Historic Klinger Lake Country Club Hosting 30th GAM Women’s Championship

  STURGIS – Klinger Lake Country Club,  which opened its first nine holes just over 100 years ago, is hosting a Golf Association of Michigan tournament for the first time.

  The top amateur women golfers in the state will converge near the Michigan-Indiana border to compete in two rounds of stroke play in the 30th GAM Women’s Championship Monday and Tuesday.

  Klinger Lake CC, then called St. Joseph County Country Club, was formed by 50 charter members in 1920.  A nine-hole course was opened in 1921 overlooking Klinger Lake that was designed by golf professional Maurice “Maurie” Wells, who sidelined in club making and course design.

  Wells worked primarily as a golf professional in West Michigan, including 44 years at Cascade Hills Country Club in Grand Rapids. A second nine holes, the back nine, opened in 1931 and Scotsman James Millar, then the head golf pro at Klinger Lake, is credited with the design.

   Today the course plays a maximum 6,266 yards and a minimum of 5,188 yards and rolls naturally with the hilly land like most courses built 100 years ago. A creek that feeds into Klinger Lake is in play at points in the early holes, and small, crowned greens demand precise iron play.  Some elevation changes provide more challenge with a few “blind” tee shots.

  Located between White Pigeon and Sturgis on U.S. 12 near the Michigan-Indiana border, it’s a private facility. Pat Hagerty is the PGA Professional and Rick Freske is the course superintendent.

  Last year at Muskegon Country Club, Highland’s Julia Stevenson shot a pair of 71s to win the 29th GAM Women’s Championship and the Betty Richart Trophy by three shots over Anika Dy, a University of Michigan golfer from Traverse City. Stevenson has since turned professional and isn’t eligible to defend her title.

  The recent Michigan Women’s Amateur champion Kimberly Dinh of Midland did not enter due to her work schedule with Dow Chemical.

  Mikaela Schulz, a University of Michigan golfer from West Bloomfield, is in the field heading a large contingent of top collegiate players. She was runner-up to Dinh in the Michigan Women’s Amateur.

  Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll of Haslett, the winner earlier this summer of an unprecedented 11th GAM Women’s Mid-Amateur title, is in the field. The head women’s golf coach at Michigan State University is also a former GAM Champion having won in 1998. Her daughter Olivia Stoll, who is headed to Grand Valley State University to continue her golf career, is also entered.

  Veronica Haque of Rochester Hills and Oakland University, the stroke play medalist at the Women’s Amateur, is in the field, as is the recent Michigan Girls’ Junior State Amateur winner Lauren Timpf, who is 14 and earlier this week won the GAM 14-and-under Match Play title for the second consecutive year. Also playing is six-time GAM Senior Women’s Player of the Year Julie Massa of Holt.