Links provide tying bond
Kids can spend their summer vacations in a variety of ways, but for Fritz and Cecil Belisle there's only one -- on the golf course.
It helps that the Belisle family lives on hole No. 12 at Red Wing Golf Club, but the brothers have latched on to the sport and so has the rest of the family, including father Mike and mother Diane.
"It's a fun playground," said Mike, who is the head coach of the Red Wing boys hockey team.
The family plays together often and uses Fridays as fun nights where the group will play competitively against each other. Whoever wins a certain hole gets to choose the next hole.
Cecil, 11, and Fritz, 14, have become skilled at an early age.
Both shoot in the mid-to-low 80s and Cecil already has three official holes-in-one. He has two others under his belt, but one came while he was alone on the course and the other came after he'd fired a few tee shots.
Cecil has two holes-in-one on No. 6 and got his latest one on No. 15 the Friday before Mother's Day this year. He was 8 when he got his first hole-in-one.
"When I was younger I got lucky on the first one," Cecil said.
Cecil used a 3-wood off the tee. The ball hit a tree on the right side of the green and kicked off the tree on to the green and rolled in the hole. The whole family was there to witness that one.
Fritz has started working on the golf course, helping with the bunkers and other greenskeeping work.
"You appreciate the golf etiquette when he's helping take care of it," Diane said. "He makes comments when people maybe don't repair a divot or when a bunker isn't raked. They learn to appreciate it."
Both boys started playing at a young age. Cecil started at age 3 and Fritz at age 5. Even away from the course there's a lot of golf watched on television, Diane said.
"Dad is obsessed with it," she said, including the Golf Channel. "What's on 218, what's on 218."
The boys get pointers from staff members at the club, but mostly have picked up the game on their own. Together and with friends they play different games on the course such as scrambles.
"I kind of like the competitive part," Fritz said.
Cecil just enjoys being on the course.
"It's just a fun sport to play," Cecil said. "My favorite sport -- maybe hockey, it's hard to choose between them."
Being the son of a hockey coach will do that to a kid.