Lake Calhoun, a part of the area's Chain of Lakes, is a popular fishing location.
Minnesota is home to the Toro Company, your backyard lawnmower company that also manufacturers golf course turf-maintenance equipment and water-saving irrigation systems. Two other Minnesota companies – Par Aide and Miltona Turf Tool Specialists – are friends to greenskeepers everywhere with a variety of products that include cup cutters, flagstick poles and bunker rakes.
“Whenever there’s reasonably good weather, people
want to golf. And in Minnesota, reasonably good weather
means 40 degrees and not snowing.”
—PGA Professional Don Berry
A Minnesota golfer once went to clean his ball after finishing a hole at some far-flung destination in Asia only to find the words “Par Aide, Lino Lakes, Minn.” stamped on the ball washer.
“There’s no question Minnesotans really love their golf,” says PGA of America President Jim Remy. “When you look at everything, what you really have is a great base of fans who love the game, who know the game and who you know are going to come out and support it.”
And that is precisely why the PGA Championship returns to Hazeltine National Golf Club this week only seven years after it last left, and why the Ryder Cup is scheduled to come to Hazeltine and Chaska, Minn., in 2016.
about Minnesotans love for the game, only a bit more anecdotally. He’s the PGA head professional at Edinburgh USA, a Robert Trent Jones design in suburban Brooklyn Park that summoned in the era of country-club-for-a-day daily-fee courses in Minnesota when it opened in 1987.
He’s also the guy who has to curb Minnesotans enthusiasm for golf as soon as the snow starts to melt every March. His course superintendent covers the greens every winter to protect them. Some years, golfers already have slipped onto the course before the covers have even been removed.
“Neighbors will call the golf shop
and say: ‘Hey, there’s somebody out on
No. 5,’” says Berry, who qualified for the 2002 PGA Championship at Hazeltine National and made the cut but will watch this year from his office. “You have to go out and chase them away. Whenever there’s reasonably good weather, people want to golf. And in Minnesota, reasonably good weather means 40 degrees and not snowing.”
Berry won the Minnesota Section PGA Player of the Year award 13 consecutive years and has played in four PGA Championships and one U.S. Open. He and his family spend their spring, summer and fall in Minnesota and their winters in Arizona, a perfect arrangement for any Minnesotan less than thrilled with snowshoeing or those winter wonderland delights that inspire the St. Paul Winter Carnival celebration every January.
With two young children, he soon will have to make a choice between one or the other. And with a 4-year-old hockey player and a love of Minnesota summers, the choice might be obvious.
When asked what has kept him in Minnesota, Berry says: “The people. It’s just a great place to live. Great golf courses.
Great (Minnesota PGA Section)
tournaments. When you’re out there on
one of those beautiful sunny summer days,
it almost makes you forget about winter.”
Harrington remembers Minnesota’s
unpredictable August weather – hot, humid
and stormy one day; clear, blustery and cool
the next – and warm fans from his week at
the 2002PGAChampionship. He also
remembers the Mall of America, of course.
“See,” he says with a laugh. “I know these things.” ●