By KIM FUNDINGSLAND, Staff Writer
Hole No. 1 at the Kenmare Country Club is getting a little tougher to play these days.
The club has not altered the green, deepened a sandtrap or added a water hazard, but according to a report in the Kenmare News, Kenmare’s “resident” mountain lion has made two appearances on the hole in recent weeks.
The sightings may be keeping golfers looking over their shoulders rather than properly addressing the golf ball. Shane Bolster of Kenmare got a look at the lion this past week after spending a few minutes on the putting green.
“I went to my bag and started walking to the No. 1 tee,” recalled Bolster, “when I saw it about 200 yards down the No. 1 fairway. It was shaded and looked black at first, but then as I’m looking at it, sure enough it turned sideways and walked towards the treeline. It had that distinctive, graceful feline walk to it.”
Bolster said the animal walked into the sun and gave him a much better look. He said it appeared brown in color.
On Aug. 29, two Kenmare women who had just started a round of golf also got a pretty good look at what may have been the same lion. Janeen Melgaard and Ruth Gaines were playing hole No. 3 when they spotted an animal walking across the No. 1 green. At first they thought it might be a deer, but then realized it was a lion. The women said it walked near the No. 2 tee box and then toward the first fairway.
Back in July, golfer Tom Sweeney of Fargo reported the first sighting of a lion at the Kenmare course, also near the No. 1 green. All of the sightings were reported to groundskeeper Brad Ness.
Certain that there is a lion lurking near the links, Bolster is among those making a change in his habits. Although he thinks that the lion is not likely to attack and that he’s not personally bothered by its presence, he has decided to make a few changes.
“The only thing that really concerns me is that I bring my kids to help look for golf balls,” said Bolster. “I won’t do that anymore.”