"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

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The Sanford International

Viewers+walking+from+hole+to+hole+between+the+food+trucks+during+the+Sanford+International+held+at+the+Minnehaha+Country+Club.
Caroline Hughes
Viewers walking from hole to hole between the food trucks during the Sanford International held at the Minnehaha Country Club.

If you are a big-time golfer in Sioux Falls, you most likely have a membership at the Minnehaha Country Club. It is one of the nicest golf courses in the area. The private country club holds many events, including a fireworks show on the Fourth of July, private concerts for its members and the most famous one, the Sanford International. 

This event is a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour Champions. Usually, the tournament is held for professional golfers aged 50 and older. This event is held annually. Sanford International is known for attracting some of the top golfers from the PGA Tour Champions and offers a substantial reward to the participants. The tournament includes pro-am events, practice rounds and regular golf rounds. 

The event took place from Sept. 11 to Sept. 17. Monday and Tuesday were the PGA Tour Champions Player’s Practice Rounds, closed to the public, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.. Wednesday was the first day of the EMC Championship Pro-Am, when non-professional golfers get paired up in groups with the professionals and were given an opportunity to golf with them, and was also closed to the public. Thursday was the first day the event was open to the public, with free admission as a benefit. It was also the second and final day of the EMC Championship Pro-Am. Beginning Friday, the professional golfers started the first round of the Sanford International. That evening the Minnehaha Country Club hosted a concert, which featured country singer Jake Owen. Saturday and Sunday were spent finishing the Sanford International.

LHS students not only attend this event, as it is one of the most popular in Sioux Falls, but they also have the opportunity to volunteer at it. Kinley Freese, a junior at LHS, is one of those students. For the past two years, she attended the Sanford International as a viewer but this year she volunteered alongside one of her friends.

“As a junior volunteer I work on the driving range filling buckets and just making sure it looks clean and gets kept up,” said Freese.  

Volunteering may seem tedious with this sort of event, but it comes with its benefits. 

“I do get tickets to Jake Owen. I got tickets to watch the International and I got free Sanford International gear,” said Freese. 

Freese not only got the opportunity to watch the Sanford International for free but her personal ties to a few of the players made it even more interesting for her. 

“I think for me this year the most interesting part was that Ryan Jansa was playing. I know him well because I am a member of the Country Club of Sioux Falls and see him practicing all the time. I also know the Jansa family extremely well, so I have a personal connection to someone playing in such a huge event,” said Freese.  

The Sanford International is an entertaining event hosted at the Minnehaha Country Club that comes with many fun activities to go to with friends and family, but volunteering can be just as entertaining as spectating. 

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About the Contributor
Caroline Hughes
Caroline Hughes, Staff Writer
Caroline Hughes is a senior, second-year staff writer for the Statesman. She plans to spend most of her senior year playing LHS Softball and watching Adam Sandler movies in her bed. Hughes’ 2023-2024 goals are to be back to back champions for softball, go to a Mike. concert and maximize her pull up ability to a total of five.
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