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Jeff Kolpack, Published April 11 2012

Kolpack: Edgewood golf fixture remembered fondly

Fargo - The exact length of the putt can be anywhere from the lip of the cup to perhaps a couple of feet, or wherever the grip of your putter starts. Confused? Ask any member of the Edgewood men’s golf club and they’ll know exactly what you mean.

It’s called a “Kenny.”

In common terms, it’s a gimme putt, an amateur stipulation meant to either speed up the pace of play or to prevent a bad putter from the thought of missing a one-footer. In the case of a “Kenny,” it was the former because if you ever got to know Kenny Ask, honesty was his advocacy.

At Edgewood, a “Kenny” will be his legacy.

“It will always remind us of Kenny,” said Roger Peterson, a men’s club member since 1985. “He was Edgewood men’s club, and golf was just his life. It will always remind us of Kenny Ask.”

Ken died earlier this week at 90 years old. Appropriately, he spent the last four years at Edgewood Vista senior living center in south Fargo. He spent more than 40 years in the meat business, but Tuesdays when the snow was gone were spent with the men’s club. He was a charter member who formed a board of officers to oversee the administration.

He maintained what Peterson called “a thick book” from year to year to document the details. He was always active in recruiting members.

So how did a “Kenny” get its start?

Peterson figures it was somewhere in the early 1990s when getting two foursomes on every hole through nine holes in the evening became a chore. People were taking too long to get off the green.

So Ask helped institute a ruling that if your ball was within the distance of the hole from the bottom of your putter grip to the blade, you could pick it up and call it good. It eventually, and affectionately, was named after the founder.

You’re never going to see a “Kenny” on the PGA Tour, or in any competitive tournament for that matter, but it’s the way of the world now at Edgewood men’s night.

“As the years go on, we’ll probably have to explain more of who he was,” said Greg McCullough, the Edgewood head professional. “He touched a little bit of everything. I don’t think anybody put in more hours and donated more time to the club than Kenny. I think he held every position.”

A prayer service is set for 7 tonight at Boulger Funeral Home and the funeral is at 11 a.m. Friday at Peace Lutheran Church in Fargo.

On Tuesday, a day after he died, men’s club president Doug Baker rolled his putt near the hole and immediately blurted out “that’s a Kenny” without hesitation. He wasn’t the only one.

“It was a memorable night talking about him,” Baker said.


Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia