It’s a tournament of firsts for The Dow Chemical Company, Midland Country Club, and the Ladies Professional Golf Association, or more commonly known as the LPGA.
The three organizations have partnered together to create the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, a new women’s golf tournament that begins in July 2019 and is under contract for five years.
For Dow and the Midland Country Club, bringing the first professional women’s golf tournament to the area is an opportunity to shine a light on Midland and the Great Lakes Bay region as a whole. And for the LPGA, the DGLBI becomes the first team-based tournament in the organization’s history.
According to Chris Chandler, Dow’s tournament director for the invitational, the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational is expected to have a direct economic impact of $12 million to $15 million on the community, drawing 20,000 to 30,000 fans to the region.
Beyond the golf tournament itself, a weeklong series of events will occur throughout the community, complementing the action on the course. The DGLBI happens to be the same week as the Tall Ship Celebration in Bay City, where there could be some partnership developed between the two events. Chandler says that Dow is in talks with the Great Lakes Loons, as well as a number of other potential community partners. Hiring local businesses is a priority.
"We’re really honed in on spending as much locally as we possible can, from printing to storage to security--you name it," Chandler says.
There is a youth outreach component to the tournament, as well.
Chandler says that the LPGA was impressed by the Midland Country Club upon its initial visit. A re-design that began in 2008 and finished in 2012 left no doubt of Midland's viability in the minds of tournament officials, says Chandler.
Dow is looking for volunteers for the event, and more information is available online.
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