Renovated Meadowbrook Country Club Hosting State’s Best for 97th GAM Championship
NORTHVILLE – Meadowbrook Country Club, which completed an 18-month $5.5 million renovation of its golf course last June, will host 84 of the state’s top golfers in the 97th GAM Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland Monday and Tuesday.
Meadowbrook’s renovation, which The American Society of Golf Course Architects selected as one of the 2017 Design Excellence Recognition Program honorees, will be set up at around 6,900 yards for the elite field headed by Alex Scott of Traverse City, the defending champion who recently played in the U.S. Amateur Championship.
Meadowbrook, 102 years old, previously hosted the GAM Championship three times in 1935, 1940 and 1953. That was on the original Willie Park-designed course that was renovated by Arizona-based architect Andy Staples of Staples Golf Design. The original course, which also had design work performed on it by Donald Ross, also hosted the 1955 PGA Championship and four Motor City Opens.
Meadowbrook Country Club embarked on the major renovation of its historic course in 2015 to mark the 2016 milestone occasion of its 100th anniversary. As part of the renovation, all greens, tees, fairways and rough turf was replaced, and more than 15 miles of irrigation was installed.
The GAM Championship, like Meadowbrook, has a rich history. It dates to 1919 with two years in which it wasn’t played during World War II. Past winners include Michigan golf legends like James Standish, Chuck Kocsis and Ben Smith.
This year’s field of golfers includes five past champions, including Scott, two-time winner Casey Baker of Novi (2005, 2010), 2015 champion Mitchell White of Muskegon, 2014 champion Ryan Johnson of New Boston and 2013 champion Scott Strickland of Birmingham.
The field will play 54 holes of stroke play with two rounds on Monday and a closing round of 18 holes on Tuesday after a 36-hole cut Monday night to the low 30 scorers and ties.
The GAM Championship traditionally boasts as strong of a field as the Michigan Amateur Championship, in large part because non-exempt players must go through one of seven sectional qualifiers to earn a spot in the final field for the championship.
Last year Scott, a Grand Valley State University golfer, shot a closing 3-under 67 at Barton Hills in Ann Arbor for a 4-under 207 tournament total and a seven-shot win over Ferris State University golfer Jack Weller of Swartz Creek. It was the first state title for Scott.
The GAM, which will conduct the championship, was founded in 1919 as the governing body for amateur golf in the state. As a not-for-profit organization, the GAM’s purpose is to represent, promote, preserve, and serve the best interests of the game. The GAM provides membership to more than 60,000 golfers and more than 400 golf courses while conducting over 40 amateur championships, tournaments and United States Golf Association (USGA) qualifying events. Find more information at www.gam.org.
Mark Stevens is the head golf professional at Meadowbrook, and Jared Milner is the golf course superintendent. Learn more at meadowbrookcountryclub.com.
via Greg Johnson