August 21, 2013



I don’t know how many of you enjoy golf. I enjoy it once in awhile. I don’t play a lot, maybe half a dozen times a year at most. Last week I played twice.
I did set one record. At the Dickinson course, I set a new record for the farthest anyone ever threw their driver (that’s a golf club to you neophytes) out into Patterson Lake! It was a magnificent club toss on Hole 18. I will never have to worry about picking that club out of a bag again.
Then to top the week off, Shirley and I once again attended the Harding County Fair in Northwest South Dakota. It is the fair of all fairs. It is what a county fair is meant to be. It is about 4-H and craft shows. It is about the kids in the county. It is about the Quiz Bowl and livestock shows. It is about, and some of you may find this a little strange, it is about dressing sheep up in Harding County Rancher sports outfits.
One of the adult events, and I’m using the word “adult” loosely, is the annual Prairie Dog Golf Classic. I’ve been on the waiting list for years to get in this prestigious event, and finally qualified this year.
I’ve played golf at Myrtle Beach in the Carolinas. I’ve played on several courses in North Dakota. I’ve played in San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. But I will tell you this, the Camp Crook Course is one of the toughest I have ever seen.
The greens are hidden and I mean really hidden. Behind bull berry bushes, on little dikes on a creek, in the middle of a grove of trees, trying to survive in the harsh climate of the Dakotas. The pins not only show the hole, they act as a hazard. They are pieces of sucker rod driven into the ground. You cannot move them unless you use a loader tractor. You have to play around them. Any putt over six inches is a horror! The greens, well they are not really greens, are little mounds of sand with a cup or a coffee can buried on the side or the top. The rancher who placed the pins should be invited to place the holes on the final day of the Masters. He did a masterful job!
There was a sand trap that I had to take pictures of and send to friends. It was a new addition this year and the course designer really went all out. You just have to see it.
The club does not own golf carts. Everyone brings his own. They varied from a Jeep that you started with a vise grip, to half-ton pickups and side by sides. There  were some real golf carts, but they are not recommended because of the cactus. I think the only real requirement is that they hold a cooler.
Like most tourneys, I didn’t win. But I am going back next year with a positive attitude and a case of beer. I enjoyed the heck out of it.
And once again, our grandkids showed well at the fair. RJ, thanks to his grandpa’s genes, won the dance contest. And thanks to Grandma Shirley’s genetics, also won the watermelon-eating contest!