The EK Classic, hosted at the Big River Golf Club was again a drawing attraction for it’s eighteenth year. During the rather dreary Saskatchewan fall weather cycle, the sun decided to shine on September 7th and 8th, special for this event.
Every year this event, celebrated in memory of Eddie Krienke, has attracted golfers and fans from every corner of Saskatchewan plus from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba as well as Wisconsin, Florida and Nebraska. This year, even Ontario couldn’t keep away.
Hearing about the event this past winter, Maisie’s cousins Julie and Dale, marked their calendar and booked a flight from Bracebridge, Ontario. Not only a golf outing for the cousins, but also an opportunity for them to connect with more Ingram cousins—most of whom they were meeting for the first time.
Upon registration Friday morning each golfer, as well as each volunteer, was presented with a 2019 tumbler, as a keepsake of the classic. The weekend kicked off with the traditional bison dog roast sponsored by Sandy and Faye Ingram. It was reported that these “dogs” are the real reason some folks are attracted to this golf experience.
Participation marked a peak this year as more than one hundred twenty golfers registered.
Most of them played their first nine Friday in plan that Saturday would be left open for the social part of the tourney.
With Rocky Krienke, unable to golf due to a shoulder injury, cruising the course with a loaded bar wagon no one was left dry or went short of golf tips, whether they asked for them or not.
The first round of play golfers were strategically studying Hole #4, where Rally Motorsports once again placed a quad to be won by the first golfer dropping the ball in the hole from the tee shot…yes a ‘Hole-in-One’ reward. Then again at #9, studying the slant of the green so as to roll closest to the pin in order to capture $500 cash plus tickets to a Las Vegas Golden Knights home game, sponsored by Trav and Emma Gould of TR Petroleum.
Due to a light rain in the Quill Lake area the Marshalls and Ingrams took a day off from farming and drove up to join in on a few hours of the fun.
Saturday early bird golfers enjoyed coffee and muffins thanks to Leah Scriven.
Elkridge Resort donated tee times for four golfers creating ‘hawkeyes’ to keep their names in the buckets every two hours. Two lucky names were drawn from each two hour bucket to advance to the final bucket in hopes that their Bucket List item of playing Elkridge would be accomplished. Only time would tell as the hours clicked by.
At noon everyone gathered back at the hub for a delicious lunch, sponsored by George and Arlene Ritchie, which included several of Maisie’s old family favorite desserts.
The crowd grew as noon passed and first round reports were coming in. Gamblers moved to the front line to be certain their bids, for a choice team, would not be missed.
Some bid big and won big, while other bidders were not so ingenious leaving the more conservative bidder making wiser choices with their team performing beyond expectations.
Then Rocky loaded the beverage wagon to the max anticipating that second round players would be dry….and right he was. Fans, children and other golfers gathered at the ninth hole to watch some of the play while others relaxed back at the centre taking in the putting competition, scanning the photo albums, telling and listening to story after story.
After the final nine, players gathered back at the centre to check out results which left some lips down and out, while other turned up smiling.
Following a savoury roast beef supper, sponsored by Neil & Rhoda Marshall, everyone enjoyed a slice of Aunt Stella’s Drumstick Cake as they quickly seated for the presentations.
Rocky Ingram and Wendy Leppa were excited to claim the early-bird award which gave them each $100 worth of gift certificates.
Maisie was delighted to present Sharon Magrath with the 2018 Memorial Golf Bag. The Most Senior golfer, well into his 80’s was Leonard Young while the Most Junior was Phoebe Krienke, age nine. Closest to the Line Winners were Garry Holbrook, Sherry Cowan and Reese Krienke while Les Krienke, MaryEllen Reed and Josh Krienke scored the Longest Drives.
Todd Devonshire was the lucky winner of the $400 50/50 raffle. Although Luke Krienke was not present to golf he staked claim to the Bucket Raffle, by having a secret auntie putting his name in, and therefore will be golfing Elkridge next season.
Nik Fortier imported another Debden player, whom he had come up every week to play the course and plan strategies. And it paid off. These two fellows were being chased by at least four other sets of players but they didn’t back off or weaken….they continued their practiced techniques and took home the title. Nik Fortier and Armand Tetreault are the 2018 Champions.
Thanks to so many family and friends, too lengthy to list, for the wonderful prize donations, food donations and volunteering to cook, sell tickets, take registration, operate the bar, provide accommodation, and tell stories, which is all a part of making The Classic such a wonderful and successful event. I can not go without recognizing a special friend, Arlene Gilbert, who gives so many hours and ideas to this weekend.
Eddie would be very happy to know that we now have a cart storage shed and a new work quad. Proceeds from this memorial tournament have helped make this happen.
Now the camaraderie creaated on this weekend goes on and on for everyone, however, for some, it did not end on Saturday as the tournament closed. For cousins Julie and Dale it continued in an even more special way.
They were chauffeured to Quill Lake where they had the opportunity to visit many of the Ingram farms and enjoyed an evening with more than forty more cousins, a gathering organized at the home of Neil and Rhoda. A week later, before departing for home, they pledged they would be back, as Julie learned there is nothing quite like the family of Ingram Cousins!
The 19th EK Classic is scheduled for September 6 & 7 so mark your calendars now….we would love to have you here next year.