Washtenaw Golf Club Hosting Fifth GAM Junior Kickoff
YPSILANTI – For the fifth consecutive year Washtenaw Golf Club, one of the oldest golf courses in Michigan, will host many of the state’s best young golfers in the GAM Junior Kickoff Championship presented by Golf Digest Saturday and Sunday.
A field of boy and girl junior golfers playing in four divisions based on age will compete in the tournament designed to give junior golfers some additional early season opportunities.
The format is 36-holes of stroke play over two days and boy and girl champions will be crowned in 15-and-under and 16-18 categories.
Washtenaw opened in 1899 and has evolved over the years into a 6,512-yard classic parkland style golf course featuring tree-lined fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and quick, undulating greens.
In January of 2020 KMD Investors took the reins of the historic golf club that remains open to the public, and Michigan-based architect Raymond Hearn’s firm is performing master plan renovation and restoration projects.
Hearn’s research of the property found a rare 1930 aerial photograph he is using to bring back some of the classic golf course design features. Through his research Hearn also found at least nine holes of the design should be credited to William Herbert “Bert” Way, a golf professional and course designer from England.
The course has a rich tournament history, including hosting the 1927 Michigan Amateur Championship, and many major events since for both the Golf Association of Michigan and the Michigan PGA. The 1955 Michigan Open at Washtenaw included Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members Walter Burkemo (the champion), Horton Smith, Chick Harbert, Chuck Kocsis and John Barnum.
The Kickoff tournament, established as a new GAM championship in 2019, launches the golf season for junior players.
Last year Vibhav Alokam of Ypsilanti and Bridget Boczar of Canton emerged as champions with Ian Masih of Okemos and Alena Li of Okemos topping the 15-and-under age group competition. Alokam, Masih and Li are entered again this year while Boczar has aged out of the competition.