Written By: Greg Johnson
EAST LANSING – Forest Akers East Golf Course, one of two championship courses on the campus of Michigan State University, will play host to the 15th GAM Junior Stroke Play Championship presented by Absopure Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 2-3.
It is the seventh consecutive year that Forest Akers East as hosted the age group championship for boy and girl golfers in age divisions 13-15 and 12-and-under.
The tournament is designed for young players to gain competitive experience in GAM tournaments over two days. Players are allowed to play up a division if they choose. The 13-15 players play 36 holes of stroke play, 18 holes each day, while the 12-and-under golfers play nine holes each day.
Forest Akers East is the lesser known of the two golf courses at Michigan State, but especially suited for young golfers. Many of the players will play it often as they move on to high school golf as both the West and East course host regional and state tournaments.
The East Course, founded in 1958, was redesigned in 1997 by Arthur Hills, and changed from a par 71 to par 72. Numerous trees and bunkers were also added for strategic enhancements. The most extensive improvement was the addition of the new Golf Center, which includes equipment, food service and other amenities.
Bryan Harris is the PGA professional at Forest Akers and Ron Lewis the superintendent. More information about Forest Akers East can be found at msuspartans.com.
The GAM Junior Stroke Play is a proven training ground. Two-time Michigan Women’s Amateur champion and 2018 GAM Women’s Champion, Allyson Geer of Brighton, cited the stroke play tournament as her first significant win in Michigan. U.S. Amateur champion James Piot of Canton and Andrew Walker of Battle Creek, both professional golfers, are also on the list of past champions.
Last year, Max VanderMolen of Richland and Lauren Timpf of Macomb each won the championship for the second time, and in the 12-and-under age groups Saisha Patil of Okemos won the girls’ title for the second consecutive year while Tommy Preston of Grand Rapids won the boys’ title by five shots. Patil and Preston are returning to play in the championship.