“Made in Michigan” is the proud theme of the 25th annual West Michigan Golf Show set for February 8-10 at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids. To help celebrate the Silver Anniversary of Michigan’s longest-running golf show, organizers have put together a roster of accomplished golfers and teachers native to Michigan to serve as headliners for the Show.
Mount Pleasant native and two-time PGA Tour winner Dan Pohl will be joined by two celebrated Grand Rapids golfers who are making a mark in professional competitive golf—Matt Harmon and Andy Matthews. Harmon’s longtime teacher is Dave Kendall, a two-time Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year, while Matthews’ instructor is Charley Vandenberg, a four-time Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year. Both Kendall and Vandenberg will be conducting clinics with their respective students lending insight into what it takes to make it on Tour.
Also providing clinics will be well-regarded PGA instructors Jason Guss, Treetops, and Brian O’Neill of Boyne USA. Guss and O’Neill will be teaming up on stage for a special “challenge lesson” in which they will compete by showing how they improved the worst swings of past students.
Golf Show Manager Carolyn Alt is particularly excited about the “Made in Michigan” lineup for this year’s edition. “Wanting to do something different for our 25th anniversary, we came to the conclusion that some outstanding talent—both for playing and teaching—is available right here in our state,” said Alt. “Our patrons will learn from Michigan’s best players and teachers.”
Inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2004, Dan Pohl won twice on the PGA Tour, the 1986 Colonial Invitational and the 1986 NEC World Series of Golf. He finished in the top-10 over 70 times including more than a dozen second and third place finishes. Pohl is also remembered for his runner-up finish in the 1982 Masters, losing in a playoff to Craig Stadler. A member of the 1987 Ryder Cup team (the last Michigan player making the squad), Pohl also competed on the PGA Tour’s Champion Tour where his best finish was a T-3. Unfortunately chronic back ailments have hindered his play. Now residing in Phoenix, Pohl also designed Pohlcat GC in his native Mount Pleasant.
From his earliest days as a junior golfer, Kentwood’s Matt Harmon has set his sights on making it on golf’s biggest stage. After five wins on satellite Tours and now earning conditional playing status on the PGA Tour’s Web.com Tour, Harmon is getting closer to his ultimate goal. The former Michigan State University standout and the 2007 Big Ten Player of the Year, Harmon won four times on the Hooters/NGA Tour and once on the EGolf Tour before making his mark on the Nationwide and Web.com Tours, the rugged “minor leagues” of the PGA Tour. Last year, Harmon fired a final round of 61 and finished T-2 at the TPC Stonebrae Championship, earning $44,000. He played in 16 events in 2012 and earning over $88,000, good for a 64th money ranking. In 2013, Harmon will again compete on the Web.com Tour, now the official gateway to the PGA Tour.
Ada’s Andy Matthews’ golf career has followed a similar upward path as Harmon’s. The former Michigan Amateur champion (2001) and University of Michigan golf captain, Matthews has had success on the Canadian PGA Tour. He won the 2010 Mexican PGA Championship, sanctioned by the Canadian PGA Tour. A winner of the 2010 Michigan PGA Tournament of Champions, Matthews this year will be competing on the new PGA TOUR Canada whose schedule begins in the summer. The top five money winners on that Tour will graduate directly to the Web.com Tour the following year.
Held continuously since 1989, the West Michigan Golf Show will attract thousands of Michigan golfers to hundreds of exhibits and will feature clinics, putting contests, junior golf instruction, swing analyzers and unbeatable golf shopping opportunities. As always, several charities will benefit from their involvement with the show. Sponsors include: Treetops Resort, Pfeiffer Lincoln, Odawa Casino Resort, Swan Lake Resort, Golf Association of Michigan, Boyne USA and the Michigan PGA.
Produced by ShowSpan Inc. and held at DeVos Place, the West Michigan Golf Show's hours are 4:00 pm-9:00 pm, Friday; 10:00 am-7:00 pm, Saturday; and 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-14, and children 5 and under are free. Tickets will be available at the door as well as online at www.westmichigangolfshow.com