Ketti Histon was barking final instructions as the latest “Lumpy’s Bus Bash” reached the TPC Twin Cities for beloved Minnesotan Tim Herron’s second and final round of the 3M Open.
“Everyone,” said Lumpy’s big sister, ringleader and/or zookeeper. “Put your [Lumpy’s Bus Bash] T-shirts on! Grab another beer on your way out! And, remember! You are at a professional golf course!”
Voice 1 from the back of the black city transit bus: “Yessss mommmmm.”
Voice 2: “So … how many idiots can you fit on one bus? About 60?”
And voice 3: “I have to pee.”
And away they went.
The journey began at 11:45 a.m. at the Excelsior American Legion Post 259. The Lumpy’s Lunch combo was $5 while the Lumpy’s Lager 16-ouncers were free from Bauhaus Brewing Co., which appears to have found a winner since it began selling the new brew a couple weeks ago.
Herron’s family and friends have been doing these bus bashes occasionally since the Western Open in Chicago in 1996. The last one in Minnesota came during the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine.
“But,” says Arik Nordby, Lumpy’s buddy and business partner, “this is the first official one sanctioned by Lumpco.”
Ah, yes, Lumpco Golf. A brand that bears watching at lumpco.com if you’ve got a funny bone and think, as Lumpy does, that some golfers tend to take themselves a tad too seriously.
The site sells T-shirts and hats. But it has other pages such as one for Lumpy’s Awards.
“Softest toilet paper on tour?” says Norby, pulling up the site. “Bay Hill.”
There’s a page spoofing how the wardrobes of tour players are scripted and announced before each major.
“Tim hasn’t played the Masters in a while,” Nordby said. “So we’ll have, ‘Lumpy will be wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt because he’s cleaning the house on Friday.’ We find the creative juices start flowing after 10 beers.”
“No, five beers, because they’re craft beers,” Lumpy corrects after shooting 3 over 74 to finish 5 over and miss the cut.
The bus arrives 30 minutes late. Seats fill up quickly until it’s standing room only.
Note to self: When Lumpy’s Bus Bash has no more seats, DO NOT sit on the cooler filled with Lumpy’s Lager and tiny tequila bottles. You will not be sitting long.
Eventually, beers are put into a gray metal minnow bucket to be passed out.
“Same bucket Tim sat out as a joke for a tip jar when he had some of the tour caddies over [Thursday night],” Ketti said. “Tim loves the caddies. Tim loves real people.”
After one stop to pick up four more people, the bus starts chugging toward Blaine.
Reed Gilbert looks out the window and says, “Ketti, we just got passed by a dump truck!”
The bus reaches the stoplight on Hwy. 65 in Blaine. Enough time for Gilbert to open the window and hand a guy a beer. There’s always room for one more with this crowd.
The bus arrives at 2:25 p.m., 65 minutes after Lumpy teed off.
“Good,” Lumpy’s dad, Carson, who no longer travels via Bus Bash, says later. “If they’re out here too long, they all start yelling, ‘Lumpy this and Lumpy that.’ ”
“Yeah,” Ketti said with a laugh, “[tournament director] Hollis [Cavner] said we probably shouldn’t show up too early.”
Bus Bashers join Carson and wife Cean at the par-3 8th hole, where Lumpy made an ace the day before. This time, he makes par.
Lumpy makes the turn at 4 over. The Bus Bashers keep cheering.
“You complete me, Timmy!” friend Tim Hartigan yells out as Lumpy passes by.
“That was a good one,” Lumpy says later. “They’re loud, but Minnesotans are respectful. They know when to yell.”
Lumpy birdies the 11th and 12th holes and heads to the 13th tee, which sits next to the local craft beer tent. Lumpy’s name is chanted and many of his lagers are lifted.
“I guess they ran out of Lumpy’s Lager on Thursday,” Ketti said. “They needed 10 more cases delivered this morning.”
Herron bogeys the 18th hole, but is met greenside by younger sister and Bus Basher Alissa, who is carrying an oversized check in the amount of $1,500 made out to the 3M Foundation. That’s how much was gathered on the bus en route to Blaine.
Lumpy carries the check, tosses his visor to a kid who asks for it and heads to the scorer’s table. He changes into sweats and a Lumpco Golf T-shirt, grabs a drumstick and laments the fact that the players locker room has run out of Lumpy’s Lager.
But he knows someone will get him one.
“You know,” he said. “You look around and it’s great to have friends and family like this.”
Mark Craig is a reporter for the Star Tribune. Twitter: @markcraigNFL. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org