Most of you know we rebuilt our garage in the late fall to house our golf practice center. Pics to follow later this month.
This past weekend Will and I visited the West Michigan Golf Show in Grand Rapids. Attending was great for a few reasons. First, and most importantly, we got to spend a winter afternoon together totally focused on golf while my wife and daughter were antiquing elsewhere in the city. It was bitter cold outside but warm and toasty inside.
We went first to the Forest Dunes booth and talked at length with Don Helinski about the progress of The Loop, the world’s first reversible 18 hole golf course that can be played in both directions on alternate days with only 18 greens. Don was great, and he really liked how much Will appreciates golf course architecture. We talked about our travels to Pinehurst, Bandon Dunes, The National Golf Links, Sand Hills, Cape Kidnappers and how Will is a voracious reader of all of the great books on golf architecture. Don asked for Will’s contact information with the hopes of connecting him with Tom Doak sometime this year for a meeting. Don also gave Will a Forest Dunes t-shirt, which is now number 1 in Will’s shirt rota.
We spent some time at the Golf Association of Michigan booth, and then connected with Nancy Barnett who is organizing the volunteers for this year’s 116th playing of the US Amateur at Oakland Hills. Will and I will be volunteering at the tournament, which will be amazing considering the fact that USGA events (no ropes) are our favorites to attend. We saw Justin Thomas lose to Jim Liu at the 2010 US Junior Am in Ada, Michigan and we witnessed Justin Thomas and other American greats defeat GB&I in the 2013 Walker Cup at the National Golf Links on Long Island.
Will was able to get a free lesson from Mark, a rep and instructor from the PGA of America. Will’s grip has gotten extremely weak over the last 6 – 9 months, and as a result he has been hitting everything dead right. Mark watched him hit about 10 balls and then gave him a great tip using a tee in between his thumb and index finger to check for proper grip position. The tip fixed Will’s swing immediately. Mark also confirmed that Will is plenty big enough for full sized clubs (which we promptly ordered last weekend / they arrived today).
We finished our exploration of the show by spending time with the guys from the Michigan Hickory Golf Association. They got Will excited enough to want to buy an old hickory shafted mashie while visiting antique stores over the weekend.
Upcoming rounds booked for 2016:
- March 8 – Shady Oaks CC (Fort Worth, Texas – Ben Hogan’s course)
- March 25 – Chambers Bay (2015 US Open venue)
- March 28 – Pacific Dunes & Old Macdonald (Bandon, Oregon)
- March 29 – The Preserve (Bandon, Oregon)
- July 16 & 17 – The Loop in both directions (Roscommon, Michigan) – world’s first reversible golf course.