According to a report in the Detroit News, professional golf could return to Michigan as early as the fall of 2011, with an event at the Detroit Golf Club. The tournament presumably would be played on the Donald Ross designed North Course. The Detroit Golf Club is located at Seven Mile and Woodward. A member of the DGC’s Board of Directors says that it is doing “due diligence” to bring a tournament back to Michigan. Speculation that the event would be in mid-September is fueled by a hole in the PGA schedule a week before the Tour Championship. The hope is that another event would give way the following season, allowing the Detroit Golf Club’s event to get a better place on the schedule.
There’s absolutely no reason that Michigan should be without a professional golf event. It’s a golf-mad state, with more than 800 public courses. And it has a history of supporting golf events. The Buick Open lasted from 1958 to 2009, when Buick dropped its sponsorship and the Tour gave the event to a West Virginia hotel mogul. Other events ahve included the Senior Player’s Championship (2990 – 2006), the LPGA’s Oldsmobile Classic (1992 – 2004), and the Champions’ Tour’s Farmers Charity Classic (1986 – 2004). The Buick Open and Senior Players’ Championships didn’t die for lack of community support—they were dropped by sponsor heading in a different direction. Buick was headed for bankruptcy, while Ford had decided to put its money into bull riding of all things.
The Detroit area also has been kind to major events. In recent years, there’s been a PGA Championship and Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills, in a Detroit suburb.
I look forward to this.