Rand: Until we meet again at Keller Golf Club

  • Updated: October 1, 2012 - 1:47 AM

Keller Golf Club in St. Paul is closing for renovation.

hide

Joyce Carbone of Maplewood, a member at Keller Golf Club in St. Paul for 50 years, wasn’t going to miss the chance Sunday to play a last round there before it closes for a major renovation of the course and clubhouse.

Photo: Michael Rand, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Some of the greatest golfers in the world have played Keller Golf Club, the venerable Ramsey County course that has hosted two PGA Championships and longstanding events on both the PGA and LPGA tours.

The course is not defined by those all-timers, however. Rather, it's the regulars like Joyce Carbone, a Maplewood resident and Keller member for 50 years, who truly show what the course means.

Carbone and others gathered Sunday to play the course -- which opened in 1929 -- before a shutdown that begins Monday and will last into 2014 for a $10 million-plus renovation.

Carbone, 84, received a shot in her knee Wednesday from an understanding doctor just to ensure she would be able to play Sunday. "This is my home," said Carbone, one of 130 playing members of the Keller Women's Club. There are 275 male members.

Sentiments like that were frequent at Keller. There also were concerns about the layoff and how the redone course might feel after several of the holes are altered and the clubhouse is redone. A few women joked about chaining themselves to trees. One had a cart with a handmade "Occupy Keller" sign posted on the front.

Maureen Murphy, president of the women's club, passed out soft packages of tissues to each of the 60 or so women's club members who played on Sunday. She also was on the renovation committee.

"One of the coolest things," Murphy said, "was being able to have a say."

Many members will be heading to Goodrich Golf Course in 2013, and they will be taking their wit with them as well. After one member drilled a tee ball down the middle at No. 1 on Sunday, she declared, "I'm going for 80 today." The reply from a nearby golfer: "Maybe on the front nine."

They'll be back at Keller in 2014, though exactly when remains to be seen. Best-case scenario, club pro Tom Purcell said, is June 1. But it could be months later, depending on the growing season. Purcell, in his 34th year as Keller's pro, promised the course will retain its homey feel.

"You have to know your niche," he said. "We have the history and we have values. We'll still take tee times over the phone. If you call, someone is going to talk to you."

Purcell was giving out a lot of hugs Sunday in between managing a tee sheet that has been crammed full for the past month. "A lot of people have said they needed to come in one more time before it shuts down," Purcell said.

It will be back, of course. But saying goodbye, even temporarily, was tough. Lenny Koneczny paid a visit Sunday. His playing days are over, but he's still a social member at Keller -- where he started caddying in 1932, an amazing 80 years ago.

"Keller has been my life," Koneczny said, getting a little emotional like so many did Sunday. "It's just a beautiful place to be."

MICHAEL RAND

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Diego 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Detroit
Dallas 7:00 PM
New Orleans
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Vancouver 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Chicago 7:00 PM
Nashville
Arizona 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Carolina 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Columbus 9:30 PM
San Jose
Connecticut 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close