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Lisa Grimes elected as Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame inductee



Alexandria's Lisa Grimes has been no stranger to statewide triumphs.

She established the 36-hole tournament record as the 1978 State Girls' High School champion for the Cardinals — unsurpassed for 26 years.

Grimes won the Minnesota Women's Match Play in 1980 and the Minnesota Women's State Amateur championship two years later before four victorious runs in the Minnesota Women's State Open in 2004, 2006, 2012 and 2014.


After attending her son's graduation at her winter home in Arizona, Grimes was out on the greens at Alexandria Golf Club on Memorial Day weekend with her brother and one of her students, when she ran into an old friend in Minnesota Golf Association Executive Director Tom Ryan.

Ryan informed the Alexandria native she had been elected for one of the most prestigious honors of her career — as a soon-to-be inductee into the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame.

"It was funny, because I was in Arizona about two weeks ago for my son's graduation and I had a message to call the PGA, so I thought I'll call [PGA section executive director] John Tollette," Grimes explained at AGC on Tuesday afternoon. "I called him back and it said he just left the office so I missed him and I thought, 'Well, it can't be a big deal; I'll wait until I get back to Minnesota."


Several weeks later after running into Ryan, Grimes chuckles while admitting she probably should have gotten in touch.


"[Tom] was having lunch here and he knew I didn't know yet, so he came out and told me," Grimes said. "It was kind of shocking at first; I never really thought about it. I knew it was a big deal and I knew a lot of people in it. They had done a lot for golf, so I was pretty excited for them, and when I got it that just kind of shocked me a bit. I didn't know what the guidelines were to get into [the Hall], so that was pretty neat. It makes me feel old, but honored. Let's put it that way."

Grimes joins William D. "Bill" Clark from Edinburgh, Scotland, Director of Public Golf Courses in Rochester Frank Taylor and the late Anne Zahn of Nevis, Minnesota in the 2016 class of inductees.


"I used to play with [Anne]. She's an icon when it comes to women's golf, so I am honored," Grimes said. "Minnesota golf is known worldwide that good golfers come out of Minnesota. They really do — I could name 20 players. I'm honored to be in that category. I kind of breezed through the list of Minnesota Hall of Famers and Patty Berg was the first. I did have that pleasure of meeting her before she passed away and just to be in that same list as her is just pretty amazing, among others."

Grimes stated that each inductee has the opportunity to choose where and when they would like the induction ceremony to take place. While the decision is not set in stone, among several options, she has considered Resorters week here in Alexandria in early August with friends and family all gathered in the area.


The LPGA teaching professional recently competed in the KPMG LPGA Tour Championship at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington — a private course in a suburb east of Seattle.


"It was a great course. Sahalee Country Club is tree-lined, not just normal trees, they're 200-foot tall pines," Grimes said on the 36-hole tournament. "It was a tough course, even the tour pros were saying it was a tough course. I had a tough day on the first day finding the fairway. The second day I played better and hit every fairway, so I made amends there. I missed the cut, but it was a good experience."


Although Grimes would have preferred to have a weekend full of competition in the Seattle area, she was able to take in some of the sights with the free time, including Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and a Mariners baseball game.


Grimes said that she will have a bit of a break from competition for a stretch this summer, adding that she will most likely compete in the Resorters' Pro-Am on July 31 before a couple tournaments in August, including the Minnesota State Open at Indian Hills Golf Club in Stillwater, a national qualifier in Orlando, Florida and a return trip to the Legends Championship in French Lick, Indiana later in the month.


While Grimes did not expect to be recognized with the MGA Hall of Fame induction, she feels honored on the recognition after devoting her late career to the junior golf program back where it all began.


"I'm fortunate and blessed to be back here in Alexandria," she said. "This is where my roots started and the junior golf program was huge when I was small and I've built it up where it's strong still, with over 100 kids each summer. I see results; I see a lot of kids going on to college and maybe not going on from there, but getting an education and playing college golf, which is huge, and some take it to the next level. It's fun to have a little piece of that and being a part of that. That's kind of my biggest thing I take out of this, which is growing the game and continuing the tradition."

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