L-R: Boone Bauer (2), and his twin brothers, Brooks and Barrett love golf and that passion was only fueled by an incredible gesture at the 3M Open on Wednesday.

Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to work with the social media team at the 3M Open. 

This video I took on Wednesday morning was my favorite thing I captured during the tournament. Cameron Champ gave his staff bag to three young brothers on the practice range. 

See the video here!

Two-year-old Boone Bauer and his identical twin brothers, four-year-olds Brooks and Barrett were enjoying the practice round with their father, Tim, their mother, Alexandra, and 9-month-old baby sister Meredith.

“We went to the 3M Open as a family just to enjoy watching the pros that they’ve seen on TV so often, not expecting anything but to enjoy the day and to watch the pros putt and hit range balls as the boys do every day,” explained Tim.

The family currently resides in Ham Lake, Minnesota, which is less than 10 miles from the TPC Twin Cities where the tournament is held in Blaine, Minnesota. Tim and Alexandra actually both attended nearby Blaine High School where they began dating their sophomore year.

The Bauers are a sports-loving family. Tim played college football at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and Alexandra played soccer and softball at the University of Minnesota. Although neither of them played competitive golf, they love the game and have encouraged their kids to try all sports.

The boys, they say, have fallen in love with golf, so they are doing their best to fuel their passion.

“To say all of the boys love golf is an understatement. Golf, along with baseball, are the boys favorite things to do. They ask me every day to go to the range with them to hit balls, putt, chip, etc., or to go to the baseball field. However, golf is their favorite, as they are constantly hitting plastic golf balls or putting in the house, hitting balls outside in the yard or going to the course. We are at the golf course almost every day and have such a great time together,” Tim told me.

Tim says that the boys often get mistaken for triplets because the twins were born prematurely at 26 weeks, weighing under 2 lbs each and have been through a lot in their young lives, spending their first six months in the NICU at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital and being on oxygen support for their entire first year of life. However, since then they’ve continued to thrive. 

Today, all three Bauer boys are best buddies and they’ve each had a golf club in their hands since they were under the age of two. Tim says they watch golf highlights on YouTube every day, preferring that to cartoons.  Their favorite golfers are Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Speith. Brooks, a lefty, also loves Phil Mickelson. 

And now, they’ve added Cameron Champ to that list.  

“Cameron being so generous and giving them a signed golf bag and signed golf balls has made their year. When Cameron gave us his bag, we were shocked to say the least. Such an incredibly nice gesture from an incredibly nice guy,” Tim said.

And then on Sunday, Champ won the tournament! After a dramatic finish on the 18th hole, Champ came in at 15 under, a two-stroke lead over Louis Oosthizen, Charl Schwartzel and Jhonattan Vegas. That has to be a little bit of golf karma right there.

While the Bauer family did not attend the rest of the tournament, they were glued to the TV during the final round as their new favorite player was making a push to the top of the leaderboard. 

“The boys were yelling ‘Go, Cameron!’ all day and we were rooting for him to get the victory. When he closed out the tournament, our whole family was cheering for him in celebration. This experience has truly meant the world to my sons and has amped up their passion for golf times a thousand. Seeing the joy that Cameron has given to our sons through his generosity has meant a great deal to my wife and me. Knowing the challenges that Barrett and Brooks have gone through in their young lives, this has truly been a memory we will cherish for a lifetime. As all our children grow up, I hope they remember this experience and give joy to people in this world, as Cameron did to them. We will always be cheering for Cameron Champ both on and off the golf course. Sunday night before bed, after Cameron’s victory, my sons said, ‘We need to pray for Cameron Champ, he’s our buddy.’” Tim told me. 

As for Champ’s golf bag, it holds a special place in the family’s living room, where the boys putt and hit plastic balls each day.

“Cameron Champ’s bag is a symbol that helps fuel their passion for golf, as they wake up each morning in excitement to see it there,” Bauer said.

“They tell us, ‘Mama, Dad, Cameron Champ is a nice guy. I’m going to win and beat the guys like Cameron Champ.’”

Champ is also a graduate of the First Tee program and he’s clearly doing his best to instill the love of the game in others. Those kids will now be fans for life. Whether it’s a more grand gesture like this or even just acknowledging kids, that player-fan interaction is huge and has always been one of my favorite parts about working in sports.

Caitlin Moyer

Caitlin Moyer has been hacking and hoping since she was 10. Over the course of her career in the sports industry, she's had the chance to play the game with LPGA, MLB and NBA players, as well as NASCAR drivers and celebrities, but her favorite playing partner is her dad (even though he is a stick). Inventor and sole practitioner of the one-flap™ golf swing (patent pending).