DETROIT – Before Detroit Golf Club hosts the return to Michigan of the PGA Tour next June, the historic club will host the Golf Association of Michigan’s Tournament of Champions Monday.
A field of 77 golfers, 58 men and 19 women, all eligible for having won a GAM member club championship or a GAM title during the 2018 golf season, will play a final 18-hole stroke play tournament to determine male and female champions. The men will play the North course and the women will play the South course.
Legendary architect Donald Ross designed two courses, or 36 holes, at Detroit Golf Club, which was founded in 1899 and featured the Ross-designed courses by 1918. The South course currently plays to 6,098 yards and the North course plays to 7,013 yards.
Detroit Golf Club will host the Rocket Mortgage Classic next June 24-30, marking the first tour event within the city limits and the first PGA Tour event since the Buick Open left Warwick Hills in Grand Blanc in 2009.
The club is a focal point of golf history in the state, including the Albert Kahn-designed clubhouse that was completed 100 years ago in 1918, and of course the 36 holes originally designed by Ross.
In addition, golf legend Horton Smith who won 32 PGA Tour events in the tour’s infancy, won the first Masters Tournament as well as the third, and was unbeaten in five Ryder Cup appearances, was the head golf professional from 1946 until his death in 1963 following his military service during World War II. The PGA of America, which he served as a president in the 1950s, continues to name national and section awards for golf education in his honor. In addition, the club hosts the annual Horton Smith Invitational each spring and invites the elite male golfers from across the state.
Detroit Golf Club has been a standout member of the GAM and hosted several championships in its history. Derek Jacques is the general manager, Jon Gates the head golf professional and Jake Mendoza the golf course superintendent. For more information on the private club see detroitgolfclub.org.
David Praet of Lake Orion and Indianwood Golf & Country Club, the defending men’s champion, and Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll of Haslett, the GAM Women’s Mid-Amateur champion and defending women’s champion, head this year’s field. Also in the field are recent GAM Mid-Amateur champion Scott Strickland of West Bloomfield and Julie Massa of Holt, who last week won the GAM Senior Tournament of Champions title.