Siouxland Stories: Siouxland man gives new meaning to “Winter Rule”

Siouxland Stories

PIERSON, Iowa (KCAU) — Most people don’t think of golf as a winter activity, but one Siouxlander hits the links no matter the season.

A golf course can be a desolate place in the winter months.

“For me to play golf in the winter, no. No, that’s not my thing,” said Joel McQueen, Secretary Treasurer at Pierson Golf Assoc.

In fact, it’s now most people’s thing. Well, not everyone

“Some people think it’s a crazy thing to do. Doesn’t he get cold? Yeah, I get cold,” says Karl Bahrke.
“That doesn’t mean I can’t get a round in at my favorite course, Pierson, Iowa.

“I’m sure if they didn’t know Carl or know the situation, they probably be thinking
we’d better be calling the guys, with the padded jackets and that sort of thing,” said McQueen.

Turns out, the situation is Karl Bahrke has played at least 9 holes of golf once a month on the sand greens of the PGA, or Pierson Golf Association for 117 consecutive months.

“Ya know, I’m really not that good of golfer,” Bahrke said. 

Karl may have missed a shot or two, but since June 2011 when he topped a similar effort by a friend, he’s never missed his round of golf.,

“Just to tell Mr. Jensen guess what I’m able to do it too. I just thought as long as you’ve done it a year, just keep going and keep going and it just kind of evolved,” said Bahrke.

Just like the weather.

“The worst days of the month I try and avoid.  I watch the weather forecast,” Bahrke says. “Next month, if that ground is frozen, I can see another 250-yard drive and that’s a long way for somebody my age.”

But this 65-year-old retired teacher says he really doesn’t focus on the numbers.

“I don’t keep a scorecard as such. I try and keep it in my head,” Bahrke said.

Birdie and Eagles after all aren’t what keeps Karl coming back.

“Small town Iowa. Enjoy the out of doors, the fresh air. the gentle breeze and the tranquility that God has given us right here in Iowa,” Bahrke said. “You don’t hear a lot.  Some days you might hear the noon whistle if your here at the right time.”

“It’s just like any other golf course with the exception of the greens. You have your sand greens here that don’t always play like the grass greens,” said Bahrke. “There’s a cup down in here but filled in with sand.  I think it’s probably frozen at this time of year.”

Turns out, getting a tee time isn’t much of a problem.

“There’s rarely a time there’s another golfer out here when I’m golfing.”

Great when it comes to speed of play, but disappointing when the game’s biggest moments arrive.

“I don’t know how many years ago it was. I was playing #7, par 3, 85-yard hole and I hit it and I thought gosh I hit that well and it seemed like it just rolled and rolled forever and it disappeared.  And I’m going YES and I look around and there’s nobody on the golf course,” said Bahrke. “When a person hits a hole in one there’s usually a witness.”

“My thought at the time was my dad knows it went it and God knows it went in and I know it went in,” Bahrke adds.

For even the most dedicated of duffers, the clubs eventually get packed away.  So how long might the streak continue?

“I want it to go through at least May of this year to get to 120.  Ten years golfing at least once a month here at Pierson, Iowa. My goal might be 10 more years, and we’ll take it from there. We’ll see what happens,” Bahrke said.

But until then, don’t expect the sun to go down on this man’s game no matter the month on the calendar.

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