Local Golf Aficionados Share Their Love for the Game

by | Apr 2024

Eric Rislove and Kip Pendleton

Eric Rislove and Kip Pendleton. Photos: Chris Emeott

Local golfers say the sport is their connection to good health and quality family time.

Growing up in Woodbury, avid golfer Eric Rislove was your typical high energy, sports-loving kid. Summer days were spent playing baseball, hanging out with friends and watching his dad, veteran golfer Jerry Rislove, excel out on the green.

“[My dad] was a very, very accomplished player and very highly regarded in the state as a player,” Rislove says.

While it took a few years before Rislove developed an interest in the sport, he always held an appreciation for his dad’s golfing abilities. “Observing his swing has been the most impactful. The tempo is noticeable, so that’s something that I’ve pulled in and absorbed,” Rislove says.

During Rislove’s senior year at Woodbury High School (1991–1992), he signed up to join the golf team. After graduating, he went on to play for Winona State University.

“They were just great, great times. We had so much fun going to golf tournaments. I was more of a once-in-a-while contributor, but I got to go along for the ride and pitch in from time to time,” Rislove says.

Once he entered his early 30s, he had more time to dedicate to the sport and began playing competitively.

Eric Rislove

Eric Rislove

Rislove, a financial advisor at Edward Jones in Woodbury, turned 51 this past fall and says he’s finally playing his best game yet. Last summer, he won two tournaments, the 2023 MPGA Senior Public Links Championship and the Twin Cities Senior Championship.

“Winning is hard in golf. You gotta beat a lot of players, and there’s a lot of good players in Minnesota,” he says. “To come out on top was very satisfying.”

In the meantime, it’s practice, practice, practice for Rislove, who trains about four or five days a week during the summer. Whether it’s short-game practice, time on the driving range or putting green practice, Rislove says he dedicates a significant amount of time to improving his game.

“Golf is medicine for me. It scratches the competitive itch and, probably, above all else, you get so many lessons,” he says. “There’s always a metaphor that golf can provide for in life.”

And while his dad loves watching his son play his all-time favorite sport, he’s careful not to offer too much unsolicited advice.

“He’ll sometimes offer reflections of his own experiences just to share that situational experience. At this stage in both of our lives, I think he’s just enjoying the ride,” Rislove says.

Rislove is a member of Prestwick Golf Club in Woodbury but also frequents nearby courses, such as Eagle Valley Golf Course in Woodbury, StoneRidge Golf Club in Stillwater and Troy Burne Club in Hudson, Wisconsin.

“The conditions [at Prestwick] are always great. The staff does a great job with members, and the community of members is fun and welcoming,” he says. “Eagle Valley Golf Course is a great city course, and my other favorites in the state are Northland Country Club in Duluth and Interlachen Country Club in Edina.”

Similarly, making friends out on the course comes easily to golf fanatic Kip Pendleton. Known for playing hundreds of rounds each year, the Woodbury resident is often found socializing with fellow golfers that he’s meeting for the first time.

Kip Pendleton

Kip Pendleton

“Golf is my physical health program and social outlet, and I try to play each day. I make a note of who I play with, and I played with 150 ‘new friends’ last year,” Pendleton says.

With a reputation for being a good-natured, friendly and all-around good guy, Pendleton is the organizer for what’s become known as the Sunday Morning Group. Pendleton says it’s a regular group of about 20 men, and they all make a point of texting each other year-round about golf, family and life.

Pendleton’s longtime friend Roger Green is a member of their Sunday morning group, too.

“Kip often shares accomplishments by any of the group with the entire list of 20 golfers. While this typically involves a golf trip or a great round, he also shares events in a person’s life like a wedding or death in the family,” Green says. “He’s a caring guy in addition to being extremely sociable and fun.”

Last year, Pendleton played 241 rounds at 20 different courses, with 183 of them at Eagle Valley Golf Course in Woodbury.

“It was a great year, and I was thrilled to get my first hole-in-one on hole 13 on July 20 and shoot a best ever 67 on October 26,” he says.

A self-proclaimed farm kid, Pendleton grew up in Champaign County, Illinois, where he loved sports. In college, he played hockey for the University of Wisconsin. Golf didn’t really spark an interest for him until he took his first job at an agriculture company in Illinois, where nearly everyone on staff golfed.

“They told me to join the country club. It was $160 a year for a junior membership, and I could pay quarterly,” Pendleton says. “It was also the best place to eat in town. Thus began my love of the zen of golf.”

Pendleton and his wife, Annie, are empty nesters now, but he says all three of their kids grew up golfing at Eagle Valley Golf Course.

“Eagle Valley is a Woodbury treasure. I don’t think you can play a better value in less time than Eagle Valley,” he says.

Pendleton says that Prestwick Golf Club is another excellent choice for folks searching for a great golfing experience. “I love Prestwick. Tom Wohl has a great team, and there is no better post round spot for food or drink than the back deck at Prestwick,” Pendleton says.

He’s even been known to get bested by his wife out on the golf course.

“My wife, Annie, is the better golfer in the house and got a hole-in-one in 1995 at River Oaks in Cottage Grove. We have always loved Saturday night golf dates, nine holes and a burger and a beer,” he says.

The Right Aim

Looking to improve your game? Eric Rislove and Kip Pendleton share their advice.

Rislove says some golfers make the mistake of playing too aggressively. “To lower an average golfer’s score is not about making more birdies, it’s about reducing doubles, triples and bogies. So, to play what seems like way more conservatively is going to reduce the average golfer’s score,” he says.

Meanwhile, for the less experienced golfer, who may be struggling to improve their score, Pendleton’s advice is to remember that golf is a game, and it’s meant to be fun.

“Regardless, if you have a good or bad shot, have fun and just go hit the next shot better. I think sometimes people over think it or over press, so focus on the ball, hit the ball and keep moving,” he says.

Srixon irons, a go-to for Eric Rislove.

Srixon irons, a go-to for Eric Rislove.

Equipment Picks:

  • Rislove recently purchased a few Srixon irons and Ping woods.
  • Pendleton uses Ping 425 woods, Ping i525 irons and
  • Titleist wedges.

Clothing Picks:

  • Rislove often goes for Johnnie-O and G/FORE shoes.
  • Pendleton also gravitates toward Johnnie-O and Rhoback shirts.

Eagle Valley Golf Course
2600 Double Eagle Lane; 651.714.3750

Prestwick Golf Club
9555 Wedgewood Drive; 651.731.4779


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