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Gentlemen's Mini-Golf Tour returns to Minocqua
MINOCQUA - It's a golf tour with no drivers and no manners.

"We have a ton of instigators," tour founder Dustin Strand said.

That's life on the ironically-named Gentlemen's Mini-Golf Tour, which is the creation of a few childhood friends from Fond du Lac.

"I wanted to think of something competitive to do with friends throughout the summer, and we just came up with mini-golf on a whim," Strand said.

Twelve friends come together every July Fourth weekend to play five Minocqua-area courses.

"Once the beginning of summer hits, I really start looking forward to it," two-time champion Tom Oetjen said.

Through dozens of holes and thousands of putts, the group shares a history, preserved in years of old photos and on the dog tags of previous champions.

"The inaugural year I was the winner, and then I won last year," Oetjen said.

"There is that competition and everyone wants to win it," Strand said.

It's a tournament where anything can happen and where joy can turn to disappointment in the heat of the moment.

"Yeah, there's always pressure in this because I've been towards the top on multiple years and it's tough up there," golfer Matt Schultz said. "You've got to be at the top of your game to win, which is very difficult."

This year, Schultz was at the top of his game, winning his third Gentlemen's Tour and taking home the coveted championship belt.

"It feels fantastic," Schultz said.

The tour is a chance for old friends to stay in each other's lives, regardless of who wears the winner's plaid jacket.

"I live in Arizona, so I'm not around," Strand said. "This is the only time I'm really around to see these guys."

They come as competitors and leave as even closer friends.

Story By: Andrew Goldstein

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