TRACY – In July, the family of John and Mary Dolan celebrated 50 years of reuniting at the Tracy Country Club for a much-loved family golf tournament and sing-along.
The idea for this family reunion – now known as the Dolan Classic – took root on a snowy afternoon in February 1971. Joe Dolan, his wife Lynne, and Mike Dolan stood quietly inside, watching a tournament. golf on television.
Inspiration hit on a whim. They envisioned a tournament that would bring together generations dating back to John and Mary Dolan’s 13 children.
But would such an event be a success? After all, the Dolans were known for their love of baseball, not golf.
The trio remember asking, “Would anyone bother to introduce themselves?” “ Not only did the Dolans show up, but they came in numbers.
After forming a small planning committee and sending out invitations, the first event took place that same July. Twenty-five men played golf and nearly 60 family members attended the evening banquet. Eager to have fun, the women of Dolan began playing golf the following year.
Enthusiasm for the sport is just one of the reasons the Classic lasted for half a century. A perfect blend of family, tradition and fun permeates the weekend festivities. On Friday evening, the family gathers for a show of songs and wild talents. Aunts and uncles sing Irish songs alongside nieces, brothers, daughters and in-laws. The following afternoon, they meet again and end with a three-hole play-off. People pile into golf carts and cross the course, cheering on the finalists and waving homemade signs. At the end of the tournament, the champions receive a revered family trophy: Grandpa John’s baseball bat and Grandma Mary’s rolling pin. Each is passed down and engraved with the names of the winners year after year.
“It’s family traditions and the ability to interact in new ways that make the event so fun,” Says Terry Dolan, member of the Dolan Classic planning committee.
As the family has expanded across the country, the Dolan Classic continues to bring the extended family together.
“We are proud of the traditions we have created. People can play golf at any age and at any stage of life. It’s the perfect sport for the whole family, and many people come from the Twin Cities by car or come from other states to join us ”, says Mike Dolan, the founder of the tournament.
At this year’s 50th event, featuring nearly 100 golfers, Isaac Dolan and Bradley Rose won the handicap tournament following a three-hole playoff. Cameron Krenik and Lynne Dolan won first place in the alternative shooting competition and Mike Dolan and Joe and Lynn Dolan received a special founder award.
– Courtesy content
by Susan Dolan and
the Dolan family