Local golf teams prepare for 'M-89 Challenge' at Lynx

Allegan, Otsego and Plainwell teams will battle in the inaugural event
Jason Wesseldyk, Sports Editor

After purchasing the Lynx Golf Course last summer, Jim Szilagyi immediately began brainstorming ways to reach out to the surrounding communities.

One of the ideas born out of that was the M-89 Challenge, a competition between the high school teams from Allegan, Otsego and Plainwell.
The inaugural boys’ event is scheduled for Friday, May 2, with the girls’ teams getting in on the action sometime next fall.
“We wanted to foster a top-flight golf competition between the three closest high schools to The Lynx,” Szilagyi said. “We want to be known as a course that is capable of hosting not only high school, but also regional and statewide golf events.  
“The M-89 Challenge is an important part of that goal.”
While this year’s Chal­lenge is taking place in the middle part of the season, the ultimate plan is to move it closer to the end.
“Our hope is to create a must-play event for these three schools and provide them a good challenge leading up to the state tournament,” Szilagyi said. “Ideally, it will come the week prior to districts. 
“Our course will give the coaches a chance to see their players on a championship-level course, the kind they’ll ultimately face in the state tournament. It will be a good test and a good gauge.”
Preparation for the event began last October. Since then, coaches and other representatives of the schools have met with Szilagyi to work out the details.
“The schools have been very supportive,” he said. “We certainly appreciate the support of the administrations, faculties and coaches to make this competition possible.”
In the future, the event could expand to include other area schools. For now, though, the focus is on making it as successful as possible with Allegan, Otsego and Plainwell. 
“We first want to create an event with the three local community school districts,” Szilagyi said. “They are our partners in this event, both this spring and next fall for the girls. After that, we’re going to sit down again and discuss what we have to see if expansion is in the cards.  
“If we do expand, it will be with their full endorsement and cooperation. It just has to make sense.”
The public is invited to attend the event and support their favorite school.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing the kids test their skills on a top flight challenge as they get ready for the state tournament,” Szilagyi said. “It should be a lot of fun.”


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