Michigan Golf Hall of Fame celebrates four new inductees this summer

Michigan Golf Hall of Fame celebrates four new inductees this summer

The Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, or MGHOF, located at Ferris State University’s Katke Golf Club in Big Rapids, Michigan is adding four more names to its hallowed walls during an induction celebration and event on Sunday, June 2, 2019. The MGHOF will also present its fourth Special Award in history to the Golf Association of Michigan, which is celebrating its 100th year in service as of 2019. 

Those elected and recognized for their major contributions to the game in the state comprise: Bernie Friedrich, senior vice president of golf operations and resort sales at Boyne Resorts; the late George Bayer, former PGA Tour Player and head professional at Detroit Golf Club; Ron Beurmann, head professional at Country Club of Jackson; and Al Mengert, a former head professional at Oakland Hills Country. 

Election to the MGHOF is granted to individuals who have also demonstrated high standards of conduct, character, leadership, and professionalism; in addition to their contributions to the Michigan golfing industry. The Michigan Golf Foundation, or MGF, a non-profit organization of individuals representing a cross-section of major golf bodies and media members in the state, conducts the annual election; and the 2019 class of inductees will bring the number of total honorees to 127 people. 

Friedrich has worked for Boyne Resorts for nearly 44 years and currently oversees a staff of more than 200 employees in agronomy, course and golf shop operations across 12 different golf courses—10 of which are located at three resorts in Michigan. The 66-year-old professional is also a two-time Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year, named in 1998 and 2001; and a four-time Michigan PGA Resort Merchandizer of the Year. 

Friedrich has served in various capacities with The First Tee of Northern Michigan, the Michigan Golf Course Association, and the Michigan PGA Section. He is also the co-founder and a leader of the annual Harbor Cup golf event, which has raised more than $400,000 for charitable food projects in northern Michigan. 

While recognized posthumously, Bayer, who passed in 2003 in California at the age of 77-years-old, served as the Head Golf Professional at Detroit Golf Club for nearly 12 years. Bayer was also once one of golf’s longest drivers, and won the PGA Tour four times between 1957 and 1960. Before turning his attention to golf, Bayer—at six-foot-five-inches-tall and 230 pounds at age 29-years-old—was an All-American college football tackle and end for the University of Washington—and was drafted and played briefly in the NFL. The native of Bremerton, Washington, was also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. While working at Detroit Golf Club, he was also the winner of the 1973 Michigan Open Championship.

Beurmann, the 58-year-old head professional at Country Club of Jackson, is one of the Michigan PGA Section’s top golfers. In 2010, Beurmann won the Michigan PGA Professional Championship; in 1998, he took the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship; in 2012, he won the Michigan Senior Open Championship title; and in 2013, he won a Michigan PGA Senior Championship and a Michigan Senior Open Championship. He was also the Michigan PGA Player of the Year in 2004, the Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2014, and was named the Michigan PGA Merchandiser of the Year in 1998 and 2008. Beurmann has also mentored caddies, which includes the 25 who became Evans Scholars.

While now a resident of Carefree, Arizona, the 89-year-old Mengert was a club professional who played on the PGA Tour. He spent time working at a number of clubs such as Oakland Hills Country Club as head professional from 1976 to 1986. As far as titles, Mengert won the Michigan PGA Professional Championships, 1976 and 1980; Michigan Senior PGA Professional, 1980, 1983, and 1986; and Michigan Senior Open, 1983 and 1985; as well as other PGA section titles across the country. 

Mengert was also a top-ranked amateur when he lost in the final match of the 1952 U.S. Amateur to Jack Westland; and worked as a club professional for steady income while playing in 27 Grand Slam major championships—including nine U.S. Opens and eight Masters Tournaments. The U.S. Air Force veteran was also the host professional at Oakland Hills for the 1979 PGA Championship, the 1981 U.S. Senior Open, and the 1985 U.S. Open. 

When the celebration is held this summer, Bayer, Beurmann, Friedrich, and Mengert will join the 123 other members recognized by a collection of portraits, plaques, and memorabilia that will soon be housed and displayed in the new Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center at Ferris State University’s Katke Golf Club. Other MGHOF members comprise: Walter Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Horton Smith, Dave and Mike Hill, Dan Pohl, Meg Mallon, and Kelly Robbins, among others.