Meriam Bailey Leeke is best known in Michigan as a business leader and for providing public golf with her husband, Lyle, at Old Channel Trail in Montague since 1966. She was also an accomplished player.
Old Channel Trail was a nine-hole course in 1966, but in the years since the husband-wife duo has added nine holes by architect W. Bruce Matthews and nine more by his architect son, Jerry Matthews, who are both in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame with Leeke.
Bailey Leeke also worked with the national and state golf course owners associations in several leadership roles, and has served on boards for banks, charities and two colleges.
As a player, Meriam broke 80 by age 12, and started playing national events a year later. In 1956 she won the Illinois Women’s Amateur as well as match play and stroke play titles in the Chicago District Golf Association.
In 1957, though golf wasn’t recognized as a varsity sport at Northwestern University, she won the National Intercollegiate title, the forerunner to the NCAA championship, and that summer she won the Women’s Western Amateur Championship against a national field.
In 1958, she was named to the U.S. Curtis Cup Team. In addition, she played in three U.S. Women’s Open Championships, and made the 36-hole cut each time. A business administration major at Northwestern, she graduated in 1959.
Year inducted: 2008
|Last Name||Bailey Leeke|