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Illinois Residents Hold 17th Ice Golf Classic Fundraiser

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EAST DUBUQUE, Illinois  --  Warmer weather may have people wanting to get outside and play some golf, but a group of more than 100 people in East Dubuque, Illinois, decided to try out the game on the ice.

KWWL's Shirley Descorbeth visited the town to find out more about the group's goal of raising $20,000 for St. Mark Youth Enrichment programs that help children with mentoring services like field trips and community service projects.

People braved the ice on the frozen Mississippi River to golf with tennis balls at the 17th Ice Golf Classic at East Dubuque's Mid-Town Marina, an event participants say they look forward to all year long.

"St. Mark's Community Center does a wonderful job for the kids in the community," said one golfer.

"It's a lot warmer this year than normally. It's wet outside, so the tennis balls don't go nearly as far as they should. Or my golf game isn't as good as it should -- is," said participant Egan Wilgenbusch.

Even if not everyone has expert golf skills, though, nobody takes the 18-hole course too seriously.

"It's nothing like real golf, you just hit it and have fun and go hit it again, and knock it in the hole and go to the next hole. It's a blast."

A few precautions were taken to make sure the ice was safe before the event to make sure everything would run smoothly.

Beth McGorry, outreach coordinator for St. Mark's Youth Enrichment, said "They were concerned at first about the water, and the water on the ice is all the rain water that we've had. So there's no parts that are unsafe that anyone's remotely near, and we brought in a 6,000 pound truck on Monday and everything seemed to go pretty well."

Organizers also checked the depth of the ice to make sure it was thick enough before the event started.