of looking forward to building a new office complex. Brent Marshall took over the GAM and pushed for a new nine-hole golf course facility for some of its tournaments, as well as for a new office complex. Last year, the Golf Association of Michigan launched a member publication, Michigan Links, and continued to expand its membership. The Michigan Golf Course Owners Association has hired a full-time Executive Director in Kate Moore and has continued its strong lobbying for the game with Lansing legislators and staffs.

Women began to emerge as an economic force in the 90’s. In Michigan the first Women’s Golf Summit was held at Eagle Crest Resort. In addition, Sheila Tansey started to work with a group of women golfers in Lansing, thereby creating the Women’s Golf Academy. They have presented successful workshops and teaching clinics for women. Golf for Women debuted in the ’90s and Golf Digest came out with a publication directed toward women. Great Lakes Sports Publications, Inc. got into the spirit by launching its Women’s Golf Network with Susan Bairley as its editor. Additionally, Judy Bell became the first woman elected President of the USGA.

In tournament golf in the ’90s, the Ryder Cup became very competitive with the U.S. winning three of the five matches in the ’90s. Michigan will be able to view this competition locally, as the Ryder Cup visits Oakland Hills in 2003. At the British Open, Ian Baker Finch, Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Nick Price, John Daly, Tom Lehman , Justin Leonard all took home titles.

On the national scene the Masters had a decade of international winners with Ian Woosman, Bernard Langer Nick Faldo, Vijay Singh and Jose Maria Olazabal (twice) winning while the American winners included Ben Crenshaw, for the second time, Fred Couples, Tiger Woods and Mark O’Meara. The PGA was won by “Long” John Daly, Nick Price in ’92 and‚ ’94, Paul Azinger, Steve Elkington, Mark Brooks, Davis Love III and Vijay Singh. The USGA celebrated the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Open. The U.S. Open in the ’90s was won by Payne Stewart, Tom Kite, and twice each by Lee Janzen in ’93 and ’98 and Ernie Els in ’94 and ’97, Steve Jones, Corey Pavin and the amazing win of Tiger Woods this year.

On the Michigan scene, the Michigan Open was one by Steve Brady in ’91, ’92 and ’96, Brent Veenstra, Tom Gillis, Dave Smith, Scott Hebert (three times) and Jeff Roth. The Michigan PGA was won by Ken Allard, Barry Redmond, Steve Brady in ’93 and ’95, Bob Makoski, Brian Cairns, Tom Harding and Jeff Roth in 1998 and ’99. The new Michigan Women’s Open was won by Suzanne Green in ’94 and ’99, Jennifer Cully, Jennifer Kangas, Angie Stafford and Katie Shannon. The Michigan Amateur crown was taken by Kevin Collier, Willard Richart, Jim Pickford, Doug Davis, Roy Schultheiss, Randy Lewis, Bryant MacKellar and Shawn Koch. The Women’s Amateur was won by Carolyn Nodus, Mary Jane Anderson, Angie Stafford in ’94 and ’95, Joan Garety, Laurie Berles and Stacy Slobodnik.

The ’90s yielded great golf courses and great golf champions.


Boyne Highlands - Donald Ross, Harbor Springs; designed by William Newcomb
Cattails GC, South Lyon; designed by Don Childs and John Williams
Cedar Glen GC, New Baltimore; designed by Jerry Matthews
Copper Creek, Farmington Hills; designed by Stan Aldridge
Country Club of Jackson - Marsh/Woods Course, Jackson; designed by Arthur Ham
Country Town GC, Springport; designed by Jim Riske
Devil’s Ridge, Oxford; designed by Pat Conroy
Dunes Club, New Buffalo; designed by Dick Nugent
Dunmaglas GC, Charlevoix; designed by Larry Mancour and Chuck MacGillidary
Egypt Valley, Ada; designed by Arthur Hills
Elk Ridge GC, Atlanta; designed by Jerry Matthews
Greystone GC, Romeo; designed by Jerry Matthews
Lakeview Hills Resort - The North Course, Lexington; designed by Jeff Gorney.
Links of Novi, Novi; designed by Jerry Matthews
Links at Whitmore Lake, Whitmore Lake; designed by William Newcomb
Little Traverse Bay GC, Harbor Springs; designed by Jeff Gorney.
Marion Oaks, Howell; designed by Harry Bowers
Matheson Greens, Leland; designed by Steve White and Gary Pulerver
Metamora, Oxford; designed by Bills and Childs
Prairiewood, Holland; designed by Warner Bowen
Railside, Byron Center; designed by Bruce Matthews III
Reddeman Farms, Chelsea; designed by Bob Luhouse and Howard Smith
Rock at Woodmoor, Drummond Island; designed by Harry Bowers
Taylor Meadows GC, Taylor; designed by Arthur Hills
Singing Bridge GC, Tawas; designed by William and Charles Brown
Stonebridge GC, Ann Arbor; designed by Arthur Hills
Tanglewood, South Lyon; designed by William Newcomb
Veronica Valley, Lake Leelanau; designed by Diane and Bill Grant
Whispering Pines, Pinckney; designed by Donald Moon


Black Forest, Gaylord; designed by Tom Doak
Bushwood GC, Northville
Cedar Chase, Cedar Springs; designed by Bruce Matthews III
Chestnut Hills GC, Bear Lake; designed by Doug Carter
Crooked Tree, Petoskey; designed by Harry Bowers, redesign by Arthur Hills
Crystal Mountain Resort - Creek Course, Thompsonville; designed by Bill Newcomb.
Eagle Glen, Farwell; designed by Jerry Matthews
Fox Run, Grayling; designed by Jeff Gorney
Firefly Golf Links, Clare (second nine); designed by Darell Loar
Fortress, Frankenmuth; designed by Dick Nugent.
Gailes, Oscoda; designed by Keith Aldridge
Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey; designed by Jeff Gorney
Marsh Ridge Resort, Gaylord; designed by Mike Husby
Matheson Greens GC, Northport; designed by Steve White and Gary Pulerver
Natural, Gaylord; designed by Jerry Matthews
Pinecroft, Benzonia; designed by L. Stone, J. Cole, A .Norman and C. Carlson
Thoroughbred, Rothbury; designed by Arthur Hills
Treetops North, Vanderbilt; designed by Tom Fazio
White Pine National, Hubbard Lake; designed by Bruce and Clem Wolfrom


Bedford Hills - Buckeye/Wolverine, Temperance; designed by Fred Burning.
Birch Valley, Sears; designed by Paul Taylor.
Briar Ridge Golf & CC, Montrose; designed by Douglas Treadwell and Joe Roeski
Brookshire Inn and GC, Williamsburg (newest 9); designed by Bruce Matthews III
Captains Club, Grand Blanc; designed by Raymond Floyd and Harry Bowers
Centennial Farm GC, Bellaire; designed by Smith Family
Charlevoix CC, Charlevoix; designed by Jerry Matthews
Chestnut Hills, Frankfort; designed by Doug Carla
Glacier Club, Washington; designed by William Newcomb
Grandview, Traverse City; designed by Ron Green
Greystone, Romeo; designed by Jerry Matthews
Meadows at GVSU, Allendale; designed by Michael Hurzan
Michigan Meadows, Casco; designed by Charles Verbeke
Mistwood, Lake Ann; designed by Jerry Matthews
Oak Pointe, Brighton; designed by Arthur Hills
Orchards, Washington; designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
Pohlcat, Mt. Pleasant; designed by Dan Pohl
Richmond Forest GC, Richmond; designed by Bruce Matthews III


Black Bear GC, Vanderbilt; designed by Mark Sauger
Chestnut Valley GC, Harbor Springs; designed by Larry Mancour
Cobi Pines GC (renamed Manistee National), Manistee; designed by Gary Pulsipher
Crooked Tree GC, Petoskey; designed by Harry Bowers and redesigned by Arthur Hills
Green Briar GC, Lupton; designed by Jeff Gorney.
Gull Lake View - Stonehedge North Course, Augusta; designed by Charlie Scott
Heritage Glen GC, Paw Paw; designed by Jerry Matthews
Hickory Sticks, Ann Arbor; designed by Bill Wedemeyer
Majestic at Lake Walden, Hartland; designed by Jerry Matthews
Otsego Club - Loon GC, Gaylord; designed by Mike Husby.
Pilgrim’s Run, Pierson; designed by Kris Shumaker and Mike DeVries
Pheasant Run, Canton; designed by Arthur Hills
Quest, Houghton Lake; designed by John Sanford Jr.
Rose, Cadillac; designed by Steve McQuestion
Snow Snake, Harrison; designed by Jeff Gorney
Wallingwood Springs, Jenison; designed by Jerry Matthews and Bruce Matthews III
Whiteford Valley, Ottawa; designed by Harley and Greg Hodges
Wolf Creek GC, Adrian; designed by John Francoeur
Wyndgate, Rochester Hills; designed by Larry Winget


Devil’s Ridge GC, Oxford; designed by Pat Conroy
Bay Meadows, Traverse City (new nine 2000); designed by Steve White
Bayou, Freeland; designed by Ed Maurer
Briar Downs, Mesick; designed by Gary Pulerver
Boyne /Arthur Hills Course (first nine), Harbor Springs; designed by Arthur Hills and Stephen Kircher
Brentwood Golf & CC, White Lake; designed by Jim Ludwig
Brigadoon GC, Grant; designed by Grant McKinley
Caberfae Peaks Resort, Cadillac; designed by Harry Bowers
Charlevoix CC, Charlevoix; designed by Jerry Matthews
Cherry Creek GC, Shelby Township; designed by Lanny Wadkins and Mike Bylen
Fountains Course at Garland, Lewiston; designed by Ron Otto
Hartland Glen, Hartland; designed by George Duke
Hickory Ridge GC, Galesburg; designed by Kenneth & David Dart
Hunters Ridge GC, Howell; designed by Jerry Matthews
Lake Erie Metropark, Monroe; designed by Susan Nyquist
Lakes of Taylor GC, Taylor; designed by Arthur Hills.
Pierce Lake GC, Chelsea; designed by Harry Bowers
Old Channel Trail, Montague (new nine); designed by Jerry Matthews
Polo Fields, Ann Arbor; designed by William Newcomb
St. Ives GC, Stanwood; designed by Jerry Matthews
Sugarbush, Davison; designed by Dave Mancour
Woodlands of Van Buren, Wayne; designed by Jerry Matthews


Bay Harbor GC, Bay Harbor; designed by Arthur Hills and Stephen Kircher
Bedford Hills - Wolverine/Irish and Irish/Buckeye, Temperance; designed by John Rutter
Chocolay Downs, Marquette; designed by Jerry Matthews
Crystal Mountain Resort - Ridge Course, Thompsonville; designed by William Newcomb
Coyote, New Hudson; designed by Mike Thacker
Eagle Island GC, Muskegon; designed by Bruce Anderson
Eldorado, Cadillac; designed by Bob Meyer
Eldorado GC - Blue Course, Mason; designed by Jerry Matthews
Emerald at Maple Creek, St. Johns; designed by Jerry Matthews
Golden Hawk GC, Casco Township; designed by John Grissim
Hampshire CC - Dogwood Trail Course, Dowagiac; designed by Duane Dammeyer
Hawk Hollow GC, Bath; designed by Jerry Matthews
Hawkshead, South Haven; designed by Arthur Hills
Heritage Glen, Paw Paw; designed by Jerry Matthews
Hidden River Golf and Casting, Brutus; designed by Bruce Matthews III
Holly Meadows GC, Capac; designed by Don Childs
Medalist, Marshall; designed by William Newcomb
Mystic Creek GC, Milford; designed by Conroy and Dewling Associates
Pierce Lake GC, Chelsea; designed by Harry Bowers
Prestwick Village, Highland; designed by Ron Garl
Shagbark GC, Plainwell; designed by Steve Deloof
Sparrow Hawk, Jackson (new nine); designed by Jeff Gorney
Twin Bridges, Merrill; designed by Joe and Joy Kaufmann
Twin Lakes GC, Oakland Twp.; designed by Jerry Matthews
Whitefish Lake GC, Pierson; designed by Jerry Matthews
Wuskowhan Players Club, West Olive; designed by Rick Smith


Birchwood Farms, Harbor Springs (new nine); designed by Jerry Matthews
Copper Hills, Oxford; designed by Cutris Wright
Dream, West Branch; designed by Jeff Gorney
Emerald Vale, Manton; designed by Bruce Matthews III
Firecreek GC, Temperance; designed by Don Childs
Gleneagle GC, Hudsonville; redesigned by Mike Shields
Emerald at Maple Creek, St. Johns; designed by Jerry Matthews
Heathlands, Onekama; designed by Jeff Gorney
Legacy GC, Ottawa Lake; designed by Arthur Hills
Links at Bowen Lake, Gowen; designed by William Newcomb
Lynx, Allegan; designed by John and Charles Scott
Mackinaw Club, Mackinaw City; designed by Jerry Matthews
Marsh Oaks at Oak Ridge, New Haven; designed by Bruce Matthews III
Pine Hills GC, Laingsburg; designed by Bruce Matthews III
Sawmill GC, Saginaw; designed by John Sanford Jr.
Timberstone GC, Iron Mountain; designed by Jerry Matthews
Thorneapple Pointe, Grand Rapids; designed by William Newcomb
Ubly Heights CC, Ubly; designed by Bruce Matthews III
Wheatfield Valley, Williamston; designed by George Duke
Whittaker Woods, New Buffalo; designed by Ken Killian
Wyandotte Shores, Wyandotte; designed by Jerry Matthews


Apple Mountain, Freeland; designed by John Sanford Jr.
Black Berry Patch, Coldwater; designed by Ernie Schrock
Boulder Creek GC, Belmont; designed by Mark DeVries
Crown, Traverse City
Fieldstone GC, Auburn Hills; designed by Arthur Hills
Groesbeck Municipal GC, Lansing (new nine); designed by Jerry Matthews
Hankerd Hills, Pleasant Lake (second nine); designed by Bruce Matthews III
Hawk at Partridge Creek, Clinton Twp.; designed by Jerry Matthews
Island Hills GC, Centreville; designed by Ray Hearn
Inkster Valley, Inkster; designed by Harry Bowers
King’s Challenge, Cedar; designed by Arnold Palmer
Links at Bowen Lake, Rockford; designed by William Newcomb
Oakhurst CC, Clarkson; designed by Arthur Hills
Tanglewood Marsh, Sault Ste. Marie; designed by Dr. Richard Zelbecka
Timber Trace GC, Pinckney; designed by Conroy and Dewling Associates
Timber Wolf GC, Kalkaska; designed by Bruce Matthews III
Treetops - Tradition, Gaylord; designed by Rick Smith
Wild Bluff GC, Brimley; designed by Mike Husby


Blackheath, Rochester; designed by Kevin Aldridge
Carrington GC, Monroe; designed by Brian Huntley
Colonial GC, Hart; designed by Jeff Gorney
Evergreen Hills GC, Southfield; designed by Bruce Matthews III
Hickory Hills, Jackson (new nine); designed by Bruce Matthews III
Lake Forest, Ann Arbor; designed by Mark Walley
Leelanau Club, Suttons Bay; designed by Gary Pulsipher
Links at Lake Erie GC, Monroe; designed by Scott Thacker
Lost Dunes, Bridgeman; designed by Tom Doak
Moss Ridge, Ravenna; designed by Bruce Matthews III
Newberry (new nine); designed by Mike Husby
Quail Ridge, Grand Rapids; designed by Ray Hearn
Ravines, Saugatuck; designed by Arnold Palmer
Red Hawk, Tawas; designed by Arthur Hills
Rustic Glen, Saline (new nine); designed by Harley and Greg Hodges
Selfridge ANG GC, Mt. Clemens designed by Bruce Matthews III
Shanty Creek - Cedar River, Bellaire; designed by Tom Weiskopf
Thousand Oaks, Grand Rapids; designed by Rees Jones


Black Lake GC, Onaway; designed by Rees Jones
Boulder Pointe, Oxford; designed by Conroy/Dewling
Buck’s Run, Mt. Pleasant; designed by Jerry Matthews
Calderone Farms, Ann Arbor; designed by Bill Newcomb
Copper Ridge, Davison Township; designed by Doug Treadwell
Cutters Ridge, Manistee; designed by Jerry Matthews
Double RR Ranch, Belding (new nine); designed by Warner Bowen
Eagle Ridge, Glennie; designed by Rupert Smith
Fore Lakes, Macomb; designed by Torello and Pawluck
Gateway; designed by Jerry Matthews
Golf Club of Michigan, Brighton; designed by Patrick Grelak
Hidden Oaks, St. Louis; designed by Jerry Matthews
Indian Lake, Manistique (new nine); designed by Mike Husby
Northville Hills, Northville; designed by Arnold Palmer
Pigeon Creek, Grand Haven; designed by Mark Devries
Preserve, Livingston; designed by Arnold Palmer
Shepherds Hollow, Clarkston; designed by Arthur Hills

Editor’s note: This concludes our series on Michigan golf history. We have gotten more mail concerning this series than any other we have done in the history of this magazine. The mail has attempted to correct some of the information that has become a little unclear over the years. We began this series by learning that Muskegon CC was not built in 1911 as Donald Ross claimed in his book, Golf Has Never Failed Me, but by Tom Bendelow, a very prolific architect that worked decades before Ross came on the scene.

Thanks, to all of you for your kind notes and support.

Michigan Golf History 1961-1970

Michigan Golf History 1971-1990

Michigan Golf History 1981-1990

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