Championship experience

Damyn Boyce volunteers at the PGA Champions Tour 3M Championship in Minnesota

Submitted Photo Retired professional golfer Ben Crenshaw poses for a photo with Damyn Boyce of Minot after the Greats of Golf Challenge during the Champions Tour 3M Championship Saturday at TPC Twins Cities Golf Club in Blaine, Minn. Photo courtesy of Charlie Anderson.

What started as a trip to tour and practice for the PGA Playing Ability Test ended up being a great opportunity to learn from those who play the game itself for recent Minot High graduate Damyn Boyce. Boyce received the opportunity to be a standard bearer and volunteer at the PGA Champions Tour 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities Golf Club in Blaine, Minn., from Aug. 3-5.

Boyce was touring golf courses with his parents and practiced 18 holes for his PAT, which is coming up in September, on Aug. 2. As they were touring, the family heard that the senior tour 3M Championship was in town and that it was free to go to.

As the family headed to the event that evening, they accidentally entered the back entrance and a security guard pointed them toward some ladies that could help them out.

Nicole and Brittany Anderson greeted the family and chatted with them about the tournament and about Boyce’s interest in pursuing golf.

“Jokingly, (Nicole and Brittany) said they should put me to work,” Boyce said. “I told them I would gladly be put to work and that’s when they told me I would be carrying the sign.”

Submitted Photo Damyn Boyce of Minot, center, poses for a photo with Nicole Anderson, left, and Brittany Anderson in front of a PGA Champions Tour trailer at TPC Twin Cities Golf Club in Blaine, Minn. The Andersons gave Boyce the opportunity to volunteer in the Champions Tour 3M Championship from Aug. 3-5.

Friday morning, Boyce and his parents arrived at the course where Boyce was the standard bearer for John Daly, Lee Janzen and Kirk Triplett.

“It was kind of interesting to see John Daly because everyone says he has a temper but he never did that day,” Boyce said. “For being a senior tour, it’s still crazy to see how far these people can hit for saying how old they are.”

On his second day at the 3M Championship, the Andersons gave Boyce the opportunity to caddy for Ben Crenshaw, a retired professional golfer who has won 19 events in the PGA over his career, during the Greats of Golf Challenge Saturday.

“I took that over carrying a sign because I get to be right there and see what he can do,” Boyce said. “It took me by surprise and it was a great experience.”

When Boyce met Crenshaw on the driving range before the round started, Boyce explained to Crenshaw that he was originally in Minnesota to prepare for the PAT and that he was pursuing a career in golf instruction.

Submitted Photo Damyn Boyce carries the sign as the standard bearer during Round 1 of championship play for the Champions Tour 3M Championship on Aug. 3 in Blaine, Minn.

“He kind of gave me grief that I shouldn’t be watching him if I want to be a golf instructor because I would have to critique him,” Boyce laughed.

Overall, Boyce said Crenshaw was pretty quiet, which is no surprise since his nickname is Gentle Ben. Even though Boyce was doing most of the talking, caddying for Crenshaw is an experience he says he won’t soon forget.

One lesson Boyce learned from Crenshaw came from the 18th hole. As the pair were at the par 5 hole with a body of water separating the fairway from the green, Crenshaw gave Boyce some advice.

“He told me one thing to remember if you’re going over water, the humidity of the water brings the ball down so it won’t go so far,” Boyce said. “I kind of knew that but kind of didn’t at the same time, so it was kind of interesting to hear that from him.”

On the third and final day Sunday, Boyce was the standard bearer for Kenny Perry, Glen Day and Tom Gillis, who were the leaders. He also met Hannah Brandt, member of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games gold medal U.S. Women’s National Team, who was announcing the names at the tournament Sunday.

Instead of going off to college, Boyce is hoping to join an apprenticeship program after passing his PAT in September, which won’t be an easy feat. To even qualify or pass, he must shoot 36 holes in one day while being within 15 strokes of par.

From there, Boyce will be taking courses online and working under a golf pro to perfect and master the game to become a golf instructor or pursue other golf interests.

“It kind of brought some other thoughts into my mind of what I can do,” Boyce said about his experience at the 3M Championship. “I don’t have to be just a golf instructor.”

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