Mike Mellema, owner of Cascade Rental Center, has lived in the Cascade area almost his entire life but didn’t start golfing until he was 40.
“A good friend of mine talked me into it,” Mellema explained. “I was told years ago that I shouldn’t play because I had a herniated disk, so I only really ever played once every two years.”
He’s since taken a new approach.
“I said, ‘Screw it, let’s try this.’”
Mellema, who has been the owner of his family business since 1990, isn’t hard on himself while playing and is rarely serious.
“I’m not very good at it,” said Mellema, who has two sons—Jack, 19, and Casey, 24—and two black labs—Chet and Maggie. “I don’t take myself too seriously, but I do enjoy it.”
A member of the club for eight years now, Mellema found a friend in Jeff Holmes, Golf Course Manager at Egypt Valley.
“I used to camp with him on the Muskegon River and that’s where we met, so I’ve known him for about 20 years,” Mellema said of his friendship with Holmes. “When I had friends that were trying to talk me into joining Blythefield, I thought about how I’d have to drive past Egypt Valley to go to that club, and I didn’t feel right about that—I couldn’t do that to Jeff.”
Mellema’s business also has a special connection to the club.
“We do a lot of the tents and items for the events at the club and chair orders for weddings,” Mellema said. “It’s a riot.”
Though Mellema’s sons are often off doing their own thing, he says Egypt Valley is like his own personal escape.
“The courses are maintained very well and are challenging,” said Mellema, who favors the patio when not on the course. “I’ve met some really good friends that I enjoy playing with.”
Access to tee times is a huge part of why Mellema finds Egypt Valley stands up above the rest.
“I have friends that have had memberships at other clubs and it amazed me at how tough it was for them to golf,” Mellema said, noting those clubs usually only have one 18-hole course. “Whereas at Egypt Valley, if I want to golf, I usually can.”
If you see Mike around the club, be sure to say, “Hello!”