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WJR talk show host to host Open



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From left, Caddie Sean Sullivan hands WJR talk show host Frank Beckmann a putter. Photo by G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)
July 11, 2012 - Lake Orion will soon play host to the 2012 Senior Open and the celebrities are beginning to roll in.

Yet not every one of them is famous for the club in their hands as they are for other talents - in Frank Beckmann's case, it's what he does behind a microphone.

The WJR talk show host and current "voice of Michigan football" lives in Oakland Township is and one of the many frequenters of Indianwood Golf Course and Country Club. His skill behind the radio bench got him noticed by Indianwood Vice President Keith Aldridge, who offered him the position as Honorary Chairman. He accepted, humbled by the request.

"I've been a member here for more than 20 years and Aldridge asked me, after they landed the tournament, if I would be the chairman," said Beckmann. "It's a tremendous honor to serve in that capacity. A lot of members are going to be there volunteering or serving on committees and doing more work than I am but we are all very proud to be part of it."

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Beckmann's responsibilities include being a "sort of goodwill ambassador." He's done all the commercials on radio, television and has served the event by publicizing it where ever he goes. He described it as serving as a liaison to the public at large.

As far as the course itself, Beckmann said the staff had done a "spectacular job" getting the course ready.

"This is how I would imagine the course was back when the wester open was played here in the 1930s," he said. "That's one of the precursors to the masters. The changes they made and the enhancements, the new bunkers and some of the subtleties on hole six, seven and the runup on eight have been handled masterfully.

"I was there the day Stan Aldridge (current Indianwood president) announced he was buying it and it was just in such disrepair. To compare that to what we're seeing today is night and day. He's taken a golf course that was lost, 30 years ago and made it a championship layout."

Many of the country club's members took advantage of the old course after the renovations and Beckmann was no exception. He remarked on the sections he thought would be hardest to defeat, including the fast greens, keeping the ball below the hole and on the right side and playing accurate down the fairway. He also mentioned that one of the greatest aspects of golf is the level playing field in terms of physicality.

"It's going to be fun to see how these guys play," said Beckmann. "For the player who have been out there, you're watching some of the best in the world walk the same links you did. It's the closest you can get to competing with them and you cannot do that in basketball, hockey, baseball or anything else. But we can feel what a golfer goes through - we share that and that's part of the magic of golf."

Beckmann will be present at the Senior Open occasionally recording his show.

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