The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, June 13, 2019
The Next LPGA Major — Interview with Marketing Specialist Matt Ostrow — Must-click links in women's golf
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Major Championship Build-Up
Want to hear something awesome? There have been 14 events on the LPGA Tour this year and 13 different winners. That alone is a huge testament to the amount of raw talent in women’s professional golf.
And what better way to put these women to the test than the season’s third Major Championship, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship? I head to Minnesota on Monday afternoon to take it all in myself. This year, they’ll tee it up at Hazeltine National in Chaska, MN. This is also where the 2016 Ryder Cup was held—so it’s an incredible course and will certainly be a challenge.
Matt Ostrow, our interview this week who works in marketing for the event, explains in more detail below what makes this one different than the others. It’s an incredibly unique partnership with the PGA of America, the LPGA, and our title sponsor, KPMG. I really am not tooting our (the PGA’s) own horn here, but this championship has the reputation of being most players’ favorite event, and favorite Major, of the season. I went to Media Day over a month ago and those words came out of Stacy Lewis’ mouth! From the course setup, to the food, to the people, to the overall feel and vibe, it’s just different.
I attended my first KPMG Women’s PGA Championship last summer of 2018. I can’t obviously speak to what it feels like as a player, but the vibe was definitely awesome. Plus, it came down to a playoff, right on the verge of a massive thunderstorm and rain delay, so it was exciting to say the least! I actually had to help escort the trophy from the media center out to the middle of the course on the playoff hole by golf cart (can’t remember which hole it was) in the pouring rain. That was a memorable day for sure.
I’ve been hearing that ticket sales have been incredible in the Minnesota market for 2019. The crowds weren’t overly impressive last year, so I’m really looking forward to seeing some big crowds at Hazeltine! If any of you reading are from the Minneapolis area, you should definitely check it out! It’s kid and family friendly—juniors 17 and under get in free with a ticketed adult. Should be great weather.
And the players are extremely personable and friendly. The chances of getting an autograph are pretty high on the LPGA Tour. I remember being amazed last year that even players like Lexi Thompson, who has held the World No. 1 spot for quite some time throughout her career, will stop for long periods of time to sign autographs and interact with fans.
Play will start a week from today and end on Sunday, June 23. I have a feeling it’s going to be another fun story to tell that comes down to the wire. If the LPGA season up to this point is any indication, I think that feeling will hold true! If you’re interested, you can check out the final field list here and poke around to see everything else surrounding the week!
This Week in Women’s Golf
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Lexi Thompson is the latest LPGA Tour winner! See how she won in thrilling fashion.
This week’s stop on the LPGA: the Meijer Classic in Michigan!
Here are some things to know going into the Meijer Classic.
So Yeon Ryu won the Meijer Classic last year and gave a big portion to charity.
Working mom Gerina Piller playing well after taking time off last year.
Jan Stephenson dreamed of making headlines, and now she is.
Top-ranked junior Alexa Pano will tee it up at another LPGA event.
Mariah Stackhouse was in the mix last week to win her first LGPA title.
Women’s golf Pioneer Peggy Kirk Bell inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame.
6-time LPGA winner Val Skinner has raised millions for breast cancer research.
Weird situation of 16-year-old girl getting disqualified from the U.S. Women’s Open.
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Matt Ostrow
Matt Ostrow is the Marketing and Promotions Specialist who works for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. He’s been in charge of firing up the people of Minnesota to come watch the world’s best compete for a Major Championship at Hazeltine National next week. He gave me some extra insight on the projects he’s worked on and the expected crowds in Chaska! Although he doesn’t mention this, Matt also worked heavily with the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship ambassadors, which includes Lindsay Whalen! See tweet above.
What’s your role with the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship?
I am the Marketing and Promotions Specialist. I am responsible for the fulfillment of the sales, marketing and promotions strategies for the Championship.
Have you worked in golf before? How did you end up in this job?
This is my first role in golf. Previously I directed the marketing for FC Kansas City, a professional soccer team in the NWSL.
I came to know about this job through a friend of mine Pat Kravitz who, is the Communications Specialist for the PGA of America. FC Kansas City relocated in late 2017 so when I was looking for a new job Pat made me aware of this opportunity.
What are some ways you’ve marketed to and gotten the Minnesota community excited for this event?
We’ve done various digital, outdoor, print and other marketing/advertising which has been well received. Our team has also gotten out in the community for various trophy events including at area business organizations and golf events. We’ve had a few LPGA players visit the area including Cheyenne Woods, Kim Kaufman and Stacy Lewis which included various media coverage. We also took the trophy to Fargo to visit player Amy Olson’s hometown to create some awareness. The Championship trophy has been to a University of Minnesota Women’s Basketball game, a Minnesota Wild game, Minnesota Whitecaps game and numerous other events.
Our media day was really unique it was at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. It featured Phil Mickelson and Stacy Lewis hitting golf shots from home plate with Joe Mauer.
We’ve been happy to share that juniors 17 and are free with a ticketed adult. Military active duty, veteran and retired receive complimentary tickets for themselves plus a guest. Parking is free and on site (weather pending). Tickets are very affordable with grounds tickets starting at $20 for practice rounds.
How do you think the crowds will be at Hazeltine National this year?
We are expecting to have great crowds for our championship. The excitement we’ve seen from golf fans in Minnesota for this event has been amazing.
In what ways does the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship stand out over other LPGA Majors?
Going into our fifth year, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship stands out as it’s a collaboration between the PGA of America, KPMG and LPGA Tour. The event combines an annual major golf championship with the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit and an ongoing charitable initiative called the KPMG Future Leaders Program. The week is focused on the development, advancement and empowerment of women on and off the golf course.