ANN ARBOR — Jeanne Myers is in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, and in 2005 served as the first woman president of the Golf Association of Michigan.
She isn’t easy to surprise or overwhelm, but said she was both Tuesday after being awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Golf Association of Michigan during its annual meeting of club delegates at the University of Michigan golf course.
“Nothing could mean more to me than this,” she said. “This is right up there with going into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.”
Myers is starting her 35th year of service to the GAM. She was a volunteer for the first 22 years, which included serving as a rules official for GAM and United States Golf Association tournaments across the country, and doing countless course ratings and rules seminars.
The last 12 she has worked as full-time staff for the GAM, teaching, training and leading volunteers in course rating, handicap collection and the rules with a handy rug she created with a golf course layout to help her show and explain the rules of golf. She is headed into what she calls retirement, but not without serving this year as a staff member two days each week and volunteer three days.
“She opens up that rug she uses for rules instruction and everything suddenly becomes much clearer to those listening,” said John Barbour, the outgoing president of the GAM, who presented the award.
“What Jeanne has done for golf in Michigan is incredible,” said Sara Wold, who will serve as president until the next annual meeting of delegates and is the second woman to lead the GAM as president.
“We’ve all learned so much from her.”
Myers has been a champion for women in golf, but really all amateur golfers.
“When you are a rules official, half the time you are giving really bad news to a player,” she said. “The amateur golfers though are by and large wonderful, pleasant and don’t snarl and snap. I’ve always had the greatest respect for the really good amateur players. They are playing for fun and the love of the game, and I try to honor that.”
Myers headlined several awards made Tuesday by the GAM.
Frank Cianciola of Radrick Farms Golf Club was named the Club Representative of the Year for 2017, and Tom Roehl of Warren was honored as the Course Rater of the Year.
Phil Owen, formerly the head golf course superintendent at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, was presented with the GAM Superintendent Award of Merit.
GAM Players of the Year were announced in November and December, but awards were handed out on Tuesday. Those in attendance included Men’s Player of the Year Tom Werkmeister of Grandville, Senior Women’s Player of the Year Julie Massa of Holt, Junior Girls Player of the Year Mikaela Schulz of West Bloomfield, 15-and-under Boys Junior Player of the Year Brockton English of Shelby Township, and 15-and-under Girls Junior Player of the Year Savannah Haque of Rochester Hills.
Those who couldn’t attend but were lauded included Aya Johnson of Muskegon, the Women’s Player of the Year, Randy Lewis of Alma, the Senior Men’s Player of the Year, Rick Hagenbach of South Lyon, the Super Senior Player of the Year and Patrick Sullivan of Grosse Pointe, the Junior Boys Player of the Year.