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Detroit Golf Club tells members to expect PGA Tour vote in ‘near future’

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — Detroit Golf Club emailed its membership late Monday night saying it intends to soon ask them to “reaffirm support” to bring a PGA Tour tournament to the storied club.

The Detroit News reported Monday that the PGA Tour and Quicken Loans, as presenting sponsor, are likely this week to finalize an agreement to bring a tournament to the city starting in June 2019.

“The Board of Directors is keenly aware that hosting such an event is a major undertaking and would impact, in some way, all of our members,” Pat Flynn, president of Detroit Golf Club, wrote in the email Monday. “Nonetheless, we also believe there are many tangible and intangible benefits for our members if we were able (to) reach a mutually beneficial agreement. At the annual (club) meeting in 2010, the members voted to grant the board the authority to pursue attracting a PGA Tour event to Detroit Golf Club and execute an agreement if it were in the best interests of the club. Due to the passage of time, we intend to ask the membership to reaffirm that support in the near future.

“The Board of Directors is excited about the vision that Quicken has described for the event and is hopeful we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement.”

The tournament would be the first PGA Tour event to be held in the city limits of Detroit. The tournament would take the place of The National, long held in the suburban Washington, D.C., area and sponsored by Quicken from 2014-17, on the PGA Tour schedule.

The PGA Tour is expected to make an official announcement this week, Quicken officials told The News’ Bob Wojnowski on Monday. Detroit Golf Club membership votes typically take place mid-week, according to members.

The PGA Tour plans to use the North Course at the 36-hole club, which is in its 119th year and is located between Woodward and Livernois avenues, and south of Seven Mile Road. The State Fairgrounds and Palmer Park would be used for fan parking.

In the seven-paragraph letter to membership, Flynn downplayed how close the parties were to an agreement, but praised the vision of Quicken, founded by Detroit’s billionaire booster, Dan Gilbert.

“If Quicken were to stage the event, we expect they will do it right and in return show well on the DGC,” Flynn wrote. “This is an opportunity for the club to be on a national stage, while also being a large part of a national conversation about the incredible revitalization taking place in our city.”

The PGA Tour last competed in Michigan in 2009, the final year of the Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc.