GAM Goes As Volunteers Go
Posted by Greg Johnson on Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Golf Association of Michigan goes as its volunteers go.

And they keep going.

The recent GAM Volunteer Day at Country Club of Jackson centered around golf and was presented to honor the 250 or so volunteers who help the GAM run tournaments, recruit more members, help the GAM Foundation raise money for Youth on Course, rate golf courses, and more, much more.

In my seventh year of working with the GAM as a contract employee I’ve made many friends among the volunteers and learned that it simply doesn’t work without them.

The Golf Association of Michigan is the volunteers, including the current president Chris Angott right down to the person who works maybe one tournament a year at their club.

Ken Hartmann, the senior director of rules and competitions for the GAM, had people introduce themselves, tell others how they got involved with the GAM and share stories at the GAM Volunteer Day lunch.

The striking thing was how many came on board through not just love of golf, but via a friend who told them they were needed and that they would be great for the organization.

My cart partner for the day, Bill Latta, was a rookie volunteer this year. He is 68, but looks much younger, plays a good game of golf and said he thoroughly enjoyed the Volunteer Day. ... View this Post.

#GAM 100 Year In Full Swing
Posted by Greg Johnson on Saturday, August 3, 2019

FARMINGTON HILLS – The GAM road in July, as expected, was a busy one that cemented a theme.

As the association celebrates 100 years it is clear it is reaching a more diverse set of golfers and simply more people who identify as golfers than ever before in its history.

The travels over the month included the GAM Women’s Mid-Am at the Polo Fields in Ann Arbor, the Net Team at Grosse Ile Golf & CC, the GAM Women’s Championship at Saginaw CC, the Junior Stroke Play at Forest Akers in East Lansing, the 14-and-under Match Play at Woodside near East Lansing, the Women’s Four-Ball at Owosso CC and the Junior State Amateur at Bedford Valley near Battle Creek.

It was a month of women and juniors, some elite, some with high handicap indexes, primarily following a month of men and seniors with much more coming in August and September.

Check out and the Championship tabs to get an idea of what all is offered by the game in simply the tournament structure. That doesn’t include the Golf Days, the Course Rating, the seminars, handicap work, membership offerings and so much more that goes on with the GAM. ... View this Post.

Just Call Me Jack: Mr. Nicklaus Makes Things Special for the GAM
Posted by Greg Johnson on Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Just Call Me Jack: Mr. Nicklaus Makes Things Special For GAM

Jack Nicklaus wasn’t the master of ceremonies, but he proved once again he is the master of working ceremonies.

He made everybody smile. ... View this Post.

Professional At “Werk”
Posted by Greg Johnson on Friday, May 17, 2019

Tom Werkmeister described it as cautiously anxious to do better.

That’s the current state of his golf game.

Werkmeister, one of Michigan’s most successful amateur golfers of the last 20 years and a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member, turned professional just over a year ago and embarked with a goal to make it on the PGA Tour Champions.

Call it a work in practice with the cautiously anxious thing going on.

The Grandville resident showed some back-home flash earning medalist honors at the recent U.S. Senior Open qualifier at Battle Creek Country Club. ... View this Post.

Allyson Geer-Park Believes Augusta National Women’s Amateur Will Impact Golf
Posted by Greg Johnson on Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Brighton’s Allyson Geer-Park, a two-time Michigan Women’s Amateur champion and a star for Michigan State University, returned home from playing in the first Augusta National Women’s Amateur and called it a really cool and wonderful experience.

“I learned so much just being part of it,” she said. “I think Augusta National being part of the tournament does a lot for women’s golf. It’s another door open that wasn’t open before.”

Geer-Park missed the 36-hole cut in the historic 54-hole tournament with rounds of 74 and 76, and thus was limited to just a practice round on the Augusta National course on the Friday before the final round was played on the famous stage.

“I did play 1-under through Amen Corner, and I birdied 13, which is every bit as beautiful as anyone can imagine,” she said. “I think that’s my favorite hole now, especially with the birdie. ... View this Post.

Dusty Clippings Reveal History of GAM Legend Chuck Kocsis
Posted by Greg Johnson on Monday, April 1, 2019

It was a newspaper clipping encased in a plastic sleeve and found in a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame archives box.

It was about Chuck Kocsis winning his first Michigan Amateur Championship at age 17 in 1930 at Belvedere Golf Club in Charlevoix, which made him the youngest winner of the championship at that time. He remains the youngest winner, by the way, all these 89 years later.

It was the first time the championship was presented at Belvedere, which would go on to be an annual host from 1963 to 1988 and has hosted the championship 40 times in all.

Kocsis, one of three brothers who are in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, is heralded in history as Michigan’s version of golf legend Bobby Jones.

On that day, just after his junior year at Redford High School, he topped James D. ... View this Post.

Your Questions & Answers About the GAM’s Transition to the GHIN Handicap Software
Posted by Susan Smiley on Thursday, December 14, 2017

Since the GAM announced in October that it was joining the ranks of some 79 other state and regional golf associations by adopting the USGA’s Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) software system, we have had a lot of questions from our members. I wanted to take time today to answer some of the questions I’ve received from various members as I am certain many other members might also be looking for answers to those very same questions.

The transfer to GHIN begins Jan. 1, 2018!

Q: If I already have a GHIN number in another state, will I have the same GHIN number with GAM?

A: Yes. ... View this Post.

Course Rating - Obstacles Worth Considering
Posted by Kyle Wolfe on Thursday, September 28, 2017

Written by Mark Bultema, Chairmen of the GAM Course Rating Committee

On a normal Course Rating day we raters evaluate golf course obstacles like trees, water hazards, OB, extreme rough and similar features that make a golf course unique. Ona recent adventure to Mackinac Island I was treated to a few new obstacles I have never seen or rated before. ... View this Post.

The Joy of Amateur Golf
Posted by Susan Smiley on Friday, August 18, 2017

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had the privilege of helping at some events that really emphasized the reasons I enjoy being part of amateur golf in Michigan.

The GAM held its annual Caddie Championship at Walnut Creek Country Club in late July and I was on scoreboard duty. It was so much fun to see the teams come into the clubhouse after their rounds and gather around the scoreboard to see how they stacked up against the competition. ... View this Post.

Batter Up and Help Youth on Course
Posted by Susan Smiley on Thursday, May 11, 2017

As I write this blog, more than 700 young golfers are registered for Youth on Course in the state of Michigan. We hope that this great, national program that allows its members to play golf for $5 or less at participating courses grows by leaps and bounds in the coming years. ... View this Post.