During my previous life as a newspaper reporter, I covered the 3M Championship a number of times. I covered the last one at Bunker Hills and a bunch of them since the move to TPC Twin Cities. The more I covered it, however, the more bored I was with the whole thing.
I was always kind of amazed with the number of people who would show up and watch these guys play. They wanted to watch guys like Arnie and Chi Chi and other guys who were pushing 80. Maybe it helps them relive their younger years, maybe it was because regular PGA Tour golf is such a rarity here. But I kind of got bored with the whole thing.
I thought the golf was fine, but I would generally rather watch the Nationwide Tour than the Champions Tour.
Since leaving sports in the summer of 2008 (I think), I had never really considered going to the 3M Championship. But this week, my friend Ryan said he won some skybox tickets from Teemaster for Saturday and wanted to know if I was interested in going for a few hours. We certainly weren’t going to go for the entire day, but it seemed like it might be fun.
And it was much more fun than I thought it would be. I’m not going to lie, but the free food and drink had quite a bit to do with that.
We got there about 12:15 or so and went immediately to the skybox overlooking the 18th green. We grabbed a beer (free) and then went through the buffet line (free). We sat and watched there for a little while before grabbing another beer going out on the course.
We walked across the street and watched a couple groups come in on No. 9. When the group that included Fred Funk and Bernhard Langer came through, we followed them to the back nine. We watched them play 10-12 and hit their tee shots on 13. Then it was back to the skybox for a little more beer and watching some groups come.
– No. 12 was playing a bit downwind today, but it still is a 589-yard hole. Langer hit 3-wood, hybrid and was pin high just off of the green. The fairly firm fairways are a factor in that, but that is just super long.
– One of my favorite things to look at at pro tournaments is how frequently guys hide another company’s club under a headcover of the company who is paying them. Today, I saw a guy hit an Adams hybrid and hide it under a Titleist headcover. I know it is how the game is played, but I find it interesting.
– I can’t believe how skinny Langer really is. Also can’t believe how his Euro pants had about 12 pockets.
We spent about three hours there and it was a decent time. It’s amazing how the combination of beer and not having to write a couple of stories on deadline will do that.