- Things to Do
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On alternating days, players will compete in both foursomes and four-ball. In foursomes, team members take turns hitting the same ball, alternating tee shots. In four-ball, each player plays their own ball, the team posting the better of the teammates’ scores for each hole.
As stroke play, tournament honors go to the team with the lowest stroke count across the course, not contested on a hole-by-hole basis as in match play. Tournament honors go to the lowest score across all four days.
Just as no two rounds on a single course are identical, this year’s Dow GLBI will look a bit different than 2019’s inaugural edition. As in so many aspects of life, the pandemic washed out the 2020 Invitational and called for a COVID-caused mulligan.
The Eat Great Food Festival, to have been celebrated in Bay City’s Wenonah Park, will return in 2022, while most other Dow GLBI features return this year, some enhanced.
That 2019 Dow GLBI was the first LPGA team event played for official points and money; both are again at stake, and the purse has more than doubled. The first-place team in the Dow GLBI will split more than $550,000.
Their triumph won’t be a secret, either: the first three rounds of the Dow GLBI will air on the Golf Channel while the final round will air live on CBS on Saturday, July 17.
TV’s great, but in-person’s even better.
Tuesday features an official LPGA Tour Pro-Am Tournament. And in addition to the thrill of watching the best golfers all week, fans will have plenty of family fun in a variety of special events, from youth golf clinics (featuring LPGA players) and STEM programming, to leadership events and, of course, to sumptuous foods and drinks.
There’s even a role between that of player and fan: volunteer, one of an army of hundreds helping the Invitational take place, and thereby drawing full measure of entertainment and satisfaction from it.
Volunteer details, along with ticket sales, a full event schedule, and other event info, can be found at dowglbi.com.
General admission tickets, providing access to the grounds, viewing bleacher seating, and concessions throughout the course, are just $10 each and valid for any one day, Wednesday through Saturday; four-day tickets are $25. (Free admittance Monday and Tuesday, and kids 17 and under get in free all week with a ticketed adult.)
With an Eat Great Trail ticket, $45 per day (which includes general admission) and valid Wednesday, Friday or Saturday, you can sample a wide range of menu items on hospitality decks throughout the course. Kids 12 and younger are free.
Along the Eat Great Trail, offerings will reflect the diverse culinary talent, restaurants and flavors of the Great Lakes Bay Region. Beer and wine selections will be available for guests 21 and over.
Military personnel and veterans receive one free daily admission ticket for each day of the Dow GLBI. Guest upgrades for admittance to the Veterans’ Garden will also be available.
Parking at Dow Diamond — home of the Great Lakes Loons — is $5 per day or $15 for Wednesday through Saturday, and free on Monday and Tuesday. Shuttles will transport spectators between Dow Diamond and Midland Country Club throughout each day.
Dow GLBI: Take An (Environmentally Friendly) Bow Two years ago, the Dow GLBI became the first LPGA event to receive GEO Certified Tournament status from the Scotland-based GEO Foundation, which focuses on sustainability in golf.
The award was based on the event’s five-year plan to balance environmental impacts, conserve natural resources, and benefit the local community.
How important is sustainability to tournament organizers? There’s a spot within the volunteer corps for people to explain the program to visitors and guide them through it; those volunteers will become something like sustainability caddies!
They’ll likely share bits of the 2019 Dow GLBI scorecard: 68 percent of waste recycled or reused; more than 1,000 pounds of unused, prepared food donated to a local food bank; thousands of students introduced to the First Tee’s golf and life skills curriculum and hundreds attending a First Tee Junior Clinic. Thirty-six local non-profits shared $200,000 through fun match-ups with competitors.
Dow GLBI executive director Chris Chandler said, “Working in partnership with GEO Foundation and many local partners, we will continue to push the boundaries on environmental sustainability and community value… with the goal of enriching the Great Lakes Bay Region community and educating and inspiring others.”
The charming, elegant Midland Country Club achieved its own GEO Certified® eco-label in June 2019, for commitment and action in fostering nature, conserving resources and supporting the community.
Founded in the heart of Midland in 1928, the club has since provided its members golf and other recreational activities, plus serving numerous social roles for members and the wider community — the 2021 Dow GLBI a perfect example!
The club’s beautiful scenery, superb facilities and top-quality service were all enhanced when its clubhouse was rebuilt in 2010, intentionally complementing and meeting the needs of its neighborhood’s ecology.
(Full & fun disclosure: I caddied at this club for a couple of teenage summers, and my great-grandparents’ resting spots overlook the pond-ringed 18th green and clubhouse; attending this tournament will be like a homecoming for me, a non-golfer, in my own hometown!)
“We look forward to bringing our community back together for a weeklong celebration unlike any other tournament on the LPGA Tour,” said Dow GLBI executive director Chandler. “The Dow GLBI has become a can’t-miss event in the Great Lakes Bay Region and we are excited to showcase what we have in store for 2021.”
Steve Griffin, a Midland-based, full-time freelance outdoors writer, has been covering that beat for newspapers and magazines for longer than he likes to admit. He began with a manual typewriter and a film camera — and says that in every way outdoors, these are the "good old days"!