ALEXANDRIA, Minn. – Gordy Anderson rarely fails to shoot under 100 for a round of golf.
"If I don't, it's a disgusting day on the course," he said.
Not so surprising, perhaps, except that for Anderson, a round of 100 equals his age.
The avid golfer, who still plays as often as three to four times a week, will be the honorary starter for the centennial celebration of the Resorters tournament, which every year draws hundreds of golfers to this central Minnesota city, many of whom have competed in the event for decades.
"These resort golf tourneys in Minnesota are unique," said Kyle Lee, head golf professional at the Alexandria Golf Club, which hosts the event. "They don't really exist anywhere else."
This year's tournament, set for Aug. 1-7, will feature about 450 competitors in 10 age divisions. The week includes a social whirl with a fish fry, steak fry, live bands and a beer garden, as well as putting and long-driving contests. The tournament committee, led by longtime Chairman Jerry Rose, has gone all-out to make the event extra special, Lee said.
Anderson played in more than 50 Resorters, with his first in 1963 and his last in 2015. Though he won't be in this year's field, he's still a fierce competitor on the course. That's one of the things that appeals to him about the game of golf, he said, adding with a grin that he "won a few bucks yesterday."
"It was the competitiveness that attracted me," said Anderson, who took up the game after he returned home from service in the China-Burma-India theater in World War II. "A lot of people can't compete in sports after they reach a certain age, but golf is a lifelong sport."
As an educator — a school superintendent of several Minnesota districts, most notably Wheaton — Anderson had his summers free. Golf seemed like a great way to pass the pleasant summer days.
"I've been hooked ever since," he said.
Anderson moved to Alexandria after retiring about 30 years ago and still lives there during the warmer months, spending his winters in Arizona.
"Golf gives me the inspiration to get up every morning," Anderson said. "It's something to look forward to every day. And golf keeps me in touch with friends. There's a social aspect that appeals to me a great deal."
Along with the Resorters, the Alexandria Golf Club is known for being the home of pro golfer and 1996 British Open champion Tom Lehman, who grew up in the city and learned to play there.
Lehman and his brother Jim were both Resorters champions, and the club has a room dedicated to Lehman that displays many trophies and mementos from his career, including his personal replica of the claret jug awarded to British Open champions.
For Anderson, golf is part of a formula for longevity that includes faith, exercise, diet and a positive attitude. He starts his day with a simple breakfast of oatmeal, biotic yogurt and an egg or two, and tries to eat a lot of protein.
"I realize that when a person reaches my advanced age, physical deterioration and some mental deterioration usually takes place," he said. "I try to keep my mind and body active. This is a constant battle to fight off depression related to aging; I try to think positive at all times."
He's slowly getting back into shape after being confined for more than a year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He rarely left his home and had to quit going to the gym for regular workouts. But he's got few complaints.
"I've had a pretty great life, all things considered," he said.
John Reinan • 612-673-7402