Egypt Valley Country Club

West Michigan’s premier private country club, complete with 36 holes of golf and an elegant, yet relaxing dining experience.

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Big Brothers, Big Sisters

We would like to invite you to join us this Saturday, July 28th, as we feature another “Cause at the Club” evening at Egypt Valley. This month, we will be hosting Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Grand Rapids. Along with this month’s Cause at the Club, we are thrilled to be hosting our first annual Big Brothers, Big Sisters golf outing on Monday, August 13th.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters is an organization dedicated to matching adults with underprivileged children in the greater Grand Rapids area to build brighter futures. These children may be experiencing difficulty in school, inadequate social skills or limited ability to develop their own interests and are in need of a mentoring relationship. The bond formed between mentor and child often leads to a more positive attitude experienced by the child towards education, the environment and relationships with others. These unique bonds have the potential to last a lifetime.

Long-time Egypt Valley member, Dave Townsend, is a “big brother” and was instrumental in bringing the Big Brother/Big Sisters golf outing to Egypt Valley.  If you would like to be involved in supporting this year’s event, please click here, or contact Dave if you would like more information.

This Saturday, we will be offering menu service along with several of Chef John’s slected entrée specials. As a special offer for those bringing a guest couple to dinner, we would like you to enjoy a Saturday afternoon of golf without greens fees for your guests. And as always, 10% of your food bill from dinner goes directly towards the support of the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. To make your reservations for our “Cause at the Club” evening, please call Emily at (616) 676-2626.

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Jack Van Ess, member of Egypt Valley Country Club, inducted into Golf Hall of Fame

Jack Van Ess says his father told him he would prefer he not play golf on Sundays in keeping with the family’s religious beliefs, and he agreed without hesitation.

“Sure there were times where I thought if I played on Sunday I could win the City Championship or the (Western Michigan District) or something, and there was one time at (the North and South Amateur) at Pinehurst due to a rainout that I didn’t have to play on a Sunday because one guy didn’t show up for a playoff,” he says. “I don’t have anything bad to say about people who do play on Sundays. It’s just something I told my father I wouldn’t do, and that’s it.”

Mr. “Never on Sunday” of Grand Rapids built a Hall of Fame career with six-day weeks starting when an uncle gave him a 3-wood when he was 14. He played every shot with it in a first-time 52 for nine holes. He was soon breaking par,though most of the time he was busy running the family furniture factory supplies business and raising three children with his wife Mary.

Van Ess, 84, collected many of his trophies after retirement. He won the Michigan Senior Open and Senior Amateur, the only player to achieve that double. He won the Dale Morey Society of Seniors event, and World Super Seniors 80-and-over title, and has competed inthe U.S. Amateur, the North and South Amateur, the Western Amateur, the U.S.Senior Amateur and U.S. Senior Open.

A popular quick-witted character with a smooth putting stroke, he has won the club championship 10 times spanning four decades at what is now Egypt Valley.  He learned of his election to Michigan’s Golf Hall of Fame the same day he played Augusta National Golf Club for the first time. His friend John O’Donovan gave him the news.

“I can’t describe what that day meant,” he says.

Part of the Hall of Fame tradition is inductees donating an item of significance, and Van Ess is presenting his firs Totey Crisman hickory-shafted putter. It holds special significance in that he gave it to his daughter when she took up golf. Sue passed away last year after a courageous battle with Cancer. Jack and Mary have also lost a son, Tim, to Cancer. Their son Bill, like his father and grandfather before him, runs W.P. WilliamsCo.

“I love to play and compete, and golf is the only sport I know where you really get to know a person in competition,” he says. “You play 18 holes with somebody and you can tell what kind of person they are, and it’s not like that in other games. The game brings the character out in people, and I always loved that about it.”

Congratulations Jack!

Written by Greg Johnson

27th Annual Bethany Open

On July 30, 2012, Egypt Valley Country Club and Bethany Christian Services will partner once again for the 27th Annual Bethany Open Golf Tournament.  The premiere private club home of dual championship courses and the global social services ministry, will come together for a celebratory event that is now approaching its third decade of longevity. What makes this event special? What makes this partnership work?

We believe it is because Bethany and Egypt Valley are about:

  • Familya group whose members are related in origin, characteristics, or occupation. Egypt Valley and Bethany both have roots in Grand Rapids. Both are driven by a sense of integrity and a desire to reach out to children in need. By partnering together, we have served children and families in our community for 27 years. This makes us family!
  • Community—a group of people with a common background or with shared interests within society.  Egypt Valley and Bethany are organizations that are made up of people who share a passion to help children find loving families, and help families to become stable and strong. This is what builds a community.
  • Neighbors—to be located very close to something or somebody, or to be close to something in character.  A mere 11 miles separate the private country club and the global social services ministry.  We share a fundamental desire to reject inequality and replace it with genuine, authentic relationships with people from all walks of life. This is what it means to      be a neighbor.

It’s a good business model and a good social model.  It’s a good community model and a good ministry model.  To quote God from the book of Genesis regarding creation, “It is good.”

Bethany Christian Services would like to thank the Egypt Valley Country Club Board of Directors, club members, and staff for their kindness, hard work, and generosity.  We are blessed to be part of the same family, community, and neighborhood. We look forward with enthusiasm and anticipation to another great outing in 2012!

For more information on Bethany Christian Services or The Bethany Open, please go to www.bethany.org/grandrapids/events.

Gratefully yours,

Bruce T. Hakim
Tournament Director