Campus golf has been a longtime tradition here on the Hill. During the fall and spring months, Oles can often be found around campus with sunglasses on and golf club in hand. In this tournament, Oles compete for the beloved green jacket and bragging rights, by playing a round of golf weaving through the quad with tennis balls. Holes are comprised of buildings, dorm signs and landmarks all over campus. On May 6th, “The Masters” took place, a 9-hole golf tournament with a par of 36.
The SGA and SAC sponsored event was held as an imitation and St. Olaf twist on the classic golf tournament, held every April at the famous Augusta National Golf Club. This year, Oles were put to the test and tasked with avoiding both hazards and students roaming the course. The nice weather brought many students out to hammock between trees and study outside, serving as real-life, interactive and moving obstacles. Fortunately, no students were harmed by the sporadic and scattered approach shots.
The winner, Drew Otterlei ’20, won the tournament and jacket with a score of 31 (-5). He capitalized on the short par 3s and made several birdies on the latter part of the course. Otterlei told himself he had a chance and came to have fun, figuring there would be talented golfers there. After starting hot and making some birdies, he focused in and ultimately took home the jacket. The competition this year was stiff, including many golfers from the St. Olaf varsity golf teams. Women’s golfer Solveig Christenson ’20 came to play as well, but, “the transition from a real golf ball to tennis ball must have threw me off”, also quoting that she “will be back next year.” Last years winner, Thomas Gossard ’18, had bittersweet feelings not completing the ‘two peat’ his senior year. “It was another great event, I’m going to miss it next year. I may have to come back to watch the competition from the gallery,” Gossard said.
This event was put on by SAC member Bjorn Anderson ’20. He recruited ninety golfers to compete in the student run tournament. “I wanted to promote community and tradition, by bringing students together to play some campus golf,” Anderson said. Anderson created multiple videos to promote the event beforehand. These videos racked up thousands of views and shares on social media, with family members of students cheering Oles on.
The tournament seemed to be a hit among participants, allowing the less-adept golfers to compete and have fun. Anderson is already drawing up new holes around campus and brainstorming possible areas of improvement for next year.