Mountain Blog

On the Hill, not Over It.
Nancy Story - Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Scientists tell us that one septillion snow crystals drop down from the skies during an average winter.

There’s a group of skiers and riders here at the mountain who have probably gone down Buck at least that many times. I call them the Table People. In the Crystal Clipper, there’s been a table filled with midweek season passholders for decades now. They are the snowsports faithful, who venture forth onto our vertical and ski or ride without fail regardless (mostly) of the weather. They put as many downhill miles on their boards as they do uphill miles on their backsides, because Midwest altitude requires lots of chairlift fortitude. They provide valuable feedback to a snow reporter with all their slope expertise. They provide valuable assistance as photo models – at least, those who have the right color coat. (Black coats are frowned upon. Why can’t everyone adopt the bright, colorful attire of a six year old girl?)

These early morning midweek regulars hail each other in the lift line at the base of Buck as they arrive. You can almost set your clock by them: 9am, first chairs up Buck.  Chairlift chatter picks up from where it left off the day before. Snow conditions, life conditions, staying in condition – topics cover the map.  Now, weekend skiing often means sharing chair quarters with complete strangers, cheek to cheek. But midweek’s Table People ride with the same folks trip after trip, all morning long. They quickly learn to know each other on the hill by helmet, jacket color and skiing style.  Their morning’s syllabus always reads the same: first turns on Buck’s fresh corduroy, then crossing front facing slopes to link turns on Cheers, Main Street and Loki.  Next up –  coffee break in the Clipper Café at the Table. Fueled by conversation and coffee,  the Table crowd swaps ski tips and slope tales before traipsing outside to the backside of the mountain. This gang knows that the north-facing Ridge, Backyard and North Face slope complexes serve up colder corduroy and a chance for fresh tracks later in the morning. Carve it up, finish up, leave by noon – that’s the midweek hill drill.

The Table People are, for the most part, retired. Or they may have a seasonal business applicable to summers instead of winters. Regardless of the reason, they all share in common a passion for getting outside in the winter, for skiing, for staying active as long as possible. And it’s possible. We all proudly point to the late Lou Batori, skiing through age 106.  Louis Lidtke, who’s been at the Table for 20 years along with wife Carol, is past the 85 mark and one of the best skiers out there.  Over the years, I’ve observed who joins the Table, who leaves, who returns religiously year after year.  Their skiing signatures and coat color progressions are memorialized in dozens of photos over the years.  Week in and week out, the Table People are an upbeat group armed with enthusiasm and energy whose passion for winter exercise knows no age boundaries. They show us it’s possible to be on the hill, not over it.  


The On-Slope Art Parks
Nancy Story - Tuesday, February 27, 2018


 Most folks are familiar with the Michigan Legacy Art Park here on premise at Crystal. But there’s another form of park art that takes place during the winter months in our three on-slope terrain parks.

Terrain park guru Nickolas Kerby heads up the crew who sculpts the snow.

It takes snow artistry on the part of Nic and park artists Bryce Reckow, Austin Bert, Seth Morgan, Devin Lapan and Brent Johnson to craft terrain parks that can accommodate a variety of skills, thrills, and feature favorites. And they’re always dealing with the challenge of changing snow conditions – which can, in turn, provide fodder for more fun as they get creative with slope surfaces for unique terrain.

Building a park is geared towards rider progression and fun, according to Kerby. For him, it’s all about pushing the riders to get better while making sure they have fun doing it.

“Since Jester’s Alley is our beginner park, we tend to stick to smaller easier features, such as boxes and little rails” he noted. “We like to stay with ‘ride on take offs’ as they are easier for beginner riders, but we also usually do one feature in Jester’s that includes an ‘urban take off’. Our main goal at Jester’s is to enable beginners to progress to bigger features in the bigger parks – Basin Street and Little Vincent.”

In Basin Street, park features are bigger and more difficult than in Jester’s Alley. “You’ll find a plethora of features from boxes and rails, to combinations of the two. Take-offs in Basin Street are mostly urban, but we also build a few ‘gap on’ take offs,” Kerby said. Over in Little Vincent, home to Crystal’s quarter pipe, building jumps are the main focus.  “There are not many rails or boxes in Little Vincent, as it’s a shorter run without much room for extra features,” Kerby observed. “Any rails built in this park tend to be big and challenging."

So what are the favorite features for frequent park fans? According to Kerby, that’s hard to say. “Some riders just like boxes, some just like rails, some just like going off the corners of take offs  - which is not what they are for” he noted. “Some riders like jumps, and some like a little bit of everything.” But in the end, our talented terrain artists have one goal in mind as they sculpt park features: “We want to build parks where everyone can progress their riding skills, and have a blast while doing it!”  




Staying in the Groove
Nancy Story - Monday, February 12, 2018
         Headlining Crystal Mountain’s daily snow report are the downhill ski conditions – and buried under the avalanche of downhill details are a few sentences about cross country. Nordic skiing has always been in the shadow of downhill skiing, that gravity slave favorite. But every four years in an Olympic February, cross country skiing shares the spotlight with its Alpine cousin.

As it is on the alpine side, Olympian-sized efforts to maintain good grooming are ongoing. Unlike the Alpine groomers, however, our Nordic groomers are at the mercy of Mother Nature. So good grooming habits are even more important in a winter of fluctuating temperatures – which is what all winter seems to be anymore.
Diligence is on display when you step onto the Nordic side of the mountain. We’ve got three groomers out there – Kathloon, Tim and Greg – who are packing and rolling fresh snow, and then carving tracks for classical skiers and tilling corduroyed lanes for skate skiers. It takes hours, plenty of patience, and a skier’s eye for quality that make this trio so valuable to us. All of them are veteran skiers. Tim is a Level One certified PSIA Nordic instructor. Greg, our head golf pro, is a seasoned cross country teacher and Kathy lends a hand with lessons whenever possible
Kathy “Kathloon” Maginity has been grooming for many years, and “ meticulous” does not begin to describe how seriously she takes the job. This grooming guru is up before daylight every morning and in her office by 5:30am – her “office” being the great outdoors. Her office chair is a snowmobile with what’s called a “Tidd Tech” attachment. With heated grips and a large windshield, Kathloon always dresses for an Arctic day and is an expert on staying warm.

“It takes at least 6 hours a day to groom everything,” Kathy noted. “We groom the skating lanes first and on the last pass, we lay a track set. If the track looks good and we don’t wipe it out on our first pass, we won’t touch it.”
Groomers use a Skidoo Skandik 900 snowmobile which pulls the 7ft- wide Tidd Tech groomer. “The hardest part is getting a great track set because you need just the right conditions – meaning, about 3-4 inches of new snow, at temperatures between 20-30 degrees,” observed Greg. Moisture content matters, too. “System snow is better than lake effect snow for grooming as it has more moisture. Fluffy lake effect snow is the toughest to groom because it doesn’t pack as well.”
Crystal’s Nordic trails aren’t all about flat terrain. Tackling the hills with the Tidd Tech isn’t easy. Going up steep hills can be difficult because of the weight of the groomer pulls on the sled – and an icy surface can really pose a challenge to the most skilled of Tidd Tech pilots.
But all three groomers agree that the sweetest part of grooming is seeing the end product. It’s all about crafting that perfectly groomed skate lane beside a great trackset and knowing everyone who skis it will have a great experience – including the groomers themselves after they finish!

Master the Mountain in February
Nancy Story - Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Would you like to master the mountain in Olympic style?

Okay, so you’re not headed over to XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea (Feb. 9-25). But Crystal Mountain is serving up some unique tune-up opportunities every Friday in February, so that intermediate and advanced skiers of all ages can take advantage of Olympian-sized tips from our Snowsports pros.

Crystal’s Master the Mountain clinics break down tackling terrain variety by focusing on different topics each Friday at 6pm. “The idea is to improve your skiing ability by being able to deal with changing snow conditions and terrain, wherever you are on the mountain, says Chris Fisher, Crystal’s Snowsports School director. “We focus more on tactical decisions, as opposed to getting into an in-depth lesson with all of the nitty-gritty.” Here’s the clinic schedule:

February 2 - Groomed Terrain: Intermediate to expert runs, focusing on skidded to carved turns.
February 9 - Off-piste Terrain: Intermediate to expert runs, focusing on managing ungroomed powder and crud.
February 16 – Moguls: How to ski bumps with different tactics depending on conditions.

February 23 - Carving into Gates: Find out how tactics and technique combine for a fast and furious experience on our NASTAR course.

Cost is $29 per session, or $99 for all four. Advance reservations are required – call 888.968.7686 ext. 2000.

Now if you think you’re already a pretty good skier, it’s smart to see if you’re on the right track. Learning to ski better is often a matter of overcoming old, deeply ingrained habits and replacing them with stronger, more effective habits. Tips from a talented instructor can help you explore your style, diagnose what you can do to deal with constantly changing conditions and terrain, and thus enhance your time on the slopes. In improving one’s skiing ability, it’s like NASTAR, Fisher observes. “We can’t guarantee a gold, but we can improve the experience”.

You may have skied the same way for a long time – but it won’t take that long to sharpen your skills by getting some feedback “After taking many, many clinics over the years, I’m now almost as good as the skier I thought I was ten years ago,” claims Tom Fleming, a veteran skier and part-time instructor with the Crystal Mountain Snowsports School.. Making regular tune-ups to his skiing skills has benefitted him tremendously – because experienced skiers like himself realize it’s a constantly changing relationship between their skis and the snow. So take time during this upcoming Olympic February to sharpen your skills on a variety of terrain types with our Master the Mountain clinics. You’ll be sure to come out a winner!


Be Aware Out There
Nancy Story - Sunday, January 14, 2018

 2017 Safety Poster Contest Winner

       A poster contest for kids is one way ski resorts across the country are honoring January as National Safety Awareness Month. But the message for all ages is this: don’t be a poster child for unsafe behavior on the slopes.

At Crystal Mountain, we’re serving up a tasty incentive for young skiers to be slope smart. From Jan. 20-27th, kids are encouraged to create a poster highlighting one of the seven skier/rider responsibility codes. Poster paper will be available at the Mountain Adventure Zone, Snowsports Desk or Park at Waters Edge beginning Jan. 20th. Completed posters can be turned in to our Snowsports Desk to receive a Crystal Crispy voucher.

Here in the mitten, preaching safety on the slopes is nothing new. Michigan’s Ski Area Safety Act was passed in 1962, making it the nation’s oldest ski safety law. Skiers have been advised to be slope-wise since Crystal Mountain’s early rope tow and Pomalift days. What took root in that 56 year-old legislation has evolved into the seven-point Skier Responsibility Codes that today are printed on every lift ticket.
• Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
• People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
• You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
• Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
• Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
• Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
• Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

             Heading to work on the hill                                           Ruth Cunningham

Charged with enforcing those safety standards are Crystal’s four paid weekday patrollers six paid weekend patrollers, 72 volunteer patrollers, and 20 volunteer Mountain Hosts. Among this group is Crystal‘s first paid patroller, Ruth Cunningham, who’s still out on the snow after nearly 35 years of helping to keep our slopes safe. There have been plenty of positive changes over the years with regards to slope safety, Ruth observed. “Fewer ropes and fences on the sides of runs, lifts which are much more user-friendly, and skiers wearing helmets have contributed to a safer skiing environment,” she said. “The new equipment makes it so much easier for people to ski”. And maintaining that equipment is key to safety as well, according to Joe Bolduc, Crystal’s director of risk management and longtime patroller. “Skiers should have their bindings tuned up annually to make sure they’re releasing properly,” he noted.

They’ll want those bindings working properly if they commit the most common rule infraction: excessive speed and skiing out of control. Just because Midwestern hills lack the length or steeps of more mountainous terrain doesn’t mean there’s less danger. Being slope-wise applies to every vertical rise, whether it’s Crystal’s 375 feet or the mountains out West. It goes without saying, that a fundamental requirement of the code is that all skiers and riders stay in control and be able to avoid other people and objects on the slopes. If you’re approaching from behind, it’s up to YOU to slow down enough to avoid others before a collision results. But those skiers & riders below you also have responsibilities. It’s unsafe to stop on a ski slope where terrain obscures you from the view of those approaching from above (think about those small rises midway down Buck and Loki). When you stop to rest or re-focus, or fumble with equipment, make that stop on the side, not the middle, of the hill. Always look above for oncoming skiers/riders before resuming skiing. Unexpected stops and starts can make it more difficult even for well-intentioned and skilled skiers to avoid a collision.
So take the kids in for poster paper, have them finish their creation, and pick up a Crispy voucher . Teach them to be slope sensible by role-modeling all points of the code at all times. Stay safe out there!

New slope names honor Caswell
Nancy Story - Sunday, December 31, 2017


 A familiar Crystal voice now stilled rings on in the back hills of the Backyard.

EIO and EIO Glades are new names on this year’s downhill trail map, commemorating a popular figure who was part of the Crystal Mountain landscape for over 25 years. Doug Caswell, a long-time Crystal Club homeowner, passed away last spring– and now, his trademark greeting “E.I.O!” will forever be a part of our slopes.

If you’re a Crystal regular, and you never met Doug…well, you probably knew him anyway. He might have even offered you a lift in his slope taxi.  Forever clad in a bright red Stroh’s ski cap, Doug piloted his Christmas-light covered ATV and trolley throughout the resort in every season, accompanied by polka music or the Notre Dame fight song resonating from its speakers. Exuberant by nature, Doug’s endless enthusiasm for skiing, golfing and fun made him a treasured character around here. He was the only non-Crystal employee to ever be awarded the resort’s Service Excellence award, honoring his welcoming nature to residents, guests and staff alike.

Announcing the new slope names highlighted last October’s 4th annual auction/fundraiser held at Crystal Mountain for Mrs. Mullen’s Closet, a non-profit organization that collects warm clothes for needy students in all four Benzie County elementary schools. Set up several years ago in memory of Dyanne Mullen, an educator and part-time Crystal Mountain resident, this year’s event also raised money in Doug’s name for the charity. Those who donated a minimum bid of $200 per person or $400 per family earned a membership in the newly formed EIO Club.

 This Sunday, January 7th, EIO Club members will meet at the base of the Backyard lift at 9am for an official slope dedication ceremony. They’ll be able to ski the Backyard runs before those slopes open to the public at 10am. At the bottom of the EIO runs, they’ll raise a Stroh’s Beer toast in honor of Doug. Plus, each skier will receive an official EIO pin to mark the occasion.

In addition to the EIO contributions, an ongoing fundraiser to support Mrs. Mullen’s Closet continues elsewhere on the slopes. Head over to the Buck chairlift – can you spot the blue plaques on the backs of the chairs?  Fifty-seven blue plaques have been made available at $400 per plaque, with names engraved on each one and attached to the chair backs on the Buck lift. The plaques are expected to be on the lifts for ten years, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to read them all. Perhaps you’d like to purchase one yourself – but they’re going fast! So far, over 41 plaques have been purchased. For information on how to purchase a plaque, check out the Mrs. Mullen’s Closet Benzie County Facebook page.  

 And don’t forget to drop into the Backyard this season to make tracks on the newly named run and glade area – trails that echo with a familiar whoop of joy: “E.I.O!”  


Winter Storm Names
Nancy Story - Monday, December 11, 2017
 It’s that time of year where winter sports enthusiasts are glued to the nightly weather forecasts in search of prodigious amounts of powder. And for six seasons now, the Weather Channel (TWC) has been naming winter storms in their forecasts. So what’s the point of naming blizzards? Was winter feeling outperformed by hurricane season? According to the Weather Channel, here’s why big storms carry monikers:

• Naming a storm raises awareness.
• Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.
• A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.
• In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.
• A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future.

Note that TWC, a media organization, came up with this name-calling business. The atmospheric science folks over at the National Weather Service did not create this practice. "The National Weather Service does not name winter storms because a winter storm's impact can vary from one location to another, and storms can weaken and redevelop, making it difficult to define where one ends and another begins", claims a spokesperson.

Living here in the land of lake effect, that sentiment – “a winter storm’s impact can vary from one location to another” - certainly applies to our own winter weather. Snow can dump on Lake Ann while totally ignoring Onekama. Thompsonville can be buried in a blizzard while Traverse City sees the sun. But as The Weather Channel sees it, a storm gains naming notoriety if it impacts at least two million people and meets the NWS winter storm-warning criteria.
As we perch on the precipice of a winter storm warning in effect for this week, here are this year’s names to keep you in the know when you hear them on the news. According to TWC, this year’s names were pulled from a list of popular baby names - here are the origins of each one.

Aiden - From an Old Irish name meaning "fire."
Benji - Short for Benjamin, an old Hebrew name meaning "son of the south."
Chloe (KLO-ee) - From Greek, it is a reference to blooming or the young green shoot of a new plant.
Dylan - From Welsh words meaning "great tide."
Ethan - From a Hebrew name meaning "strong," "solid" or "firm."
Frankie - A nickname for Frank, Francis or Frances from the Germanic tribe the Franks.
Grayson - From the Middle English word that meant steward plus son.
Hunter - From the time when people in England were named for their work.
Inga - Related to the name of a people who lived on the North Sea called the Ingaevones.
Jaxon - From the son of Jack, which was a nickname for John in the Middle Ages.
Kalani - From the Hawaiian words meaning the plus heaven or sky.
Liam - From Irish, a short form of William, which comes from German.
Mateo (muh-TAY-o) - The Spanish form of Matthew, which is distantly derived from the Hebrew word for gift.
Noah - Derived from the Hebrew word meaning "rest."
Oliver - The English form of the French name Olivier.
Polly – This one’s named after my mom- a popular baby name in 1928.
Quinn - Derived from an Irish Gaelic word meaning "chief" or "counsel."
Riley - Derived from Reilly, which comes from the Old Irish name Raghailleach.
Skylar - A modified version of Tyler merged with the word sky.
Toby - Derived from Tobias, a name from old versions of the Bible.
Uma (OO-ma) - From multiple cultures including the Sanskrit word meaning "tranquility."
Violet - Originally from the name for the Latin name for the flower, viola.
Wilbur - Mr. Ed’s owner in the TV show about a talking horse.
Xanto - From the Ancient Greek name Xanthus meaning "blonde."
Yvonne (ee-VONN) - Related to a nickname for the Old French name Yves, which came from the name of a type of wood used to make bows.
Zoey - Derived from the Greek word for life

15 Ways To Fall In Love With Fall
Brittany Roberts - Friday, September 08, 2017

For those who couldn't imagine a life without seasons, there is a special love affair with the vibrant foliage that accompanies late-September and early-October in this corner of the world. Michigan's Gold Coast was the first spot mentioned in Travel + Leisure magazine's list of America's Best Fall Color Drives. Just 20 miles from the tour that winds along scenic M-22, Crystal Mountain is rated by Fodor's Travel among the country's 15 Best Resorts for Fall Getaways. So here are as many ways for you to feel the love this autumn:

1. Point Betsie Lighthouse
Just nine miles north of Frankfort, this historic site is one of Benzie County's most breathtaking year-round but never more so than color season.
22 miles from Crystal Mountain

2. Pierce Stocking Drive
Good Morning America called it the Most Beautiful Place in America. We agree. 
33 miles from Crystal Mountain

3. Empire Bluffs
A very manageable hike, but even if it weren't, the effort would be totally worth it for the view. 
24 miles from Crystal Mountain

4. Pyramid Point
It's a 2.7-mile loop but Lookout Point is only .6 miles from the trailhead. Of course, with colored leaves all around, you might not even notice. 
37 miles from Crystal Mountain

5. Narrows of Big and Little Glen Lakes
Take a few moments to pause between the two pristine bodies of water to appreciate their beauty and then wander into Glen Arbor for a drink at Art's Tavern.
28 miles from Crystal Mountain

6. Fishtown
The drive north to Leland is worth it alone, but the early-1900s fish shanties now housing quaint shops and eateries makes it even more so. 
42 miles from Crystal Mountain

7. Chairlift Rides
Every Saturday in October, enjoy the ride up the Crystal Clipper high-speed quad, but get out your camera for the ride down; you'll want a photo for Facebook or Instagram.
Behind the Lodge

8. Michigan Legacy Art Park
The 48 sculptures take on new life with the change of every season. Fall is no exception along nearly two miles of hiking trails as well as the "Access for All" trail for those with limited mobility. 
Located on-property

9. Stormcloud, St. Ambrose and Iron Fish
Nationally renowned craft beer from Stormcloud (18 miles away in Frankfort) and award-winning mead and wine from St. Ambrose Cellars (8 miles from Crystal) are great locales to toast the harvest season along with our new neighbors at Iron Fish Distillery (3 miles from Crystal).

10. Leelanau County Wine Country
Leelanau County sits on the same parallel as Burgandy, France, a region known for its wine. The wines themselves are matched only by the breathtaking landscape. We'd recommend paying a visit to our friends at Black Star Farms and Brengman Brothers.
46 miles from Crystal Mountain

11. Grand Traverse Commons
Hop out of the car for awhile to take a stroll among the historic buildings, explore the boutiques and galleries and sample cuisine, craft beer, wine and coffee.
30 miles from Crystal Mountain

12. Apple Cider & Pumpkin Donuts
While the region has a reputation for cherries, it's actually the third largest producer of apples in the nation. The cider is pretty outstanding and paired with a pumpkin donut, perfection!

13. Betsie Valley Trail
This bike trail extends from nearby Thompsonville to Frankfort, but the nine-mile ride from Beulah to the trail's end includes a nice stretch along Crystal Lake and the Betsie River.  

14. Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail
Whichever direction you choose from the Dune Climb, whether the easier ride to Glen Arbor or the more challenging trip toward Empire, you won't be disappointed. 

15. A River Runs Through It
If your time on the Betsie or Platte River has been relegated to the summer, give this color tour some serious thought. 

Intimate, Simple & Classic Wedding
Troy DeShano - Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Weddings, like all things, come in many shapes and sizes. While for some it must be a grand, elegant affair, for others simple or rustic is the way to go. 

Is there anything sweeter than an intimate wedding with family and friends, with a warm August afternoon breeze?

A simple and classic wedding in a beautiful space can be as lovely and memorable as any other. It’s a chance for those who love you most to celebrate the union of two people, two families, two worlds in a special way.

This beautiful, intimate ceremony took place on the Pond Lawn with a long farm table for reception.

The chiavari chairs added a minimalist, elegant feel to the reception.

The quiet and reflective setting of the natural landscaping and trees around the Pond Lawn provided a lovely backdrop for photos of the bride, groom, family and wedding party.

When it comes down to it, there is no "right" way to do a wedding. What is most important is to make the day your own, for it to be a special moment of joy to look back on fondly for all time.

Whether your dream wedding is simple or grand, the dedicated staff at Crystal Mountain can help make it happen. Start planning your special day here.

Saline’s Sarah Hoffman One Shot off Lead at Michigan Women’s Open Championship
Brittany Roberts - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Saline’s Sarah Hoffman, who is one shot off the lead through the first round.

THOMPSONVILLE – Sarah Hoffman of Saline is headed with the Symetra Tour to Tullymore Golf Resort in Canadian Lakes this weekend, but she made sure to stop in first at Crystal Mountain Resort and play the Michigan Women’s Open Championship.

“It’s one of my favorite tournaments,” she said after shooting a 3-under 69 on the Mountain Ridge course to stand one shot off the lead of fellow Symetra Tour player Kristin Coleman of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., through the first round of the $40,000 championship at Crystal Mountain Resort.

“The course is always in great shape, and it is fun to play up here. I’m going to Tullymore, but I didn’t want to miss the Michigan Open.”

Hoffman, 27, is a former Grand Valley State standout who started a career in nursing and then opted to take her professional golf shot a year ago. She has played sparingly this year because of a shoulder injury, but worked through it Monday with three consecutive birdies at holes 6, 7 and 8 to power her bogey-free 69.

“I’m very happy with 3-under,” she said. “I could have had a couple more putts drop, but overall I’m thrilled with it and I did putt well. My drives were not spectacular, but I stayed in play. It was a good start.”

Hoffman was tied with Marissa Chow of Honolulu, Hawaii, a former Pepperdine All-American for second, and seven golfers, including touring pro Samantha Troyanovich of Grosse Pointe Shores and Michigan State University freshman-to-be Yurika Tanida of Tokyo, were next at 70.

Lindsey McPherson of Flushing, another Michigan touring pro, was part of seven golfers who shot 71, and defending champion Suzy Green-Roebuck of Ann Arbor and DeWitt touring pro Liz Nagel were part of a large group at 72.

The field of 114 will play 18 more holes Tuesday to determine the low 70 scorers and ties for the 36-hole cut. The final round in the 54-hole championship is Wednesday.

Coleman, 24, is the twin sister of Jenny Coleman, who finished second in the Michigan Women’s Open last year and is now on the LPGA Tour. The former University of Colorado golfer made a birdie at the par 3 No. 17 hole with a 9-iron shot to 12-feet to take the lead.

“I got off to a good start, hit the ball pretty good and made a couple of putts,” she said.

It’s her third time playing in the Michigan Women’s Open, and the plan is to make the LPGA Tour just like her sister, who is younger by one minute.

“I like the golf course here and I have a great host family,” she said. “It’s right between tournaments (on the Symetra Tour), so it works out great.”

Chow, 23, was happiest that her round included no bogeys.

“I was just really steady and it is nice to start solid and just play my game,” she said. “It’s day one. There is plenty more golf to be played.”

RESULTS/TEE TIMES: Can be found at