Beat The Pro: Wawashkamo Golf Club

MACKINAC ISLAND – “It has taken the test of time and it has passed, you know, in my mind, with glorious colors,” said Wawashkamo PGA Professional Chuck Olson.

Designed and constructed over a century ago, Wawashkamo Golf Club on Mackinac Island is anything but ordinary.

“From a golf perspective it hasn’t had a renovation since it was built in 1898 and it looks like you just stepped back in time . . . if you enjoy golf and you enjoy architecturally different kinds of places it has got to be on your bucket list,” Olson explained.

Especially if you’re a history buff. The site of an 1814 battle with the British was seen by the remnants of a more than 200 year old Red Oak tree that now sits alongside the sixth and 15th green.

“The feel, the touch, the thing that they did to create golf courses back then it’s still here,” described Olson. “If this was built in the middle of Northern Michigan they would have taken a bulldozer to it, but, because it was on Mackinac Island, they left it alone . . . I just think its a little treasure.”

One that is maintained by nature, and a hand mower, ensuring Alex Smith’s clever design continues to deceive its most hopeful golfers.

“The golf industry has been trying to become perfect and this place is all about playing golf the way it was 115 years ago,” Olson said. “They have never watered the fairways since they started, so there is no irrigation in the fairways so, it plays very Scottish.”

However, when you head to our Beat the Pro hole this year, the par three 13th, easy might be a word that comes to mind.

“It’s reachable, it’s obtainable and because it kind of slopes away from you from the front to the back you just have to make sure your yardage is right,” explained Olson.

On competition day, Olson impressed our participants with a shot onto the green that drops 16′ away from the flag. A hit island resident Douglas Rearick is able to beat for some bragging rights, landing 15’4″ inches short of a hole in one. Meaning he Beat the Pro and punched his ticket to the mainland later this summer for our Finals.

Tune in next Friday as we tread to Tullymore Golf Resort in Stanwood.