Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational 2022 does it “fore” the community

The Midland Country Club welcomes the 2022 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (GLBI) from July 10-16. The event features top professional golfers, a kids zone, Eat Great Trail food tents, and raises money for local charities. Kicking off this year’s event is the Rock the Block, in partnership with Downtown Midland on Sunday, July 10 from 5-8 p.m., with live music, player interviews, food and drinks, and family-friendly activities like putting greens at this free event. 

Tickets for the GLBI are free Monday-Wednesday, $10 daily for general admission on Thursday-Saturday, and $25 for weekly passes. Kids 17 and under are free with a paid adult ticket. Parking is free at Dow Diamond, and shuttles run continuously to transport spectators to Midland Country Club.
The Dow GLBI takes places the week of July 10.
Tournament Director Wendy Traschen says this year they’re making it even easier for families to attend the accessible event. In honor of Dow’s 125th anniversary, the tournament is offering an additional day of free admission on Wednesday, July 13.

“On Wednesday, we are opening the doors and it’s free to everyone,” she says. “Everybody can come on course for free, and for the first 5,000 people that come on course, we will also give away a branded GLBI item, and a food voucher for free hotdog/burger/veggie wrap, chips and something to drink.”

The Dow GLBI is played with 72 two-women teams competing in a 72-hole stroke play format with alternating rounds of foursomes (alternate shot) and four-ball (best ball). 

“These ladies are phenomenal, they’re fun to watch, they’re very personable and their game is unbelievable,” Traschen says.

At the heart of the event is a truly charitable intent, says Traschen, who is proud to have resources to give back. “All of the sponsorship dollars that we get go to our charitable giveback program. We have two different programs, one where nonprofits apply with programming needs and things they want to do for their nonprofit. We pair them up with golfers, and depending on how the golfers do, that is how much money they get. Every charity gets some money just for being selected, but there are other opportunities during the week for them to raise more money. That is about $240,000 worth of charitable giveback, right from the get-go with those nonprofits. We give away about $250,000 more during the tournament and programming we do, which is the second half of our charitable giveback.”

Other new things at this year’s event include the children’s STEM center now located out on the course, a general store with kids apparel available to purchase for autograph alley, an expanded kids zone with putt putt greens, Golfzilla, hitting cages, an escape room, and more. 
The Special Olympics-3 Hole Challenge will be held on Friday, July 15.
“We’re really excited about all the family-friendly offerings we have this year, and we’re really trying to make it very robust for families that want to come out,” Traschen says.

There’s also the Eat Great Trail, with food tents from regional restaurants on the course. This elevated ticket option is $45 for a single day Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday. Thursday is already sold out. 

The event is made possible by Dow, the title sponsor, which is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and giving young women the same kind of opportunity that PGA has, says Traschen. It also takes over 900 volunteers to run the tournament, and some volunteer spots are still available. 

Typically, the event draws anywhere from 25,000-35,000 guests for the week.
Another focus on this year’s event is the upgraded Veteran’s Suite, which is in a more front-and-center location. The list of Veteran events is also expanded, including a pancake breakfast after the opening ceremony on Wednesday, a happy hour Thursday from 4-6 p.m., chicken dinner on Friday, and dessert bars on Saturday. All veterans with valid credentials can get their admission and one guest free. 

Typically, the event draws anywhere from 25,000-35,000 guests for the week. Traschen encourages everyone to come check it out. “A typical thing for people to say is, ‘I’m not a golfer.’ Well, this is much more than just golf,” she says. “We really try to enhance the tournament with all these extracurricular activities that people can come out and enjoy.”



 

Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at sarahspohn.news@gmail.com.