Slim Whitman Invitational
SWI History - Told by Stump - Flounder
Back in the mid 70's my wife and I owned a cottage on a small lake north of
Shawano Lake. We both enjoyed golf and played on a regular summer basis
at the Golden Sands. If memory serves me correctly, a few of the boys had
visited the cottage and played golf at the Sands with us. Our long lost
Brother Peak, alias "chupa cabra," and I had spent an afternoon of drinking
beer while sitting on the deck of the cottage. We talked about a get together
on an annual basis with some of our good buddies who we went to high
school with. The original thought was just a long weekend of merriment and
mayhem but soon the idea of a golf tournament broke through our fermented
fog! Even though Bro Peak didn't play golf he did enjoy drinking beer and felt
he could be "le caddye extraordinaire" for Bro Rabs?
We racked our brains for a suitable name for the tournament butt (easy
Janne and Smurf) nothing sounded appropriate. A few days later, after a hard
night of pub-crawling in Green Bay, I came home about 2:00 AM, I had
turned on the television for a little late night viewing and gone into the
bathroom for a quick shower. (You have to remember, this was in the era of
the birth of the infomercial) When I came out of the shower I heard this lilting
voice singing and yodeling! I was transfixed, stunned, captivated, invigorated
and totally blown away by this crooning cowboy!
During the infomercial the announcer was giving his spiel on Slim Whitman, sold more albums than the Beatles and this album was "Slim, All My Best." There
were a few other albums they were selling late night at that time, Box Car Willie and Zamm Fir (Fear) who was reported to be the "master" of the pan flute. That
wasn't the only flute old Zammy was the master of! The next day I called Bro Peak to tell him our search was over, we had found the name for the golf
tournament. I had ordered a few of the albums for the first tournament for our listening pleasure! I won't mention what travesty Bro Peak reaped upon the albums
when we had the first tournament! Phone calls were made, the date was set, the boys came up to our cottage and spread out their sleeping bags and some
people call it the "Birth of the Slim!" The Slim has been played at the Golden Sands almost exclusively for the last 30 years.
A few years were played at other courses but the Golden Sands is the true home of the Slim Whitman Golf Tournament. The booming megalopolis of Cecil,
Wisconsin blossoms every year with the coming of the Slim. Jim and Link have now taken over course ownership from the Wallrich family but mayhem and
merriment is still Job # 1 at the Slime. It is always a pleasure for me to drive into Cecil each year and have the good citizens offering up their first-born daughters
The Cecil Diner and banana chocolate malts are a Slim Tradition going back to the first few years. The Cecil Diner was discovered the same year we were all
asked to leave the Go-Cart track and never come back! Go figure! This is my memory of the origins of the Slim but after 30 years, who the hell knows for sure???
There are too many wonderful memories and great stories to start recounting them all in this letter! We have lost some of our original Slim membership but we
have never forgotten their contribution to the Slim and more importantly the love of friendship we all shared. What is more important is the future. On June 12,
2008, the 30th Anniversary Slim Whitman Invitational Golf Tournament will be held! A freaking milestone and testimonial to the fact that alcohol is your brother,
embrace him! A Slim Victory is 100 proof positive that the key to winning the Slim is based in a bottle! Practice all you want, buy the highest tech balls or
thousand dollar sticks but when it comes down to it, the jug will get you the "green jacket!" I wish I could recount all of the great things that have happened at the
all of the previous Slimes but I can't, I don't remember a damn thing!
This coming year is very important for many reasons. The year 2011 brings the 33rd anniversary tournament and I hope that everyone reading this history will
attend. Most of the founding members of the tournament are now in their 60's, who would have thunk it was possible for us to reach the 60's after we went through
the 60's! As the "Flounder" of the tournament I am declaring that entire week, Slim Whitman Tournament Week! I would hope that each and every one of you will
make an effort to try and find the time to spend an extra day or two prior to the tournament playing golf and practice swilling with me and Brother Smurf at the
Golden Sands. I realize that most of you have job and family commitments and taking off for the tournament is difficult in itself. I just ask that you make an effort
and if it is possible, try to spend an extra day of merriment, brotherhood and camaraderie.
God save the Brothers of the Slim who are the best of the best!