HARBOR SPRINGS – The milestone 25th Women’s Atlas Trophy Matches are being hosted this weekend by Harbor Point Golf Club, where area historians have determined a roughed out course was in play at the location as early as 1896, or 120 years ago.
That would make Harbor Point one of the oldest golf courses in Michigan, not to mention one with timeless spectacular views of Lake Michigan.
The top women golfers in the state representing golfers from private clubs and public venues make up the two teams that will play a Ryder Cup-style competition Saturday and Sunday at the historic site one mile north of Harbor Springs.
In 1899 Alexander F. Stevenson of Chicago and others formed a stock company to purchase the land and develop the course. The 18-hole course was designed by David Foulis, who was from a famous St. Andrews family of golfers. In 1941, the course was taken over by the Harbor Point Association.
Harbor Point is a semi-private facility offering some public play from opening in early May through June 20 and from Sept. 6 to Oct. 9. The staff includes Shaun Bezilla, PGA golf Professional, Clubhouse Manager Rebecca Mayer, Superintendent Clayton Novak and Assistant Superintendent Ted Bodzick.
The Atlas Trophy Matches originated in 1938 as a competition between male private club golfers represented by the GAM and public course golfers represented by the Michigan Publinx Golf Association with the trophy honoring Edward Atlas, who then was a GAM Governor as well as a USGA Public Links Committee member and Detroit area public golf official.
The Women’s Atlas Trophy matches were started in 1989. Prior to 2010, the competition was conducted annually. Beginning in 2010, it became a biennial competition between women GAM members who are members of a private club, and women GAM members who do not belong to a private club.
Foursomes matches will be played Saturday morning with four-ball matches to follow in the afternoon. Individual matches are played on Sunday. One point is awarded per match with ½ point being given to each team for a halved match. If tied at the end of the competition, the team currently holding the trophy retains it.
The captains of both the “public” and “private” teams are selected by the GAM. The captains select 12 team members each, using GAM Honor Roll points and other criteria. The golf and celebration dinner are complimentary for the players with the event designed to honor those chosen for the teams.
The Private team leads the series 13-9 with two ties. The 2014 tie was just the second in history. The Public team retained the cup in 2014 because of its previous win, and the private team did the same in 1999.
Representing the Private team for Captain Jean Murray is Sarah White, Katie Childers, Veronica Haque, Elayna Bowser, Julie Guckian, Hanna Pietila, Emmie Pietila, Darci Stocker, Terry Delcamp, Donna Benford, Joan Garety and Barb Schmid.
Representing the Public team for Captain Cynthia Pinkard is Audrey Akins, Susan Campbell, Nichole Cox, Anika Dy, Pader Her, Hannah Lewis, Avery Rochester, Gabrielle Shipley, Sarah Shipley, Kaitlyn Watkins, Megan Watkins and Shelly Weiss.
More information is available at www.gam.org.
VIA Greg Johnson