Golf 4 All Day/Lesson For A Lifetime At 3M Open
By Judd Spicer
An opportunity for area kids to experience a unique pairing of golf and culture will take place in the days prior to the 3M Open, as the tournament hosted its on-site “Golf 4 All Day” event on Tuesday, July 19, held two days before the start of the PGA TOUR’s annual duel at the TPC Twin Cities.
Taking place from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the 3M’s Fan Village, the event partnered the tournament sponsors with the First Tee of Minnesota and charitable arm 3Mgives to provide hundreds of local juniors a chance to experience the game in a fun, inclusive and diverse atmosphere.
“In partnering with 3Mgives and First Tee, we wanted to make the tournament stand out a little bit more from other events,” says Mike Welch, Tournament Director of the 3M Open. “We’re thankful to have this opportunity to be a potential conduit to get these kids – and we’ll have about 550 of them from around the Twin Cities – experience this for the first time.”
Across an increasingly divergent golf landscape, the phrase “Growing the Game” is but talking points for many – at 3M, “Golf 4 All Day” is turning words to tangible action.
“Whether we like it or not, golf has long been recognized as an old, white man’s game,” candors Welch. “In the diversity space, we want to work toward increasing the amount of diversity in our fans, our vendors, and our volunteers. All of which we’ll see culminating in ‘Golf 4 All Day.’”
Such culmination will use golf as a tool to weave a cultural tapestry across a series of engagements.
“For the event, we’ll have nine different activations inside our Fan Village at the main gate,” details Welch. “From a golf perspective, that includes our ‘Loudest Drive Competition’ space and six mini golf holes which are completely made of 3M consumer products, like Scotch-Brite sponges and Post-it Notes. And there will also be inflatable golf targets from the First Tee.”
The clubs and cuts, however, are but a piece of the experience, which will range from art, culture, music, fashion, and science – all of which is curated for kids whose respective backdrops may have historically limited their exposure to the game.
“We want to make golf cool with kids from communities which may be underserved, and to have that cultural relevance,” continues Welch.
Audibly, the “Golf 4 All Day” experience will include music from Generation Now, the DJs for both the Minnesota Timberwolves and MN Lynx; artistically, the day’s participants will engage in live murals and graffiti art from the local Roho Collective. And from a threads perspective, Minneapolis-based designer Houston White will showcase his golf-lifestyle Viictory fashion line.
All kids will be provided a complementary lunch, and a menu of celebrity and pro athlete speakers will share their stories of how golf has positively impacted their respective lives.
“For about 45-minutes, we’ll have folks like Kyle Rudolph, Larry Fitzgerald, Adam Thielen, Randall McDaniel and the Vibez Golf Club talking with the kids,” says Welch. “And these speakers of all different ethnicities and backgrounds will talk about their personal experiences, why they think golf is cool and what the game has done for them, both personally and professionally.”
As the game continues to make needed strides with segments of the cultural spectrum too long overlooked and underserved, provided faces, voices, and backdrops akin to a kid’s own life experience has proven a palpable inroad toward a meaningful golf gateway.
“We want these kids to hear from people who look like them, to hear about the impact golf can have,” enthuses Welch.
From the tournament director to all event partners, the hope, aim and objective of “Golf 4 All Day” is to see the sport and social coalescence plant seeds of interest and opportunity long after the gathering concludes.
Just like the motivated golfer, sometimes, it just takes one perfect swing to make a lifetime impact. For “Golf 4 All Day” participants, that special swing may not even involve a club.
“The goal is to get these kids to leave the day knowing that golf isn’t just about hitting a golf ball; it’s about incorporating music, science, art and culture,” concludes Welch. “And we’re motivated to see these kids walk out of the day not dismissing the idea of getting into the game, but truly embracing it.”