Professional golfers return to Michigan, but not Grand Rapids | News
Benton Harbor, Mich. (WZZM) - Now that they've seen how successful the Senior PGA Championship by Kitchen Aid was in Benton Harbor, some golf fans are wondering "what" it will take to get a professional golf tournament back in Grand Rapids.
"I think that's certainly been the goal of some people that I've talked to in Grand Rapids," says West Michigan teaching pro Randy Ernst.
Many fans from West Michigan made the 100 mile trip south to watch, work or volunteer during the PGA tournament at The Golf Club at Harbor Shores last week.
"It's great to have golf back in Michigan with the seniors," enthused spectator Craig Stephan of Rockford.
"A good opportunity to see one of the best tournaments in the world," said Bill Rock of Grand Rapids, who volunteered his time to work on the golf course during the competition.
There hasn't been a professional golf tournament anywhere in Michigan since the last Buick Open in Grand Blanc 3 years ago.
It's been even longer since Champions Tour stopped coming to Grand Rapids.
Many say they miss it.
"I love being around the game of golf," says Ernst, who worked as a caddy during the Benton Harbor tournament. "Being around it the best level is what I really enjoy."
Golf hungry fans in Michigan will again have an opportunity to watch the senior professionals compete next month in Flint for the Senior US Open Championship. It's scheduled for July 9 through the 15th.
The PGA Senior Championship returns to Benton Harbor in 2014.
But there are no current plans to bring an event to Grand Rapids.
"It would be great to get the champions tour back to Grand Rapids," says Ernst.
"What it does for a community, the dollars generated. not to mention the overall fun and atmosphere." adds Rock. "I think it's a very good event."