After a search lasting more than a year, the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame has found at home at Ferris State University.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for both organizations,” said Fritz Balmer, president of the Michigan Golf Foundation and chair of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Committee. “What better place to exhibit the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame portraits, plaques and memorabilia, in an interactive manner, than at Ferris State University, the birthplace of the Professional Golf Management curriculum. Putting the students in touch with golf history and the people who made that history is a perfect fit. We are extremely fortunate.”
Praise for the new partnership was echoed by university officials. Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, saluted the teaching and learning opportunities this collaborative effort will create.“We are delighted to host the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame at Ferris State University,” Erickson said. “The Michigan Golf Hall of Fame will provide an exceptional teaching and learning opportunity for our PGM students and visitors to our campus.
“We look forward to using the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame to help us celebrate the golf industry and inspire our students who are passionately pursuing careers in this important industry for our state,” he added.
Ferris State has deep golf ties, with its respected Professional Golf Management academic program. The program was the first of its kind, and was sanctioned by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America in 1975.
At Ferris State, the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame will have a permanent location to display its collection of plaques, portraits and memorabilia commemorating its 101 members, a roster that includes such notables as Elaine Crosby, Walter Hagen, Dave and Mike Hill, Chuck Kocsis, Meg Mallon, Dan Pohl, Horton Smith, Rick Smith and Al Watrous.
Bob McMasters, a past foundation president, made establishing a home for the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame a top priority during his leadership. Along with late founder Ken Janke, McMasters has shepherded the Hall of Fame from its original home at Indianwood Golf and Country Club to its most recent location in Troy.
“It is wonderful news that the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame has found a permanent home at Ferris State University,” McMasters said. “Ferris has the resources and contacts to ensure a sustainable and successful future for the hall of fame.”
Dan Pohl, a Mount Pleasant native, is one of the state’s most successful competitive golfers. He was elected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2004 and is among the inductees who are excited about a new home. “With its long association with the game, Ferris is an ideal home for the hall of fame,” Pohl said. “I’m very pleased to learn of this exciting news.”
Aaron Waltz, director of Ferris’ PGM program, said “I am extremely excited about the relocation of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame to Ferris State University. This not only allows the hall of fame to have a new home, but gives all of the Ferris PGA Golf Management students the opportunity to understand the rich history and tradition of excellent golf in Michigan.”
Janke, with the support of Indianwood owner Stan Aldridge, started the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 1982. The hall’s first class included Hagen, a legendary showman golfer; Kocsis, Michigan’s own version of Bobby Jones; and Watrous, who was runner-up to Jones in the 1926 British Open.
The Michigan Hall of Fame Committee, a subset of the Michigan Golf Foundation, includes 17 members representing a cross-section of the major golf organizations and media, and conducts an annual election for the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. The Hall recognizes the achievements of competitive Michigan players, but also those of individuals who have contributed to the growth of the game.
Election to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame is a unique honor bestowed upon those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement, leadership, professionalism, good character and the highest standards of conduct associated with the extraordinary game of golf. These individuals have contributed greatly to the tradition, strength, and ongoing success of golf in the state of Michigan.
To be elected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame the nominee must be at least 45 years old and have lived in Michigan as an adult for at least 5 years.
Official nominations are made by the following:
1) Current members of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame
2) Current members of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame committee
3) Designated officials representing the member organizations of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame: Golf Association of Michigan, Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association, Michigan Publinx Golf Association, Michigan Women’s Golf Association, Michigan Section PGA, Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association
Other individuals may suggest nominees and are asked to send information to one of the above members or organizations.
Criteria for nominees include: Leadership, Playing Ability, Teaching, Junior Golf, Promotion, Service, Coaching, Administration, and Other. Areas of achievement, golf honors, awards, and other contributions to the game and the community shall be specified in the nomination.
A preliminary screening will determine and confirm nominee qualifications. Michigan Golf Hall of Fame board members will review all nominations and at its December meeting will vote and determine which nominees will be placed on the final ballot. That ballot will be voted on in January by Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members and Michigan Golf Hall of Fame board members. Results of that vote will be announced in February.
Find out more at http://www.michigan-golf-foundation.com/.