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Chippewa Valley
Golf Association

2017 Hall of Fame Inductee


 

Rolf Kleven

 kleven

Rolf Kleven was born on Feb. 13, 1945 in Black River Falls, WI. He and his family moved to Eau Claire in 1949.    With  advise and tips given to him by Art Tangen, Bob Yule, Don Johnson, and Diz Kronenberg, Rolf developed as a golfer at a young age after switching from baseball.   He caddied  for Bob Yule, his idol, until Bob’s  boys became old enough to take Rolf’s place.  Rolf played all 3 years on the high school golf team, and went to the State Tournament two years while at Memorial. He also played basketball for Memorial and North High School, being the first graduating class at North in 1962.  Rolf played  4 years of golf at the University of WI.- Eau Claire and was named All Conference as a senior. The Blugolds  had a very good team consisting of Reed Mackenzie, Paul Loth, Tom Kopplin, Tom Conrad, George Diller, Jim Lieberman and Rolf.   One of his proudest moments was when he defeated Don Iverson in a college match at the LaCrosse Country Club, whom after college became a successful PGA tour player.
 

Rolf grew up at  Hallie Golf  Course;  his father would  drop he and his brother off for the day, bringing  a lunch, playing golf, and swimming for golf balls in the Lake Hallie. Little did he know that he would experience great success at his home course.  The Hallie Open, was like the “Masters” back then, with huge galleries, and players from around the Midwest competing. Winning the Hallie Open two years in a row against such keen competition, was a dream come true for Rolf.  Rolf also won the CVGA  “Player of the Year” in 1967. While in college, Rolf worked for Art Tangen, his mentor, working with junior golfers, and teaching them the fundamentals of golf.
After college, Rolf’s golf career in the CVGA was interrupted by the Vietnam war, where he spent a year at Na Bah on the Mekong Delta, just 17 miles South of Saigon. After his tour of duty, Rolf had a successful career in real estate in Eau Claire.  After his military service, Rolf  once again competed  in the CVGA, and won more tournaments.
 
Retiring at his lake home in Birchwood, WI. in 2009, Rolf has been the Birchwood H.S. golf team coach for the last 8 seasons, winning several conference tournaments against much bigger schools.    As his players would attest, he not only teaches the game of golf, he also teaches about life and obeying the rules, playing fair, and being the best you can be on and off the golf course. 
In all of his golf experiences, the one thing that Rolf cherishes the  most about the CVGA, are the many wonderful friendships that he has experienced throughout the years. . Rolf  married Barbara Nelson March 29, 1969;  they have 3 children, Wendy, John, and Joel, and 6 grandchildren, Josh, Chris, Lauren, John, Loreyna, and Anneliese.













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