Crystal Mountain Plans Special Housing Rates, Precautions for 2020 Michigan PGA Women’s Open
THOMPSONVILLE – Sponsoring host Crystal Mountain Resort is offering a special 50-percent reduced lodging rate for players, and tournament play and spectator precautions have been put in place in light of COVID-19 concerns for the 27th Michigan PGA Women’s Open Championship scheduled for June 29-July 1.
The field is being limited to the first 78 golfers entered to help manage safety for all involved, and the entry deadline is Monday, June 22 at 5 p.m. Players should go to the new Michigan Section PGA website at michiganpga.com for entry information.
The championship does not require Michigan residency. For years, including 17 consecutive years at Crystal Mountain, it has featured an international field including Michigan golf teaching professionals, LPGA, Symetra Tour, and mini-tour professionals as well as top amateurs representing multiple states.
The field will play 54 holes of stroke play over three days to determine a champion. With the limited field there will not be a 36-hole cut. All 78 golfers will play each of the three rounds and the professionals will play for a share of a purse yet to be determined. A pro-am event traditionally presented by Crystal Mountain before the championship has been cancelled for this year.
The championship, as in the past, will be administered by the Michigan Section of the PGA of America.
“Since COVID-19 precautions will not allow us to have residents of the Crystal Mountain community serve as housing hosts for the traveling tournament players like in the past, Crystal Mountain Resort has put together 50 percent off lodging rates for the players on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights of the championship,” Justin Phillips, the PGA’s tournament director, said.
“The resort has stepped up to make it possible for us to have the championship this year, and we have worked with them to develop plans to make it work safely and successfully for everyone.”
Phillips said among the precautions put in place to comply with CDC, state and federal guidelines will be the use of individual carts for each of the players. Also, one volunteer at each hole will be assigned flagstick duties to limit shared touch points, and players will be asked to help via cellphone technology with live scoring to cut down on the number of volunteers involved.
Also, spectator carts will not be allowed during the championship, and the tournament will not be providing spectator shuttle carts to various points on the course as it has in the past. Phillips said spectators will be allowed to walk with groups provided they practice social distancing.
“It’s going to take some teamwork by everybody, and Crystal Mountain has demonstrated they want to work with us to make it a great championship,” Phillips said. “Crystal Mountain wants to encourage players and families to come to the resort for the tournament and feel safe and secure at the same time.”
Greg Babinec, the director of golf for Crystal Mountain Resort, said the resort is excited to host the Michigan PGA Women’s Open for the 18th time on the Mountain Ridge course amid a challenging year.
“While the course and setup will be similar to past events, there are a number of precautions in place that will keep both players and spectators safe while enjoying the tournament” he said. “We have added a number of procedures in our cleaning and disinfecting protocols, including using CDC approved cleaners on all carts before and after each cart is used.”
Babinec said the practice range usage will be limited to 10 players at any one time and putting greens will have limits to allow for proper distancing. Carts have partitions and a bunker rake will be provided on each cart to prevent shared touch points.
“We look forward to another successful event and to seeing all of the great play that occurs each year in determining a very deserving champion,” he said.
Anika Dy of Traverse City, a Crystal Mountain cart lot attendant and University of Michigan golfer, has entered with plans to defend her championship. She posted a five-shot win last summer with a final round 4-under 68. She was just the second amateur in tournament history to win and was the youngest winner at age 17.
Crystal Mountain Resort was established in 1956, and is a family-owned, four-season resort that is nationally recognized for its skiing, golf, and award-winning spa.
Located in northwest-lower-Michigan, a short drive from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the resort features downhill and cross-country skiing, Michigan Legacy Art Park, 36 holes of championship golf, Michigan’s only alpine slide, an outdoor water playground, a variety of lodging and dining options, countless year-round activities and kids programs, an IACC-approved conference center, weddings, real estate and Crystal Spa. See crystalmountain.com.
INFORMATION: Registration can be found at the new Michigan Section website michiganpga.com. Justin Phillips of the Michigan PGA is the tournament director and available at 517-641-7421 or JPhillips@michiganpga.com.
- Via Greg Johnson