Michigan State’s Shannon Kennedy Wins Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship

Plum Hollow Country Club stands tall as the ideal host for the Golf Association of Michigan premier women's tournament.

Plum Hollow Country Club, Southfield, MI — June 13, 2024

The Michigan Women’s Amateur Golf Championship concluded today with 21-year-old, soon-to-be Michigan State senior, Shannon Kennedy hoisting the winner’s trophy. After surviving her initial round of matchplay and powering through round two, her game could only be described as resilient.

As we reported yesterday, Shannon battled through an up-and-down match to earn a spot in the semifinals with a strong finish.

In this morning’s match with Macie Elzinga, they swapped wins early until Shannon went 3-up after nine. Macie battled back with two-hole wins on the back nine, forcing Shannon to respond before closing Macie out 4 and 3.

The other semifinal featured  Amaya Melendez against Elise Fennell, and it was another back-and-forth match, with Elise moving on after a narrow 1-up win.

The Final

The final match produced an amazing scoring line. Elise, 1-up after the first hole. Shannon responded with a win on hole two. Elise goes 2-up after four holes played. Shannon fights back to all-square after nine.

Elise, 1-up after the 10th. Shannon wins the 12th to square the match again. Elise is back to 1-up after the 13th. Again, Shannon comes back with a win on the 15th hole. The match is tied with three holes to play.

Shannon gets her first lead of the match, winning the 17th, and secures the championship 2-up by winning the 18th. Resilient! The trophy and an invitation to play in the U.S. Amateur are the spoils.

Graphic Courtesy of https://www.golfgenius.com/
Shannon Kennedy / Photo courtesy of Golf Association of Michigan

Week Long Wrap-Up

We have covered a number of stories this week at the Golf Association of Michigan’s Annual Championship. Not the least of which was the course that hosted the event. Plum Hollow Country Club has a long and storied history that began with its design in 1921 by world-renowned architects Harry Colt and Charles Hugh Alison. We will let the club tell the story as their website describes it in full detail.

“Garnering national recognition as one of Golf Digest’s Top 100, and host to numerous national tournaments (1943 Ryder Cup, 1947 PGA Championship, 1957 Western Open, 2015 Michigan Amateur, 2022 GAM Championship, 2023 US Open Qualifier), Plum Hollow’s championship course seamlessly fuses the game to its surroundings with sweeping elevations and one of the best routings in the United States… World-renowned architects Harry Colt and Charles Hugh Alison designed the course during the city’s peak, when golf was becoming the game of America’s leading industrialists and those who wanted to be like them. What they built was special. Famous for the masterpieces of Muirfield, Royal Portrush, Sunningdale, Milwaukee Country Club, and others, Colt and Alison are regarded by golf aficionados across America as giants in the industry.”

“The Rouge River watershed lies at the heart of the design, running through the property and bisecting every hole except for #3 and #4. Each of the remaining holes has 5’ to 50’ of elevation to navigate around, over, or in between. It is this ingenious use of the land, coupled with the best set of par 3’s in the state, that allow the course to challenge the best, while being beautiful and fair for all. In addition to the five par 3’s, there are five par 5’s that allow for many birdie opportunities, as well as many disasters. Signature holes 5, 12, and 18 are unforgettable to anyone who has ever played them.”

The GAM staff noted that Plum Hollow recently completed a renovation project on its original 1921 C.H. Alison-designed golf course. Toledo-based architect Drew Rogers completed work that the club feels honored the original design intent. It included changes involving bunkers, tees, the creation of more shot options on several holes and improved drainage and turf.

Ken Hartmann, senior director of competitions and USGA services for the GAM, said Plum Hollow has become a tougher course for some players.

“You have to hit shots that give you the best angles to play, and like all the classic courses, you don’t want to have your golf ball above the hole on the greens,” he said. “You must drive it well, and the par 5s require more golfers to lay-up with second shots. They have modernized the golf course.”

We were introduced to Barry Babbitt, GAM Secretary and long-time member of Plum Hollow CC. Barry shared a story as to how some of the renovations came to the property. “Oakland County came to us and said we need to improve the flow and drainage of the Rouge River, and these are the plans that will affect your golf club.”

Barry and the membership of the Club met and decided to approach the issue in a positive manner. Drainage on a couple of the Club’s key holes had been a problem for years. The membership started a fundraising drive to raise money that was combined with the county funds committed to the river project.

What could have been a disturbing interruption of a 100-year tradition turned into an upgrade that will serve the Club and Community for the next 100 years. Now you know the full story of Championship Week at Plum Hollow.

For additional details about Plum Hollow Country Club, including membership privileges, visit  https://www.plumhollowcc.com/ and schedule a visit.

Photo Courtesy of Plum Hollow Country Club