Fred Boos is the godfather of the golf boom that started in the Brainerd lakes area a quarter-century ago. He was part of the Cote family that owned Grand View Lodge, and saw that it was going to take more than fishing and family vacations to keep the resort business humming in that area.
Plus, Freddie had a great love for golf, particularly those matches where he could find a talented partner and use his own overstated handicap to fleece the opposition of a few bucks.
Grand View opened the first 18 holes of The Pines in the summer of 1991, and that was the start of it for first-class golf opportunities in the Brainerd area.
A non-public event that arrived at The Pines was the FredMark, a small invitational put together by Freddie and his resort manager, Mark Ronnei. Freddie was known to bring in ringers such as Alissa Herron, and send her to the front tees, and then join with her in collecting most of the financial rewards at the end of the competition.
Early in the FredMark’s history, Freddie invited me to join his foursome. He tried some instruction on the first few holes, then was struck silent as my tee shots continued to sail into those pines, taking with them any chance for Mr. Boos to engage in his usual profit-taking.
Freddie and I have maintained contact through the years, although not through invitations to rejoin him at the FredMark.
Most communication from Freddie is through notes that arrive with magnificent penmanship. Generally, he’s offering comment on what he considers a faulty conclusion I might have reached in a Strib column.
The latest note was different. This time, Mr. Boos wants your opinion. He states:
“Write a contest for your readers on the three top golfers of all-time from Minnesota. My votes are 1-Tom Lehman, 2-Patty Berg, and 3-Tim Herron.’’
OK. Freddie, we’ll do it. Answer here, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (or even a clearly written note), with your top three, and why you have them in that order.
Please note there will be a prize to the most persuasive respondent.
Plus Three from Patrick
My top three golfers in Minnesota history:
1. Patty Berg: She won the first U.S. Women’s Open in 1946, was a founder of the LPGA and won 15 professional majors.
2. Tom Lehman: He was the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year in 1996. Yes, a Minnesota boy was that.
3. Bev Gammon Vanstrum: When Bev died in 2009, Warren Rebholz, a man who knows, said: “She was the Tiger Woods of statewide women’s golf.’’