There are 41 PGA Club Professionals in the field this week, including 25 who have competed at Harbor Shores as least once since the 2012 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. The contingent includes 32 of 35 who earned a berth through last fall’s Senior PGA Professional Championship; and nine alternates. A quick glance at several:
- Jim Estes of Germantown, Maryland, co-founder of the Salute Military Golf Association, and the 2017 Low Club Professional. Estes is PGA Director of Instruction for Jim Estes Golf Services in Olney, Maryland.
- Roy Vucinich, 71, a PGA Life Member, who finished T-4 in 2002 at Firestone Country Club, is the oldest member of the field. He was the 1997-98 Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year.
- Vucinich and James Mason, a PGA Life Member from Dillard, Georgia, are each appearing in their 15th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
- Jared Melson, 52, of Tullahoma, Oklahoma, is the last PGA Club Professional to gain a berth in the field (as an alternate). He is playing in his first event alongside Tour Professionals, and it happens to be a major championship. Melson is the PGA Head Professional at Bear Trace at Tims Ford in Winchester, Tennessee.
Pure Michigan Course Knowledge
Brian Cairns, a PGA Teaching Professional at Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth, Michigan, may be the best “tourist” of Harbor Shores aside from the maintenance crew. Cairns estimated that he’s played the course “at least 25 times” as he prepares for his fourth consecutive KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship appearance.