Harbor Shores Set to Host Senior PGA Championship

BENTON HARBOR – The golfers playing in the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores were welcomed by Lake Michigan winds, and are likely to face a few different weather conditions through the weekend.

Welcome to Michigan.

The over-50 set of the best golfers in the world are making their first of two stops in the state this year. The U.S. Senior Open follows later this summer at Indianwood in Lake Orion. For now, however, they battle the wind on the West side of the state to decide a major champion.


Defending champion Tom Watson had to withdraw with a wrist injury prior to the championship, but the strong field forged ahead.

It’s a stunning site to Southwest Michigan locals – a major tournament in Benton Harbor. A former industrial site overtaken by pollution has been cleaned up and made into a six-mile walk through nature. Jack Nicklaus, the designer, made it difficult enough for the pros. In fact, they started talking about the undulations and difficulty of the greens early in the week.

Harbor Shores has met with controversy since the start of its development near Lake Michigan and on land that was once part of three different communities, but a first-class course was built with a specific marketing goal in mind for the tourist-stop area. It was clear a major tournament fit from the first day of the week.

“It’s beautiful out there,” Fred Couples said. “And the golf course is like those we usually see in a major championship – tough.”

KitchenAid, a division of Whirlpool Corp., which has its world headquarters in the Benton Harbor and St. Joseph area, has proven to be a great addition as presenting sponsor. It’s not easy in the current economy to find sponsors devoted to sports marketing, but KitchenAid has jumped in with spoons and forks. A part of the welcome village at the tournament features chefs preparing meals for golf partrons. It’s a cooking show inside a golf tournament.

The whole package works, and as the weekend progresses everything is in place for it to turn into a great competitive golf tournament for the world’s best seniors.

Check it out on national television, or make the drive over to the Southwest corner and catch a great sunset or two. It’s worth the visit.


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