Golf: Arrowhead Championship at Ridgeview an Anderson family summer tradition
With their teams not part of the NHL restart, former Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs Joey and Mike Anderson and their father Gerry, take part in this week's golf tournament in Duluth.
While much of the NHL finds itself quarantined in or traveling to bubbles north of the border in Edmonton or Toronto ahead of the Aug. 1 restart of the 2019-20 season, members of the seven teams whose season ended back in March are enjoying a pretty normal offseason.
That includes a pair of former Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs: Joey and Mikey Anderson. The brothers are back in town this week — along with their father, Gerry — to take part in the 94th Annual Arrowhead Men’s Championship golf tournament at Ridgeview Country Club in Duluth.
While Gerry has been a regular participant in the match-play tournament for some time, Joey — in his second season with the New Jersey Devils organization — is playing in his second Arrowhead this week while this is the first golf tournament of any kind for younger brother Mikey, who just wrapped up his rookie year with the Los Angeles Kings.
“It’s just fun to come out here and play golf,” said Mikey Anderson, who won back-to-back NCAA titles with the Bulldogs in 2018 and 2019. “We have family that plays in the tournament, we have a lot of friends. It’s nice to come up here and hand out with them, see everyone and just enjoy the week.
“Golf is the escape from hockey a little bit. As much as I get competitive, I try to just enjoy being out on the course and have fun with it.”
Outside of some antics back at their home in Roseville , this week’s Arrowhead is the first formal competition either of the Anderson brothers have taken part in since the NHL pushed pause on the 2019-20 season back on March 12.
Golf is a regular part of the Andersons' daily routine. They work out in the morning and then head to Indian Hills Golf Club in the afternoon. They play at least 18 holes daily, and anywhere from 10-11 rounds each week.
Joey Anderson said Thursday he’s already gotten 75 rounds of golf in this summer. And while none of that is tournament golf — the Arrowhead is the only tournament the brothers said they enter — the competition level is just as high.
“Pretty much everything we do is like this,” said Joey Anderson, who played in back-to-back NCAA title games during his two years at UMD, winning it all in 2018 with Mikey. “Even our normal rounds every day, we’re playing for something, it’s always competitive. And if nothing else, you get mad when you don’t shoot a good score.”
Both Joey and Gerry qualified for the third flight at last year’s Arrowhead — Mikey caddied for Joey — with Gerry finishing third in the flight. Joey shot a 79 in qualifying on Thursday and just missed the cut for the championship flight by a stroke.
Gerry, who both brothers quickly pointed to as the better golfer despite Joey posting the best score in qualifying, said the combination of the boys being home and working from home due to the pandemic, he’s played the most golf this summer since he was a teenager.
Golf has been a good excuse for everyone to get out of what has become a crowded house back in Roseville during the pandemic, with not only Joey and Mikey back home since March, but older sister Sami — a former St. Scholastica hockey player — as well. The entire family is in Duluth this week together as well.
While Gerry Anderson said he anticipated having the family all together back home at some point this summer, he never imagined it being for this long. While Sami is moving out of the house soon, Joey and Mikey aren’t expected to report back to the Devils and Kings for camp until Nov. 17, assuming the NHL’s restart of 2019-20 goes smoothly.
“The house is full, but it’s been fun. There are moments when we’re all on top of each other and frustrated, but for the most part, it’s been good,” Gerry Anderson said. “It won’t happen again. This will be the last summer everybody’s at home. From that aspect, it’s neat to have that.”