TUPPER LAKE – The sun shone as people milled around the Municipal Park with golf clubs, tapping balls into holes and chatting over drinks.
It was reminiscent of summer, but playing golf in the winter is a little different. The five holes were fashioned out of snow and ice, people were bundled in jackets, hats and gloves, and they had to take breaks around the cozy bonfire to warm up.
Participants in the Rotary and Lions clubs’ third-annual Fire and Ice Golf Tournament were allowed to use one club – whatever kind they wanted – and they were given colored tennis balls to strike instead of regular golf balls. Three-person scramble teams were given two tries around the course, and the lowest round counted.
Sun and temperatures in the low 20s were a welcome change from the first two years of the tournament.
“It’s a great day, compared to the last two years,” said Gail Auclair, president of the Rotary Club.
The last two years were colder and windier, though everyone had fun then as well, Auclair said.
She headed up the event, along with Tom LaMere of the Lions Club.
For the past two years, Fire and Ice was held on the same day as Saranac Lake’s Winter Carnival parade day, but it was moved back a week this year in hopes of getting more participants from the Saranac Lake area. Auclair said there were a few groups playing from out of town this year, but she hopes to see more in the future.
In the past, the number of teams in the tournament topped out around 13, but this year, about 24 teams participated.
LaMere said the village and town highway crews were a big help in preparing for the event, and Auclair said she wanted to thank the event’s sponsors.
“We couldn’t have done it without them,” Auclair.
Money raised through the event went to specific causes the first two years of the tournament, but this year, it is going to subsidize all of the Rotary and Lions’ civic activities.
At the end of the tournament, the crowd moved to P-2’s Irish Pub for an awards ceremony.