Area Golf: Even at 90, Marlow Strand still mows the greens at the Pines
90-year-old still enjoys golfing and mowing at Grand View Lodge
Marlow Strand gets to The Pines Golf Course at Grand View Lodge at 5:30 a.m. most mornings. Strand, who turned 90 on Wednesday, Aug. 7, mows the greens at The Pines and does not let his old age stop him.
“I don’t feel any different now then I did 10 years old,” Strand said. “Probably the only thing is getting off the machine is a little more difficult, getting on is no problem.”
Strand grew up in Portland, N.D. and played football at Concordia College in Moorhead, where he graduated in 1951. From there, he moved to the Twin Cities and taught at Coon Rapids High School for 30 years before retiring in 1991.
Strand and his wife Yvonne had a cabin in the Brainerd lakes area and after he retired from teaching they moved up to live here permanently. Now, in the winter they live with one of their children in North Carolina
Strand got a job as a golf starter at Madden’s shortly after they moved up. He worked at Madden’s for a few years, but after a while he left and became a starter at the Pines.
His grandson, Greg, worked construction at the Pines and Strand would drive both of them to the golf course when they worked.
Even on his days off Strand found himself driving his grandson to The Pines most days and asked Lee Horning, the superintendent at the time, if he could help out on days he did not work as a starter. At first he started up as a rough mover and over time moved over to the greens.
“I liked it better than being a starter because I knew exactly what I was going to be doing everyday,” Strand said.
Strand enjoys his job as mower and claims he will do it until he dies.
“I plan on going back next year,” he said.
Strand also gets out and plays golf as much as he can. He joked that as long as the sun rises in the east he will still try and get rounds in.
Mike Bohenstingl, who is the current Pines superintendent, says Strand is an inspiration to everyone who works at the golf course. Bohenstingl claims Strand often beats him to work some mornings and never misses a day of work.
One of the things Strand loves about working for Bohenstingl is how compassionate he is whenever Strand makes a mistake. Strand says whenever he goes to the superintendent about a mistake he made with the mower the response is always ‘The grass will grow back.”
“Working with guys like that makes the job easier,” Strand said.