CLARKSTON – Oakhurst Golf & Country Club, an Arthur Hills-designed course built in 1998 that has hosted several Golf Association of Michigan tournaments, will welcome the field of 77 golfers competing in the 23rd GAM Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship Tuesday and Wednesday.
In addition to the traditional Mid-Amateur Division of golfers over age 25 and the Senior Division for golfers over 50, golfers ages 19 to 24 have been added to the field for the third consecutive year to give them another GAM playing opportunity.
The three age-group winners will be identified via 36 holes of stroke play, and the overall low gross scorer in the Mid-Amateur Division will have her name engraved on the Jeanne L. Myers Trophy.
The Oakhurst course, which can play as long as 7,054 yards, weaves through oak, pine, and maple trees and over and around protected wetlands.
Hills incorporated significant risk-reward factors, but also provided some bailout areas for conservative play. The course demands accurate and well-placed tee shots, especially on the shorter par 4 holes.
Among the many tournaments Oakhurst has hosted are the 2010 Michigan Amateur Championship and the 2019 GAM Senior Match Play Championship
George Bowman is the host professional and has been at Oakhurst since it opened in 1998. Adam Hosler has been the superintendent since 2014.
Defending champion Kimberly Dinh of Midland will return to defend her title, but 2019 and 2016 winner Audrey Akins of LaSalle, Ontario, is unable to play because of pandemic travel restrictions on the U.S.-Canada border.
Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll of Haslett, the unprecedented 10-time champion of the tournament and the head coach of the Michigan State University women’s golf team, is in the field as is University of Michigan head women’s golf coach Jan Dowling of Ann Arbor.
Two other former Mid-Am champions, Julie Massa of Holt (2013) and Joan Garety of Ada (2004), are in the field, and last year’s Senior Division winner, Karen VanGorder of Lansing, is returning. The winner of the 19-to-24 bracket in 2019 and 2020, MSU golfer Yurika Tanida, is not in the field.
Last year, Dinh birdied the first hole of a sudden-death playoff with Ann Arbor’s Ashley Mantha to win at the Country Club of Lansing.