BENTON HARBOR — David Frost knows golf and wine.
Frost, a professional golfer on the PGA Tour Champions, put his knowledge of both on display Monday at Harbor Shores. He put on a chipping and putting clinic, and offered samples of wine he made for corporate partners of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, which will return to Harbor Shores for a fifth time in 2020.
“It’s great to have David come back to Harbor Shores,” said Ryan Ogle, Championship Director for the Senior PGA Championship, “and showcase not only his golf knowledge and tips and tricks for corporate partners of ours, but also his wine that he makes as a third-generation vintner.
“This event really is an opportunity for us to say thank you to the corporate partners that make it possible for us to host this major championship in Southwest Michigan. We really can not do these championships without the support from the community, and year in, year out, this community and the region support us.”
Frost has played in all four editions of the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores and produced excellent results. He tied for fourth in 2012, fifth in 2014, seventh in 2016, and placed 18th in 2018.
“The golf course has just sort of matured,” Frost said. “In the beginning, I think the greens were a little hard. We kind of understand the course now. We know when to go to flag, when not to go to flag, when to play the safe side, that sort of thing.”
Frost began his golf instruction on Monday talking about chipping technique. He encouraged golfers to keep all 10 fingers in contact with the club, and to consider using irons to run the ball on to the green rather than always relying on a wedge.
Frost also spoke on putting, an area of expertise in his game. He holds the record for fewest putts in a 72-hole tournament with 92.
“I think it’s feel,” Frost said. “I don’t think a caddy can give a guy a read for a putt, because the caddy doesn’t know how hard you’re going to hit it.
“There are few fundamentals that I think are important, and all good putters have a number of those fundamentals in their stroke preparation.”
Several varieties of Frost’s wine were paired with food for the event. He said he grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa, very near the Saxenburg Winery.
“That’s our wine country in South Africa,” Frost said. “Growing up, waking up in the mornings, I wake up in the vineyards. For me it’s second nature to talk about it, live it, smell it.”
The event also served as a lookahead to the upcoming 2020 Senior PGA Championship. Tickets went on sale in June, and volunteers are sought.
Ogle said that the tournament will expand on two popular features — the Maker’s Trail 19th hole, which features local beer and wine, and the YMCA Kids Zone.
“What we really learned from 2018 is we have a few things that worked really well, and we’re going to double down on those,” Ogle said.
Another senior major was held nearby this past weekend — the U.S. Senior Open at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course. Steve Stricker, who has yet to play in the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores, won the event.
“I think more championship golf in the region is always good,” Ogle said. “It’s good for everyone. The more we can showcase this region to the world through championship golf, the better. We’re really excited to welcome Steve Stricker in 2020 after his impressive win at the Warren Course. On top of that, there’s a few other names that are going to be really exciting.”
Ogle mentioned that other potential newcomers to Harbor Shores include Retief Goosen, who finished 14th at the U.S. Senior Open, as well as Ernie Els and Jim Furyk, who will become eligible as they turn 50 in the next year.
Contact: bsanders@TheHP.com, 429-1294, @HPBenSanders