Written By: Greg Johnson
SOUTHFIELD – Justin Allen and Don O’Bryan are Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) members who have made the most of their GAM Golf Days this summer.
They gathered with 82 other members for one more day as Plum Hollow Country Club hosted the GAM Golf Days Series Championship presented by Dunham’s Sports Monday.
Winners, both net and gross, were determined among men, women, and senior men. The field of 84 golfers became eligible for this final championship day by having won a previous Golf Day event earlier in the season. They battled to be first again and receive a free Golf Day of their choice in 2024. Gift certificates were also awarded to other top finishers in each category.
Allen was playing in his 17th GAM Day of the year. The 39-year-old Bosch employee said he was able to play in so many events because his employer changed its vacation policy.
“If you don’t use them by the end of the year, you lose them and I had like 40 to use,” he said. “Let’s say I chose wisely and made them Golf Days.”
Allen said he learned about the Golf Days two years ago via word of mouth and started playing in them last year.
“I really enjoy coming out here and getting the opportunity to play different courses that you would otherwise never get the chance to play,” he said. “It’s been a great way to spend the summer.”
O’Bryan has been playing in GAM Golf Days for five years and he has spread the word.
“I play in the Northwest Golf League out at Glenhurst (Redford golf course), it’s one of Michigan’s oldest golf leagues and they all love to golf,” he said. “So I told the guys about Golf Days and they have signed up, too. It’s great to play the different courses. It’s like playing your own country club every week without having to be a member of a country club. I played 12 this year, and 14 or 15 last year.”
Season champions crowned Monday included Edward Zhao, who shot 72 to win the men’s gross scoring title, Stephen Wise, who shot a net 67 to win the men’s net title, Christopher Sande, who shot 75 to win the senior men’s gross title, Joe Shaffer, who shot 68 for the senior men’s net title, Rachel Bender, who shot 75 to win the women’s gross title and Peggy Westman, who shot 76 for the women’s net title. Results can be found here: gam-plumhollowcc2023gamgolfdaychampionsh.golfgenius.com
Monday’s play completed the 14th season of GAM Golf Days, a service for all GAM members that offers playing opportunities at top golf courses across the state, including private clubs, for cost-saving rates. Golf Days, all with 84 open slots, offer a casual yet competitive day of golf to all GAM members, men, and women, and provide opportunities no matter how they play the game.
Entry fees, between $60 and $100 per player, include 18 holes of golf, cart, range balls for warmup and prizes at the conclusion of the day. Each player receives their full course adjusted USGA/GAM Handicap. Players must have an active USGA/GAM Handicap to be eligible in the Net Division.
Dan Kunert, Golf Day director for the GAM, reported 22 GAM Golf Days were presented this season and 1,746 rounds were played by over 600 GAM member golfers.
Kunert called it a great year of Golf Days.
“We had a great response, found some new golfers and the courses were welcoming,” he said.
He said the one day that stood out was at Sunnybrook Country Club in Hudsonville.
“We had some faces from West Michigan we don’t see as often and I think the course surprised the golfers who had never been there before,” he said.