The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers.

The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to: Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265

Support the swim program

The Montevideo swim and dive team has a strong history with many championship banners hanging in the pool area. Since 1975, students participating in the program have fond memories and have developed a “can-do” attitude.  

The students of today and the future need that same development, but the pool area is in need of some improvement. Our coaches believe that to stay competitive Montevideo should invest in new starting blocks. The current set is about 20-25 years old.

Upcoming fundraising opportunities include:

Coborn’s brat stand: Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (during Fiesta weekend); and Black Oak car wash: Wednesday, June 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Please consider supporting the swim and dive program at these events. The swimmers will be happy to provide you with a meal or a clean car.  

—Keith Olson


Not being reciprocal

Meaning of reciprocity per dictionary is: a situation or relationship in which two people or groups agree to do something similar for each other, to allow each other to have the same rights, etc.: a reciprocal arrangement or relationship.  

Montevideo Golf Course (The Crossings) has a standing agreement with Benson and Miltona golf courses that if you are a member of one of these courses that you are allowed to golf at any of the others if you agree to rent a cart and the green fees are waived, (great to let people play at other courses and not have to belong to more than one). Benson Golf Course has a reciprocity agreement in the same return fashion with Montevideo, Little Crow, Morris, and Minnewaska golf courses.

I have been a member of Montevideo Golf Course for close to 30 years and most times golf once a week for a total of 16 times. It’s ironic that if you want to only golf on a Wednesday night in Montevideo you have to pay green fees besides renting a golf cart for you aren’t a Montevideo member.   

But if you golf on Monday or Thursday leagues there is another rate structure and you don’t have to be a member of any course and can golf all season long right through the best summer months; if you want to go play just a couple times during the best months and your address is Montevideo you once again have to be a member.  

For many good reasons, including having two places/addresses, I decided to join Benson as a member this year so as to have more options available on the weekends when at the lake to play different courses.  

Montevideo Golf Course started their reciprocity with Benson in the year 2012?  However Montevideo Golf Course (The Crossings Board) met recently to uphold a 2011 Board resolution which states if you golf on Wednesday you pay green fees (is that night special)? Does a resolution that was adopted in 2011 before the reciprocity agreement in 2012 still supersede? I myself think not! Is reciprocity being honored? Surprise again. Guess I will be spending time at other very beautiful looking golf courses from now on where they appreciate seeing you come to enjoy a day/evening golfing along with buying beverages and food.

—John Williamson


The wrong course of action

Montevideo golf course advertises a reciprocal membership with Benson golf and Lake Miltona Golf Club — green fees are free but cart rental is required.  Benson Golf Course also has a similar reciprocal membership with Montevideo, Morris, Little Crow, and Minnewaska golf courses.  These courses are all located within 60 miles of Montevideo, whereby Miltona Golf Club (owned by Montevideo’s club manager Tom Blank) is located 90 miles away, and I was told that Monte did not pursue an agreement with Minnewaska.  

I have been a member of and patronized the Montevideo Golf Course most of my life. Now that I am semi-retired, my wife and I are in the process of moving to be closer to family, and my primary place of residence has changed to Starbuck, Minn.  So I decided to check into the Benson membership which provides more golfing options.

I called manager Tom Blank at Miltona to discuss the Benson membership the beginning of April, and he said he would get back to me. Several weeks passed, so I contacted a board member who said that they should honor the Benson agreement, as long as my driver’s license zip code was not 56265, so I updated to my new Starbuck address. Then, after nearly a month had passed, Tom Blank presented a board resolution he claimed was from 2011 that no one to my knowledge has ever seen or heard of before. He said I can pay cart rental per the reciprocal agreement on Thursday through Tuesday, but on Wednesdays I would need to pay green fees in addition — same as non-members. This “newly found” Wednesday exclusion is contrary to what Monte advertised on the website. (Note that Benson does allow their reciprocal members to golf every day of the week as long as there are available tee times.)

Prior to 5/31/16, I provided a board member with a draft of this letter, which referenced the Montevideo Golf Course website It advertised that you must purchase a membership if in the 56265 area, however this not the case for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday leagues where special deals for non-members are offered. It also advertised “Wednesday Men’s Day” where members have weekly standing tee times and if still some open tee times, others players may make a tee time (the golf course is rarely full), with absolutely no mention of a Wednesday exclusion. Knowing that Wednesday is the one day of the week that I routinely patronize Monte, rain or shine, they altered their website on 5/31/16 to add this newly found “Wednesday Men’s Day” exclusion and changed the advertised membership that I had purchased more than a month prior.  Is that even legal?

I know of numerous people who do not feel comfortable golfing, socializing or dining at The Crossings, and choose to drive to neighboring towns to golf rather than be shunned in their own town. Many of the long time members like me are aging and making changes in their lives.

Are we going to continue to alienate those who want to spend their money in Monte? With declining memberships, it appears to me that it is time for Montevideo to make a change that draws people in rather than drive them away to the numerous other beautiful golf courses who are more than happy to take our money. I was told that after being bought out by a private party (who also bought out the members’ stocks), that Granite Falls opened up their course to the public and now their course and dining area are doing very well. Is that what it’s going to take to turn this course around? Now Monte is sending out letters to stockholders that they lose their stock if they are not a member. If things keep going the way they are, the price may be very enticing for a private party to buy.  

—Tom Boike