- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

HAWLEY, Pa. (AP) - Golfers dressed in parkas and boots teed off on an unusual course over the weekend - a frozen northeastern Pennsylvania lake.

The 23rd annual Ice Tee Golf Tournament held Sunday on Lake Wallenpaupack attracted 167 hardy golfers, according to the Pocono Lake Region Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the event.

The event hasn’t been held for the last two years because it wasn’t cold enough, but with a solid eight inches of ice on the lake, organizers deemed it safe to proceed.

“This is my first time golfing on ice,” said Craig Smith, 57, who traveled from Freemont, Neb., for the event. “I don’t recommend using a white ball out there.”

Wearing overalls, a heavy coat and “long johns and socks with batteries,” Smith had some advice for those new to the sport of ice golfing: “Keep your head down, don’t look where your ball goes, and drink liquids, preferably alcohol, to keep warm.”

Keith Williams, 50, of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, left one of the two nine-hole challenge courses with a 29.

“Better than the last time,” he said. “It’s challenging here. If you hit the green, it’ll bounce.”

Eric Siepiela, of Honesdale, said he brought hand warmers but they weren’t helping much.

“I’m not very warm at all,” he said.

Kevin Duda, of Honesdale, said at least the weather was sunny.

“Who else gets a chance to play golf in the middle of January at nine degrees?” he said.

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