KINGSLEY, Mich. – Defending Peninsula Cup Senior Flight champions Ron Gelatka and Mike McBride and defending Mid-Amateur champions Chris Vozza and Eric Spencer won’t find the Kingsley Club fairways as biscuit brown as those in the British Open at Hoylake but host professional PGA David Plassman said "they will play fast" for the second running of the event.
More than 30 two-man teams from 14 states will compete Aug. 3-5 on the five-year-old Kingsley Club course that Golfweek magazine ranks 19th of the 100 Best Modern Courses.
Traverse City architect Mike DeVries, at the request of owners Edward Walker and Art Preston, designed the Kingsley Club with the same philosophy as legendary British Open links – big rolling fairways with nature’s own humps and bumps, strategically placed awesome bunkers reflective of old world links bunkers and open-fronted varying sized undulating greens that welcome bump and run shots along with finely placed soft landing approach shots.
"The course is intended to play firm and fast and to allow the contour of the ground to be an integral part of play," states DeVries.
Gelatka, a member of Wolf Run Golf Club in Zionsville, Ind., and McBride, of Bob O’Link Golf Club in Chicago, solved the conditions for rounds of 69-69-70—208, five under par, to win last year by a stroke over Al Riegel of the Kingsley Club and Denny Spencer of Sylvania, Ohio.
The Oakland Hills Country Club team of Vozza and Spencer combined for 17-under-par better-ball 65-63-68—196 and won by two shots over Michael Wharton-Palmer and Mike Craven of Texarkana, AR.
The teams will find something new this year. A grove of trees that separated the 10th and 18th holes was removed over the winter and large deep bunkers were placed along the right side of the 10th fairway and the left side of the 18th fairway. Additional trees that restricted air movement and limited sunshine were removed from several areas of the back nine. Consequently, the back nine has taken on more of the visual essence of the front nine.
The Kingsley Club is a private club located just a few minutes south of Traverse City, Michigan. The Kingsley Club is a golf club reflecting the old world experience as still enjoyed in Ireland and Scotland.
It has an extensive general practice area encompassing a range and separate areas for the short game and putting green. In the tradition of the old links courses, the club encourages walking which is supported by its caddie program. There are picturesque golf cottages on the grounds for the use of members and guests.
At the present time a limited number of annual guest rounds are made available for players who enjoy and respect the traditions of the game. To learn more about The Kingsley Club, or to arrange a visit, call 231 263-3000 or visit www.kingsleyclub.com.
Jack Berry, All About Golf
Terry Moore, All About Golf