Washtenaw Golf Club Hosting GAM Junior Kickoff
YPSILANTI – For the second consecutive year Washtenaw Golf Club, the third oldest golf course in Michigan, will host many of the state’s best young golfers in the GAM Junior Kickoff Championship Monday and Tuesday.
A field of 153 boy and girl junior golfers playing in four divisions based on age and gender will play in the tournament designed to give junior golfers some additional early season competition 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 for the GAM Junior Kickoff will start at 7 a.m. each day with a single-tee start and COVID-19 precautions in place, including digital scoring, pre-packaged food and all contestants walking and not using caddies.
Washtenaw opened in 1899 and has evolved over the years into a 6,512-yard classic parkland style golf course featuring narrow tree-lined fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and quick, undulating greens.
Earlier this year a new ownership group headed by Michigan Golf Hall of Fame player and golf instructor Dave Kendall took the reins of the historic golf club that remains open to the public.
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 original founders persuaded a local farmer to let them stick three empty tomato cans in his freshly cut hay field west of the city and invited their friends over for a game of golf. The event was a success, and 15 men from Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor formed the Washtenaw Country Club in Ypsilanti Township a year later. Eventually, the sheep that grazed on the greens were replaced with lawnmowers and the tomato cans with golf holes, and the small hay field became a club.
Kendall announced in the spring that some restaurant/banquet remodeling would be undertaken and promised a quality course condition.
The GAM Junior Kickoff, established as a new GAM championship in 2019, launches the golf season for junior players.
In the first year last April, August Meekhof of Allendale, Sophie Stevens of Highland, Max VanderMolen of Richland, and Kate Brody of Grand Blanc were crowned age group champions. Stevens, VanderMolen and Brody are returning to the field.