Pine to Palm: The 90th Pine to Palm tournament set to kick off on Monday
For the 90th time, the Detroit Country Club will crown a Pine to palm Men's Champion. Nate Adams returns, along with four other first-time champions from last year.
DETROIT LAKES – For the 90th time, the Pine to Palm will begin on Monday at the Detroit Country Club and will determine a winner six days later.
The third leg of the Resort Cricut features five divisions striving to etch their names in one of the premier amateur golf tournaments in Minnesota. All five champions from a year ago are back to defend their crowns.
“We have a fair number of (past) champions coming back,” said Vern Schnathors, the Pine to Palm chairman. “Nate Adams and Ian Simonich are back this year. Andrew Israelson is on the Dakota Tour now, so he won’t be here, but other champions are back. We have all of our champions from last year back.”
Adams defeated Ben Welle in a 19-hole thriller last August for his first Pine to Palm championship. The North Dakota State University junior had to be perfect on the 19th hole to come away with a win. He sank an eagle putt and reversed his fortunes from two years earlier, where he fell against Israelson in a playoff.
Adams was one of four first-time division winners last summer. Michael Melhus took home his first Mid-Am championship, beating Jack Witham. Bill Schommer knocked off Bert Olson for the senior title, while Rob Harris defeated Dan Elton in the Super Senior Division.
Every year, the goal for the 488 people in the field is to add to the history that makes the Pine to Palm what it is: extraordinary.
“One thing that’s unique about our course is there are so many holes that are close to the clubhouse,” Schnathorst said. “It lends itself to a lot of being able to watch in some big galleries. We have a lot of great volunteers that help run this, and I think it will be a really competitive field and a fun event.”
At its peak, over 500 competitors took part in the week-long event. However, in the summer of 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pine to Palm staff put a limit on the number of entrants. Now, it’s permanently set at 488.
“We cap it at that because when we had the Pine to Palm a couple of years ago during Covid, we had a limit to about 460,” Schnathorst said. “We got so many comments from people who enjoyed it because it played a little bit faster. We used to be over 500 sometimes, even 515 or 520. It got to be so slow and backlogged. To make it a little more manageable for the committee and us, we decided to cap it at 488.”
Due to the participation cap, the Pine to palm staff has a waitlist for late entries.
“There was a lot of interest this year,” Schnathorst said. “I think I got a waiting list of 10 people for all five divisions. We do online registration, and it took eight days to fill it out this year. The last division was filled out in eight days. It shows people are excited to play in tournament golf.”
Seniors, Super Seniors, Mid-Ams and Flight Divisions begin qualifying rounds on Monday morning. Visit the Pine to Palm website for information on tee sheets and qualifying pairings.
Golf Genius app users can access the same information on phones by using the GGID: P2P90 at the login screen. The service is free of charge after downloading the application for Android or Apple.
“People like the match-play format,” Schnathorst said. “It’s so different, and you only get so many opportunities to do match play. You have The Birchmont in Bemidji and The Resorters in Alexandria. A lot of your good players are used to medal play, so this is a fun format for them. It's stuff like that which makes this tournament so fun.”
For live updates, photographs, video coverage and more follow @DLtribSports on Twitter coverage from qualifying rounds thru match play. You can also visit www.dlonline.com and search under the Pine to Palm tag for written coverage all week long.