Michigan Golf History: 1941-1950
By Art McCafferty
Golf was far from many people's minds as we began the forties. Obviously, the advent of WW II and all the massive changes it brought to our state and nation were foremost on everybody's mind. It was not until the latter part of the decade that our country started to settle down and rebuild from a war-time economy.
In the golf world the war caused numerous interruptions. The British Open was not played from 1940-1945. It began again in 1946 with Sam Snead taking the honors. The U.S. Open was the U.S. Close from 1942-45 emerging from its slumber with the play of Ben Hogan, as he won the first of his four championships in 1948.
The PGA, shut down from 1943-44, came to Michigan's Plum Hollow in 1947, where Jim Ferrier took the honors. The Masters was down 1943-45 and then continued its march to greatness with Hogan, Snead and Nelson winning during the decade. The United States took two Ryder cups from England during that time, one in Portland,
Oregon and the other in Ganton, Yorks. Finally, on the national scene, the U.S. Women's Open began in 1946 with Patty Berg taking the crown.
The Michigan Open added the names of Chick Harbert, Al Watrous and Chuck Kocsis to its trophy while the Michigan PGA saved on engraving costs as Chick Harbert took the honors four times.
Golf course development was also at a standstill with only two courses built during the war, Waverly Hills and Selfridge. Selfridge has recently been totally re-developed by Bruce Matthews III and his Design 3 firm. Unlike the other military base courses such as Kincheloe and Sawyer that have been taken over by private concerns, Selfridge is still a military base. In fact, all the military services are represented on the base. Leo Bishop was the busiest architect in the 40's designing both Pine Knob and Tecumseh Country Club. 51 years after it opened its first nine, Pine Knob opened its third nine, a gem from the mind of course designer Lorrie Viola this year.
Selfridge Golf Course (Military)
Redesigned Bruce Matthews
Design 3 1999
Waverly Hills Golf Course (Public)
City of Lansing Staff
Scenic Golf & Country Club
Designed by Floyd Richman, Ernest Clabuesch, Harry Leisure and Father Hafner
New nine 1971
Renovation by Tim Furnace 1996
Bonnie View Golf Course (Public)
Designed by MacCay.
Dutch Hollow Golf Course (Public)
Designed by Ellis Bowler
Pine Knob Golf Course (Public)
Designed by Leo Bishop
Third nine designed by Lorrie Viola 1999
Tecumseh Country Club (Private)
Designed by Leo Bishop.
Gaylord Country Club (Semi-Private)
Designed by Wilfrid Reid
Redesigned Robert W. Bills and
Donald L. Childs 1971
White Birch Hills Golf Course (Public)
Village Green Golf Course (Public)
Designed by Bob Frain
New nine 2000 designed
by Larry Range
Part 1 Michigan Golf History from 1895-1910
Part 2 Michigan Golf History 1911-1920
Part 3 Michigan Golf History 1921-1930
Part 4 Michigan Golf History 1931-1940
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