August 3, 2009

Tim Herron

Tour pros are often averse to northern living, but for this Minnesotan it's cool in a big way

*The PGA Championship will be at Hazeltine National GC near Minneapolis-St. Paul. Native son Tim Herron assures that citizens are excited about golf … and the weather. *

Grillroom:__ Played Hazeltine lately? __

Herron: Recently, and it felt like 8,000 yards. Wind was blowing about 40 miles an hour. Hit 3-woods into two par 4s. Real long, but in August you can play until real late. Lots of daylight. People love summers here. And winters.

You had a winter place in Arizona but returned to the Twin Cities.

It's a great area to raise a family. Clean air, traffic isn't as bad as most places, and good people who are proud to be from here and don't leave. If I need to play or practice golf, I can jump on a plane. If the airport isn't closed.

Do you really have 10,000 lakes?

I guess. Are they counting the pond in my backyard?

Shovel your own snow?

I have a guy do that, but I've done it myself if he's running late shoveling himself out. Sometimes you just gotta clear a path, you know?

What do you do in January?

You can ski, snowmobile or go ice fishing. That's real big. People set up ice houses on lakes. Some you can even live in. You can catch dinner while you're watching the Vikings. Me, I like beds.

Isn't ice fishing dangerous?

Sounds like you don't go out much. Actually, it isn't if the lake is frozen. I always make sure it is before I go out. I'm never one of the first people to go out in the winter. I only go out after the first people out make their return.

What about the nickname, Lumpy?

Got it my first day at work on a golf course. I was 15. It didn't work at school, where there already was a "Lumpy." But it's stuck with me, unless guys use a nickname for my nickname. Lump.

Explain your politics in Minnesota.

We get knocked for Jesse Ventura and Al Franken, a wrestler and a comedian, but when you look at the governors of Illinois and South Carolina, our guys are great. No corruption. They want to make a difference. Maybe they did all their crazy stuff when they were younger.

Are you into wrestling?

I was at 14. At 14½ I found out it wasn't quite real. But I really enjoyed my six months as a fan.