Meet Edina's Hometown Heroes

Edina is made up of people who pride themselves with making the city a great place for living, learning, raising families and doing business.

Bob Rofidal

March 2015 -- Avid golfers share more than a love of the sport. At one point or another, most have also shared a common set of frustrations. According to Edina resident Bob Rofidal, scrambling to secure a reservation during peak hours, pairing off with strangers on the fairway, and playing greens pockmarked with tee divots rank high on that list. He is in a good position to know; Rofidal has been golfing Minnesota courses for nearly 55 years.

Fortunately, such inconveniences are easily avoided when he plays at home, at Braemar Golf Course. “I’ve been retired for almost a decade,” Rofidal said. “I have been an active member of the Braemar Men’s Club (BMC) for almost as long.” The BMC, as the name suggests, is a popular athletic and social club that draws players of all skill levels to Edina from across the Twin Cities.

“The club, like the course itself, is a great resource for players,” Rofidal explained. “It simplifies things with tee times… Also, as any member would tell you, there’s definitely a sense of camaraderie when you golf in this kind of setting. You never have to golf with strangers.”

Rofidal and his club mates make it a point to give back to Braemar whenever and wherever they can. Sometimes this takes the form of big ticket donations, like furniture and televisions for the clubhouse. More often, though, members play a more hands-on role in keeping the 500-acre course looking its best.

For instance, “it’s very common for golfers, when driving, to knock a divot in the sod,” Rofidal explained. Ideally, “every player will sprinkle grass seed in that hole before they leave the green.” This is not always done, however. Fortunately for Braemar patrons, “the Men’s Club will often get together, split up the holes, and make sure that the greens are seeded when needed.”

Volunteer assignments like this have given Rofidal a better sense of the resources and effort needed to maintain a 27-hole regulation course of Braemar’s caliber. “It is not easy, and it is certainly not cheap… It is lucky for the community that this facility has financial backing from the City the way it does.”

Specifically, the City of Edina invests profits from its three Edina Liquor stores into Braemar and other community amenities.

Edina Liquor consistently ranks in the top three among municipal liquor operations in Minnesota, both in gross sales and net profit. Needless to say, that revenue stream goes a long way toward offsetting maintenance costs and other expenses.

Rofidal cites this mission and profit model as a main reason why he patronizes Edina Liquor. It is far from the only reason, however. “The staff are incredibly knowledgeable there, and they can give you personal suggestions from their wide assortment of wine and beers. Other places push wines you’ve never heard of, from wineries that no one has ever heard of, instead of leading you toward what you really want.”

Cost considerations are another factor that keeps Rofidal coming back. “I think that the prices are reasonable to begin with, and they often have fantastic specials and discounts on top of that.”

Of course, all this goes double since, unlike at a commercial liquor chain, every dollar spent at Edina Liquor pays dividends in the form of community enrichment. “If Braemar didn’t have this source of revenue, they’d either have to find it someplace else – taxes, maybe – or else the course would decline. I don’t like either of those outcomes.”

1 of 44  Heroes

© 2015 City Of Edina, Minnesota