If there was a Gopher call, Dutch Cragun, owner of the Legacy Courses at Cragun's and Cragun's Resort on East Gull Lake, would be sounding it.
Cragun, a University of Minnesota alum, is hosting the third annual U of M Gopher Golf Fund-raiser July 16.
Currently there are 30 teams signed up, but Cragun would like to see more. He's calling on area U of M alumni and people who have never even been to the Twin Cities campus to attend the event.
"The event is not only for ex-Gophers," said Cragun. "It's for anybody who is interested in helping the University of Minnesota program improve. We are going to have a number of folks who have never set foot inside the university or even taken a correspondence course."
U of M fund-raiser
When: 11 a.m. July 16
Where: Legacy Courses at Cragun's
Why: Raise money for Gopher athletic teams
Highlight: Golf clinic by Gopher men's and women's golf coaches
The day begins at 11 a.m. with a clinic conducted by Gophers men's golf coach Brad James. The 45 minute demonstration and tip-filled seminar lasts 45 minutes. Cragun said he's learned a few tricks for his above-par game.
"Both Brad James and Katie Weiss, the Gopher women's golf coach, will be there," said Cragun. "We're encouraging ladies to come as well.
"I got a lot of great tips from Brad by watching him. By golly, the placement of your hand on the club handle does make all the difference."
After the clinic a noon shotgun start tips off the four-person scramble on the Dutch's Legacy course.
Cragun said in addition to entire teams, individuals and twosomes are welcome to play in the golf tournament. Legacy staff will help fill a team if individuals sign up.
"I'm making a concerted effort to contact the local Gopher gang to see if we can count on them to increase attendance," said Cragun. "If U of M graduates from the Brainerd lakes area are interested in attending the event, we could really use their help to make this tournament even more successful than in the past."
Social hour starts at 5 p.m. with dinner and awards following in the Legacy Pavilion. This year's prizes include Gopher football and basketball tickets. Many former Gopher athletes are scheduled to attend, including football greats Billy Bye, Chip Lohmiller and Greg Larson.
"(Billy) gave me a call and wanted me to fill out his team for him, which I happily did," said Cragun. "We'll do this for anybody who wants to come out. If they can't find three or two other people we will match them up and get them in a foursome."
The biggest change of the event is the date. Usually held on a Sunday, Cragun hopes the move to Friday will allow more people to attend and still have their weekend with family and friends.
"We'll be finished with all of our games, introductions and cocktails in time for folks to get home and greet those people they may have coming for the weekend," he said.
Last year the U of M golf event raised $8,000. Cragun hopes to reach $10,000 this year and with more teams that goal could be reached.
Cost of the event is the same as in 2003: $135 per golfer or $540 per team of four. Non-golfers are also invited to join the event during the social hour and dinner for just $29 per person.
To register, contact Julie Brooks at 800-272-4867 or (218) 825-2858. Brooks may also be e-mailed at email@example.com. She also has a list of area alumni to help fill rosters.
JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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