BLAINE, Minn. – (Aug. 2, 2018) – 26 years of memorable moments, friendships made and great golf. This week the final 3M Championship will be played at the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine. General manager of TPC Twin Cities, Alan Cull said he is looking forward to the event and what’s to come in the future.
“We’re looking forward to it, it’s an exciting week, I mean obviously it’s a bit bittersweet, you know, this will be our 18th year of hosting the 3M championship as we know it today and then next year it goes to the 3M open,” he said. “Just hopeful that the crowds show up and as you we use the slogan here now that we’re going to honor the past, we’re going to celebrate the present and we’re going to embrace the future.”
3M Championship Tournament Director Jenifer Hines said this tournament has long been a favorite stop of the tour for many players.
“They love playing in front of large crowds and Minnesota still delivers large crowds especially for our Champions Tour event, so it makes it fun for them,” she said.
“We don’t try to make it too difficult for the guys who are coming off a long run with some of the majors on the PGA Tour Champions Tour circuit, so letting them have some fun, make a lot of birdies and I think at the end of the day it’s all about making sure that the sponsor is happy and the players are happy ,” Cull said.
The 3M Championship started with a different sponsor at a different course in 1993, but the tournament has grown substantially over the years especially when it made the move to the TPC in 2001.
“The TPCs were built to host tour events, we’re owned by the PGA Tour,” Cull said.
“With 3M coming aboard as a title sponsor, it just brought it to a whole new level, this course was specifically built for tournaments like this,” Hines explained.
The 3M Championship has become part of the community through its charitable efforts and by embracing its changing fan base.
‘The event [has] been able to raise a million dollars annually for Allina Hospital Group and their different needs that they have throughout the hospital system so, you know if that’s not here then that million dollars away to our community,” Cull said.
“That’s the biggest growth, we’ve been able to donate over $26 million to local charities, Allina Health over the years and then, just the number of spectators and when we went to free admission about seven or eight years ago, we saw an influx of families so we started a family fun zone and things, so the event has grown over the years,” Hines said.
“Also bringing the best golf on the over 50 circuit which is now PGA Tour Champions to our community and seeing that the players that are out there today are still outstanding players,” Cull said.
The great Arnold Palmer was the designer of the TPC and made several trips back to Blaine to participate in the 3M Championship and even after his death in 2016 his legacy lives on.
“His fingerprint is everywhere on this place and his nickname as The King isn’t there for no reason, he was one of the most important figures in the game of golf, not to mention sport, until his passing last year so we’re honored to have him be the architect here at the club and have his name in recognition with our facility,” Cull said
“His hand in the design of it to start, along with Tom Lehman, you can just feel his presence and then Hollis [Cavner] had started the greats of golf as a way to keep Arnold involved and coming year after year, and even when he wasn’t playing and he came back as a captain, he inspired all the other legends to continue on in that tradition,” Hines said.
As one chapter of professional golf in Minnesota is coming to a close another is just beginning. The new 3M Open a regular PGA Tour event will begin play at the TPC next July.
Work on modifications to the course will start immediately to prepare for the 3M Open. New tee boxes will be constructed to make the course longer and more of a challenge for the modern player on the PGA Tour. Additional modifications will include narrowing fairways and increasing the rough. The plan calls for most of the changes to the course to be complete before winter.