Photoshoot at Thumper Pond Resort, Ottertail, Minnesota

It was in April or May 2010 that I received a call from Peggi Monico of the Madison Hospitality Group asking for an estimate to photograph one of their properties, Thumper Pond Resort.  I must admit that I have no idea where that is, only that it is north of the Twin Cities.  After a few emails and telephone calls, we had an agreement.  I am to photograph the golf course.

I started my trip on a beautiful Sunday morning in late July, heading west on Interstate 94 and exiting on MN Hwy 78 that leads directly to Thumper Pond resort.  The skies had puffy clouds and the air was clean and crisp.  The scenery was beautiful and despite my lead foot, I managed to stop to photograph a scene that I named “American Landscape”.

It was mid afternoon when I arrived at the resort. Checked in, got into a golf cart with my clubs and cameras and drove around the course to get an idea on how to show it off.  The course was built in the middle of a pine tree farm, and there are many pine trees lining the fairways.  It will be easy for a golfer to recover from an errant shot by lofting the ball over these trees, but in a few years time it will take another type of shot or take a penalty stroke.

I guess I have been jaded by photographing and playing at some of the best courses in the Twin Cities, Brainerd, Biwabik and Tower areas, and can be classified a “golf snob”.  Therefore I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful conditions of this course. The tee boxes were level and clean of debris, the fairways were nicely defined and the greens are one of the best I have approached and putted on.  There was a mixture of long and short four pars, tough par 3s, and tempting to “go for it” par 5s.  Not every hole needs a driver but it is tempting.  I thoroughly enjoyed playing the course.

On my scouting round, I met the course superintendent, Tom Ahlfs.  He was on a tractor/mower on the 14th fairway, cross cutting it.  He got the memo that I was arriving to photograph the course and wanted to get it “extra nice”.  We chatted, and he explained how this course came about.  I can tell by his enthusiasm that this was his “baby”.  He wanted to make sure that I am happy with the conditions of the course and to make sure to inform him if there are things that needed to be fixed.

The weather held out for me for a couple of days and I got the shots I needed.  I am really glad that I photographed this course and met the people that took care of the course and the resort.  I would recommend getting a group of guys, gals, or couples to play and stay at this resort.

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One Response to “Photoshoot at Thumper Pond Resort, Ottertail, Minnesota”

  1. Amazing photography as usual for you!!!

    I have always wondered and would like to ask if you do much retouching of your photographs with Adobe Photoshop. The beautiful blue sky just amazes me.

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