Senior moments

The Twin Cities Senior League has been operating since the depths of the Great Depression in 1933. Originally it consisted of teams from Golden Valley, Minneapolis Golf Club, Interlachen, Town & Country, Edina, University, Minikahda and Minnesota Valley. Later on Southview, Midland Hills, Oak Ridge, Stillwater, Brookview (later Rolling Green, then Medina), Mendakota, Hillcrest, White Bear Yacht Club, North Oaks and Hazeltine joined the league. Some teams have departed; it is now a 16-team league, which plays a 12-week schedule each Thursday afternoon from May through July. Four teams qualify for the final playoff each year.
Each club fields a team of six players each week, slotted by handicaps. Players must be 50 or older to play. Over the years, some of the most familiar names in area golf have participated in the league, from Interlachen ace George K. Labatt in the early 1930s, to Keller Golf Course architect Paul Coates in the 1950s, to Hazeltine’s Bob Leaf and Edina’s Dick Blooston, who currently play in the league.
In the beginning, Minneapolis golf club dominated the league, winning the first two years and then taking 13 more titles between 1948 and 1964. Recently, it’s been Hazeltine in command, winning the previous seven seasons in a row.
In this year’s season-ending playoff, held at Stillwater Country Club, the host team won its first Twin Cities Senior League title in history. Congratulations to the six men who played outstanding golf to carry the day: team captain (and league president) Rick Hoffbeck and his teammates Joey Eichten, Greg Otto, Mike Finnegan, Tom Murphy and Bernie Jordahl.
As one of the league’s past presidents told the teams at the year-end meeting at Stillwater, “I enjoyed playing in this league very much, with a bunch of great guys. I started out as our team’s number one player, and ended up being an alternate for the sixth spot. That’s what you guys have to look forward to.” As most would attest, the Twin Cities Senior League makes that transition as enjoyable as it can possibly be.

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