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NEWS STORIES

Pinewood in its third generation of the family golf businessSubmitted: 06/14/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


HARSHAW - The success of big box stores and corporations means family businesses are more difficult to come by.

One place in the Northwoods is not only family owned, but has been for generations.

"It's home, sure," say Al and Judy Bromann.

Pinewood Country Club in Harshaw feels like home for the Bromann family.

It's been in their family since it opened in 1962 - when they carved the course out of potato fields.

"They looked at it one day, and my mother got a little tired of looking at my dad, and she said, 'do something.' That's what he did," says Al.

"They were cutting fairways with a Jeep, towing three gang mowers behind it," remembers Chip Bromann.

Al Bromann Jr. and his wife Marie got the course started, followed by Al III and Judy.

Now it's Al IV - or as everyone knows him, Chip.

"I can remember walking 45 holes a day with my bag on my back, and the golf course was a lot different back then, but, yeah, we spent a lot of time out here," says Chip.

Some of Al Jr.'s more quirky ideas the early 60s wouldn't have flown on a new course today.

"His first idea was to put all of the greens in holes so he wouldn't have to water them," says Al III.

These days, it's tricky enough to find any business that's family owned anymore

But a golf course that's been in the same family for three generations is truly unique

"We're very proud of being a third generation. When I tell people that, they just kind of look at me and ask me again, 'what was that?' And I say, yeah, third generation," Chip says.

But to be family at Pinewood, you don't have to be blood.

"With our business today, I've known everybody that's gone off," Chip says on this Friday. "I've known everybody that's been on the first tee so far."

"A lot of them that are still playing today can remember the years before water, when big hills were brown and the ground was dry," Judy says.

"Meeting old friends, making new friends, that's really what it's all about. I really enjoy doing that," says Chip.

That's something the Bromanns have been doing for 51 years.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - Hundreds of people gathered in Merrill on Monday to honor the lives of the service men and women lost over the years.

"From the Second World War, there were over 400,000 men and women who lost their lives, and it took a tremendous toll on our young people," said World War II veteran Richard Bjorklund.

The ceremony featured a guest speaker and acknowledged those still alive who served. People young and old remembered friends and family who are no longer here.

"Everybody worked together, and we still lost guys," said Vietnam War veteran John Jirovec. "It's hard to forget. Really hard to forget."

For one mother, every day is Memorial Day.
 
"My son Ryan, Sergeant Ryan Jopek, was killed in action on August 2, 2006," said Jopek's mother Tracy. "He just turned 20 and was coming home in a couple weeks, but fate didn't have it quite that way, and he didn't make it home, and we miss him every day."

Tears were shed thinking of the memories of loved ones, remembering freedom comes with a price.

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ST. GERMAIN - A popular Northwoods tradition kicked off its 40th season today. The St. Germain Flea Market draws thousands of bargain hunters each week during the summer.

The market attracts nearly 400 vendors every week. Vendors showcase everything from homemade crafts and artwork to plants and homemade treats.

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EDGAR - Marathon County authorities say a woman has died from drowning in a pool in Edgar in central Wisconsin.

Lt. Tim Burkholder of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says it happened sometime after midnight Monday.

While the investigation is ongoing, he says the drowning appears to be accidental.

The department is withholding the victim's name and other details for now.

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RHINELANDER -  A Northwoods veterans group wants people to remember those who died serving our country. 

The Oneida County Veterans Council held a Memorial Day ceremony in Rhinelander on Monday.

The Rhinelander High School band and choir performed at the ceremony.

Mayor Dick Johns was the speaker. 

Event organizers hope people take time on Memorial Day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. 

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Last Thursday, 15 members of the Oneida County community graduated from Leadership Oneida County. The nine-month program aims to give participants a better understanding of the county's resources and to improve participation in organizations throughout the county.

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WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin DNR wants to know if it has the right plans for beavers in the state. The final public feedback period is open for the new beaver management plan.

The document will guide decisions on beavers through 2025. The final draft touches on topics like population, habitat, and damage management. The current draft recommends keeping beaver populations mostly stable in the state.

Public input for the final beaver management plan is open through June 22. The DNR will also host a public meeting on June 16 from 6-8 p.m. at the DNR Service Center in Rhinelander to take comments.

You can read the final draft of the plan by clicking the link below. Another link shows opportunities for feedback.

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MINOCQUA - Many golf courses in the Northwoods need to work hard to make a profit each year. Cold northern springs and falls mean a shorter playing season than other parts of the state. Many increase their rates near the peak of tourism season.

One Northwoods course went the other direction during the last week of April and tried something new. Timber Ridge Golf Club in Minocqua offered something unheard of - completely free golf for everyone.

"We all just kind of thought, what a nice idea, to just say thank you to all of our customers. (We thought,) come on out for a free week of golf," said Timber Ridge PGA Professional Jerry Collins.

The course was in great shape by late April. Golfers flooded in to play during the entire week.


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