From Michigan Links, Spring 2003

Links to the Past
by Jack Berry

In 1934, golf legends Tommy Armour and Walter Hagen did battle at the Great Lakes Open Tournament, held at the Belvedere Golf Club. The club, which opened for play in 1927, has hosted numerous events, but The Michigan Anateur is typically the first that comes to mind.

No other club is linked more closely to the state’s oldest championship than Belvedere, which will host the event for the 39th time this June after a 14-year absence.

Belvedere is also one of the favorite haunts of a certain Missourian, Tom Watson, who played there often during summers spent at nearby Walloon Lake.

“I love that country up there,” said Watson, who started going north when he was 5 years old. “We’d go for two weeks, then three and then a month. I went up every summer through college.”

For the Watsons it was the petunia-lined streets of nearby Charlevoix, shrimp at the Argonne, fried chicken at the Damsite Inn, fudge in Petoskey and golf at Belvedere.

Watson, an honorary member at Belvedere, last played the course in 1998 and it ranks among his favorites: “The 16th (346-yard par-4) is one of the best holes in golf. It’s a short hole but it’s a wonderful hole. And the 11th (uphill 391-yard par-4) is one of the best.”