They say records are made to be broken.

Well, thanks to our unseasonably mild temperatures this winter, we’ve definitely been obliterating Minnesota weather records– and BMC members have not hesitated to take full advantage on the golf course.

In what may be a first ever, we’ve had year-round golf this year, including rounds in the unfathomable months of January and February.  When has that ever happened?  Several courses opened for business during these typically off-season months, and word has it that BMC members were spotted at, among other venues, Pioneer Creek, Bunker Hills, Ridges at Sand Creek and Rum River Hills.

Of course, winter golf in Minnesota is bound to involve a few abnormalities.  Hit it into a pond?  See if the ball skips over the ice and ends up safely on the other side.  Having trouble pushing your tee into the frozen ground?  Just bring a drill along to pierce the turf–as BMC member Drew Cripps observed another player doing at Rum River Hills.

Lacking the fortitude of some other BMC members, yours truly held off on my inaugural 2024 Minnesota round until March 12. Playing with fellow members Rick Danmeier and Tom Klassen at The Ridges, we had a beautiful day in the mid-60s, it’s just that our putts kept coming up short.  Maybe our golf muscles had gone soft due to a lack of snow shoveling?

Of course, many of us headed south this winter, golf clubs in tow (in some cases only to experience weather no better than here).  Among the highlights: a hole-in-one by Past President and Thursday League Coordinator Greg Wright.  On his first shot of 2024 Greg, playing with his brother-in-law, struck a wedge on the 120-yard first hole at Jupiter Dunes on Florida’s east coast.  Unfortunately, Greg couldn’t see the ball land because he was facing directly into the sun, but the boisterous cheers from onlookers on a nearby porch confirmed the result.  Recall that Greg was the leading money winner last year in Thursday League, so don’t be surprised if he fires his first Braemar ace this summer.

Maybe the most exotic golf venue played this winter by a BMC member was at Bali National Golf Club (in Bali, Indonesia).  Drew Cripps, accompanied by wife Susan, was up before dawn to reserve a tee time at this jewel in the jungle (where greens fees reportedly rival Pebble Beach’s), and he reports that the views were breathtaking.  The photo below was taken just after sunrise from the left of the first tee, which, without careful observation, you might otherwise miss at the far right of the photo.

Based on our mild winter weather this year, is anyone planning to scrap their plans to head south next year?  Or does our most recent wintery blast cool your jets?

Bali National Golf Course, photo compliments of Drew Cripps