Golf column: Thoughts from a starter at the 3M Championship

I was lucky enough to be a starter during the 3M Championship last week in Blaine.

I have been going to the tournament for the past seven years, but this time it was different.

Scott Roth Head Golf Professional, Victory Links Golf Course
Scott Roth Head Golf Professional, Victory Links Golf Course

From being a starter on Friday, to the perfect weather, to seeing Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez, it was one of the best years for me.

I have been a PGA professional for about 25 years now, but have never been involved in a PGA Tour event until now.

Being inside the ropes as a starter is different.

I was five feet away from many of the heavy hitters the game has seen.

As I was reading the background/highlight cards on the players, it amazed me how much these guys really are, well, champions.

To a guy who has been playing golf for 35 years, it was even interesting to watch the person who keeps track of what equipment the players use.

Everything the players use from golf balls to hats are tracked each week. She was looking in the bags and talking to the players and caddies to gather the intel.

Another great part of being inside the ropes was just simply listening to the players talk to each other before they teed off, before it gets serious.  They were asking how their families were doing, recent vacations they had taken and sharing stories about other pros.

The most interesting interaction I had with a player, as a starter, was with Rocco Mediate.

He approached me and looked at his information card. He asked me not to read all that “junk,” he said, about his wins and awards because it was embarrassing.

He said, just say, “From Pennsylvania…  Rocco Mediate”.  You have to love Rocco.

Another highlight of the week was watching Annika Sorenstam, Nancy Lopez, and Pat Bradley play with team captain Arnold Palmer on Saturday in the Greats of Golf competition.

This was the first time that the ladies have played at the event.

I have to admit I had a crush on Nancy Lopez when I was a kid.

To me, she looks the same today as she did 30 years ago.

All three of these ladies can still play a mean game of golf.

It was great to see Arnold roll in several birdie putts when the team needed it.

And for me, one of the best parts of the tournament was talking my 17 year old daughter.  She asked me earlier in the week if she could go (and she doesn’t even golf).  We had a great time checking out everything the event has to offer.

Once again, Hollis Cavner, Tournament Director, put on a great show.  Year after year he continues to provide quality entertainment with the 3M Championship in the Twin Cities.

I hope I can be behind the ropes again next year.

Scott Roth is the Head Golf Professional at Victory Links Golf Course in Blaine.