Western Amateur Finalist 1979
Pacific Coast Amateur Champion 1978
PNGA Men's Amateur Medalist 1975
Southwest Amateur Finalist 1978
Sun Bowl Collegiate All-Star Champion 1977
Big Sky Conference Champion 1976
NCAA All-American 1976-1978
Walker Cup Team Member 1979
Morse Cup Team Member 1977, 1978 & 1979
Hudson Cup Team Member 1979
Hudson Cup Charles Congdon Award Winner 1979
Gove's College Days
If someone had approached Mike Gove after the 1975 PNGA Men’s Amateur at Quilchena Golf & Country Club and said, “Five years from now you’ll be playing in the Master’s,” the response would most likely have been disbelief. But thanks to some amazingly consistent golf against some top competition, that’s what happened to the youngster from Seattle.
To gain perspective of Gove's opportunity to venture down Magnolia Lane in April of 1980, it is necessary to focus on his collegiate career at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Gove was not a high-profile recruit out of high school and wasn’t offered a scholarship to such so-called “golf schools” like the University of Houston, as was another heralded Seattleite, Fred Couples. As a freshman, Mike was more concerned about just making Weber State's golf team which he did by finishing third in the fall qualifying. Yet, in his first collegiate event, Gove showed glimpses or his potential. At the Patio Springs Collegiate Invitational near Ogden, Utah, with a field that included Brigham Young University stars John Fought, Mike Reid, and Pat McGowan, Gove finished fourth. Not a bad start
Three tournaments later, at Utah State University’s Beehive Invitational,Gove outclassed all of the above-mentioned players as well as other top collegians. His eight-stroke victory in this event was the highlight of a freshman year that found him named an Honorable Mention All-American. Mike recalled those days that first year, “I had a lot of good opening rounds followed by mediocre second rounds, as I guess I was more or less trying to hang on to my first-day score”. As a sophomore, I had some final-round difficulties, but plenty of solid shots at winning after two rounds.
These early lessons led to much success as a junior in 1977, when Gove won four out of five fall tournaments. The first win was in the Rocky Mountain Invitational at which 28 schools were represented, including power houses BYU and Arizona state. Then, in Logan, Utah, at the Logan Country Club, Mike repeated as the Beehive Invitational champion with a 54 hole t0oal of 202, defeating future PGA Tour player Bobby Clampett by a stroke. During this winning streak, Gove exhibited maturity beyond his years, saying “Golf comes in cycles. If I am playing well I don’t like to dwell on a high finish in a previous event. It can take away from your concentration and thus hinder your ability to perform”, he stated briefly. “I try not to overreact; I might keep myself from a learning experience.”
In the third week of this splendid stretch of golf, Mike and the Weber State Team competed in one of the nation’s oldest collegiate tournaments, the Tucker Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Heeding his own advice of not thinking of prior results, Gove shot a one-under-par 287 over 72 holes, good for a two-shot victory over Mitch Mooney of the host school, the University of New Mexico. The next was the Sun Bowl Collegiate All-Star Tournament in El Paso, Texas, where the top-24 American collegiate players congregated. Gove said he was, "just trying to make a good showing for Weber and didn’t anticipate winning”. But after firing a three-round total of 210, (five under), Gove returned to the winner's circle once again. His desire to "make a good showing for his school came true as Weber State vaulted to prominence on the collegiate golf map. In 1978, after placing fourth individually in the NCAA Championship, Gove was named a First Team All –American, quite an accomplishment for someone, who as a freshman, was more concerned about making Weber State’s traveling squad than the school’s golf team.
Moving On to Other Amateur Accolades
The summer of 1978 yielded further proof that Mike Gove was blossoming into one of America’s finest amateur golfers. Playing in his own back yard at Sahalee Country Club, he demolished the field in the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship. Gove, a member at Seattle’s Sand Point Country Club, said after that victory, “I grew up around here, and I feel comfortable playing on a course with a lot of trees.” Firing 70-68-70-71 for a 279 total, Gove was nine under par after his four spins around Sahalee's grueling layout, His scores were even more remarkable considering the blistering heat that made the playing conditions very difficult.
At one of the Northwest's premier tests of golf, Gove beat Sahalee's previous low score of 283 - established by Portland professional, Tim Berg, in the 1975 Northwest Open - by a whopping four stokes.
In his senior year at Weber State, Gove captured three more collegiate titles. His first taste of foreign competition came in the U.S. - Japanese International Collegiate: Matches at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Among his teammates were Bobby Clampett (BYU), Gary Hallberg (Wake Forest University) and Griff Moody (University of Georgia). “It was quite an honor to be chosen for that match,” recalls Gove, "And the experience was a great one."
In the spring of 1979, Gove was forced to make a major decision. He’d been asked to represent the U.S. on the 1979 Walker Cup Team, but the date of the NCAA Championship conflicted with the matches. After serious deliberation with his teammates and college coach, Mac Madsen, Mike decided to make the trip to Muirfield, Scotland. He felt the Walker Cup experience would be “a chance of a lifetime to play for your country.”
By winning two singles matches, Gove was the guiding force in the American victory that year over Great Britain.
In the summer or 1979, Gove played in the Western Amateur at Point O'Woods Golf & Country Club in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The stiffest competition he’d yet faced was assembled there. (This was the third year in a row Gove played in the Western Amateur). In both 1977 and 1978, he lost in the first round to future PGA Tour star, Scott Hoch. In the 1979 finals, battling a Walker Cup teammate, Hal Sutton, Mike lost 1 down. In the U.S. Amateur, playing Cecil Ingram of Birmingham, Alabama, in the round of eight he also lost only one down. Add to these fine finishes, a sixth place in the Colorado Open, where he tied touring Pro Dave Stockton; finishing third in the Washington State Open at Overlake Golf & Country Club in Bellevue; and placing second in the Northwest Open at Tacoma Golf & Country Club,. Mike Gove ended his Amateur days. He elected to become a golf professional and later the head professional at Oregon’s storied Astoria Golf and Country Club. Then in January 2002, Mike became Head Professional at Inglewood Golf Club in Kenmore, Washington. following the heritage of some well know professionals like Al Espinosa, Porky Oliver and locally well known, Rick Adell.