Written By: Greg Johnson
FLINT – The classic Willie Park Jr.-designed course at Flint Golf Club has hosted legends and championships for over a century, as well as many Golf Association of Michigan tournaments and qualifiers.
The 15th GAM Senior Match Play Championship presented by Stifel Investment Services is next, taking to the storied course Tuesday, May 30, through Friday, June 2. A field of 144 senior golfers will compete with the overall Senior (age 55-plus) championship and a Super Senior (age 65-plus) title at stake.
The field will play 18 holes on Tuesday to determine a bracket of 32 for the Senior division and a bracket of 16 for the Super Seniors. Matches will start Wednesday and continue through to Friday morning’s championship matches in each division.
Flint Golf Club dates to 1910 as a social club which opened its classic course in 1919. Park, a two-time British Open champion turned designer, fashioned a parkland golf course that has stayed true to its roots over the years. Unique to the Park design are five par-3 and five par 5 holes. Recent renovation work has rejuvenated much of Park’s original design.
Flint recently hosted the Michigan PGA Professional Championship for four years and has been a regular host to Golf Association of Michigan tournaments over the years, including the 2001 Michigan Amateur Championship. Part of the club’s history is that legend Sam Snead set the course record in June 1963 shooting a 61.
Flint Golf Club’s staff includes head PGA professional Ed Bialek, and Superintendent Jim Smedley. For more information on the club visit flintgolfclub.com.
Last year at Muskegon Country Club, Steve Maddalena of Jackson won the Jerry A. Walker Memorial Trophy for the second time. The Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member made long dramatic birdie putts on the final two holes to top Tom Gieselman of Commerce Township 1-up in the championship match.
In the Super Senior Division, Bill Zylstra of Dearborn Heights, another Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member and three-time GAM Senior Match Play champion, topped Rick Herpich of Orchard Lake 3 and 2 in that title match. Zylstra, now 71, competed in the Super Senior Division for golfers over age 65 for the first time.
Maddalena and Zylstra are defending their titles in a stellar field that includes several past overall and super senior champions including David LeVan of Ann Arbor, Rich Wilson of Portage, Kevin Klemet of White Lake, Mike Raymond of Jackson, Ray Emsley of Davisburg, Ian Harris of Bloomfield Hills, George Dillon of Midland, Larry Vaughan of Greensboro and Greg Reynolds of Linden.