Text: Brenna Buckwald // Photography: Nile Young
In Pierson, Michigan, golfers can head to Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club, where they can play a course built on more than 400 acres of land, featuring rolling bentgrass greens and manicured fairways, lined with tall white pines and black oaks—a peaceful retreat not far from the city of Grand Rapids.
This year, the golf club is undergoing changes in preparation for the upcoming golf season, a season tentatively planned to start on May 1st for Pilgrim’s Run. One of the transitions is the retirement of Jeff O’Malley, former PGA director of golf at Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club, who worked at the club for 23 ½ years. The role has been passed onto Michael Rey, PGA Professional and new director of golf at Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club.
“[O’Malley] has been our one and only golf professional in Pilgrim’s Run history, and so I have replaced him with big shoes to fill,” Rey said. “We are not going to skip a beat with me jumping in, it is going to still be running the exact same way as it has always been.”
Pilgrim’s Run is also in the process of remodeling the clubhouse, as well as doing a golf cart paving project on the back nine of the course, freshening up the facilities for this golf season. When the club opens for the season, guests will find the walls of the clubhouse have been painted a fresh, light gray, with photos of the golf course hung throughout the space. The carpet and furniture will also be replaced with new pieces, among other things.
Rey indicated that golfers not only have the remodeled facilities to look forward to this season, but also new events taking place at Pilgrim’s Run. In September, for Labor Day, the golf club will be host to a Folds of Honor benefit event for the first time.
“It is going to be the first of its kind, so it is pretty unique, and we are going to help raise some money for a good cause,” Rey said.
Rey also noted Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club has a Facebook page that is one of the best ways to check for news about the club, as it is consistently updated with all the need-to-know information such as its event schedule, club updates, and promotions.
“Last year [rounds] were so astronomically high that by the time the season was over, the golf course was showing a little bit more wear and tear, the carts got a little bit more wear and tear, and we had to increase the rates a little bit to help control the amount of play out here,” Rey said. “We are still expecting a busy year, but it is going to be a little bit different on how it happens this year.”