FARMINGTON HILLS – When John French reached age 55 and senior golf he took on an ambitious national schedule of national tournaments, but as age 70 beckons in another month he is happy with limiting his competitive golf to a handful of Golf Association of Michigan tournaments.
“The body doesn’t respond like it did 20 years ago and I got tired of the travel,” he said. “I enjoy a few tournaments in Michigan, especially the team events.”
French, 69, a Bloomfield Hills Country Club member who also lives part of the year in Santa Monica, Calif., has been named the Michigan Super Senior Player of the Year for 2016, Ken Hartmann, senior director of rules and competitions for the GAM announced.
Super Senior points for male golfers over age 65 were tabulated in 2016 for the first time. Honorees are determined based on the GAM Honor Roll, which awards points for tournament accomplishments.
Previously, the GAM announced players of the year in other categories, including Tom Werkmeister of Grandville and Allyson Geer of Brighton as players of the year, Randy Lewis of Alma and Julie Massa of Holt as senior players of the year, and Devin Deogun of Orchard Lake and Geer as the junior players of the year. Geer was the first golfer in history to win in two categories.
The players of the year will officially receive their awards at the GAM’s annual meeting for 2017 in May.
French highlighted his season by winning the 2nd GAM Super Senior Championship last summer at Prestwick Village Golf Club. He finished the year with 150 Honor Roll points, topping Pete Saputo of Oakland Hills Country Club, who had 133 points.
Rounding out the top four were Dave Kempner of Barton Hills Country Club with 130 and Ron Perrine of Country Club of Lansing with 100. The complete Honor Roll listings can be found at gam.org.
French said he played a few of his best rounds of the summer in winning at Prestwick.
“I really didn’t do much before or after that tournament,” he said. “I did enjoy competing with John Lindholm when we won the Super Senior part of the (GAM Senior Four-Ball Championship). I think I enjoy those events the most now, and playing with or competing against a player like John Lindholm is great. He is one of my favorite people.”
ABOUT THE GAM: Founded in 1919, the Golf Association of Michigan is the governing body for amateur golf in the state. As a not-for-profit organization, the GAM’s purpose is to promote, preserve and serve the game of golf. The GAM, served by over 250 dedicated volunteers as well as nine full-time staff, provides membership to almost 60,000 golfers and more than 470 Michigan golf courses, conducts over 30 amateur championships, oversees 18 USGA qualifying events, administers the GAM/USGA Handicap System and measures and rates almost 70 courses a year for the USGA. Learn more at www.gam.org.