Washtenaw Golf Club Hosting Fourth GAM Junior Kickoff
YPSILANTI – For the fourth 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 Pepsi Saturday and Sunday.
A field of boy and girl junior golfers playing in four divisions based on age and gender 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. Play will start at 8 a.m. each day with a single tee start.
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 award-winning 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 Drew Miller of East Lansing and Sophie Stevens of Highland, a pair of then 15-year-olds, emerged as overall winners of the GAM Junior Kickoff.
For Miller it was a first-time win playing in the upper age division against 16-to-18-year-old players, and Stevens won among the older age players for the second time. She won the 2019 15-and-under title at age 13.
Mason Sokolowski of Northville and Mia Melendez of Ann Arbor won the 15-and-under titles a year ago.