The famed Sundance course at A-Ga-Ming Golf Resort will host the top junior golfers of the 44th Michigan Junior State Amateur presented by the Rocket Tour beginning Monday.
A field of 108 golfers aged 18 and under and determined by past performance or through sectional qualifications will compete for the overall championship or in an 15 and under division until Thursday.
Sundance, which opened in 2005, is a Jerry Matthews design on glacier-carved cliffs between Torch Lake and Grand Traverse Bay. Part of the course rolls over links-style terrain and part of the course is cut through the hardwoods of northern Michigan and sits alongside the resort’s original Torch course.
With water views combined with wide playable fairways, a classic green design, 110 bunkers and areas of natural sand and heather covered mounds, the course is stunning in appearance. It can be played almost 7,000 yards and offers multiple tee options. No. 17 is a camera hole in addition to being a challenge for the golfer. The tee is at the top of a wooded ridge and the 210 yard par 3 hole then drops 80 to a green surrounded by trees.
A-Ga-Ming was built in the mid-1970s by Detroit businessman Roy Wetmore. What is now the Torch course was redesigned by Chick Harbert, 1954 PGA champion and member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. The Antrim Dells course and the nearby Charlevoix Country Club courses are also part of the current resort, which includes several dining and accommodation options. Learn more at a-ga-ming.com.
Larry Lavely is the PGA’s director of golf and the superintendent of the Sundance course is Nick Michalek.
Juniors playing in the General Division will play 36 holes in stroke play on Monday to determine a medalist and the top seed that will lead the 32 low-scoring golfers in the match play bracket.
A 15 and under division is also presented from Tuesday with 18 holes in stroke play.
In the General Division, the first round or round of 16 takes place on Tuesday with the second round and quarterfinals on Wednesday. The semi-finals and championship matches for both age categories will take place on Thursday.
The championship will crown a new overall champion. Back-to-back championship winner PJ Maybank III of Cheboygan is not on the court this year. Last year, he held off Lake Orion’s Justin Sui, 3-and-2, in the final game at TPC Michigan.
The 15-and-under winner a year ago, Richland’s Max VanderMolen, is back. Then 13 years old, he beat Connor Fox of Lake Orion 6&5 in the title match.
Sui, VanderMolen and Fox are all back on the court and in the General Division this year, as is Grand Blanc’s Robert Burns, the 2020 15-and-under winner.