PGA's back! 'Bear' sighting! Feherty live! It's gonna be a fun summer of golf in Michigan
Michigan has a mighty rich history when it comes to professional golf, with legendary champions like Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and Gary Player, among many others.
Yet, as recently as 2013, the state wasn't hosting a single annual professional tour tournament.
Things have changed, and in a hurry.
This year, Michigan will host four professional tour tournaments, including at least one from every major tour — the headliner, of course, being the PGA Tour's return to the state, with its first-ever tournament in the city of Detroit.
If you live in Michigan, and you like golf, then this is the summer for you.
Meijer LPGA Classic
JUNE 13-16, BLYTHFIELD COUNTRY CLUB, BELMONT
The longest-running active annual pro-tour tournament in Michigan, having launched in 2014 — giving the state its first tour event since the Buick Open, a long-time staple on the PGA Tour, folded up shop in 2009.
While the LPGA Tour lacks the star power of previous eras, it's very fan-friendly, when it comes to ticket prices and up-close interaction with the athletes.
'Golden Bear' sighting
JUNE 17, OAKLAND HILLS COUNTRY CLUB, BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP
As part of the Golf Association of Michigan's summer-long 100th-anniversary celebration, Nicklaus, the legend, will be coming to Oakland Hills to headline a dinner, participate in a VIP meet-and-greet, and play some golf on the South Course (which closes this fall for renovations, as the club seeks to get another major tournament).
Nicklaus won the Senior U.S. Open at Oakland Hills in 1991.
Rocket Mortgage Classic
JUNE 27-30, DETROIT GOLF CLUB, DETROIT
The newest tournament on the PGA Tour schedule, it's generating lots of buzz, especially with early commitments from the likes of Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and more. Now, all eyes are turning to Tiger Woods, who figures to play either in Detroit or the following week in Minnesota, also the site of a first-year event.
The course figures to be a birdie haven, at just over 7,300 yards and a par 72.
Feherty live and uncensored
JUNE 27, FOX THEATRE, DETROIT
Coinciding with the PGA Tour's stop in Detroit, David Feherty, a legendary golf broadcaster known for his wit and his frankness — he's been very open about his battle with sobriety, as well as the overdose death of his son in 2017 — will perform his one-man show, "Feherty, Live Off Tour," at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $55, with a portion of proceeds being donated to the GAM Foundation.
Great Lakes Bay Invitational
JULY 17-20, MIDLAND COUNTRY CLUB, MIDLAND
This is a first-year tournament on the LPGA Tour, and it's got a twist — there will be two-woman teams, similar in format to what the PGA Tour does with the Zurich Classic. The tournament will run Wednesday through Saturday, rather than the traditional Thursday through Sunday. The LPGA Tour will stick with two Michigan tournaments, having scrapped the Vovik Championship in Ann Arbor.
Detroit News/GAM Hole-In-One Contest
SEPT. 9, WHISPERING WILLOWS GOLF COURSE, LIVONIA
This is your chance to step into the spotlight and take your swings on the par-3 seventh at Whispering Willows, competing for some pretty darn good prizes. There are a variety of competition classes, and tee times available practically from sun up to sun down. The only requirement to participate: A hole-in-one in your past (we go by the honor system, but putt-putt doesn't count!). Be on the lookout in June for registration details.
SEPT. 13-15, WARWICK HILLS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, GRAND BLANC
This is the second year of the 50-year-older Champions Tour taking up residency in Grand Blanc, where many of the tour members like to play — having been regulars during the Buick Open back during their days on the PGA Tour.
Fan favorites Fred Couples and John Daly should be back in the field this year, much to the delight of the rowdies at the par-3 17th hole.