Pasture golf is a return to Scottish links style courses. Technique over technology, it makes golf both fun and affordable to play. Winter Golf for the Hardy Few

Tired of super manicured courses, ridiculously priced greens fees, spendy clubs and fancy clothes? You'll love the back to basics play of pasture golf!

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Winter Play on a Frozen Lake Course

Alaska Compared to the Lower 48 - Where winter golf rules are a little different.

During the winter months, affirmed pasture golfers have been known to improvise by playing a variation of pasture golf, namely, frozen lake golf. In the Matanuska Valley, Alaska, there is one neighborhood lake that gets a lot of wintertime play. When the locals aren't lake bowling on those rare, sunny winter weekends, you can find them playing a round of lake golf. A committee designs the course, marks the holes with sticks, and the scramble begins.

Watch out for the wildlife out there on the ice!

Ten Percent: A New Golf Game
Ralph came up with a new lake/pasture golf game--it's called 10 percent. It can be played with any number of people and here are the rules: One person hits a shot to anywhere he wants, and that becomes the target ball. Each other player then tries to hit to within 10% of the target ball. For example, if the target is 50 paces away, you have to hit to within 5 paces. If no one makes 10% on the first round, then the ball that is farthest away becomes the new target ball and repeat. It's a lot harder than it sounds. - Michael, 5/24/04

Subject: Winter Golf Rules
How do we set up a course to play winter golf on the lake? Also are there special rules? Thanks for your help. - From Minnesota

Lake Golf Rules
As played by the locals here in the foothills of the Talkeetna mountains, the rules of lake golf vary depending on course conditions, size of lake, and lake usage (watch out for the ice fisherman). Basically, this is a game for irons, usually pitching wedge and nine. The biggest issue is snow cover. Although an ice auger can be used to set holes, generally this is a game in which the target can be virtually anything set on the ice or simply a 4 to 5 ft in diameter ring drawn in the snow. Interestingly lake golf is at its best when played wearing ice skates.

Mike, his buddy Hal and I golfed on Long Lake (a 1 mile long and narrow lake) near my parents' house on Saturday. Mike and Hal played wearing ice skates and we set up 7 par 5 holes. Today we golfed over at Hulberts lake (about 10 acres) a short course of two par 4 holes. I have attached a couple of images from this weekend's play. - Chuck (Jan. 20, 2002)

Lake golf on ice skates.

Michael tees up Michael addresses the ball.

and he swings
Good follow through, no slips, even without cleats.
Club sharing, these guys travel light
Local rules allow players to share clubs.
and Benjamin hits a long drive, going, going, gone
Benjamin hits a long drive.

Chuck tests the wind...decides to play a five wood.
Get left!
Should have used the three wood.
Okay, do your worst
John learned his moves on the pitch and putt.
The kids have the edge over the old men today
The kids watch the old men play.
Finesse under pressure
All that practice pays off.
Confab over rules of play
A brief confabulation over rules of play...
and it's putt for dough
and it's putt for dough.

More scenes of winter golf in Alaska - Courtesy of Furious M (Michael Logsdon)

Link to More Winter Golf
Chilly Open Golf Tournament
(Held in February on Frozen Lake Minnetonka, Wayzata Bay, Minnesota)

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This Page Updated: February 7, 2012

Copyright © 1999-2012 Bruce Manclark & Cory Eberhart