A giant golf ball is found -- but not in the rough
HALLOCK, Minn. -- In 1998, the huge and ancient oak in the yard of Yvonne and Duane Carriere was terminal. The married couple didn't want to watch it rot. Nor did they want to cut it down and haul it away in pieces. It was too special for those o...
HALLOCK, Minn. -- In 1998, the huge and ancient oak in the yard of Yvonne and Duane Carriere was terminal.
The married couple didn't want to watch it rot. Nor did they want to cut it down and haul it away in pieces. It was too special for those options.
"We hated to see it just go," Yvonne said. "So, we decided to do something with it."
Yvonne wanted it converted into a totem pole. But Duane had a different idea, built around the home's proximity to the golf course and their three sons' passion for golf.
The oak was carved into a 12-foot-high golf tee by a chain saw artist. Then, another oak trunk provided the golf ball, three feet in diameter, weighing about 150 pounds and complete with dimples. Heavy equipment hoisted the ball atop the tee, teeboxes were put in place and Hallock had its most-photographed attraction.
In addition to the novelty, it became a landmark for directions to Three Rivers Golf Course: "Go to the pool and take a right at the giant golf ball."
And, in the winter, it was a great place to hang Christmas decorations.
In 1997, because of complications from Parkinson's, Duane retired after working 37 years at the John Deere dealership.
"He would go with the sugar beet farmers to the golf course every once in a while, but I don't know if you'd call it golf what he did," Yvonne said. "He never had time for golf because he worked so many hours."
Duane died in early 2007. Later that year, the tree/tee came down because son, Christopher Carriere, plans to install it on the yard of his north-end Grand Forks home. "I live about a driver distance away from Ralph Engelstad Arena," he said.
While the tee was stored away, the ball sat outside Yvonne's. One night earlier this month, it was gone. So, Yvonne put up posters around town, offering a reward for its return.
It was returned the next day, although the local constable told her that she shouldn't pay the reward until he could fully investigate.
Golfers are always happy when they can find their golf ball. But few were happier than Yvonne.
"It was designed by my husband, so it has sentimental value," she said.
Reach Bakken at (701) 780-1125; (800) 477-6572, ext. 125;
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