ANN ARBOR – Barton Hills Country Club and its classic Donald Ross-designed golf course will host one of the most popular tournaments of the golf season when it welcomes the 35th GAM Senior Championship on Tuesday and Wednesday.
A field of 156 golfers ages 55-plus, many of them multiple-time champions of various tournaments over the years, will play 36 holes of stroke play to determine an overall Senior champion and a Super Senior Champion for those over age 65.
The Barton Hills course was restored to the original architectural roots with added length in 2012. The club invested over $1 million in the project without member assessment.
Barton Hills has a rich tradition of hosting tournaments, including many GAM and Michigan PGA tournaments as well as the 22nd U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in 2008 and the 98th Women’s U.S. Amateur in 1998. It has also previously hosted the GAM Senior/Mid-Am Team Championship finals.
The private facility has a veteran golf staff led by Pat Markley, the head golf professional, and Andrew Christesen, the superintendent. The course measures 7,146 yards from the championship tees. Find more information at bartonhillscc.com.
Six former GAM Senior champions, including defending champion Gregg Bonamici of Grosse Ile, are in the field, and the recent U.S. Senior Amateur runner-up, Jerry Gunthorpe of Ovid, is also competing.
The former champions joining Bonamici include Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Steve Maddalena of Jackson, the 2019 champion, 2018 champion David Bartnick of Livonia, five-time winner and Hall of Famer Bill Zylstra of Dearborn Heights, who despite being over 65 is still competing in the Senior division, two-time champion Ian Harris of Bloomfield Hills, who is also over 65 but opting to play for the Senior title, and 2007 winner Mike Fedewa of Canton, who is playing in the Super Senior competition.
Last year Bonamici survived a two-hole sudden-death playoff with John Barbour of Grand Rapids to win the title at Belvedere Golf Club in Charlevoix. Rick Herpich of Orchard Lake won the Super Senior title for the second time and returns to defend as well.
Gunthorpe lost in the title match of the U.S. Senior Amateur just a few weeks ago at Country Club of Detroit to Gene Elliott of West Des Moines, Iowa (1-up). He finished fifth in the GAM Senior at Belvedere last year.