Korby's Connections: Mild winter leads to early open at Cloquet


April 19, 2024

Matt Carlson

There were still some snow banks in the parking lot, remnants of a late March storm, but the Cloquet Country Club golf course opened for play Sunday, April 14. An opening the same day as the Masters tournament finale is still very early for the Cloquet course to open.

Since longtime CCC general manager Bill Manahan accepted the GM job at the Wilderness Club in Tower, Minnesota, on April 1, CCC has made some important administrative changes. Matt Carlson, who has worked in many different jobs at CCC, takes over as interim general manager. Carlson has been relied upon for special club duties, including in accounting, in the past and is a good fit until a more permanent arrangement is made by the CCC Board of Directors.

The protective covers on the greens just came off last week and the grass is beautiful. Superintendent Jud Crist authorized the course only for walkers for the time being, no carts allowed. The water system is not on yet with still some frozen ground, sand traps haven't been raked or maintained, but, in general, the course is in very playable condition. The mild and nearly snow-free winter was good for the course.

The driving range has been open for members for two weeks, in part, due to the new pads and concrete walkway. The pads make it possible to not beat up the new, and sometimes wet grass. Initial feedback has been great.

Cloquet High School golf coaches Aaron Young (boys) and Andrew Miller (new girls coach this season) are pleased to be outside practicing again on their home course. Both boys and girls teams have many returning players. The boys are the defending Section 7AA champions and the girls were the Section 7AA runner up last year. Many Cloquet boys golfers have state tournament experience.

In other golfing news, Big Lake, Grandview, and the Rugged Spruce courses closed for a period of time due to the snow storm, with accumulations over a foot, but are now all open again for golf, weather permitting.


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