Antidote for Minnesota cabin-fever is to bundle up, gather your beat up clubs and head for the Arctic Open golf tournament on ‘beautiful Eli Lake’, Clinton, Minnesota. The just-for-fun and open to anyone tournament turned 34 years old this year.
Traditionally we have an overflowing RedBarn houseful on this February weekend. This year we heard the well-published blizzard warnings, mixed in some common sense and talked it over with each of our four children. . . .one at a time. It’s never easy to miss out on the fun or to tell excited little ones that plans have had to change. With a stiff upper lip in place I rehearsed my dutiful line, “I’d rather have you safe and not see you this time than to even consider the alternative when traveling in bad weather.” Did I miss all 17 big and little ones who might have been here? Yes. What am I going to do with ten pounds of barbeque beef and buns to accommodate? I’ll say it for you, “If that’s my only problem I’ll be ok.”
No wind, temperatures in the +20’s, enough snow on the ice to take the ‘slippery’ out of the walking part of the game and everyone you meet happy to be out and about. . . .that’s how it went for those of us who live close by and were lucky to play the frozen course once again. The Penguin Bar, hot spot in this village of just over 300 folks, served as the perfect place to compare golf scores, reminisce, spur the local economy and loosen the laces on my purple Sorrel pack boots. They could be the ugliest winter boots ever made. A thought for a new trophy category? Hey, it’s not Pebble Beach! Not even Burnsville, Buffalo or the frosty cracks of Lake Minnetonka! This is a frozen slough in ‘greater’ Minnesota, where purple boots, camouflage hats, and whatever else you can find in the back seat of the truck, creates your fashion statement for the annual Arctic Open. Small town America. . . .alive and well. . .even in the midst of winter cabin-fever season.
Rules are few; wheels on the course are not a bad idea.
These two gents, Roger and Tom, were finishing their round as Randy and I started out. Congratulations on the first place trophy, Roger!
Each year children enter a contest to design the winning logo for the annual Arctic Open button. Buttons are sold and proceeds are shared with needy organizations in the area.
Hi there!! So sorry the photographer cut off my purple boots!
A ready smile from long time golfers; Deb and Janine!
Sisters, Donna and Wanda, a good day to spend together. . .even sharing clubs.