Link to championship page, results, photo gallery: Net Team
BIRMINGHAM – Birmingham Country Club, which celebrated its centennial in 2016 and completed $8 million in renovations, will host a special foursome on Wednesday to help complete the 29th GAM Net Team Championship conducted in two parts earlier this summer at Grosse Ile Golf & Country Club.
Ron Blackmore of Lake Orion and Kevin Renaud of Sylvan Lake won the Morning Round at Grosse Ile on July 8, and Donald Stephanic of Clarkston and Ken Young of Shelby Township won the Afternoon Round in the championship presented by Michigan Golf Live. Those two championship teams are meeting at Birmingham CC.
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 according to club history.
The original clubhouse was a farmhouse on Northlawn Road across from the 18th fairway. It was eventually replaced by a wood-frame clubhouse built on land that is now near the putting green. Membership grew, and on March 30, 1930, just after the stock market crash, the current English-style clubhouse was opened.
Legendary architect Donald Ross made suggestions for Birmingham’s golf course in 1920, but it was Tom Bendlelow who designed it in 1911. Bendlelow laid out the first nine holes in 1916 and finished the second nine in 1920. The course was remodeled in 1928, and was again revamped in the 1930s, when golf course architect and five-time Indiana Amateur champion, William Diddell, redesigned it. Prior to BCC hosting the PGA Championship in 1953, Robert Trent Jones worked on it, and noted course architects Bruce and Jerry Matthews worked on it again in 1963.
Improvements completed since fall of 2014 include a course redesign by Bruce Hepner, course irrigation and drainage systems, bunker additions and renovations, and complete changes in turf varieties.
As for this week’s final foursome, Blackmore and Renaud shot a combined net 11-under 60 to take the first-place trophies in the morning wave of 33 teams at Grosse Ile. Kalsi Tapinder of Canton and Michael Lam of Northville shot 62 for second-place honors.
In the afternoon, Stephanic and Young fired a 62 to win the trophies and best 33 more teams. Angelo Fileccia of Brownstown and Chris Badgley of Trenton shot 63 for second place.
-Greg Johnson, [email protected]