DETROIT – Betty Woods describes herself as old school.
“If somebody gives me the responsibility to do something, I follow through and complete it,” she said. “I’m never looking for accolades or to get patted on the back. I go do my job to the best of my ability.”
Woods, 81 and a Grosse Ile resident and member at Grosse Ile Golf & Country Club, was honored Monday with the Golf Association of Michigan’s Distinguished Service Award during the Annual Meeting of GAM Delegates at Detroit Golf Club.
“It’s an honor, a surprise,” she said. “I’ve been involved in golf for quite some time, and I just enjoy doing it.”
Woods has been involved at every level of volunteer status in the GAM in the last 23 years, including competitor in tournaments, course rating, club representative, Governor and rules official, and she remains active as a rules official and Governor. She was also on the executive committee of the former Women’s Michigan Golf Association, which administered the Michigan Women’s Amateur before the GAM took the reins at the WMGA’s request, and she is a past member of the United States Golf Association’s Senior Women’s Committee.
“Betty is a tireless volunteer,” said 2018 GAM president Sara Wold. “Whatever needs to be done, she will do it. She really has a passion, especially for her club. She does everything there. I don’t know what they would do without her. I’ve worked with her a long time. She is just somebody you can count on, and I’m grateful for all that she has done for golf and the GAM.”
Woods, who has won multiple club championships at Grosse Ile, said her late husband Ronald taught her to play golf.
“He was very involved with the GAM and the Western Golf Association and the Evans Scholars, and I came to golf late, but it was something we did together,” she said. “After he passed away in 1996, I stayed in the game and I still help the Evans Scholars and I’m on a bunch of the committees at Grosse Ile.”
Woods cited the late Virginia Campsie as her mentor at Grosse Ile in becoming a rules official, and said Richard Papp, Richard Fairgrieve and Hank Beaudry, all GAM volunteers from Grosse Ile, urged her to continue working to serve golf.
“I like golf, so I stayed in,” she said.
The Distinguished Service Award topped the list of several the GAM presented during the Awards Luncheon.
The GAM Superintendent Award of Merit was presented to Paul Galligan of Grand Traverse Resort. Jim and Cindy Westerhof of the Polo Fields in Ann Arbor were named Club Representatives of the Year. Mike and Connie Brady were named Course Raters of the Year.
Sean Cantrell of Wequetonsing Golf Club received the James D. Standish Jr. Award as the top student from the University of Michigan’s Evans Scholars House. Taylor Skelton of Pine Lake Country Club was the winner from Michigan State’s House.
New GAM Governors were introduced. They included Laura Bavaird of TPC of Michigan, Herb Black of Barton Hills, Barry Babbitt of Plum Hollow, John Beecroft of Port Huron, Jeff Drury of Meadowbrook, Jim Wlosinski of Fox Creek, Randy Seber of Kalamazoo, Matt Haas of Lakeland and Laurie Puscas of Oakhurst.
The Players of the Year for 2018, who were announced last November and December, were presented their awards. Senior Men’s Player of the Year Mitch Wilson of Portage and Junior Girl’s Player of the Year Mikaela Schulz of West Bloomfield were in attendance. The other players of the year included Men’s POY Alex Scott of Traverse City, Women’s POY Kerri Parks of Flushing, Super Senior POY Mike Fedewa of Canton, Senior Women’s POY Julie Massa of Holt, Junior Boy’s POY Bradley Smithson of Grand Rapids, 15-and-under Boy’s POY Landon Wanless of Caledonia and 15-and-under Girl’s POY Jolie Brochu of Goodrich.
The annual meeting closed with Chris Angott of Plum Hollow Country Club taking the reins as President of the GAM from Wold, and Angott introduced Chris Whitten, the former University of Michigan men’s golf team coach, as the new Executive Director of the GAM.
Current Executive Director David Graham retires in June after 18 years of service, and he was honored by the partner associations in attendance, including the USGA, for his contributions to the game and golf in the state of Michigan.