Just when I thought things couldn’t get any weirder, they have.
I just finished reviewing the official State of Minnesota report that basically brings the 2020 Minnesota golf season to a screeching halt before it had really begun. Let me share the highlights:
Deer Scat Golf Club Head Pro Tom Bats, one of the most respected operators in the area, was quoted as saying “Well, it looks like we’re toast. That snow we got on Easter Sunday is just the beginning of the end. All of this social distancing that we are doing has instantly reversed global warming… now that we’re staying home and no longer warming up the atmosphere with carbon emissions we have triggered the beginning of a new Ice Age that’ll last at least a decade. My crack (or did he say crackpot?) psychic JR Frowny has peered into his crystal ball and determined that if you think the Easter snowstorm was something, wait until you see what we’re going to get on the 4th of July. He’s predicting at least two feet of snow every month from now through October.” Bats, known for his creative marketing programs that riff on (rip off?) pop culture icons (Fairway To Heaven, The Real Magic Kingdom) is rumored to be working on a “Cold As Ice” marketing theme featuring former Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm singing harmony with the PGA Minnesota Section Choirboys… keep an eye out for it.
Not to be deterred, local golf entrepreneur Kevin Overreiner has launched a series of Ice Golf events starting in May. Participants will play 18-hole events by hitting colored ‘ice pellet’ golf balls with hockey sticks. Players will have the option of using snowshoes or snowmobiles to traverse the course. “This will bring a whole new set of players into the game”, Overreiner stated with his trademark optimism. “No longer will new entrants have to buy an expensive set of clubs… just rummage around in the garage and find an old hockey stick and we’ll sell you a dozen ice pellets in your favorite color for just $12 when you get to the course. Not only are the ice balls cheaper than golf balls, but you’ll rarely lose one due to our vibrant color options.” Overreiner said he will be releasing the official schedule of Ice Golf events next week. There are hints he will also be introducing a monthly fee membership program called Icicle Country Club, although focus group participants have suggested there is some branding work to be done before launching a service that many may refer to as “ick” (ICC).
One guy who seems to be coming out of this strange turn of events smelling like a rose is former Wildaughter Golf Group President Greg “Bee” Sting, who supposedly had retired at the end of 2019. Sting had not been spotted in the area recently and we just learned that in fact he has not retired at all but has launched a new division of Wildaugher Golf Group in Antarctica. Sting explained, “We got tired of looking for courses to buy in the US, where the price of land didn’t leave enough room for profit operating a golf course. We were able to buy massive quantities of land in Antarctica for next to nothing and now it looks like we’ve hit the jackpot. With the Ice Age closing in on the US, Anarctica is going to become the warmest place on earth… say hello to the new Miami Beach! People are already booking their flights to play our newly launched Penguinback Golf Club.” Sting did acknowledge that there are some ‘gotchas’ that they have yet to solve. For example, Sting lamented, “If you think goose poop is a problem on a golf course, wait until you get a load of penguin poop… it’s everywhere down here… we’re working on some solutions but we haven’t cracked the code yet. Domesticated penguins make great caddies, though… you strap a few bags on a penguin and he’ll follow you anywhere… and they’ve got this eerie internal radar system that allows them to give you precise yardage to the front, middle and back of every green… er, I mean every ‘white’.”
Last but not least, we checked in just across the border to see how Wisconsin golf course operators are coping with the new normal. Veteran operators Tent Davis of Troy Highlands and Kenny Brewhall of Clifton Burne seemed surprisingly upbeat and they clarified why. “This is a financial boon for Wisconsin golf course operators”, said Brewhall. “We’re now marketing ‘Sconnie Golf’, where patrons will pay a fee to rent a golf cart with heated seats and protective wind screens that is fully loaded with a case of beer and a mini-bar. They’ll drive around aimlessly on our plowed cart paths until they’ve consumed the contents of the cart and then they’ll head into the clubhouse to down some fresh cheese curds and a fish fry.” Tent Davis chimed in, “Most of these Cheeseheads didn’t really want to play golf anyway… it was just an excuse to be out with the boys… and ‘Sconnie Golf will be much more pleasant than sitting in an ice fishing house. We figure our profit margins will quadruple. Not only will revenues be up, but we don’t have to maintain those pesky fairways and greens anymore.”
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As a service to our loyal readers, we will keep you apprised of further developments as this incredible story unfolds.
Oh, wait a minute… this is a little awkward. I just noticed the postmark on the report that I based this post on… it was April 1. Delivery must have been delayed due to the virus.
Soooo…. never mind… I guess we should all just hope that the little blast of inclement weather we have been experiencing this week has been Old Man Winter’s last gasp and that golf soon becomes the most popular form of social distancing known to man.
And I hope you enjoyed my attempt at a little humor to lighten up these dark days. We will return to our regularly scheduled programming next week.