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Len Ziehm On Golf

HERE AND THERE: Opening of The Loop is a big deal at Forest Dunes

The construction signage was interesting. Now golfers are about to play Forest Dunes’ new course.

The countdown is on for the opening of one of the most talked-about American courses in years.

Forest Dunes, in Roscommon, Mich., has long featured one of the most popular 18-holers in the Midwest – a Tom Weiskopf design consistently ranked among the best public layouts in the state.

Now the Weiskopf design will have one (or two, depending on how you look at it) partner course beginning on June 27. That’s when architect Tom Doak unveils The Loop – an innovative reversible design.

The Loop uses the same 18 greens and fairways. When it’s played in the clock-wise direction it’s the Black course. When it’s played counter-clockwise it’s the Red course. I walked it last summer when it was under construction and found the concept fascinating but difficult to comprehend.

“Everyone’s over-thinking it,’’ Forest Dunes general manager Todd Campbell said then. Once the course is in operation the “over-thinking’’ should be over.

Not only will Forest Dunes be adding a new course(s), but it has also made a dramatic addition to its teaching side. The Rick Smith Golf Academy has moved there. Smith, a world-renowned swing guru who has worked with many of the game’s top stars, and his long-time associate Henry Young made the move to Forest Dunes.

“It’ll be the most talked about golf destination in the country over the next five-10 years,’’ Smith predicted.

Crosby, Haynie to join Legends’ Hall

Indiana’s French Lick Resort will welcome the fourth induction class into its LPGA Legends Hall of Fame during Legends Championship festivities Aug. 18-21. The new inductees will be Elaine Crosby and Sandra Haynie.

French Lick established the Hall when it created the Legends Championship, and its members are honored in an exhibit at the West Baden Springs Hotel. Previous inductees were Jan Stephenson and Kathy Whitworth in 2013, Nancy Lopez and Jane Blalock in 2014 and Joanne Carner and Rosie Jones in 2015.

Prior to her induction Crosby will host the 16th Wendy’s Classic Pro-Am on Aug. 15 at Country Club of Jackson in Michigan.

Nicklaus Nine is a milestone

Jack Nicklaus started designing courses in 1969 and he’s now created 400 of them, the latest being a special one that just opening near Tacoma, Wash.

This one is called the Nicklaus Nine and it doubled the size of the unique course designed specifically for facilitating the rehabilitation of wounded and disabled veterans. Nicklaus donated his services on the project, which is part of American Lake Veterans Golf Club.

No kidding

Nearly 50 of the courses in Myrtle Beach, S.C., are participating in a Kids Play Free program that allows those 16 and under to play free when accompanied by a paying adult. It’s been one of the game’s most effective grow the game initiatives and participating courses include some of Myrtle Beach’s best. That group includes Glen Dornock, Grande Dunes, King’s North, River’s Edge and Tidewater.

Purdue course ready to re-open

The Bierk Boilermaker Golf Complex, in West Lafayette, Ind., is about to open its first course again. Pete Dye handled a renovation of the layout on which Jack Nicklaus won his lone NCAA individual title in 1961. Following the renovation the layout has been renamed the Ackerman-Allen Course. It will have a formal opening on June 21.

Ackerman-Allen will become part of the Pete Dye Golf Trail, along with its partner course Kampen.

Big shot possibilities

Old Kinderhook, in Camdenton, Mo., is conducting the “$1,000,000 Shot’’ throughout this summer. For $5 players can enter on the par-3 third hole. Hit the green and they win a sleeve of balls.

Those qualifiers can return on Sept. 2 for the chance to win the big prize in a $1 million shootout.

Housing boom

The grand opening of the Enclave neighborhood at Harbor Shores, in Michigan, was held on Friday and will continue through Sunday. The Enclose is the sixth neighborhood to open at Harbor Shores in six years. It borders the No. 6 fairway of the Nicklaus-designed course that is the frequent host of the Senior PGA Championship.