Washtenaw Golf Club Hosting Inaugural GAM Junior Kickoff Championship

  YPSILANTI – Washtenaw Golf Club, the third oldest golf course in Michigan, will host many of the state’s best young golfers in the first GAM Junior Kickoff Championship Saturday and Sunday.

  A field of 86 boy and girl junior golfers playing in four divisions based on age and gender will play in the tournament designed to give junior golfers some additional early season competition opportunities.

  The format is 36-holes of stroke play over two days and boy and girl champions will be crowned in 15-and-under and 16-18 categories. Play will start at Noon on Saturday, and Sunday’s round is a double-tee start at 8 a.m.

   Washtenaw opened in 1899 and has evolved over the years into a 6,512-yard classic parkland style golf course featuring narrow tree-lined fairways, strategically placed bunkers and quick, undulating greens.

  The course has a rich tournament history, including hosting the 1927 Michigan Amateur Championship, and many major events since for both the Golf Association of Michigan and the Michigan PGA.

  The original founders Cora Henry, I. Newton Swift and Daniel L. Quirk Jr. persuaded a local farmer to let them stick three empty tomato cans in his freshly cut hay field west of the city and invited their friends over for a game of golf. The event was a success, and 15 men from Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor formed the Washtenaw Country Club in Ypsilanti Township a year later. Eventually, the sheep that grazed on the greens were replaced with lawnmowers and the tomato cans with golf holes, and the small hay field became a club.

-Greg Johnson, greg.johnson@emailgam.org