GRAND HAVEN, Michigan – Memorial Day 2020 (fittingly) is the target date for the opening of American Dunes – formerly Grand Haven Golf Club – here just west of Grand Rapids.
Once owned by Dr. John Rooney, the course is owned today by his son, Major Dan Rooney, founder of Folds Of Honor, a nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to families of military service men and women who have fallen or been disabled while on active duty in the United States Armed Forces. Rooney is working with Jack Nicklaus and Nicklaus Design Senior Designer Chris Cochran to completely re-design the golf course, which has been closed during the 2019 season.
“The property is basically sand underneath,” Nicklaus said. “What we are trying to do is create a golf course that will open up that feeling of coming off Lake Michigan, having the dunes, and then incorporating that into some of the inland areas that have the beautiful trees.
“The combination of the two — being able to play through and around exposed dunes as well as tree-lined holes in some places — really creates a golf course that is rather unique. If we can do that, and at the same time honor our military and raise money for the education of the families of our fallen soldiers, this is going to be something very unique and very special in the game