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Meet the Smiggen Family

Members of the Smiggen family, who joined the Club in 2012, have no shortage of hobbies, including golfing and spending time at Egypt Valley.

Born and raised in Owosso, Patrick graduated from Michigan State University and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He is a partner and vice-president of sales and marketing at Hart Enterprises, a contract medical device manufacturer located in Sparta. Rebecca, who was born and raised in Grand Rapids and has taught biology at Lowell High School for 27 years, graduated from Hillsdale College and earned her master’s degree in education from Grand Valley State University.

The couple, who met through E-Harmony, have had golf in their lives for many years, with both having been introduced to the game by their fathers while growing up.

“My father introduced me to the game at age six, as our family were members at Owosso Country Club,” Patrick said. “My older brother, Michael, already had an interest in golf and going to junior golf with him and trying to earn stickers on the Winner's Mark plaque was a big motivation at a young age.”

Patrick and his brother eventually started biking three miles to the Club every day, with Patrick securing his first job there by picking up range balls by hand that went into the ditch along the road or into the trees.

“The Club was my de facto summer home, as was either working or playing all the way through high school,” said Patrick, who played on the varsity golf team at Owosso for four years. “As everyone in my family played, there were few get togethers that did not include some or all of us playing a round of golf wherever we gathered.”

While growing up, Rebecca and her family belonged to Blythefield Country Club, a place where she fondly remembers spending weekend afternoons learning the game.

“We would spend hours on the range and then go play nine holes,” Rebecca recalled, noting her father was a very patient teacher and provided her with a solid golf foundation “I played high school golf at Catholic Central High School. Upon being hired at Lowell High School to teach biology, I was also asked by current Egypt Valley member (and science department colleague) Rick White to be his Junior Varsity Girls Golf coach at Lowell High School. Eight years later—and upon Rick's retirement—I coached the Varsity Girls Golf team for three years.”

The main passions of the pair’s daughter, Charlotte, are skiing and playing the clarinet in her high school band, though she did participate in junior golf, as well as the swim team when she was younger. She can be found occasionally hitting golf balls on the range, playing a few holes or relaxing by the pool with friends.

At the Club and out on the courses, the Smiggen family has certainly found success, with Rebecca having won the first flight of the Women's Club Championship four times and being paired with Gayle Belsito to win the Ladies Member-Member in 2018. Pat has recorded two double eagles at the Club (No. 1 and No. 8 Valley) during Thursday Men's League play. Together, Patrick and Rebecca are also a force, having won the Couples Championship for five consecutive years. The couple says that having 36 holes to golf with at the Club is a tremendous asset and the biggest reason they joined the Club.

“The four courses (when you add the Classic and Challenge courses) are different enough where you neither get comfortable nor bored playing them every day,” Patrick said. “The undulating lines across the golf course make every shot interesting and the sloping greens put a premium on hitting the green in the right spot.”

With her interest in nature and science, Rebecca also enjoys all of the wildlife found on the property. When they’re not golfing, the family enjoys the addition of the pickleball courts, noting that the pool is also always a favorite place to relax on a sunny day.

During the winter, the Smiggen family spends most of their time downhill skiing. Charlotte races for Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School, so the family skis wherever Charlotte races, but Crystal Mountain is a favorite, as that’s where both Rebecca and Charlotte learned to ski.

“With Michigan's unpredictable winter snowfall, a trip to Colorado or Utah helps get us through the winter,” Patrick said, adding the family’s frequent use of the Club’s golf simulator during the winter. “Hiking and taking in nature during the warmer months is a nice break. Whether it’s in Michigan or a national park, there is just so much beauty to see.”

For the Smiggen family, the people and relationships formed at Egypt Valley—ranging from other members to staff—are what make the Club so special.

“The staff works very hard to make it a welcoming place for the members, and through all of the varied activities and events Egypt Valley offers, we have been able to enjoy a lot of family fun,” Patrick said. “We have also developed so many friendships with a lot of different people. Rebecca really enjoys the opportunity to meet and play with different women every week in Women's League.”

The couple enjoys that the Club is a place that can be enjoyed year-round and not just in the summer months.

“The golfing events are fantastic, but the ability to have family and extended family come for Club events such as Mother's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving or the Santa Brunches are great memories we have as a family,” Patrick said.

Something other members may not know about the Smiggens is that the entire family all have peanut allergies, and that during her single days in the early ‘00s, Rebecca worked as a starter at Egypt Valley for several years.

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