FURTHER REVIEW: Michiana's golf renaissance
There's a golf renaissance happening right now in Michiana!
That's unique, because when you think of great golf destinations, the warm climates quickly come to mind. However, over the last half decade, Michiana has very quickly become a hot spot for championship golf!
The obvious example is this weekend's Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor. The PGA of America staged a first class event last week in our backyard. And in only a few years, Harbor Shores has grown into a major player in the senior majors.
Six Hall of Famers teed-it up this weekend, with Colin Montgomerie winning his first career major. Monty's career consists of 42 wins worldwide...but his first in the United States, will always be Benton Harbor.
Here's the best part: The Senior PGA championship is far from the only opportunity fans in the area have to watch great golf. The Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame has quickly become one of the premier college courses in the midwest. It's hosted a USGA championship (2010 women's amateur pub links) and both the men's & women's NCAA regionals in recent years. They also hosted ten USGA qualifiers, all in the hopes of attracting the USGA to return to Notre Dame to stage a larger major championship in the future.
Later this month, the rising stars of the women's game will return to Blackthorn for the 3rd year in a row, for the Four Winds Invitational. Blackthorn has quickly become one of the favorite stops on the Symetra Tour...and while the purse certainly has something to do with it... it's also reasonable to expect the LPGA Tour to explore moving one of it's tournaments to South Bend if the event continues to be successful.
Throw in the return of the Western Amateur to Point O Woods in a few years, and you've potentially got four local courses, hosting four premier professional or amateur events, on a regular basis.
The advent of championship tournament golf at so many levels in Michiana...also coincides with the individual success of several local players. Michael Makris played in the US Amateur last summer, as a junior in high school. Next week he'll try and beat the best players on the PGA Tour head to head and earn a spot in the U-S Open. And Granger's Julia Potter burst onto the national scene last summer, winning the US mid-amateur championship...the 2nd most prestigious trophy in amateur golf.
Short of hosting a PGA Tour event, which very few markets this size have the opportunity to do, Michiana is maximizing it's golf potential! Very few places in the midwest as rich in golf, as we are right now.