Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The LPGA Has Found a Home in Ann Arbor and at Travis Pointe Country Club

Ann Arbor, Michigan – As the final round concluded at the Volvik Championship, it proved to exceed the expectations of everyone as a first year tournament on the LPGA Tour.

The LPGA and Travis Pointe Country Club seem to be the perfect fit and after the first inaugural event, it seems to be a course that adds some challenges where the players have to think about their shots. Thursday thru Sunday, the patrons filled the ropes to watch the stars of the LPGA Tour battle varying conditions throughout each of the four rounds of the tournament. Top LPGA names were at the top of the leaderboard throughout the week including Christina Kim, Ariya Juntanugarn, Jessica Korda and Brooke Henderson.

This year that tournament fell on Memorial Day Weekend, which could’ve aided in the increased crowds but possibly didn’t help with potential patrons who could’ve been heading out of state for the long holiday weekend or could’ve been headed to the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Either way, the crowds proved that the LPGA has a following here in Michigan.
Michigan is a golf state from the beginning of May until October or November (we take advantage of any extra golf we can get). Michigan golf courses showcase the beauty they offer to Michiganders and visitors. Travis Pointe Country Club is the perfect mix of a northern Michigan course and Mitten courses down here. Travis Pointe is a course that not only has a challenging course for the players but also can hold all of the facilities needed for the professional golfers. It is also located in Ann Arbor which in my opinion is the perfect location for the LPGA Tour in the years to come. Ann Arbor is just 30 minutes away from downtown Detroit and not that far from the suburbs of the city.

After Christina Kim’s second round she was asked about being in contention for the weekend. “Yea, I love it out here. I’m a big fan of the 313. There are very few places well, I guess it’s the 734, but 313 is right there. I think that Ann Arbor is one of my favorite towns in the country and it is hard to find anywhere that beats the weather here than here in the middle of May, end of May in any part of the world. It’s absolutely perfect right now. A little bit of humidity, lots of heat, cool breeze, grass is green. You can’t find anything to complain about this week.”

There were also plenty of Michigan natives in the field, Saline native Sarah Hoffman earned the sponsor exemption, Grosse Pointe Shores native Samantha Troyanovich Monday qualified at Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti, Michigan as well as Ann Arbor native Jennifer Song.
Sam Troyanovich spoke with the media after her first round on Thursday “Who doesn’t love the Mitten in May when the suns out?”

One of the biggest compliments I overheard throughout the weekend is that this tournament seems like it has been run for years before. A huge credit should go to tournament director Keith Karbo and the rest of his staff during the tournament. They were everywhere from Tuesday thru Sunday and you never had to wonder where any of them were. The volunteers throughout the weekend were phenomenal, polite and gracious to the players, media and fans. I never met a volunteer who wasn’t personable and everyone that I spoke with said that they wanted to be back next year.

Where do we go for next year? That’s a good question but maybe for a different time because I’d rather think of all of the good things this tournament had to offer. Ariya Juntanugarn may have won her 3rd straight tournament but it seems like Travis Pointe and the LPGA were the real winners from that weekend.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Juntanugarn Wins Third Consecutive Tournament at Volvik Championship

Ann Arbor, Michigan – Ariya Juntanugarn wins the inaugural Volvik Championship at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Juntanugarn shot 5-under 67 during the final round to be 15-under for the tournament and five shots ahead of Christina Kim who birdied the final hole to take control of solo second place.

Entering the final day, there was a log jam atop the leaderboard with Juntanugarn leading Jessica Korda, Christina Kim by a single shot. The conditions during the third round were a lot different than the first two rounds. The greens were getting very hard and with the pin positons and the wind, were making it very different for the players to be aggressive and make birdies.

Ariya “May” Juntanugarn, May is her nickname in her native Thailand had a solid start to her first round where she would par the first five holes and then birdie that par 5 sixth hole. She would card a 35 on the front 9.

The back 9 is where May made her move with a birdie on the thirteenth hole. That birdie would give her a three shot lead on the field heading to the par 5 14th. Juntanugarn would follow that birdie up with another and that seemed to be where she took control of the field. She would add another two birdies on 16 and 17 and would par the 18th for the victory.

Christina Kim was the 36 hole leader heading into the third round. Kim, recorded her first round under 70 in 21 rounds with a first round 8-under 64. Christina Kim is a very jovial player who players with a lot of passionate for the game and like many of the stars on the LPGA Tour is a great role model in the growth of the game. Kim had some opportunities during her final two rounds at Travis Pointe. Christina Kim would birdie the final hole to take home solo second place money.

The biggest surprise of the final round, would be Brook M. Henderson who started the round at 5-under for the day and would move into a tie for third place with Jessica Korda with a final round score of 9-under. Henderson would card five birdies and one bogey during the final round.

Play would be suspended for 55 minutes due to lightning in the area. During the week, weather forecasters predicted inclement weather to affect this tournament but Mother Nature decided otherwise.

Tournament director Keith Kardo placed a rosary sent to him by his mother in a rose bush in front of the Travis Pointe Country Club sign on Tuesday “My mother sent me this rosary to ward off bad weather. Ever since, the weather has stayed away.” Keith attempted to show us where he put the rosary but it seems to have be taken out of the bush by Marilyn who took the rosary out of the bush because she thought it was a sign from her mother.

All in all the tournament proved to deliver with many players with the food, hospitality and how the tournament was run overall from beginning to end. There were many large groups of spectators that in some ways proved that professional golf deserves a home in southeastern Michigan.

The next LPGA Tournament will be next week at the Shoprite LPGA Classic at Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club in Galloway, NJ.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hoffman and Troyanovich Miss Cut in Volvik Championship; Both Have Bright Futures Ahead of The

Ann Arbor, Michigan- It was a difficult day at the Volvik Championship. For Volvik sponsor invite Sarah Hoffman and Monday qualifier Samantha Troyanovich would both miss the cut to make it to the weekend in the inaugural Volvik Championship held at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Sarah Hoffman was just two shots off the projected current cut of +2 but unfortunately had a rough start at her 8:43 AM tee time. She started off on the par four 10th. She found her way into the hazard off the tee, tried to get it out and was still in the hazard, hit her third shot and followed that up with making a tricky bogey putt to start put her at + 5. Hoffman would par the 11th hole but lose another stroke to the field on the par 3 12th and moving to +2 for the round and +6 for the first two days

After her 2nd bogey in the first three holes, Hoffman would make 14 straight pars on the course to miss the cut by four shots.
Hoffman had this to say after the round “Today was a grind it out type day. I was hitting the ball so poorly. I made a lot of great pars.”
She mentioned that “I felt really good waking up today that I was going to go out and put a really good score up today.”

The course was playing a lot differently than when she played her first round. The greens were more receptive and the wind wasn’t as bad as it was the day before. When asked about her game she stated “I have the mental and grind it out game but I’ve only been doing this until for two months but my game is so bad right now.”

As Sarah was finishing her final putts on the 9th hole, Samantha Troyanovich was about to begin her round on the 10th tee. Troyanovich would then bogey her next two holes which would put her at +8 for the tournament. Troyanovich would par her next two holes and move on to the par 4 15th. Troyanovich would double bogey the hole but a resurgence would happen when she tee’d off the par 3 16th. She would go on to birdie the 16th, 17th and 18th holes which would bring her within four shots with nine holes to play.

“After I doubled 15, I was just like okay take a deep breath, regroup a little bit and try to hit one good shot at a time. Birdied 16, 17 and 18 and made the turn feeling good.”

Throughout the front 9 of the course, Troyanovich was unable to card anything better than par through the first four holes on the front side of the course. Samantha would bogey the 5th and 7th holes. On the 9th hole, she would hit a beautiful shot into the green leaving her with a short birdie putt but she was not able to capitalize. She would card a +4 (76) during her second round but would not make it to the weekend with a +9 for her two rounds in the Volvik Championship.

After her round, Sam said this about the inaugural event “I think this is an awesome first year event to see so many people out volunteers and spectators. The overall support is awesome.”

“I’m proud to be from Michigan. It’s great to see how great people from Michigan and people from the Midwest are.”

Both Sarah Hoffman and Troyanovich are each very talented golfers who could find themselves one day on the LPGA Tour. I walked the course with both players this week and I witnessed something that supports this theory and it isn’t based on their games (both are competitive and have the skills to compete at the highest level). I noticed the genuine and humble personalities that both of these girls possess. After her first round on Thursday, Sarah Hoffman just came off an interesting 18th hole in which she parred. Hoffman had a huge crowd of family and friends watching her. After the round, Hoffman took the time before meeting with the media to autograph golf balls for the volunteers in her group. When she realized a volunteer didn’t get one, she quickly ran to give them one. This shows me a caring and genuine personality that fits the growing image of the LPGA.

I witnessed the same experience with the Samantha Troyanovich. Samantha would say “Thank you” to every volunteer on the course. The traits that both of these young players have demonstrated should show why women’s professional is going to keep growing globally because of players like Sam and Sarah.

We are a Michigan Golf blog and we love our state because it’s a golfing paradise here. Although we cannot see if these girls are going to make it to the LPGA this year, we wish them the best of luck following their dreams.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Two Michigan Natives Make Their LPGA Debut at the Volvik Championship

Ann Arbor, Michigan- Michigan natives Sarah Hoffman and Samantha Troyanovich both made their LPGA debuts on Thursday at the Volvik Championship.
Sarah Hoffman earned her entry into the Volvik Championship as one of two sponsor exemptions, while Samantha Troyanovich earned her way into the field by shooting a 3-under 69 during the Monday qualifier at Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Both Sarah and Sam careers started down two separate paths as they try to make their dreams come true and tee off with some of the greatest women on the LPGA Tour. Sarah, started playing the game when she was five years old and holds a share of the course record at Travis Pointe Country Club with a 68. Hoffman played her college golf at Grand Valley State University but was originally recruited to play basketball but the coach at Grand Valley State was at the state championships were being held at Grand Valley State, the coach noticed Sarah and offered her a scholarship.

“I put myself out there for basketball. I didn’t try for golf, I didn’t try and be recruited for golf.”
Sam Troyanovich got her start a little differently. Troyanovich is from Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan played golf on the boy’s team during her junior year because the school doesn’t have a girls golf team. Troyanovich was a top 3 scorer on the team.

Troyanovich ask the media after her round “Who doesn’t love golf in the mitten in May with the sun out?”

This week Troyanovich gets to sleep in her own bed again which is only 45 minutes away. She said “That is a luxury that I am adoring right now, and that my parents can come and friends and family, it’s awesome.”

Sam had a rough start to her first round, she started off with a par but bogeyed the second and double-bogeyed the fourth hole where her tee shot was behind a root of a tree and she had to punch out. She was about 85 yards out downwind and shot it over the green and took a seven. Troyanovich would rebound and shoot a final round 77.

Hoffman had a different start to her first LPGA round. She is the local favorite where her family and friends can also come and watch her.

Hoffman was asked about her first LPGA round “Enjoy it, no pressure but I felt like I waws going to thrw up this morning. So it went really well considering it was my first round, yeah.”

Sarah started off her first round as she would bogey number 2 and get that shot back by birdieing the narrow par 5 4th.  Sarah remained consistent until the par 4 9th where she would bogey the hole to put her at plus 1 at the turn. She would give another stroke to the course on the par 4 10th. On the infamous par 4 13th with the “Volkswagen Beetle” green, Hoffman was 50 yards out for her 2nd shot. Hoffman would bogey two of her last four holes to put her at +4 thru 17 holes.
The fun happened for Hoffman on her final hole of the day where she found her tee shot in the left rough. She would pull her shots into the trees on left of the cart path. After a few minute wait for the rules official, it was concluded that she would be able to drop the ball because the scoreboard was in her view. After the drop, she would hit her ball into front bunker. Sarah would make the putt to par the 18th and remain at four over par for the tournament.

After the round she was asked about being in the trees on the left “Never, never. I told somebody, I’m like there’s not a shot out here I haven’t faced, but that was one of them. You know, luckily I got relief, so made the most out of it.”

Hoffman tees off of number 10 tee at 8:43 AM EST this morning and Troyanovich goes off number 10 tee at 2:05 PM EST.

Hoffman and Troyanovich both played with each other in the first Symetra tournament of the season. They both played in the practice round on Tuesday.

After watching and talking with both girls on Thursday, you can really see the passion for the game of golf and their excitement to experience their first LPGA event in front of their families and friends. Together, these two Michigan players give you a sense of excitement for the future of the LPGA and the quality of golf that comes from the Mitten.

We will see how their rounds go on Friday and hopefully they get to make it to the weekends. But even if they don’t make the cut, this experience will work wonders in their golfing careers.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Professional Golf Returns to Southeastern Michigan in the form of the LPGA Tour and Volvik Championship

Ann Arbor- Professional golf once again returns to Southeastern Michigan with the Volvik Championship May 23 – 29. This would be the first time since the 2009 Buick Open at Warwick Hills Country Club in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

All eyes will be on the stars of the LPGA Tour as they battle for points in one of the last tournaments to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de janiero, Brazil. Many of the biggest names on the LPGA Tour will compete at Travis Pointe Country Club such as Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lincicome, Michelle Wie and Christie Kerr.

One of the two sponsor exemptions went to a local Saline native Sara Hoffman. Hoffman is a graduate of Grand Valley State University where she got her degree in nursing. She was originally recruited to play basketball at Grand Valley State.

Hoffman stated “I put myself out there for basketball. I didn’t try for golf, I didn’t try and be recruited for golf.”

The state golf championships were at Grand Valley her senior year and the coach recruited her to play golf at Grand Valley and she was the only coach that recruited her for golf. Hoffman played four years at Grand Valley but pursued her nursing career. She would stay home and save up the money while also playing in amateur events.

“In February I quit my job and moved down to Florida to start preparing for Q school in August.” Hoffman stated.

Hoffman grew up playing the game since she was five years old and Travis Pointe Country Club is her home course and where she owns the course record. One of the most interesting and difficult greens on the course is the thirteenth green. Sarah was asked about the 13th Green

“The 13th green? I had a Volkswagen Beetle while in college and I totaled it and I think they buried it under that green. I’ve played it for so long I know it really well so it doesn’t even bother me, it’s not a huge thing for me. I just know where to put myself on that green or where to miss the so you have a better chip than putt. I don’t think the girls are going to like it, though.”

Hoffman will tee off at 1:43 PM EST with Cheyanne Woods and Laetita Beck off of #1.

A name that should be considered to win the Volvik Championship is Lexi Thompson who is number 10 in the Rolex World Rankings. Thompson is one of the longer hitters on tour who currently ranks first in average driving distance with 283.07 yards.

Thompson will have to use her length this week at Travis Pointe Country Club as it will be the 5th longest on tour this year at 6,709 yards on tour. Thompson was asked about does her length off the tee help or hinder her?

“Well, it doesn’t hurt (laughs for a second). Yeah, I hit a good amount of drivers and some 3-woods out there, and there’s some holes  that you’re better off laying back on a few. I think it’s all a matter of getting the targets down on the tee and then leaving yourself on the right side of the hole because there’s some hills on the greens that you don’t want to be behind and then putting over.”

Lexi Thompson will be teeing off at 1:21 PM EST with Charlie Hull and Shanshan Feng off of #1.
One of the main tests that will be the greens. They can be very tricky and some greens have very subtle breaks in them. Since Travis Pointe Country Club is new to the LPGA, not many of the players have gotten the chance to play here before and gain an advantage over the others.

All four rounds of the tournament will be shown on the Golf Channel. Thursday and Friday’s will be shown from 7-9 PM EST and 3-6 PM EST on Saturday and Sunday.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Travis Pointe Country Club - Beware of the Turtle in the 13th Green

Travis Pointe Country Club – Beware of the Turtle in the 13th Green

I recently drove an hour away from my home in Grosse Pointe to attend a media event at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor Michigan, the site for LPGA Tour Volvik Championship.
I drove down I-94 for about an hour until I came to my exit to get to the course. As I turned down the street for the course, I noticed how wide open the course seemed to be. I noticed a beautiful club house along with an outstanding staff that was helpful right away.

Travis Pointe Country Club seems to have many amenities that many private golf clubs throughout Michigan have to offer (beautiful clubhouse, pool, pro shop, driving range, putting green and short range areas).The practice putting green is great for members and guests to get used to possible putts and green speed that they may face on the golf course.

The course has much to offer a pro and the average golfer just looking to enjoy a beautiful day of golf in Michigan. The course has seven different tees that offer different test throughout the round. I just so happened to tee off from the silver tees so that I could enjoy the course with those I played with.
What I observed throughout my round was that the course was direct and that you didn’t have to guess where you had to be.

The greens and rough seem to be where the challenge truly are on this course but what could you expect from a course that is the host of the inaugural LPGA Volvik Championship? I must’ve three putted a few of these greens especially the 13th green.

I remember walking into the clubhouse after nine looking for a hot dog and beverage and a member asked us what we thought of the course and if we had played the back nine yet. My group politely said “No.” The member then warned us to “Beware of the 13.” We just looked at each other thinking this was just a member’s way of trying to get in our heads. We then played the 10, 11, and 12 and headed over to the 13th hole. We didn’t see anything difficult other than water on the right and left and you had to keep your tee shot pretty straight.

We approached the 13th green and there it was like the course architect buried a turtle into it. It was undulating and quite difficult to figure out where the ball was going to funnel to.
Moving to the par 5 18th, it has this daunting look to it. You can’t miss right or you’ll be OB or in the water. It’s a true risk or reward hole. I consider myself paring the hole by playing the whole for bogey and not trying to do something stupid.

My overall opinion of this course is that it is a very wide open and challenging course but it was also an honest course. It tests you with difficult greens but if you play true to your game you can do really well on this course. I understand that this is a private course but if you ever have a chance to play it, you really should.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Big Names Are Set to Play in 2016 LPGA Volvik Championship at Travis Pointe Country Club

Big Names Are Set to Play in 2016 LPGA Volvik Championship at Travis Pointe Country Club

The field is officially set for the 2016 Volvik Championship (May 23-29) at Travis Pointe Country Club. Nine of the Top Ten in the Rolex World Rankings and other LPGA Tour stars will compete in the first professional golf tournament in southeastern Michigan since 2009. The ninth player in the world Ha-Na Jang being the only player who will not compete as she remains out with an injury.

Among the names playing in the Volvik Championship will be Saline native Sarah Hoffman and 15 year old Korean amateur Ayean Cho who both earned sponsor exemptions into the field.

The inaugural event looks to not only showcase the growth in women’s golf but also a premier golf course located in southeastern Michigan.

This tournament is very important to the women who are looking to gather much needed points in one of the last tournaments to qualify for their country in the 2016 Olympic Games Rio de janiero, Brazil.

Below is a list of the full field and alternates who will compete next week.

FINAL Priority Field List
2016 LPGA Volvik Championship
1 Lydia Ko (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 1
2 Inbee Park (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 2
3 Sei Young Kim (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 4
4 Lexi Thompson (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 5
5 Amy Yang (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 6
6 Cristie Kerr (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 7
7 So Yeon Ryu (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 8
8 Shanshan Feng (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 9
9 Brittany Lincicome (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 12
10 Hyo Joo Kim (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 13
11 Suzann Pettersen (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 14
12 Minjee Lee (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 16
13 Mirim Lee (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 19
14 Chella Choi (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 20
15 Yani Tseng (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 21
16 Mi Hyang Lee (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 22
17 Ilhee Lee (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 24
18 Jessica Korda (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 27
19 Candie Kung (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 29
20 Azahara Munoz (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 32
21 Austin Ernst (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 33
22 Angela Stanford (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 34
23 Ariya Jutanugarn (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 35
24 Eun-Hee Ji (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 36
25 Karine Icher (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 37
26 Pornanong Phatlum (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 38
27 Xi Yu Lin (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 39
28 Pernilla Lindberg (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 40
29 Kris Tamulis (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 41
30 Sakura Yokomine (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 44
31 Kim Kaufman (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 45
32 Lee-Anne Pace (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 46
33 Paula Creamer (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 48
34 Charley Hull (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 49
35 Michelle Wie (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 50
36 Jane Park (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 51
37 Sun Young Yoo (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 54
38 Mariajo Uribe (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 57
39 Jaye Marie Green (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 59
40 Sydnee Michaels (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 60
41 Wei-Ling Hsu (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 61
42 Caroline Masson (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 63
43 Catriona Matthew (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 65
44 Moriya Jutanugarn (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 66
45 Alena Sharp (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 67
46 Haru Nomura (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 68
47 Jennifer Song (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 69
48 Min Lee (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 70
49 Christina Kim (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 71
50 Ryann O'Toole (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 72
51 Marina Alex (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 73
52 Mi Jung Hur (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 74
53 Kelly Shon (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 76
54 Beatriz Recari (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 77
55 Min Seo Kwak (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 78
56 Ai Miyazato (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 79
57 Christel Boeljon (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 80
58 Ayako Uehara (1) Top 80 - 2015 Money List 81
59 Se Ri Pak (2) Career Top 20 83
60 In Gee Chun (7) Non-Member Win 84
61 Brooke M. Henderson (7) Non-Member Win 85
62 Katie Burnett (8) CURRENT YEAR TOP 80 86
63 Megan Khang (8) CURRENT YEAR TOP 80 88
64 Paula Reto (8) CURRENT YEAR TOP 80 89
65 Jodi Ewart Shadoff (8) CURRENT YEAR TOP 80 90
66 Julie Yang (8) CURRENT YEAR TOP 80 92
67 Gaby Lopez (8) CURRENT YEAR TOP 80 93
68 Simin Feng (8) CURRENT YEAR TOP 80 94
69 P.K. Kongkraphan (8) CURRENT YEAR TOP 80 95
70 Nontaya Srisawang (8) CURRENT YEAR TOP 80 96
71 Thidapa Suwannapura (8) CURRENT YEAR TOP 80 98
72 Annie Park (9) Top 10 LPGA Symetra Tour 99
73 Giulia Molinaro (9) Top 10 LPGA Symetra Tour 100
74 Brianna Do (9) Top 10 LPGA Symetra Tour 101
75 Daniela Iacobelli (9) Top 10 LPGA Symetra Tour 102
76 Dani Holmqvist (9) Top 10 LPGA Symetra Tour 103
77 Lee Lopez (9) Top 10 LPGA Symetra Tour 104
78 Alejandra Llaneza (9) Top 10 LPGA Symetra Tour 105
79 Vicky Hurst (9) Top 10 LPGA Symetra Tour 106
80 Casey Grice (9) Top 10 LPGA Symetra Tour 107
81 Rachel Rohanna (9) Top 10 LPGA Symetra Tour 108
82 Amy Anderson (11) Nos. 81-100 109
83 Alison Walshe (11) Nos. 81-100 111
84 Tiffany Joh (11) Nos. 81-100 112
85 Perrine Delacour (11) Nos. 81-100 113
86 Meena Lee (11) Nos. 81-100 114
87 Caroline Hedwall (11) Nos. 81-100 115
88 Jennifer Johnson (11) Nos. 81-100 116
89 Sarah Jane Smith (11) Nos. 81-100 117
90 Sarah Kemp (11) Nos. 81-100 118
91 Sadena Parks (11) Nos. 81-100 121
92 Grace Na (12) Top 20 Q-School 122
93 Budsabakorn Sukapan (12) Top 20 Q-School 123
94 Cyna Marie Rodriguez (12) Top 20 Q-School 124
95 Maude-Aimee Leblanc (12) Top 20 Q-School 125
96 Cydney Clanton (12) Top 20 Q-School 126
97 Ashlan Ramsey (12) Top 20 Q-School 127
98 Laetitia Beck (12) Top 20 Q-School 128
99 Cheyenne Woods (12) Top 20 Q-School 129
100 Sandra Changkija (12) Top 20 Q-School 130
101 Bertine Strauss (12) Top 20 Q-School 132
102 Lindy Duncan (12) Top 20 Q-School 133
103 Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (12) Top 20 Q-School 134
104 Benyapa Niphatsophon (12) Top 20 Q-School 135
105 Jing Yan (12) Top 20 Q-School 136
106 Su Oh (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 137
107 Marion Ricordeau (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 138
108 Giulia Sergas (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 139
109 Stephanie Kono (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 140
110 Brittany Altomare (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 141
111 SooBin Kim (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 142
112 Katherine Kirk (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 143
113 Amelia Lewis (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 144
114 Becky Morgan (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 145
115 Nannette Hill (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 146
116 Felicity Johnson (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 147
117 Christine Song (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 148
118 Celine Herbin (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 149
119 Belen Mozo (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 150
120 Dori Carter (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 151
121 Briana Mao (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 152
122 Haeji Kang (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 153
123 Samantha Richdale (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 154
124 Demi Runas (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 155
125 Ji Young Oh (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 156
126 Laura Davies (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 157
127 Ssu-Chia Cheng (15) Current- Year Reshuffle 158
128 Jane Rah (16) Nos. 101-125 160
129 Dewi Claire Schreefel (16) Nos. 101-125 161
130 Ashleigh Simon (16) Nos. 101-125 163
131 Lisa Ferrero (16) Nos. 101-125 165
132 Victoria Elizabeth (17) Nos. 21-45 Q-School 168
133 Prima Thammaraks (17) Nos. 21-45 Q-School 169
134 Jiayi Zhou (17) Nos. 21-45 Q-School 170
135 Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong (17) Nos. 21-45 Q-School 171
136 Heather Bowie Young (17) Nos. 21-45 Q-School 172
137 Karlin Beck (17) Nos. 21-45 Q-School 175
LPGA Top-10 Kingsmill (2)
LPGA Winner Kingsmill (1)
Sponsor invite (2): Sarah Hoffman, Ayean Cho
Qualifier (2)
138 Anne Catherine Tanguay 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 1
139 Nicole Jeray 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 2
140 Caroline Westrup 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 3
141 Jaclyn Jansen 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 4
142 Ginger Howard 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 5
143 Hannah Collier 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 6
144 Paz Echeverria 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 7
145 Lorie Kane 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 8
146 Silvia Cavalleri 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 9
147 Amy Hung 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 10
148 Danah Bordner 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 11
149 Stephanie Meadow 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 12
150 Elizabeth Nagel 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 13
151 Sue Kim 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 14
152 Kristy McPherson 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 15
153 Kendall Dye 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 16
154 Beth Bader 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 17
155 Jean Bartholomew 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 18
156 Ashli Bunch 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 19
157 Mindy Kim 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 20
158 Cindy LaCrosse 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 21
159 Candy Hannemann 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 22
160 Megan Grehan 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 23
161 Sara Banke 2016 Tournament Alternates (manual) 2

For more information regarding the Volvik Championship please visit

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

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Another Gem Located in Southeastern Michigan

I want to tell you about this gem located in southeastern Michigan, it is on an island right on the border between the US and Canada. Where is this gem you say? It's the Belle Isle driving range and it offers so much.

It has a large driving range, six hole par 3 course, chipping and putting area. If you are located in the city, it offers the perfect practice arena for your dollar. For only $12, you can get a medium bucket of balls, short range, putting green and six hole par 3 course. But did I mention the view? This driving range offers a view unlike any others I've seen before, you can see the sunset over the Renaissance Center and the Ambassador Bridge.

I have spent many hours at this range hitting balls and listening to the boats go by and sometimes forget where I am. The facilities offer a lot for golfers of all skill levels. PGA Professional Terri Ryan gives lessons to golfer who wish to learn the game or improve the skills they have.

With the LPGA's Volvik Champions just a month away May 26-29, the Belle Isle driving range has been teaching the young women who are interested in the game for the past 10 years.

Speaking with the manager of the facility Francine "The girls camp has averaged 50-70 girl golfers a year."

I was speaking with a father of a young girl who was hitting balls at the range and he said that he bought his daughter a net, golf balls and a mat so that she could practice at home. Jokingly he told me that she was tearing up his grass doing it.

The game seems to be growing in our country and I'm happy to see that this gem, is helping to grow the game to many more.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Golfers Are a Committed Group

For the past ten days it seems that Mother Nature has decided to work with the golf Gods and grant us a beautiful start to the season.

I was out at Carl's Golf land in Bloomfield on Sunday morning with a fellow golf nut at the crack of dawn to get working on the golf season as we were anxious to get our season started. We arrived around 9 and waited for the doors to open. We weren't the only ones, within fifteen minutes the driving range was filled with golfers. That's the thing about golfers, we are a committed bunch, either the average recreational, private club or just your Sunday golfers.

I noticed a few things while I hit my large bucket of golf balls trying to figure out what kind of swing I was starting my season off with. Golf is a rare club, it brings together people from all over the world to practice and get better at a game, that is never the easiest to be conquered.

Every golfer is different from the small kids just learning the game to the senior golfers just keeping a tradition and bond alive with their friends. In contrast, they all have something in common with each other, a unique swing and vision on how they see the game of golf. Some want to drive the ball 300 yards while some just want to spend time with their grandfather, father, son or daughter and take in the memories. That's the wonderful thing about golf, we understand where these people are coming from.

Back to the range last Sunday, I witnessed the golfers who was trying out EVERY new piece of technology so that he could drive the ball further and straighter. I also saw a father with his wife, son and daughter enjoying time together. He was trying to teach his son that it doesn't matter how far the ball goes, you just need to get the basics down and make contact. Obviously, the little boy wasn't interested in the lesson being taught to him by his father but if he continues with golf, he'll eventually learn this lesson.

 Seeing this at the range, brought to mind the previous memories of me and my grandfather when I was that age. I was lucky enough to learn the game of golf from my Grandfather, God rest his soul but he taught me the basics of the game, it was something him and I would share together for 27 years and I'll never forget them.

So please go out to your local public course (or private if you're lucky enough to belong to one of Michigan's private courses) and hit the links or the driving range and enjoy all the beauty that this game has to offer.

Until next time - Just keep swinging

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Spring is here! Even though it doesn't feel like it outside


That's what we all said here in Michigan on March 20th and golfers have been searching for their golf bags, heading off to their local golf shop and stocking up on new equipment and trying to figure out how to improve their golf swing for the coming golf season.

Except Mother Nature has not been friends with us here in Michigan with snow and colder temperatures that even the die hard fans don't want to play in. The crazy ones are still outside playing in this weather because well, we are crazy (not me, I have only been hitting balls at the range).

I have spoken with some of my crazy golf brother-en and most of them are drooling at the idea of golf season being just around the corner (it's here but Mother Nature just won't let us play outside just yet).

Hopefully, Mother Nature will let us crazy ones start our golf seasons soon. Until then, I'll be planted on my couch and watching the MASTERS.

Until next time- Keep Swinging

116th U.S AMATEUR- Michigan Qualifying Locations

The Michigan qualifying locations have been chosen for the 116th U.S Amateur August 15-22. There will be 50 qualifying locations around the country including one in both Canada and Mexico. Almost 5,000 entrants will compete to be apart of the 312 player championship field.

Michigan will host four qualifying locations that will consist of 36 hole stroke play to name the top qualifiers at each location to make up the 312 player field.

The Four Michigan Locations-

July 5th - Egypt Valley (Grand Rapids)

July 11th - Plum Hollow (Southfield)

July 15th - Forest Akers - West GC (East Lansing)

July 18th - Oakland University GC - Katke Course (Rochester)