The charity scramble can be, and usually is, the most agonizing round of golf.
Pace of play is the reason for this opinion, and while I've played in a lot of lakes area fundraisers that were fun, only one scramble remains on my summer schedule.
The University of Minnesota Scholarship Golf Tournament played July 9 at the Legacy Courses at Cragun's in East Gull Lake. In fact, other than the Par 3 Championship at Grand View Lodge's The Pines, scheduled for Aug. 22, it's the only tournament I still play.
Both tournaments are equally as fun as the rest, but neither takes all day to complete. In fact, both get done quicker than a normal round of golf. While I'm not good, I do play quick.
WE SPOTTED: 10Th Annual U Of M Golf Event
Brainerd Dispatch/ Matt Sather and Kelly Humphrey.
So when Chuck Klecatsky, director of golf at the Legacy, invited me to participate in this year's U of M tournament and to create my own team, I accepted with a smile. First because it is an enjoyable tournament and second because I had the opportunity to put together my own team.
To a not-so-good player, who isn't very long off the tee and isn't fantastic around the greens, making your own team is a must to have a chance of winning. For most of my previous scramble experiences, my teams were composed of players with similar golf abilities. The results were always the same and included the phrase, "Please, don't let us be last."
I had less than two weeks to put together a winning combination of length and short-game prowess. I made one phone call and one text and my team was completed in less than three hours.
The phone call was to Staples' Glen Hasselberg. With his golf skills still in top form, plus his age giving him a tee box advantage, he was a no brainer. A fishing trip to Canada trumped my invitation. That was a no brainer on his part.
My text went to Hasselberg's daughter, Dana, who being a woman, would be able to play from the red tee boxes providing an even greater length advantage. She was busy too running a Junior PGA tournament. But that's where my work stopped as Dana pulled together a squad that featured long hitters of both sexes and players with different talents despite matching DNA.
Team Millsop consisted of Dana's brother Derek, her oldest sister Heather Erholtz and her youngest sister Cydney. A winning team in my mind.
The added bonus was that none of us went to the U of M. Better yet, we all attended or are attending rivals of Minnesota's biggest college. Cydney and I are North Dakota State University Bison - football anyone? Heather went to Purdue and Derek graduated from St. Cloud State University.
Our group tolerated the maroon and gold and the Rouser. Had the mascot been there - I won't say. We hit the links and birdied the first of our 18 holes.
Unfortunately, I wasn't much help to the Hasselberg three and we finished two shots out of the first place money. It was my best finish in a scramble, but even I could sense the frustration in my easy-going teammates as few of my shots materialized into useful results.
While our golf efforts didn't meet my expectations, the tournament did. Two meals, two U of M hats, which I quickly gave away to Gopher fans, and a fun, fast-paced round of golf with a talented team made for a good Friday afternoon.
If you're a fan of U of M sports or an alumni this should be a must tournament. Many of the programs' head coaches have visited the Legacy Pavilion as well as the men and women who work behind the scenes for these programs, not to mention the ticket office people for the U of M. A golf course is a great place to make friends with connections and if you need a connection to Gopher sports this is the time to make them. Plus, it won't take all day to play this tournament on one of Minnesota's best courses.
jeremy millsop, sports writer, may be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5856.
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