Want to make sports history and beautiful music?

Tee off with the Doc.      

“It’s being held as a fall fundraiser for the golf course, as well as a fundraiser for the athletic and music departments here at Chatfield High School…I was approached three years ago about helping out and running a four-person golf tournament in the fall, and I said ‘yes.’  The name came easy to me – ‘Doc Skaug Tournament,’” said Brian Baum, one of the organizers of the upcoming golf tournament named for the late Dr. Harold M. Skaug. The tourney is set for Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Chosen Valley Golf Course, open to anyone, as Baum and his fellow tournament organizers are looking for 18 teams of four, for a four-person best shot tournament.

Baum recalled Skaug’s humor, his love for golf and his personality.

“He always had his famous lines when I went to his house as a little kid, and even later where he practiced medicine.  For example, he would say, ‘Tell your dad I could whip him with one hand tied behind my back.’  He also did our sports exams, and whenever I talked to him as a kid or young adult, he was always very kind to me,”  said Baum.

“I always think it is important to remember those who impacted us greatly, especially in a small town.  Doc Skaug, along with many others, were instrumental in getting our existing golf course to where it is today.  He had a vision.  Without him and the others, we very well may not have a golf course here, and what a great asset to a small town. 

“As the years go by, many people now living in Chatfield would have no idea who Doc was.  I think continuing on what the athletic and booster club started back in the early 1990s is important.  They really had it going and did a fantastic job.”

Baum has golfed in nearly all of the tournaments.  In the first year, he won the grand prize, a 19” TV/VCR, which Baum said he thinks is about the only big prize he has ever won. 

“It isn’t a serious golf tournament, so whether you are good, decent, or kind of a beginner, young or old, it is mostly for the fun of it, with a chance to win a prize or two,” said Baum. “We just want people to come out and have a great time.”

The first one was thought to have been held in 1994 and it ran until about 2005.  The tournament was put on sabbatical for several years, but this is the third year that Baum and co-organizers have come together to make it happen.  Molly-Jake Alumni is the main sponsor, but they’re doing this with help from the local and area businesses that sponsor holes or donate items. 

There will be two flights, so payouts will be based on number of participants.  The organizers are hoping to get 18 teams.  They will have two longest putt holes, three closest to the pin holes, skins, and other smaller prizes as well. 

Participation in the tournament is growing, but Baum would like to see a backlog of golfers lining up to tee off at the local course. 

“It has gotten better over the past two years, but not where it was when it was run by the athletic and booster club, but we are working on it,” he said.  “They really did a great job all those years.  With just Andy O’Connor, Jeff DeBuhr and myself, it is a little harder, but I think we are getting a handle on it — we bounce ideas off other people’s heads or our own throughout the year.  This year, we may be adding a chili cook-off, but that is yet to be decided as there are some details to be worked out.” 

O’Connor does a lot of the organizing as he handles things such as contacting potential sponsors, the scoring and the skins part of the tournament.  DeBuhr helps out with setup and daytime stuff as well.

“The Molly-Jake Alumni Fund has donated a lot of money and a variety of items to many groups and organizations throughout our community over the years.  I feel it is important to give back whenever you can, and I enjoy getting people together for a good time while at the same time helping other groups and organizations,” stated Baum, son of Chatfield’s Molly Baum.

Between 1997 and 2013, the Molly-Jake Alumni Fund has contributed funds for the purchase of a high school banner, another for the scorer’s table in the gym, wrestling and girls’ state basketball banners in the gym, a new elementary scoreboard, weight room equipment and ceiling fans, miscellaneous basketball and baseball equipment and materials, a wind screen for the baseball field, baseball state signs, a welcome sign for the baseball dugout, new logos and panels on the baseball scoreboard, new gym mats at both ends of the high school gym, a sportsmanship banner in the gym, entry fees to basketball tournaments, a bridge for the new city park, support to the Chatfield schools music department, improvements to the Jaycee Park, contributions to the physical education department for Frisbee golf sets, donations toward the Mill Creek Park disc golf course, funding for boys’ and girls’ basketball hotel rooms and a pizza party at the Annandale tournament, sponsoring the Minnesota Timberwolves trips, donating to the football program to help with prep bowl expenses, goal posts for the elementary school, and sponsoring the Western Days softball tournament and mutton busting.       

The tournament’s proceeds have the potential to help Chatfield aim for a hole in one, make that touchdown or bring forth some inspiring music. 

It is for a good cause, such as the golf course, as well as the athletic and music departments.  I am in contact with Doc’s only child, Barbara Skaug-Filippone, and she is so excited that it is back up and going again.  She just wrote me and told me she had suffered a stroke in June and is getting better — but slowly — but she is still so happy it is going on,” said Baum.

“It is a fun and casual tournament for everyone.  It is a four-person best shot in which teams can be made up of any way they want to…all gals, all guys, couples, etc., and if anyone or businesses would like to sponsor a hole, the cost is $100.  Their sign will be put on a hole as well as my sponsor board in the clubhouse, and they will be mentioned in the Chatfield News and school paper.  Hope to see you there!”

The Doc Skaug Memorial Golf Tournament is slated to take the greens on Sept. 6, starting at 11 a.m. Cost is $35 per person or $140 per team, which includes all the activities and skins.  

Baum noted that registering the sooner the better would help them get an idea to prepare. Forms are located at the golf course, or you can contact Baum or O’Connor, drop off forms at their houses or give the forms to Mike Buss at the golf course.  For more information, call Baum at 867-0027 or e-mail him at bbaum@chatfield.k12.mn.us, or call O’Connor at (507) 951-8961.