For first time Sanford International fans, the Minnehaha Country Club makes a strong first impression Original

The 18th green at the Minnehaha Country Club.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Jordyn Cranny and Mike Handzlik each picked the same word to describe their first experience at the Sanford International. 

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful place,” said Handzlik, a Omaha resident who plans to attend all three days of the PGA Champions Tour event at the Minnehaha Country Club. 

“I like golf, so I’m here to watch some guys play,” said Cranny, a junior at South Dakota State University. “The course is beautiful. I really like it out here. Glad we can bring it out to South Dakota.” 

The immaculate condition of fairways and greens at the Minnehaha Country Club has been a common comment from fans, players and tournament officials alike. Tournament host and two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North said he’s been coming to the Minnehaha Country Club for 15 years and said the course was in the best shape he’s ever seen. 

Along with great golf course conditions, Cranny and Handzlik were enjoying a fall-like day with temperatures in the 60s throughout the late morning hours. 

Cranny is spending the day with her family from Mitchell, which made Sioux Falls a perfect meeting spot. She’s worked at a golf course in Mitchell during summer months and there was one player she was looking to watch Friday.

“John Daly. He’s an interesting guy,” Cranny said about the former PGA Championship winner and fan favorite. “It’s pretty fun to watch him.” 

Handzlik had friends who had fun attending the Sanford International in previous years and decided it was time to check out the action for himself. It also helped, Sioux Falls was less than a three hour drive away. 

“It’s called cocktail weekend,” Handzlik said. “It’s like a mini-vacation, only a couple hours away.” 

He will be staying at a hotel in Sioux Falls and said he’s most looking forward to watching “some really good golf.” 

Handzlik emphasized the PGA Champions Tour golfers, who are all above age 50, can still play at a high level. 

“It’d be nice to golf like that,” he laughed.

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