Mike Nagy of Manistique erased a long-standing Upper Peninsula high school record this season en route to his third golf title in four seasons.
Nagy averaged a stunning 35.68 strokes per nine holes this season, breaking the mark of 37.13 that Brian Robinette of Escanaba averaged in 1990. Robinette had just edged out the previous mark of 37.14 by Barry Nelson of Escanaba in 1984.
Robinette is a two-time U.P. Golf Association champion and a former state junior amateur champion who is now golf coach at Escanaba High School. He played nine holes with Nagy at Indian Lake Golf and Country Club last month and was very impressed with the University of Tennessee recruit.
"I really like how he conducts himself, there are not many highs and not many lows. He hits the ball solid all the time," Robinette said.
Having seen both players over the years, Nagy has a similar build to Robinette but hits the ball further, many times pushing drives beyond 300 yards with laser-like accuracy down the middle.
"He understands how to flight his golf ball," Robinette said. "His short game is real, real good. If he does hit errant shots, he saves a lot of pars. And he's long, impressively long for his size.
"He conducts himself like a winner. He has an air of confidence."
Robinette, who was selected to the Olivet College Sports Hall of Fame for his golf skills last year, knows what it takes to play at a higher level and believes Nagy has the makeup and game to do that.
But he pointed out that "golfers like him are a dime a dozen at that level. All of them are able to hit it. He has the mind to compete at that level. Right now he works as hard as I've ever seen, harder than I ever did. I would put his resume right at the top in terms of achievement."
Sweetgrass was called "Deal of the Month" in the July issue of Golf Magazine, which is a Sports Illustrated publication. Greywalls of Marquette and TimberStone Golf Course of Iron Mountain also received mention in the brief article in the "Best Trips" section of the magazine.
The "Perfect Foursome" package brought the recognition, a tremendous deal that includes a two-night stay at the resort and golf at the three award-winning courses. The $265 deal is fabulous even for those of us who live near the spectacular courses.
A picture of the demanding par-3, seventh hole at Sweetgrass is included, and the article says: "Sweetgrass is equal parts heartland and Scotland tradition; TimberStone dishes out massive rocks and trees (plus a 10-story drop at the par-3 17th); and Marquette's Greywalls shines with granite outcroppings and Lake Superior vistas.
"And there's enough daylight to play 36, then fish in a Great Lake. Nice hook."
The article indicates Michigan's rich golf heritage of "quality courses and superior value" and stresses the short season is embellished by the ability to play until 10 p.m. during the summer.
"You can OD on great golf, especially in the Upper Peninsula," it said.
Dennis Grall is sports editor of the Escanaba Daily Press.