Inside Egypt Vallely
by Rick Arpin
In its short nine year history, Egypt Valley Country Club has developed some unique characteristics. It is known as a "players" club and its members have the hardware to prove it. For instance ...
- In 1996, the following members won state championships. Jack VanEss - Michigan Senior Open (at age 69); Russ Jimeson - Michigan Senior Amateur; Stacy Slobodonik, Michigan Womens' Amateur; Joan Garety, Michigan Womens' Match Play; Danny Janson, Michigan Junior Championship.
- In 1994, member, Kurt Hassberger, was runner-up in the Michigan Amateur.
- Andy Matthews was voted Big Ten freshman of the year for his play at the University of Michigan this past season.
- The above-mentioned Stacy Slobodnik was recently voted NCAA Midwest Coach of the Year as coach of the Michigan State womens' golf team.
- Head professional, Lynn Janson, has won every major Michigan title and competed in the U.S. Open six times.
- Presently, twenty members have a handicap of 2 or less.
- This summer a panelist for Golf Magazine's "100 Top Courses in the World" rankings visited Egypt Valley as part of a week long tour of some of Michigan's best new courses. In his 'thank you' note afterwards to the host member, the panelist wrote: "Egypt Valley was the best course we played, followed closely by The Gailes. Second tier include Bay Harbor, Weiskopf (Cedar River), Fazio (Treetops), and the Player course (The Wolverine at GTR.)"
Anyone who has spent much time at Egypt Valley is struck by the ruggedness of the terrain and the difficulty of the courses. Surprisingly ...
- A large number of members walk and carry their bag.
- Individual power caddies are allowed and Kangaroo reigns.
- There are only three ponds on the thirty-six holes and the come into play on a total of only four holes
- Egypt Valley has been selected as the site of the 2004 U.S. Open. (just checking to see if you're paying attention.)
- Even some of the pros have not mastered the "Egypt Valley Effect" which, simply stated, is the fact that all greens west of the club house are quicker when putting towards Egypt Valley Road.
Egypt Valley has consistently demonstrated a community consciousness by ...
- Hosting a variety of charity events as well as various Golf Association of Michigan tournaments.
- Hosting the Senior PGA Grand Rapids tour stop for the past six years,
- Allowing Grand Rapids City League, Ottawa-Kent League and Grand Rapids Community College free use for meets and/or practice.
- Providing dozens of college scholarships for full and part-time employees.
- Winning recogniton from the National Audobon Society for its programs to preserve and sustain wildlife on the site.
Enjoy the first Foremost Insurance Championship at Egypt Valley. And if, as you walk by the practice putting green, you think you notice something different you do. It's in its third incarnation. One of these days we're going to get it right.
Rick "Coach" Arpin is a member of Egypt Valley who writes a popular humor column for the club's newsletter.
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