EAST LANSING – Forest Akers East Golf Course, one of two championship courses on the campus of Michigan State University, will play host to the 11th GAM Junior Stroke Play Championship presented by Pepsi Thursday and Friday.
It is the third consecutive year that Forest Akers East as hosted the age group championship for boy and girl golfers in age divisions 13-15 and 12-and-under. The tournament is designed for young players to gain competitive experience in GAM tournaments over two days. Players are allowed to play up a division if they choose. The 13-15 players play 36 holes of stroke play, 18 holes each day, while the 12-and-under golfers play nine holes each day.
Forest Akers East is the lesser known of the two golf courses at Michigan State, but especially suited for young golfers. Many of the players will play it often as they move on to high school golf as both the West and East course host regional and state tournaments.
The East Course, founded in 1958, was redesigned in 1997 by Arthur Hills, and changed from a par 71 to par 72. Numerous trees and bunkers were also added for strategic enhancements. The most extensive improvement was the addition of the new Golf Center, which includes equipment, food service and other amenities.
The tournament is a proven training ground. Two-time Michigan Women’s Amateur champion and 2018 GAM Women’s Champion, Allyson Geer of Brighton and now the Michigan State golf team, cites the stroke play tournament as her first significant win in Michigan. James Piot of Canton, the reigning GAM Champion, and Andrew Walker of Battle Creek, both current Michigan State golfers, are also on the list of past champions.
Last year Tyler Hurtubise of Essex in Canada and Lilia Henkel of Grand Rapids won the overall titles in the 13-15 age group. Winners in the 12-and under ranks included Griffin Mawson of Traverse City and Georgia Bosart of Clarkston. Hurtubise and Henkel have moved on to the older junior ranks, while Mawson and Bosart return to the field this year.
Bryan Harris is the PGA professional at Forest Akers and Ron Lewis the superintendent. More information about Forest Akers East can be found at msuspartans.com.