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Cabin Round O' Golf!



    A Round-O-Golf (at the Cabin?!)
    Reprinted from 2007 In memory of Dale Reineke






      A cackle shatters the tranquility as a Frisbee-like disk pierces the north woods just after the commencement of cocktail hour.
      Ten people of all ages giggle, taunt, and cheer as they meander, toddy in one hand, disc in the other, through their contiguous lake lots in Northern Wisconsin.
        This is Round-O-Golf, the popular disc golf sport of colleges, clubs, and resorts played gonzo style. That is, not on manicured lawns or playing fields, but over, between and through the north woods and lakes.

                                 Proper preparation at the Lake Eleanor Disc Course, including hydration gear, is shown above.

On the First Tee with the Chairman and creator of Round-O-Golf, Dale Reineke. May they always be aces, my good friend.


   The first to “tee off,” my son Robert, lays up nicely in front of the “hole”- actually a brightly colored net made out of PVC and fishing net material. He ends up taking a two, as do all the others except me. I score a four due to an unfortunate second shot into the woods. My good friend Dan Seering, who co-designed the course and owns the cabin next to ours, almost starts off with a hole in one. Dale Reineke, a mutual best buddy who assisted and liked Seering’s idea and now builds and sells the disc games online under the “Round-O-Golf”  brand, also picks up a two, as does his son Danny, who has become the course Ace.

    Already I am under the gun. Even Arthur Yago, age eight, is beating me. A four is not the way to start, but Canadian whisky and cigar in hand, I will not be denied. We continue.



The Official Scorekeeper.



       The Lake Eleanor Disc Golf Course has it all: Eighteen holes- er nets- complete with scorecards, prize money, side bets and a 19th hole. The 19th is actually a tool shed modified by Seering to include a bar, leader board, and trophy case. Oh- the Club House also houses the coveted Yellow Jackets, given each year to the Regulation and Junior champions. A comfort station adorns the 8th fairway.
It’s filled with Scotch. Oh, and there is a rule book.
   Ah the rules…

    On this particular day, a rules infraction is being deliberated by the “Board.” The Board consists of the four oldest among this band of degenerates. The controversy is; can a birch leaf be torn off a branch that is blocking a shot after tournament play has commenced?
   “Is the tree living or dead?” One asks.
   “Doesn’t matter,” responds another, “the hole has already been played by other contestants during regulation play.” Tempers start to flare but cooler heads prevail. Play resumes.

     Next comes the 5th hole which, like some par threes on the PGA tour, carries an instant prize; in this case $100.00 for a hole in one. The shot involves throwing the disc left to right over the roof of Seering’s cabin, missing “Grandpa’s maple” standing in the approach, and slipping into the net while ascending from high over head.
   While almost every other net at Lake Elenor has been “holed” at least once, the Over-the-Cabin Dogleg at Five has yet to give up the Benjamin.



A stop at the Comfort Station.


Any number of disc styles can be found at The Elenor Course.




     Our circle of family and friends has been convening at the Lake for forty years. Calling this hallowed ground would not be a stretch for the owners and guests who continue to come here year after year. The Lake Elenor Disc Golf Course actually started out as a pitch and putt golf course down our main right of way, with real golf balls, real clubs, and real holes many years ago.

     It began, as most worthwhile endeavors at the Lake do, with a challenge and a bet. I won’t go into the inspiration for the first nine holes thirty years ago; suffice to say we used to play when tent campers were slept in before our cabins were built with indoor plumbing. Over the years, golf balls were getting too hard to find in the woods and after several small fortunes were lost to Titleist, disc golf nets became “holes” and discs replaced golf clubs and balls.


Scoping it out on a rather cool Northwwoods afternoon.
Guess which one visits from Florida each year…



   After the front nine we come to the water holes, where the course meanders down to the lake and nets are placed on rafts. Tee boxes are piers sticking out into the Lake. A hole in one earns you a minus one. A miss, and you better swim out or climb in a canoe or some other water toy before your disc sinks or drifts out of range. I, dressed in jeans and sweatshirt on this particular afternoon, elect to take a default three (it’s in the rulebook). So do some others.

     My son in law Max and Danny, however, now tied for the lead, go for it; Max's shot lands in the water and he runs for the boats. Danny drills a hole in one, en-route to a possible course record. The comfort station had been emptied four holes ago and a certain rowdiness now pervades the goings on.


The Chairman at the tricky 16th.



   Coming home to the club house now; the 18th, through birch and pine, a par three up slate and sand, and Danny prevails, missing his own course record but moving comfortably into first place for the tournament week. His name has been imprinted on the club house trophy for the last two years. We all swear vengeance. My son Robert sits atop the junior leaderboard.
   The scorecard is signed, the 19th hole visited, and the leader board updated. Only then is dinner started.

     Tomorrow, after the chores are done and the fishing and the kayaking and the waterskiing are over, cocktail hour will approach and we’ll do it all over again.





The Trophy                                                     The coveted Yellow Jackets- plus winnings. God bless America!


The Annual Awards party in the shed-er Clubhouse.



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