Fenton, MI — September 30, 2021
One of the biggest golf tournaments of the year in Michigan concluded this week at the Country Club of Lansing. The Michigan Section PGA Match Play Championship came down to two PGA Club professionals battling it out for the title of Michigan Golfer of the Year.
Ben Cook from Yankee Springs Golf Course in Wayland faced off against Fenton’s Darren Husse, one of the club professionals at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc.
The match was high drama for the gallery that followed the players around the course and were treated to spectacular golf usually only seen at PGA TOUR events.
Match Play Championship
After winning morning semi-final matches, Cook and Husse paired off in the final on Wednesday afternoon. After matching pars on the first four holes, Cook took the lead with a birdie on the par 4-5th hole. Husse birdied the 6th, but Cook equaled him. Another Birdie on the 8th hole by Husse and the match was back to all square.
Husse carded the only bogey of the day, by either player, on the par 4-9th hole. One down heading to the back nine, they both parred the 10th. A 2 on the par 3-11th, put Cook 2 up. Husse’s birdie on the 13th cut the deficit back to 1 hole. Consecutive birdies on the 15th and 16th holes earned Cook the title, 3 up with 2 holes to play.
To gauge the quality of golfing skills from these two individuals consider that Cook qualified for the PGA Championship, won by Phil Mickelson, this past May. He was the low club professional in that championship earning a 44th place finish. Finishing ahead of Ryder Cup team members Rory McIlroy, Harris English, Lee Westwood, Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, and Tommy Fleetwood.
Hear what Webb Simpson had to say about Ben Cook after playing with him at the PGA Championship.
Local Golfer With a Fabulous Story
We met Darren while visiting Warwick Hills for the Ally Challenge. He works out of the Brody Golf Shop at the course, with owners and fellow professionals Doug & Jenn Brody.
Two years ago Darren led the Michigan Open Championship on the Bear Course at Grand Traverse Resort for the first two rounds of the tournament. In an interview during that event, Darren shared with us his story and it is amazing. In short, due to a neurological disorder that required brain surgery, Darren was out of the game of golf for four years.
A congenial and gracious individual, Darren is a joy to talk to about any subject. When discussing golf his passion for the sport really shines through. We had the pleasure of touring the Warwick Hills course prior to the PGA Tour Champions annual visit and Darren described hole-by-hole how the pros attack the layout.
Working To Elevate Your Game
Anyone who plays golf understands to be considered good, it takes really working on your game. Darren is noted for his commitment. He has popped up on our radar a couple of times this year.
During the Michigan PGA event, Darren qualified for the match play round of 16. His opponent Cody Haughton proved to be a worthy competitor. The two players were all square after 18 and went on to play extra holes until a winner was determined.
On one of the overtime holes, Haughton lay three on the green close to the hole. Darren conceded the putt and faced a near-impossible task of making par from the rough laying 3 off the green. He sank the chip to continue the match. He sank another chip to earn the win after 23 holes.
In the morning semi-final prior to his match with Cook, Darren faced two-time champion, Scott Hebert, from Traverse City. Stringing together a streak of birdies Darren advanced 7 up with 5 to play.
Dealing With Golfing Heartbreak
Just as remarkable as he return from health issues, Darren had to overcome a significant personal disappointment earlier this year. After earning a chance to play in the PGA Tour’s Korn Ferry Qualifying event Darren was looking for a spot on the minor tour that often feeds players on the top professional PGA Tour.
After three days of competition, Darren failed to advance by a single stroke. That was unsettling in its own right. But he felt worse considering during his rounds he scored an 11 on one hole where the wheels came off completely. Lesser things have destroyed a golfers psyche and made it almost impossible to advance past such a failure. Darren preserved.
Using the memory as a personal motivator he built upon the experience instead of letting it dominate his mental golf game.
Part of Darren’s job as a club professional is giving lessons to everyday golfers looking to improve their games. Darren does not consider himself a teacher, he refers to his job as coaching. Even the professionals on tour rely on coaches to help them through rough patches in the game.
If you want to play better golf why not learn from the 2nd best golfer in the State of Michigan. He is an authority not only on the physical aspect of the game but the mental part as well.
Contact Darren at email@example.com or by phone at 810-599-9572 to get your game in shape. You do not have to be a Warwick Hills member to take advantage of his coaching skills.