MGCOA Honors Arthur Hills, Kevin McKinley and The Majestic at Lake Walden

The Michigan Golf Course Owners Association honored renowned golf course architect Arthur Hills with the Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award at a banquet Tuesday night. Also honored was Kevin McKinley, head golf professional at Treetops Resort in Gaylord and The Majestic At Lake Walden Golf Course in Hartland.

The Awards Banquet was part of the 2017 Michigan Golf Business Conference and Vendor Fair at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek.

Kevin McKinley, the head golf professional at Treetops Resort in Gaylord, received the Lyle Leeke Distinguished Service Award, which is named after one of the founders of the MGCOA and a gentleman who helped to create a voice for Michigan golf course owners. The recipient of the award is an individual or company who has displayed distinguished service to the MGCOA and the golf industry.

An MGCOA member for over 15 years, McKinley’s leadership in setting the standard for development and implementation of Patriot Golf Day in Michigan has been extraordinary. He has spent countless hours giving back to those who dedicated their lives to protecting America’s Freedom. At Treetops Resort, McKinley created and runs the Military Golf League for Veterans, active service members and their spouses. Treetops also offers veterans and military member discounts of up to 50 percent for golf and ski packages.

In support of the Folds of Honor Foundation, the resort has hosted Patriot Golf Day for 10 years. In conjunction, McKinley has hosted the Patriot Shootout for seven years, which is an annual Labor Day weekend tournament that offers veterans and military members a free weekend of golf while raising funds for Folds of Honor. In addition to the Lyle Leeke Distinguished Service Award, McKinley received the national 2017 PGA Patriot Award and was named the 2017 PGA Golf Professional of the Year by the Michigan PGA Section.

Arthur Hills was awarded the Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to an individual or organization that over the span of a lifetime has provided steadfast leadership, outstanding service and continuous commitment to the Michigan golf industry.

Hills, who holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan, has designed more than 180 new golf courses, including private, resort, upscale, and public golf courses around the world.

In addition, his firm, Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates, has been requested to renovate or modify more than 120 courses including some of the countries most renowned clubs often in preparation for major USGA and PGA Championships.

Hills has built an international footprint, spreading well beyond Michigan and the Midwest to both coasts as well as abroad. A few of his award-winning courses in Michigan include Bay Harbor Golf Club near Petoskey, The Arthur Hills Course at the Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs, Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, Egypt Valley Country Club in Ada and the Legacy Golf Course in Ottawa Lake.

The Matthews award is named in honor of W. Bruce Matthews.

The Majestic at Lake Walden was recently announced as the 2017 Golf Course of the Year . This acknowledgement honors a member course in good standing that has demonstrated exceptional quality of the golf course, exceptional quality of ownership and management, outstanding contribution to its community and significant contribution to the game.

The Majestic is a championship golf course that opened to the public in 1994. It is set in a Northern Michigan environment, but less than a one-hour drive from downtown Detroit.

Breathtaking views and abundant wildlife can be found among the beautiful hardwoods and meadows surrounding Lake Walden. Recognized as one of the best golf courses in Michigan, the Majestic at Lake Walden has a rich tradition of excellent conditions, outstanding service and not-to-be-matched experiences.

It is a 27-hole Jerry Matthews and Raymond Hearn design, and “Majestic” is truly a great description as well as perfect name. The first 18 holes wind their way around the 150-acre spring-fed Lake Walden, and the facility is spread over 1,400 acres. It includes a full complement of amenities including banquet facilities, a natural driving range and ample putting greens.

To contact the MGCOA call 800-860-8575 or visit

via Kate Moore


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