HOLLAND – Macatawa Golf Club and its golf course designed by award-winning architect Raymond Hearn will host many of the state’s top amateur women golfers Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 1-2, in the 12th GAM Women’s Four-Ball Championship presented by Pepsi.
Macatawa, which last year hosted the Atlas Trophy Matches for men, shares its course with 37 two-golfer teams of women playing four-ball or best-ball stroke play over 36 holes with rounds Monday and Tuesday. Championship teams will be determined in the Overall Division (ages 49-and-under) and the Senior Division (50-and-over).
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.
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.
Last year at the Polo Fields Golf & Country Club in Ann Arbor Terry Delcamp of Grand Blanc was holding the trophy once again for the Senior Division.
Delcamp and Michigan Golf Hall of Famer Joan Garety of Ada had won the Senior Women’s Four-Ball Championship division five times consecutively prior to last year’s tournament and six times in the previous seven years, but Garety missed last year’s event for a family wedding. In stepped Garety’s former Michigan State University teammate from years ago, Suzanne Conlin of Ann Arbor, and Delcamp was back in the winner’s circle once again with Conlin.
Delcamp and Garety are back as a team for this year’s tournament.
Meanwhile, Amaya Melendez and her sister Mia, who played for the first time as partners in a tournament, won on their home course last year. They are not returning to defend, but some sister teams are playing this year including Maggie and Annie Pietila of Brighton, Sophie and Hannah Hauser of East Lansing and Averie and Olivia Pumford of Freeland.
The gross winners’ names in the Overall and Senior Divisions are inscribed on the tournament trophy, which his named The Garety/Hiestand Trophy in honor of Garety and fellow Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Mary Jane Hiestand, who now lives in Florida.