Macatawa Golf Club Hosting 71st Men’s Atlas Trophy Matches

HOLLAND – Macatawa Golf Club and its golf course designed by award-winning architect Raymond Hearn will host many of the state’s top amateur golfers on teams from the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) and Michigan Publinx Golf Association (MPGA) that will square off in the 71st Atlas Trophy Matches Saturday and Sunday.

  The two 12-man teams will square off in the historic series in four-ball (best-ball), foursomes (alternate shot) and singles matches to decide the winner of the Atlas Trophy.

  Hearn, a Detroit native who bases his international golf course design and renovation business out of Holland, created a challenging championship layout near the shores of Lake Michigan in 2005.

  Weather elements have an impact on play each day, especially wind off the big lake. The course features five sets of tees ranging from 5,000 yards to over 7,000 yards, large, fast undulating greens, strategically placed bunkers and some unique water features.

  Hearn fit the golf course to the natural characteristics of the land it is built upon and created holes with multiple angles and strategic options for the golfer to take on. He calls it a golf experience unique to Michigan golf.

  The course, built before the surrounding Eastbrook community was developed, is part of the RedWater-owned group of courses in West Michigan and the semiprivate club has various membership options while offering public play, too.

  John Kuenzli is the director of golf and Kevin Haack is the golf course superintendent.

  The GAM Team will look to retain the cup from its 15.5 – 8. 50 victory in the 70th Atlas Trophy Matches at Black Lake Golf Club in Onaway in 2019.

  It marked the sixth consecutive time the GAM has won or retained the trophy in the historic biennial competition and pushed the GAM’s all-time lead to 47-20-3.

  The series of matches originated in 1938 as a competition between private club golfers represented by the GAM and public course golfers represented by the MPGA with the trophy honoring Edward Atlas, who then was a GAM Governor as well as a USGA Public Links Committee member and Detroit area public golf official.

  Prior to 2010, the competition was conducted annually except for World War II years, and historically, private club players competed against public course players. Beginning in 2011, however, it became a biennial competition between GAM member golfers regardless of their course or club affiliation and members of the MPGA.

   The GAM and MPGA each select a captain, who then selects 12 team members by using GAM Honor Roll points, MPGA Honor Roll points and other criteria. The golf is complimentary for the players with the event designed to honor those chosen for the teams.

  The GAM is represented this year by Nathan Clark, Peter Farner, Doug Hoey, Carter Housler, David LeVan, Brian Hayward, PJ Maybank III, Evan McDermott, Lorenzo Pinili, Tyler Rayman, Justin Sui and Jack Zubkus.

  The MPGA is represented this year by Eric Autio, Chris Bailey, TJ Brickkey, Mitchell Bazinski, Leo Daigle, Greg Davies, Cameron Nelson, David Praet, John Quigley, Andrew Smith, Larry Sterling and Tony Vrana.

  Foursomes matches will be played Saturday morning with four-ball matches to follow in the afternoon. Individual matches are played on Sunday. One point is awarded per match with ½ point being given to each team for a halved match.  If tied at the end of the competition, the team currently holding the trophy retains it.