Making It To The Big Time

By Jim McNaney




Leading up to the inaugural 3M Open at the TPC Twin Cities in July, I had the opportunity to talk to long-time Team Cavner staffer Jenifer Hines. Hines’ role this year is Assistant Tournament Director. Given her experience with the former 3M Championship on the PGA TOUR Champions, the changes she has seen and new challenges she faces are large.

What’s the biggest difference between the two events?

“Everything is a much grander scale. We went from a free event to a paid event. Security is much larger.” Hines explained

The larger scope is something everyone in attendance will notice immediately. More than 1800 volunteers and an army of staff is needed to make sure all the events in and around the tournament go according to plan.

This year is a learning year for Hines as she assists Tournament Director Peter Mele. Mele joined the team in September and has years of experience running PGA TOUR events. Hines’ job is to take it all in.

When asked if she was shocked or surprised by anything she’s learned leading up to the event:

“A little of both,” she said. “Putting it all together takes massive cooperation from authorities and businesses.”

New events like the concert by Zac Brown Band Friday July 5th are like a whole separate and massive undertaking.

“We are putting on a major concert and a PGA TOUR tournament. Logistics like just getting people from the course to the sports complex are complicated.”

But Hines is confident that everything will go according to plan. “Hollis has done this before and he knows how to pull it off.”

It’s not just the concert that is new this year. The volunteer staff doubled in size from previous years to accommodate all the special events for fans.

Events like Taste of the Tour, a fundraising event to be held at Interlachen Country Club the Monday of tournament week is fashioned after the hugely successful Taste of the NFL. Twin Cities chef and founder of the Taste of the NFL, Wayne Kostroski will bring his and other celebrity chefs talents to raise money for Volunteer Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP), a Twin Cities-based basic needs organization who’s programs include access to healthy foods, special services, housing stability and support services.

Event from the past will have a new look this year.

Executive Women’s Day will no longer include golf. Instead, the tournament will host a day for an on-site networking opportunity and inspiring leadership discussion. Hosted by KOOL 108 radio host, Lee Valsvik, panelists will include World Golf Hall of Fame member Annika Sorenstam, Julye Bushman the Executive Vice President, International Operations 3M and Ruth Kimmelshue, Corporate Senior Vice President Business Operations and Supply Chain Cargill.

Even the practice range will have a new look. In past years, the PGA TOUR Champions supplied players with an equipment van for a one-stop shop of sorts to aid all players with any equipment needs. This year most of the major equipment brands will bring out their own massive trucks to serve their individual stable of players. Vans like these from companies like Titliests, Bridgestone, Callaway, Taylor Made and others travel to every tour stop around the country. These vans will be on-site Monday through Wednesday of tournament week for a behind the scenes look at the type of services these experts provide players.

All of these are the types of things that Hines needs to make sure everything runs smoothly. A massive undertaking indeed.

“This is a whole new event. We want people to know that there is something for everyone this year,” said Hines

But some things stay the same. Even with new sponsors and charities, Hines wanted to make sure everyone is aware that all the monies raised through these events stays in the local Twin Cities community.

A common theme among those involved in this event, like Hines, was that Hollis wants the THE 3M Open to be THE summer event in the Twin Cities for years to come.

Now is the time for Hines and others to GO BIG and shine.