Mike Raymond honored and surprised by induction into Jackson Golf Hall of Fame
By Mike Moore
Jackson – He was intrigued, but in his own words, “terrible” at golf when he first picked up a set of clubs some 35 years ago.
Last weekend, he was inducted, and in his own words “shocked and surprised.”
“This isn’t something you expect,” Jackson resident Mike Raymond said of being inducted to the 2015 Jackson Golf Hall of Fame. He was officially inducted Sept. 20. “It’s kind of hard to encapsulate this, but it means a lot. When I started, all these people were great golfers and I couldn’t compete in any sense of the word. To roll forward 20 or 25 years, and win some state events and play in national tournaments, it’s something you aspire to, but never expect.”
According to a press release by the Jackson Golf Hall of Fame, Raymond earned Hall of Fame status due to his playing record and service to the game.
“Mike’s on-course success, his support of Jackson golf through his decades of entering tournaments, and his willingness to be a leader, both locally and on the state level, make him a worthy member of the Hall of Fame,” committee chairman Gary Kalahar said in a press release.
Raymond, 61, lives in Jackson and said he got the call informing him of the Hall of Fame bid more than a month ago.
“Don’t think I ever expected it, based on playing abilities,” he said.
Raymond didn’t start golfing seriously until his mid-30’s, and joked, “there are naturals in the game of golf, and it’s not me.”
“But I loved to compete,” he added. “Golf intrigued me. I wondered how hard it could be, until I went out and embarrassed myself. It was a long journey from being terrible to being someone who can play in some tournaments. … There was a time I felt like I was starting to get it. You have some good results, then you understand what you have to do to go to the next level.”
Raymond’s accomplishments are numerous.
In the city championship, he tied for being the tournament’s oldest winner when he took home the top spot in 2008. He has a match play record of 42-25, is tied for 10th all-time in matches won.
He reached the finals once, the semifinals twice, and made the quarterfinals the past five years.
In the Jackson Masters, he finished the top 10 on 14 different occasions and in the top 20 on 22 different occasions. Playing in the event 27 times, he’s finished second twice and third once.
At the Lyle Ambs Memorial, he reached the semifinals four times in the past six years.
In the Spring Thaw, he’s second all-time in appearances (25), and sixth with five top-five finishes. He placed second three times.
He won the Tournament of Champions in 1999, has six top-five finishes at the County Open (second in 2006 and 1993), and has played in the championship flight 29 straight years.
He’s a three-time champion at the Country Club of Jackson, won the Senior County Open five times and City Senior Championship twice.
He qualified for the USGA Senior Amateur twice, and advanced to match play in 2013.
He won the GAM Michigan Senior Match Play Championship (2013), GAM Four-Ball (2013), GAM Father-and-Son (2013) and the Michigan Publinx Medal Play Senior Championship in 2015.
“Golf is a sport you can play for so many decades, and stay competitive,” Raymond said. “I’ve created a lot of lifelong friends. I met the CEO of our company, a great friend, because of the game. The sport is the foundation of our relationship.”
“I have friends all over the country I’ve played with and competed with,” he continued. “It’s a game that circles back to a younger generation. I get to play and compete with 20 year olds, and that’s something you can’t do in just about any other sport.”