When he went back to the clubhouse to show course owner Dixie Riley what he found, she was dismissive. The Grand Rapids (MI) News reports that
"We were really busy and I was like: 'Patrick, I don't have time for this.'" Riley said Saturday. Fortunately, Riley knew a Portland couple who unearthed a mastodon skeleton while digging a pond earlier this summer.
They gave her telephone numbers for the University of Michigan's Museum of Paleontology.
After hearing details, Scott Beld, a research assistant at the Ann Arbor museum, told Riley he could drive out that afternoon.
Beld verified the find and said there may be more out there.
"We went out on the course and could see the vertebrae and a portion of a tusk," he said. Recent rains had brought the tooth to the surface.
The 18-hole Morrison Lake course in Saranac is a 5,423 yard par 70 affair from the tips. It is rated at 65.7 and it has a slope rating of 102. The course opened in 1926.
While there may be more fossils on the golf course site (and not just in the morning scramble) Beld said that the University of Michigan doesn't plan any further digs.