Going to the Ally Challenge, Be Sure to Grab Some Tournament Momentos

    The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren is this weekend at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club. So are some great opportunities to get pictures, meet some interesting people, score an autograph, and bring home some tournament and golf accessories.

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    Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club, Grand Blanc, MI — August 26, 2022

    Play begins today in the Ally Challenge presented by McLaren at the Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc.

    Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club / Lasco Press Photo

    Check out the activities schedule posted on The Lasco Press online newspaper. Print a copy of our hole-by-hole description of the course and how the professionals will attack the layout.

    If you are heading out to the tournament this weekend, we have some tips for you and an interview with a local golf celebrity.

    Tickets are still available for this weekend’s tournament. Follow the link to the Ally Challenge website. Have fun and contribute to a great cause.

    Tip #1

    Be sure to visit Brody’s Golf Shop. Located on the north end of the clubhouse complex, the pro shop is open during the tournament weekend. Recently named Merchandiser of the Year for the State of Michigan Private Clubs and nominated for National Merchandiser of the Year Private Clubs by the PGA. The golf shop of Warwick Hills is owned and operated by the Golf Professional husband and wife team Doug and Jenn Brody.

    Featuring tournament logo golf balls, Ally Challenge hats, shirts, and sweaters, plus a complete line of Warwick Hills logo clothing. Everything a golfer might need, including shoes, gloves, and clubs, can be custom fitted by the friendly on-site staff.

    Get your Ally Challenge presented by McLaren swag at Brody’s Golf Shop in the clubhouse at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club / Lasco Press Photo

    My personal favorite is the Ally logo ball mark repair tool that flips open at the push of a button and snaps closed after repairing the green. All I need to do now is learn how to make my shots hit the green.

    Tip #2

    Another reason for visiting the part of the club that houses the golf shop is you never know who you might see. We ran into a local golf celebrity there, more on that in a minute. The rear entrance to the Brody’s shop shares a hallway with the locker room used by PGA Tour Champions golfers.

    Hanging around outside is a great spot to grab pictures and maybe an autograph as the players leave and enter their sanctuary in the clubhouse. Just don’t block access by standing inside or near the doorway.

    Tip #3

    Just outside the south end of the clubhouse is the location of the practice putting green. Another great spot for viewing and pictures. Golfers are less likely to complain about a camera click while practicing and will often pose or stop to sign a youngster’s autograph.

    Tip #4

    Visit the 17th Hole, the party picks up in noise and intensity as the birdies are flying, and the price of beverages goes down when the low score is posted on the board. Under good golf conditions, the professionals keep rolling in the birdie putts. Just drink responsibly.

    Local Golf Celebrity

    We ran into Kate Brody, Doug and Jenn’s daughter, in the golf shop just after the morning Pro-Am on Wednesday. Kate was the caddie for the amateurs who played with Steve Stricker in the early rounds of the day.

    Steve Stricker, playing this week in the Ally Challenge presented by McLaren at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club / Lasco Press Photo

    Her group shot 17 under par. According to Kate, she helped with reading greens due to her familiarity with the course. She has played here almost every day for the past 12 golf seasons. No surprise that she would know which way the ball will break when using the putter.

    Kate Brody with her Pro-Am group at the Ally Challenge / Lasco Press Photo

    She graciously agreed to sit with The Lasco Press and discuss her golf adventures.

    Kate first appeared on our radar when she won the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) 14-and-under Match Play Championship in 2019. Two years later, she competed in the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club. The child of two professional golfers, she inherited some good golf genes.

    When asked how she played this summer, Kate said, “I shot some solid scores and played well. I just did not win anything big.”

    Kate finished 2nd in stroke play in the Michigan Girls Jr. Amateur, she also took 2nd in a GAM tournament hosted at Warwick. Kate qualified for the U.S. Girls Junior Championship held in Kentucky. Lofty goals when those accomplishments were not ranked as stellar.

    You might think, wow, this girl live’s and breathes golf. Keep reading.

    High School to College

    This fall, Kate is a senior at Grand Blanc High School. The Michigan girl’s high school golf season runs from August 15 to October 15.

    Kate has already committed to playing college golf for the University of Wisconsin but says she is looking forward to enjoying her senior year. “I don’t want to get too ahead of myself about going to college. I want to take the time this year to enjoy my classmates and friends before leaving for Wisconsin.”

    She reports that her senior season has started very well, having shot under par at her first three school tournaments. Her goal is to shoot sub-par for the entire year and see if she can lower her average into the 60s. In addition, she wants to win the State championship and earn the title of “Miss Golf” as the best high school golfer in the state of Michigan.

    In her next sentence, Kate acknowledges she has been blessed to have grown up in the environment that she did. “My parents have provided me with so much. Everything I have needed has been available to me, from the ability to play here at Warwick to the unlimited connections and knowledge of the sport.

    The beauty of Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club hosting the Ally Challenge presented by Mclaren this weekend in Grand Blanc / Lasco Press Photo

    This young lady has such a positive outlook, a good head on her shoulders, and we did not have to exchange texts to communicate. She is comfortable and confident in speaking directly to you, a skill that will benefit her no matter where her career paths lead. Credit good upbringing. When asked if she enjoys doing interviews, she responded, “Yes, I like to talk.

    More Good Sense

    Wisconsin women’s golf was ranked 77th in the country this spring and finished 9th in the Big Ten Women’s Golf Championship tournament in April. When asked why she chose the Badgers to develop her golf game, this was her answer.

    “Life is not all about golf. I wanted to go away from home, I look forward to new experiences, and when I visited Madison, Wisconsin, I knew that was the place I wanted to go to school. And it is still close enough to make the occasional trip home.”

    “I love the Big-10, Big 10 sports are awesome, and I am looking forward to being a part of the college sports scene. When I met the coaches there, I felt they could teach me to be a better golfer and a better person. My parents agreed with that assessment and felt comfortable with me moving away under those circumstances.”

    A college golf team generally has eight members, but only five to six girls travel to tournaments. Kate feels she can play right away as a freshman; I would not bet against that. We will be watching and hope to chat with her again next year, expect Wisconsin to be better for her decision to attend there.