Nearly 200 golf on ice for charity - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Nearly 200 golf on ice for charity

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EAST DUBUQUE, Ill. (KWWL) -

Nearly 200 people braving the ice on the frozen Mississippi River to golf.

Not with actual golf balls, with tennis balls.

"I'm the queen of ice golf!" joked Beth McGorry, outreach coordinator for St. Mark's Youth Enrichment.

This is the 17th year the Ice Golf Classic has taken place at Mid-Town Marina in East Dubuque, Illinois. Participants say it's an event they look forward to all year long one that raises money for the non-profit organization St. Mark's.

This year, the weather is more pleasant.  "It's a lot warmer this year than normally. It's wet outside, so the tennis balls don't go nearly as far as they should or my golf game isn't as good as it should -- is," said participant Egan Wilgenbusch of Dubuque. 

Many are just having a good time, no one really taking the 18-hole ice course too serious. "It's nothing like real golf, just fun and hit it again, knock it in the hole, go to the next hole. It's a blast," said a member of the Gilligan's Island team.

However, a few precautions taken to make sure it's a safe event. "They were concerned at first about the water on the ice, and the water is from the rain we've had so there's no parts that are unsafe that anyone is remotely near and we brought in a 6,000 pound truck on Monday and everything seemed to go pretty well," McGorry said.

Before the event kicked off, organizers made sure to check the depth of the ice to make sure it was thick enough, especially with the warmer weather.

This year's goal was to raise at least $20,000 for st. Mark's programs in Dubuque. Money will help children with mentoring services, including field trips and community service projects.

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