Written By: Greg Johnson
BIRMINGHAM – Birmingham Country Club and its classic course will host several of Michigan’s best golfers in the 51st Fuller Cup Matches on Monday.
Top amateur golfers representing the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) and top professionals representing the Michigan Section PGA square off in a Ryder Cup-like format with six four-ball matches and 12 singles matches to determine a winning team. FootJoy and Levelwear are the clothing sponsors.
Birmingham CC, which is hosting the Fuller Cup matches for the third time (1990, 2018), has completed significant renovations in recent years.
The club was founded in 1916 by six local businessmen who purchased a farm of 161 acres that featured rolling land with trees, hills, valleys and a winding stream. Their original intent was to create a real-estate development, but the natural beauty of the site persuaded them to build a golf course instead.
Legendary golf course designer Tom Bendelow laid out the first nine holes in 1916 and finished the second nine in 1920. Prior to the club hosting the national PGA Championship in 1953, Robert Trent Jones did some renovation work on the course, and father-son Michigan architects Bruce and Jerry Matthews worked on the course in 1963.
Improvements completed since fall of 2014 include a course redesign by Bruce Hepner, new irrigation and drainage systems, bunker additions and renovations and complete changes in turf varieties.
Learn more about Birmingham CC at bhamcc.com.
Last year at Red Run Golf Club in Royal Oak, the GAM team topped the PGA for a fifth consecutive time. The GAM’s 12 ½ – 5 ½ victory in the Ryder Cup-like format pulled the state’s top amateur golfers closer in the all-time series that the PGA dominated prior to 2001 and leads 35-13-2.
Representing the PGA this year are John Seltzer of Egypt Valley Country Club in Ada, Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills Country Club, Jim Deiters of Midland Country Club, Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club, Kyle Dobbs of Tap-Ins Golf in Howell, Jeff Roth of BOYNE Golf, Matt Thompson, head golf coach at Hillsdale College, Dan Urban of Gull Lake Country Club, David Drisko, the host head professional at Birmingham CC, Kosta Ramirez of the Mines Golf Club in Grand Rapids, Patrick Wilkes-Krier of Kendall Academy in Ypsilanti and Tim Pearce of Birmingham Country Club.
Representing the GAM are Chad Johnson of Farmington Hills, Lorenzo Pinili of Rochester Hills and Michigan State University, David LeVan of Ann Arbor, Mike Anderson of Northville, Matt Zerbel of St. Joseph, Chet VandenBerg of Portage, August Meekhof of Eastmanville and Michigan State, Bradley Smithson of Grand Rapids and Michigan State, Greg Davies of West Bloomfield, Jared Lyons of Portage, Charles DeLong of DeWitt and Nick Krueger of Spring Lake and Grand Valley State University.
The format has changed over the years, but the matches are presented to promote sportsmanship, friendship and quality golf among professionals and amateurs. The matches are named for the late Ernest Fuller, a Michigan golf course developer. The GAM team is selected through the use of the GAM Honor Roll and availability, and the PGA selects its team from the players who won Section events in the last year, the host Professional and its Player of the Year Points.
Find more information on the Golf Association of Michigan at GAM.org. Find more information on the Michigan PGA at michiganpga.com.
Follow the matches at: https://mipga.bluegolf.com/…/event/mipga2379/index.htm?
FULLER CUP PAIRINGS
Note: GAM team members listed first
Monday, October 9, 2023, Birmingham Country Club
MORNING FOUR-BALL MATCHES
8:30 a.m. Chad Johnson, Lorenzo Pinili vs. John Seltzer, Josh Fryer
8:40 David LeVan, Mike Anderson vs. Jim Deiters, Scott Hebert
8:50 Matt Zerbel, Chet VandenBerg vs. Kyle Dobbs, Jeff Roth
9:00 August Meekhof, Bradley Smithson vs. Matt Thompson, Dan Urban
9:10 Greg Davies, Jared Lyons vs. David Drisko, Kosta Ramirez
9:20 Charles DeLong, Nick Krueger vs. Patrick Wilkes-Krier, Tim Pearce
AFTERNOON SINGLES MATCHES
GAM vs. PGA
1 pm Chad Johnson vs. John Seltzer
1 pm Lorenzo Pinili vs. Josh Fryer
1:10 David LeVan vs. Jim Deiters
1:10 Mike Anderson vs. Scott Hebert
1:20 Matt Zerbel vs. Kyle Dobbs
1:20 Chet VandenBerg vs. Jeff Roth
1:30 August Meekhof vs. Matt Thompson
1:30 Bradley Smithson vs. Dan Urban
1:40 Greg Davies vs. David Drisko
1:40 Jared Lyons vs. Kosta Ramirez
1:50 Charlie DeLong vs. Patrick Wilkes Krier
1:50 Nick Krueger vs. Tim Pearce