Twin Cities viewers know Randy Shaver as KARE's longtime, unflappable anchor, a position he'll vacate on Friday.

But at Rush Creek Golf Club, he's known as the goof who drove a cart into the water during his own tournament.

The incident happened back in 2019, but the ribbing hasn't let up.

"I won't crash into the pond like you did," said KARE morning anchor Alicia Lewis earlier this month as she passed Shaver on the way to her first hole of his annual charity event.

But for every good-natured joke, there were 10 congratulations. Everyone from volunteers to celebrities was eager to thank the 65-year-old for his long tenure and dedication to giving back to the state that made him a star.

"I'm so happy for him," said Minnesota Twins legend Joe Mauer before approaching a tee shot. "He's been an invaluable part of the community."

Mauer has fond memories of Shaver profiling him in 2000 for "Prep Sports Extra," which he hosted for four decades. In that interview, Shaver noted that the high school phenom looked more like a chemistry student than an athlete. Years later, when Shaver asked the soon-to-be Hall of Famer to autograph a poster, Mauer insisted that the anchor sign a duplicate poster for his own collection.

Meteorologist Belinda Jensen said her colleague's departure is like losing your MVP player and coach in one fell swoop.

"He's an important force behind the scenes," said Jensen, who has worked alongside Shaver for more than three decades. "A lot of us go to him to get advice. He's just this wonderful adult in the room."

Jensen is sure to play a major role in a four-day salute to Shaver, which starts Tuesday. Co-anchor Julie Nelson is producing a tribute, which will air during the 10 p.m. Thursday broadcast. Shaver signs off for the last time at 6 p.m. the following night.

"It's tough to sum up 41 years in a few words, when you've had as many amazing accomplishments as Randy Shaver," said news director Stacey Nogy, who added that there's no timetable on naming a replacement. "We'll miss him."

Perhaps the only person not feeling sentimental about the retirement is Shaver himself. He whipped up his parting words nearly three months ago in less than 30 minutes.

"I won't miss the work," he said as he drove his cart across the Maple Grove course, posing for pictures with his guests. "The business is just not the same anymore. It's just too hard now."

Five years ago, he helped talk his son, Ryan, into leaving his position as a KARE reporter to join the world of public relations. He's now a communications specialist at Twin Cities Orthopedics.

"I'm glad he got out of the business when he could," Shaver said. "I could see the writing on the wall."

Shaver became frustrated with chasing a dwindling audience. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans who say they follow local news very closely now stands at 22%, a decline of 15 percentage points since 2016.

He's tired of being in a business focused more on ratings than in-depth reporting. He remembers a time the station could afford to send him on the road to profile Olympian athletes, an assignment that took him to Texas, Oregon and the East Coast.

"We would never do that now. We'd just Zoom it," he said. "The people that work there now have no idea what that was like. All they know are the constraints."

Shaver has also been open about the news taking an emotional toll, especially in the wake of the George Floyd's murder and the COVID pandemic.

"It's just heavy, and Randy has a huge heart," Nelson said. "It's hard for anyone, because you can't look away. You have the responsibility to make sure the tone is right, that you're accurate and sharing the news, but not in an emotional way."

Shaver's mood lightens when the conversation turns to sports. He first came to KARE as a weekend sports broadcaster in 1983 and has never stopped covering high school games.

"When I got started, people like Randy were gods to me," said Chris Long, KSTP's weekend sports anchor. "He wasn't doing catch phrases or schtick that a lot of other sports people try to do, and I hated him for it. I'm still trying to figure out how to do it."

At the golf tourney, Shaver was adamant about checking out the swing of new Gophers quarterback Max Brosmer and catching up with Twins legend Tony Oliva. He said he learned the most about broadcasting by watching tapes of former WCCO sports anchor Mark Rosen.

"He was the best," Shaver said. "I still think that."

Shaver is mulling the idea of hosting a high school football podcast and doing more sports talk on 93X, where he's already a regular contributor to the radio station's "Half-Assed Morning Show."

"Randy is really like our cool uncle," said 93X program director Derek Madden. "His presence certainly brings us some gravitas, but he really can give or take a joke with the best of us."

Shaver's greatest passion, though, is his charity work. The Randy Shaver Cancer and Community Fund has raised more than $18 million since its founding in 1995. Much of that comes from the golf tourney, for which Shaver and his wife, Roseann, sweat over every detail. This year, Shaver was texting celebrity guests as early as 4:30 a.m., informing them of a rain delay.

He's also been open with viewers about his own cancer battles.

"He was an inspiration," said KSTP reporter Brett Hoffland, who is also a cancer survivor. "I knew I didn't have to be ashamed of losing my hair and be on air."

Shaver is expanding his charity's scope, adding events like a pickleball tournament. He also plans to find more time to spend with family.

"He's a cat with nine lives," Roseann Shaver said. "Or a cockroach."