Greg Davies (West Bloomfield) will return to Boyne Highlands Resort – The Heather next week at the 100th Michigan Amateur Championship to try and recapture his victory mojo. Davies won the Michigan Amateur Championship there in 2006, the last time the Michigan Amateur was played on that course.
“I’m glad to be going back because it is a great golf course and a great area of the state,” said Davies. “There is more of a magical feel up there and just a lot of history.”
It isn’t just his past success that draws Davies to The Heather. He embraces all of its challenging greens and fairways that require not only that you grip it and rip it, but that you know how to use golf strategy and finesse.
“It is unique in that it is not a bomber’s paradise,” said Davies. “There are a lot of par 4s where you have to hit the corners which will take away from guys hitting 300-plus down the middle.”
Davies describes The Heather’s infamous greens as “fun” and says they are somewhat of a puzzle to be solved. What he most enjoys about the course is the variety of situations one encounters over the course of 18 holes.
“It is really a great golf course in that you do have some long holes where length will serve you well but there is also a lot of strategy where you have to go left-to-right or right-to-left and you have to know where to miss around the greens,” said Davies. “And the view from the 18th tee box is enough to make anyone swallow hard.”
Last year’s Michigan Amateur was won by the then 18-year-old Joey Garber (Petoskey) who will be back to defend his title this year. Davies knows that college players now are playing at a higher skill level than they were 20 years ago when he was in college. He hopes to counter that next week with a strong mental approach.
“I don’t think that my golf strategy has changed over the years but golf has changed,” said Davies. “The younger guys all hit the ball further than they did when I was that age. Young gofers now are athletes where when I was that age, if you were an athlete you were playing football or baseball or basketball. You weren’t playing golf.”
No matter what happens at Boyne Highlands Resort – The Heather next week, Davies will relish the time spent at one of his favorite golf courses and at such a prestigious and historic event.
“I feel honored to be a past champion and to be part of all of the festivities,” said Davies.