Michigan’s Sweetgrass Club will being professional golf back to Michigan with a Futures Tour (LPGA) Event in June 2011. The press release follows:
Michigan casino golf course to hold LPGA event
5 November 2010
HARRIS, Michigan—(PRESS RELEASE)—Sweetgrass Golf Club will hold its first professional championship next June, just three years after the Upper-Peninsula public course opened.
The Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass will draw a field of 144 rising stars on the LPGA Futures Tour June 20-26. The links-style layout, designed by Michigan-native Paul Albanese, is located near Harris, Michigan and is situated on the site of the Island Resort & Casino.
“It is a great honor to host this tournament,” says Tony Mancilla, championship chairman. “Sweetgrass provides a true test of golf that places a premium on shotmaking, an ideal layout for competitive play.”
The 7,275-yard, par 72 course was named to Golfweek’s “Best New Courses” list in 2009, and GOLF Magazine’s Top 20 “Best Courses State by State” listing in 2010. Opened in 2008, it is owned and operated by the Hannahville Band of the Potawatomi Nation.
Named for the sacred Indian plant known to bring energy and healing, the layout includes the signature 15th island green; par-3 12th biarritz style green, and long par-5 finishing hole that ends on a shared green beyond a cascading waterfall. Water comes into play on seven holes, and the challenging back nine incorporates several recovered classic DOT bridges.
“Sweetgrass is a golf course that was designed in a way that would provide golfers an opportunity to test their skills, without being overly penalizing,” says Albanese. “The idea was to locate features, such as bunkers, water features, rock and grasses, so golfers would have to contemplate how much risk they wanted to undertake, in exchange for a commensurate reward.”
It will be the first time in six years that an Upper-Peninsula course has hosted a professional championship, drawing an international field vying for the $110,000 purse. The event hopes to provide significant economic impact to the region.
The LPGA Futures Tour announced the addition of its 2011 schedule today, at a press conference at the Island Resort & Casino. The championship will be held at Sweetgrass for three years.
“We are thrilled to add the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass to our official 2011 schedule and to provide many of the most talented young women professionals in the world a chance to experience this challenging test of golf,” said Zayra F. Calderon, CEO of the LPGA Futures Tour.
The Island Resort & Casino will keep the public course opened for play until early June 2011, allowing guests to play Sweetgrass both before and after the championship. For more information, see http://www.sweetgrassgolfclub.com.
Sweetgrass has been on my list of courses to play since it opened. I’ll try to get there this next summer.