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Meet the Robbins Family

Residing a mere three miles from the Club, the Robbins family have been members at Egypt Valley since 2007. From Sunday brunch with family and friends to hitting the golf course, learn more about the family and how they enjoy their time at Egypt Valley.

Dr. Steve L. Robbins, who originally grew up in inner city Los Angeles and Washington state, originally studied to be a sportscaster and holds a masters and Ph.D. in communication science from Michigan State University. He went on to be a professor at Aquinas College and today works as a behavioral scientist with a background in neuroscience, serving both local and national clients.

Donna Robbins grew up near Lansing on a farm, leading her to especially enjoy spending time outdoors (when it’s warm) and tending to her garden. The couple met years ago at the Palace of Auburn Hills watching the U.S. play the Soviet Union in men’s volleyball—and the rest is history.

The couple’s children—Nick (28), Zach (26), Jacob (23) and Natalie (21)—were all born in Grand Rapids and have spent time at the Club at one point or another and today are in pursuit of their own respective education and careers. Nick—a track state champion—holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from U of M and teaches math in Barcelona, Spain; Jacob has a degree in fisheries and wildlife from MSU and works for U.S. non-profit Trout Unlimited; and Natalie is a senior at U of M who will graduate in 2024 with three major and two minor degrees.

When it comes to golf, Dr. Robbins started consistently practicing in his late 20s.

“I think what motivated me was an eagle I had on a par 4 at the Christian Reformed Rec Center golf course at some outing … that got me excited,” he said, adding this also caused him to start watching more golf on TV. “My favorite player early on was Fred Couples, then when Tiger came onto the scene, I became much more interested in golf.”

Dr. Robbins, who played tennis and volleyball in college, initially thought his athletic background would help in his golf venture.

“Nope!” he joked.

While Dr. Robbins is a past Senior Club Championship winner, his son Zach won the Men’s Club Championship this year and is currently pursuing a professional career in golf—a sport he started playing around age five.

“I’d take Zach and his brother Nick to hit balls at the range,” Dr. Robbins explained. “When he was about 10, we joined Egypt Valley. He and Nick would practice and play there with me.”

While Zach played four sports at the varsity level in high school (including golf, basketball, soccer and football), golf eventually rose to the surface as the sport he wanted to pursue professionally. He went on to golf at Cleveland State University and played on the Korn Ferry Tour last year, leading him to travel to a number of states for the majority of weekends from February through July. Zach recently was in Q-School and playing Monday Qs, with a goal of one day landing on the PGA Tour. In 2024, he’ll be in Q-School for potential inclusion on PGA Tour Americas, the inaugural tour combining both PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

Zach takes pride in the growth he’s been able to experience along the way and feels fortunate to be where he is.

“A lot of these kids get head starts, have dads in the golf business or they're just really good at a really young age,” Zach said. “By the time you’re a freshman or sophomore, you’re usually committed to a school already, whereas I didn’t start taking the sport seriously until that age, so I was a bit behind the eight ball. So, though I’m sort of a late bloomer, I take pride in having gotten to where I am as fast as I did.”

Zach acknowledged the support he’s received from those at Egypt Valley, sharing the questions he gets asked—especially from those who’ve successfully gone pro or attempted to in the past—are a huge motivator.

“That support keeps me going and shows they care. It means a lot … more than they know,” he said.

In addition to having beautiful and challenging courses with 36 holes and rarely any waiting time, the family finds Egypt Valley to be a special place for a variety of reasons.

“Besides being the premier club with the best courses in the area, it’s special because of the people, friends I have there and the staff (golf and dining),” said Dr. Robbins, sharing more about where the family could be found when not on the courses at the Club. “[You’ll probably find me] getting dinner with my wife or Sunday brunch with family and friends. When the kids were younger, [you could find us] by the pool at swim meets.”

Outside of interest in the Club, Dr. Robbins likes most major sports and enjoys fishing, especially with son Jacob. He and daughter Natalie have enjoyed annual trips to New York in the past to see Broadway musicals such as Oklahoma and Beetlejuice. He and Donna also like hiking when traveling on trips and both like watching futbol/soccer, especially the United States women's national soccer team.

Other members may be surprised to learn that Donna’s family has resided in Michigan dating all the way back to the 1830s, and that Dr. Robbins grew up in inner city Los Angeles, at times finding himself poor and unhoused. Though he’s the shortest in the family, Dr. Robbins says his children get their height from their mother Donna, who’s just under six feet tall.

If you see the Robbins family around the Club, be sure to say, “Hello!”