Hidden River Golf & Casting Club Hosting 24th GAM Women’s Senior Championship

  BRUTUS – The Maple River is hidden from golfers for the most part at Hidden River Golf & Casting Club, but they find a great course to play along the way.

  A field of 65 senior women age 50-plus will compete in a flighted championship over 36 holes and two days of stroke play Monday and Tuesday to determine a champion. Gross and net prizes will also be awarded in the flights.

  The original owners at Hidden River called on W. Bruce Matthews III of Michigan’s prolific family of golf designers to build a golf course on rolling scenic woodlands split by about one mile of the winding Maple River.

  With great care taken not to disturb the top trout stream and fly-fishing destination, Matthews consulted with state and local authorities as well as environmental experts while designing the 18-hole resort style course. It is a member of the celebrated Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program.

  The Maple River can be seen dramatically from the clubhouse and Rainbow Room restaurant, but on the course only from hole No. 9 tee and green. Thus the name Hidden River came about and it has been winning awards since opening. It is a regular on the Golfweek Best Courses You Can Play lists, both nationally at 125 recently and among the top 10 in Michigan.

  Towering pines line some holes, various hardwoods surround others while others roll through meadows and comfortably away from marsh areas. Matthews made carry shots minimal in his plan to create a playable, fun golf course. It has some generously sized fairways and can be played up to 7,101 yards, but also as short as 4,787 yards with five tee choices on each hole. The greens are big enough to offer various set-up options and can be difficult to play for golfers depending on the hole location.

  John and Becky Duffey are new owners of Hidden River. Matt Shalhoup is the head golf professional and the superintendent is Joe Balles.

 Last year at Harbor Point Golf Club in Harbor Springs, Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Joan Garety of Ada won her fifth GAM Women’s Senior title at age 63. She held off two-time winner Terry Delcamp of Grand Blanc by one shot.

  Garety, who won in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2016 and last year, and Delcamp, the winner in 2014 and 2015, are among seven former champions in this year’s field. The others are 2018 champion Shelly Weiss of Southfield, 2017 winner Julie Massa of Holt, 2011 and 2005 champion Barb Schmid of Grand Rapids, Sue Campbell of Kalamazoo, who won in 2008, 2007 and 2004, and Maureen Whitehead of Charlevoix, who won in 2002 and 2003.