Ferris State University in Big Rapids will be the future home of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, the school announced Monday.
“What better place to exhibit the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame portraits, plaques and memorabilia, in an interactive manner, than at Ferris State University, the birthplace of the Professional Golf Management curriculum,” says Fritz Balmer, president of the Michigan Golf Foundation and chair of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Committee. “Putting the students in touch with golf history, and the people who made that history, is a perfect fit. We are extremely fortunate.”
For more than a year, the staff at the Hall of Fame has searched for a permanent location to display its collection of plaques, portraits, and memorabilia commemorating 101 members, including such notables as Elaine Crosby, Walter Hagen, Dave and Mike Hill, Chuck Kocsis, Meg Mallon, Horton Smith, Rick Smith, and Al Watrous.
The exhibit will be part of a collaborative effort that involves teaching and learning opportunities, says Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Ferris State. “We look forward to using the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame to help us celebrate the golf industry and inspire our students who are passionately pursuing careers in this important industry for our state,” he said.
On average, there are around 250 students enrolled in the university’s Professional Golf Management program each year, although enrollment has been as high as 300, says Sandy Gholston, a spokesman for Ferris State University.
The display for the Hall of Fame was originally housed at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion, and is currently on display at Troy Officenter at 320 E. Big Beaver, near Livernois. Gholston says that it is undetermined when the display will move to Big Rapids.
The Michigan Hall of Fame Committee, a subset of the Michigan Golf Foundation, has 17 members that represent a cross-section of major golf organizations and media. The group collectively undertakes annual elections. The Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of competitive Michigan players, but also those of individuals who have contributed to the growth of the game.