A fun tradition celebrated its golden anniversary when the Five Star women’s golf tournament was hosted on a chilly Monday, July 14 on the Purple Hawk layout.
The Five Star Invitational began in 1965 as the Four Star, pitting women’s teams from Elk River, Princeton, Mora and Milaca golf clubs in a tourney that rotated sites each year. Over the years, Cambridge joined, and then North Branch replaced Elk River as the event continued to build fellowship between the various women and golf clubs.
Eight golfers are on each team, with the low six scores counting for the trophy. This year, Cambridge unseated Mora as the Five Star champion by scoring 560 points, followed by North Branch (591), Mora (609), Princeton (635) and Milaca (666).
The tourney medalist was Cambridge’s Kelly Brown who came in at 83. Tammy Calaman was next at 89, followed by Kathy Johnson (94), Judy Leiser (96), Janet Buchholz (98), Shari Anlauf (100), Nona Schoenecker (100) and Colleen Bird (102).
“The best thing for me is probably meeting all the gals and seeing our teammates in a different light. We don’t get to play as a team that often, and it’s kind of a neat thing to support each other in that format,” said Five Star veteran Leiser. “Today’s cold and wet weather kind of (stunk) because you didn’t get to stand around and talk with the other ladies quite as much. Most years, it’s hot and muggy, so the pace is more leisurely.”
Added Anlauf, “I personally don’t get out to different courses that much, so it’s been fun to go to the other courses for this tournament. For a traveling year, some of us get out the week before for a scouting round on that course.”
She continued, “I’ve had nothing but great experiences with this tournament– just the camaraderie of helping each other on different shots. It’s just been a fun experience.”
The Cambridge squad, made up of the lower handicaps available from Purple Hawk leagues, is on a strong run in the new millennium. The locals have owned the Five Star trophy eight times since 2001, including this year.
“It wasn’t always like that. It used to be Princeton as the team to beat a lot of the years, but they had a lot of turnover,” said Leiser.
At the post-round luncheon in the Hawk’s Nest, Marion Larson of Braham spoke. She played in the original Four Star Tourney at Elk River while golfing on the Mora squad.
“I am so happy to see this keep going. Fifty years for a tournament is a long time,” she said. “And it’s so great to see the friendship among all of you!”
As the tradition keeps rolling, Princeton will be the host site of the 2015 Five Star Tourney.