Barton Hills Hosts 2017 GAM Championship

Tom Werkmeister will defend his GAM Championship title at Barton Hills
Tom Werkmeister will defend his GAM Championship title at Barton Hills

Classic Barton Hills Country Club Hosting GAM Championship for Second Consecutive Year

ANN ARBOR – Playing a classic Donald Ross-designed course once is never enough.

The field of 84 of the state’s top golfers set to play in the 96th GAM Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland today (Monday, August 7) and Tuesday welcome another two days of golf at one of the state’s top golf facilities in Barton Hills Country Club.

Barton Hills is 96 years old, the same age as the championship, and its classic course was restored to the original architectural roots with added length in 2012.

The club invested over $1 million in the project without member assessment. Barton Hills has a rich tradition of hosting tournaments, including many GAM and Michigan PGA tournaments as well as the 22nd U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in 2008 and the 98th Women’s U.S. Amateur in 1998.

The GAM Championship also has a rich history as well dating to 1919 with two years in which it wasn’t played during World War II. Past winners include Michigan golf legends like James Standish, Chuck Kocsis and Ben Smith.

This year’s field of golfers includes five past champions, including defending champion and this summer’s Michigan Amateur Champion Tom Werkmeister of Grandville.

The other past champions include two-time winner Casey Baker of Novi (2005, 2010), 2015 champion Mitchell White of Muskegon, 2014 champion Ryan Johnson of New Boston and 2013 champion Scott Strickland of Birmingham.

The field will play 54 holes of stroke play with two rounds on Monday and a closing round of 18 holes on Tuesday after a 36-hole cut Monday night to the low 30 scorers and ties.

The GAM Championship traditionally boasts as strong of a field as the Michigan Amateur Championship, in large part because non-exempt players must go through one of seven sectional qualifiers to earn a spot in the final field for the championship

Last year Werkmeister captured the one state title and trophy (K.T. Keller Trophy) that had eluded him in his Michigan Golf Hall of Fame career. He shot a closing 1-over 71 for a 5-under 205 total and a four-shot win at Barton Hills. The 49-year old marketing salesman plans to turn professional at the close of this year and attempt to play the Champions Tour.

Monday’s first round will begin at 8 a.m. with groups going of Nos. 1 and 10, and Monday’s second round will begin at 1:30 p.m. off of Nos. 1 and 10. As with all GAM events, the public is welcome to attend free of charge.

The GAM, which will conduct the championship, was founded in 1919 as the governing body for amateur golf in the state. As a not-for-profit organization, the GAM’s purpose is to represent, promote, preserve, and serve the best interests of the game. The GAM provides membership to more than 60,000 golfers and more than 400 golf courses while conducting over 40 amateur championships, tournaments and United States Golf Association (USGA) qualifying events. Find more information at

Barton Hills, a private facility, has a veteran golf staff led by Pat Markley, the head golf professional, and Colin Seaberg, the superintendent. The course measures 7,146 yards from the championship tees. Find more information at

via Greg Johnson

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