MIDLAND — Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational is bringing back a fan-favorite activity of the inaugural tournament in 2019.
The STEM Center will be hosted on site at the Midland Country Club with eight activities for ages 8 to 17.
While the $2.5 million LPGA team tournament is at the heart of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, Tournament Director Wendy Traschen said the STEM Center is one of several family-friendly opportunities to be made available at the third annual event from July 10-16.
A celebratory measure is making the Dow GLBI event more accessible to the public. There will be no admission fee on the first official day of the competition.
Those interested in viewing the tournament can attend the first round of the competition at no cost on Wednesday, July 13. Daily tickets to the tournament will be free for the following events: Monday practice, Tuesday pro am and Wednesday opening round.
Tournament Director Wendy Traschen said a caddy program for the pro-am on Tuesday is in need of up to 50 children who are interested in volunteering.
In addition to free admission on Wednesday, July 13 to celebrate Dow’s 125th anniversary, spectators can obtain a complimentary lunch voucher for use that day. The first 5,000 spectators on Wednesday will also receive a Dow 125th anniversary giveaway.
Lunch vouchers and giveaways can be obtained at the Dow 125 tent located just past the Dow GLBI’s main admissions gate. Spectators are asked to reserve their free Wednesday ticket in advance on Eventbrite.
Kids 17 and under will be admitted free with a ticketed adult all week long.
General admission tickets are available for Thursday, Friday and Saturday and include grounds access, public viewing bleacher seating and access to various concession areas throughout the course.
Daily tickets are $10 and valid for one day Thursday through Saturday. Weekly tickets are $25 and valid all week, Thursday through Saturday.
Parking is free all week at Dow Diamond, and free transportation is provided to and from the Midland Country Club by shuttle buses.
“For this event in the region, it is important for the philosophy of the tournament to be very inclusive of everybody,” Traschen said.
“To be able to bring those kids on site, who have probably never been to a professional tournament, and then let them have access to all of the kid-friendly activities, is pretty impactful,” she added.
For the inaugural Dow GLBI in 2019, the STEM-focused opportunity made its debut in the Country Club ballroom. The Dow GLBI was canceled in 2020, and in 2021 a mobile event called “STEM to Them” replaced the on-site STEM Center.
Additional family-friendly activities
The tournament will feature old and new traditions for children of different age groups.
Creators Wanted Tour, ages 12 to 18
For the first time, an escape room will be on site to promote education about manufacturing opportunities for families and children. Creators Wanted is a campaign co-sponsored by partners National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute.
Kid Zone and Golf Zilla, ages 4 to 8
This zone dedicated to younger children will have putting greens accessible. This is sponsored by Covenant Healthcare and launched by First Tee, according to Traschen. There will also be a practice golf cage for attendees.
General store, all ages
The general store on site will feature items, including STEM kits, for children of all ages. Traschen said Serendipiity Road in Midland is helping with this opportunity.
“If you’re going to bring these athletes, which are world-class athletes, to our region, we want to make sure that we can include everybody,” Traschen said. “For the avid golfer, they follow the LPGA, they love golf, they can sit all day long and watch golf. For, other people, it’s more about, ‘What can I do during the week where I can include my family?'”
Rock the Block
The Dow GLBI is teaming up with Downtown Midland for Rock the Block from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 10. Rock the Block is free to attend with food and drinks for purchase. Tickets will not be required to attend the event.
Live music and family-friendly activities will be featured.