Northern Michigan will show off its chops as a top golfing destination in June when it hosts two eminent championship tournaments. The purses for the Michigan Open at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and the Michigan PGA Women’s Open Tournament at Crystal Mountain Resort are expected to exceed $100,000 while the contests attract some of the best golfers in the state.

The Bear Golf Course in Traverse City, celebrated as one of the toughest 18 holes in Michigan and ranked the 18thtoughest course in the country by Golf Digest, will host the Michigan Open for the 29th time on June 13-16. The tournament has a new title sponsor and has been renamed The Hall Financial Michigan Open Championship. The tournament is the oldest in Michigan, first played in 1916. Six-time champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City and defending champion Brad Smithson of Grand Rapids head the list of ten former champions who are entered to play.

For the 20th time, the Michigan PGA Women’s Open Tournament will be held at The Mountain Ridge course at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, June 27 through Wednesday, June 29.  The tournament is considered one of the top Women’s Open events in the country. A PGA Pro-Am event precedes the tournament on June 25, where amateur players are teamed up with professional golfers in a four-person scramble. The Pro-Am is a fundraiser to support women’s golf at Crystal Mountain. 

Both tournaments are open to spectators at no charge. 

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in golf activity over the past couple years, that's mostly fueled by interest from women golfers and younger players,” says Traverse City Tourism President, Trevor Tkach. “These tournaments give everyone a chance to see the best golfers in the state, play on some of the best courses you’ll find anywhere.” Tkach adds that northern Michigan has golf courses designed to attract all skill levels, from beginners to professionals.

What do gorillas and ancient cell phones have in common? They’re both part of an innovative recycling effort by the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS). In honor of America Recycles Day (11/15), the DZS is collecting electronics and offering a reward of free zoo admission. The aim: reduce the electronic waste that ends up in landfills.

 

Warm-weather time becomes the season of festival queens in Michigan. It’s part of a much-anticipated local custom in many communities.

While visiting with our friends at Original Murdick’s Fudge, which opened in 1887 under a different name, owner Bobby Benser and I recently chatted about the annual Mackinac Island Fudge Festival held in August and how the Michigan Sugar Queen often is part of that sweet event.