Each summer Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Michigan hosts nearly 150 of the world’s best female golfers for the Meijer LPGA Classic. It’s 4 days, 72 holes with a $2 million purse! This is our third time attending the event this year and we figured it’s overdue that we share the insiders scoop.
Us Kladders are big golfers which makes this event right up our alley. Both Jeff and I golf in our own prospective leagues as well as together for couples golf. Meanwhile, we are secretly hoping that our kids will take up the game someday. This was our first time visiting as a family this year and it was a great success. We recently got the advice that the first step towards our dream of the Kladder Kids becoming Club Champions is to simply get them interested in being at the golf course which, at the Meijer Classic, isn’t difficult with the Discovery Land tent included with general ticket entry.
DISCOVERY LAND is the ‘kids zone’ tent which is where we spent a good amount of our time. For this reason, we recommend you make this the last stop on your tour with kids because once you get them in there, it’s going to be difficult to get them out! Some of the highlights for our kids included the putting green, the Meijer Shipt Grocery Store, the Play-Doh station and the outdoor patio where the kids went bonkers over the giant toy selection. There was even a snack counter inside and they allowed each kid to pick two take-home items for free. They were in heaven!
And this year for the first time, adjacent to the Discovery Land, they offered a ‘mothers tent’ that families could use for diaper changes and breast feeding. We are well beyond the breast feeding stage of life (Amen!) but diapers are still very much part of our world so the tent was very much appreciated. Way to go Meijer Classic!
Alternatively, what we recommend doing first upon your arrival at the Meijer Classic is THE GRAND TASTE which opens at 10am. Instead of waiting until the Noon hour when the crowds hit, we suggest opting for more of the brunch hour for The Taste. Not only will you avoid the lines but if you’re there as a family and have kids on foot you’ll be way less worried about losing them in the crowds; Not to mention, not having to hold onto them constantly resulting in having both hands for eating! Also, if you have a stroller, good luck rolling through there during the busier hours. On that note, for our 2-year-old, Jeff had our kid carrying back pack which was extremely helpful. He’s quite heavy though and I could see next year bringing our jogging stroller instead - the Jeep one with bike tires; I’m not sure any other kind would do well through the course.
The food is plentiful and the tastings are unlimited making the extra cost of the Grand Taste ticket well worth the price tag. Vendors in past years have included Reserve GR, San Chez Bistro, Six.One.Six and my favorite… the culinary team from Meijer who always pump out prime rib and jumbo shrimp samplers! I won’t even mention their bakery stations, except for I just did! Helloooo cupcakes! You all know I have a mega sweet tooth!
Blythefield Country Club is a beautiful course and extremely easy to get to from multiple directions. This year we parked at a local high school and bused into the course - an option the event offers every year due to onsite parking parameters. Also worth mentioning, our kids actually had a great time riding the giant charter bus and it became a point of conversation when Natalie talked about our day later with her Grandparents. It was at that moment I realized she (and Thomas) had never ridden a bus before! Bonus!
With the event being in the middle of June it’s the perfect week to get outside and enjoy a Michigan summer day and watch some golf. Specifically with Natalie, I was eager to follow along the course and watch some of the best female players in the game. At our house, the golf channel is on nearly always if there is a tournament that day so needless to say, we’ve got plenty of exposure to mens golf; watching the women was pretty special and I could tell Natalie was certainly more interested than usual.
The course traffic/crowd coordination is excellent. There are multiple ways to walk and watch around the course and if you’ve got kids with you, again, a jogging stroller or a kiddo back pack might be the way to go. With Thomas on Jeff’s back I was never worried about him dashing off into the crowds or onto the fairway. While watching golf, I was sure to bring a pacifier for Thomas in the case he got chatty and also came armed with Dum-Dum suckers. Neither ended up being necessary but I was armed and ready had there been the need!
In terms of professional golf outings, the Meijer LPGA Classic has to be one of, if not THEE best event for young families to attend together. We are lucky to have such a great event in our own backyard and look forward to the event again next year!