Written By: Greg Johnson
BIG RAPIDS – Katke Golf Course at Ferris State University serves a wide audience in golf, and this weekend it is hosting the Golf Association of Michigan’s 31st Women’s Atlas Trophy Matches.
Many of the top women golfers in the state representing private golf clubs and public venues will make up two teams and play a Ryder Cup-style competition.
Katke serves as home to Ferris State University’s landmark Professional Golf Management Program. It also serves the golfing students of FSU as well as serves as the home of the Ferris State men’s and women’s NCAA Division II golf teams.
In addition, it is the home of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in its indoor/outdoor award winning practice facility, the Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center.
It features 21 holes of golf, on the highest point in Mecosta County on a rolling landscape with a blend of links-style and tree-lined holes, and was designed by Indiana-based Robert Beard. The course plays to 6,967 yards maximum with five tee position options.
Katke Golf Course has received multiple awards including being named a Top 100 Golf Practice Facility in America by Golf Range Magazine and being chosen as the Mecosta County People’s Choice Award for favorite golf range and favorite course.
Brian Corwin, a 1996 Professional Golf Management graduate of FSU, is the head golf professional and Tony Geib is the superintendent.
The Women’s Atlas Trophy matches, named for the late Edward Atlas, a noted golf leader in Michigan, were first played in 1989 and have become a competition between women GAM members who are members of a private club, and GAM members who do not belong to a private club. The matches are unique in that teams are made up of golfers of all ages, including seniors and juniors.
Foursomes matches are slated for Saturday morning with four-ball matches to follow in the afternoon. Individual matches are played on Sunday. One point is awarded per match with ½ point being given to each team for a halved match. If tied at the end of the competition, the team currently holding the trophy retains it.
The captains of both the “Public” and “Private” teams are selected by the GAM. The captains select 12 team members each, using GAM Honor Roll points and other criteria.
The Private team leads the series 16-11 with three ties after a 16-8 win last year at Marshall Country Club.
Players planning to play for the Public Team, which is captained by Cynthia Pinkard, are Alissa Fish, Grace Wang, Laura Bavaird, Laura Liu, Lauren Timpf, Amaya Melendez, Kathy Stellema, Megha Vallabhaneni, Olivia Hemmila, Shelly Weiss and Susan Campbell.
Representing the Private Team, which is captained by Jean Murray, are Chelsea Collura, Donna Benford, Donna Tepper, Elise Fennell, Grace Slocum, Kimberly Dinh, Lillian O’Grady, Lily Bargamian, Macie Elzinga, Mia Melendez and Mikaela Schulz.