PRIOR LAKE, Minn. — Those within the Vikings organization make it a point to give back to the Twin Cities community and around Minnesota throughout the year with various events.
But it’s safe to say that one of the most enjoyable endeavors took place on Wednesday, as more than 100 Vikings players, coaches and staff members took part in the annual Vikings Foundation Golf Tournament at The Meadows at Mystic Lake golf course.
While players always look forward to the chance to give back, there’s also some ribbing that goes on, too.
More than 100 Vikings players, coaches and staff members took part in the annual Vikings Foundation Golf Tournament this week.
“This is a good thing. It’s getting our team out for something other than football, and it’s for a good cause,” said Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks. “And you can’t beat this weather.
“But my favorite thing is watching people who can’t golf [try to] swing,” Kendricks added. “That’s definitely the best part.”
Added Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen: “I think it’s good to support the Vikings Foundation and giving back. It’s always fun to get out here around your teammates and see some of the bad golf swings.”
Now in its second full year, the Vikings Foundation was launched in August of 2017. The goal of the foundation is to make an impact for youth, health and education initiatives throughout various Minnesota communities.
Vikings Executive Director of Social Impact Brett Taber said the event raised more than $100,000 for the foundation.
“We see a direct result of the money we make here today going back into our communities, serving healthy meals for kids that need it most,” Taber said. “Kids during the summer months are missing more than 250,000 meals.
“Events like this give us the funding so that the Minnesota Vikings Foundation can help provide meals to those kids,” Taber added, “and use the power of the Vikings brand to help remove some of those barriers that kids have to healthy meals and nutrition and physical activity every single day.”
Vikings rookie center Garrett Bradbury was among those who participated in the event, although the recent first-round pick wasn’t above to rave about his golf game.
“Anyone on the D-line, I would assume they’re not very good at golf, but I’m right there with the D-linemen,” Bradbury said before joking that he hoped the six golf balls he had would last longer than six holes.
But the event did provide a bit of team bonding for some offensive players, as Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins got matching mock turtlenecks for his offensive linemen and fellow quarterbacks.
“If anyone has this on, it’s either a quarterback or a lineman,” Bradbury said with a smile. “Thankful to Kirk that he did that, I’m excited to match with the rest of the guys.”
A pair of teams tied for the top spot in the best-ball scramble with a score of 57, which was 15-under par. Tight end Kyle Rudolph was on one team, and tackle Brian O’Neill was on the other.
Golfer Bill Lee was on a team with Vikings quarterback Sean Mannion that finished 12-under with a score of 60.
“He was fun and a great guy,” Lee said of Mannion. “He can hit it a long ways … we had a great time, and the day was beautiful.”
The event was sponsored by MillerCoors along with Caribou Coffee, Unilever, Pepsi, Mystic Lake and KFAN 100.3-FM.
“I know how important it is to our ownership group … just everyone from the top down … how important it is to give back because we get so much from our fans,” Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman told the golfers after the tournament. “It is very important for us, off the field, to give back.”
Added Taber: “It’s always a fun day because we’re raising money for a great time, but we’re having a good time, too.”