By David McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Golf fans in the Twin Cities have long enjoyed the 3M Championship every year at TPC in Blaine. The tournament is preparing for its 25th year this summer, but last week’s major storm put a major dent in those preparations.

It’s one of the most basic moments in golf, and if you’re any good, happens 18 times a day – the approach shot onto the green, which often leaves a little dimple that needs to be repaired.

Now imagine that happening thousands of times a second.

“Hail is a very destructive object obviously,” said Alan Cull, the general manager at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine.

The storm that rolled through the north metro last week brought golf ball-sized hail down on this golf course, and caused some serious damage.

“Probably the most, if you want to use the word, traumatizing would be probably the visual of what the greens looked like,” said Mark Michalski, TPC’s superintendent. “Makes your heart skip a beat a little bit if you’re the superintendent and you know you’ve got a big event coming up.”

That big event is the 3M Championship later this summer, a PGA Champions Tour event entering its 25th year.

In eight years on the grounds crew, Michalski had seen nothing like this before. Besides the damage to the greens, there was also damage to fairways and flowers and shrubs, and they lost a couple dozen trees. They closed for six days to clean up and repair.

“Mark and his guys did a terrific job,” Cull said. “We reopened the golf course on Saturday to our members, and they were like, wow this is great, this isn’t as bad as we thought.”

The difference on the greens just a week later was remarkable. Michalski says the pros that come here to play probably won’t even notice the storm ever even happened.

“I’m very happy with where we are right now” Michalski said, “and look forward to a great event in six weeks.”


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