Hazeltine National Golf Club
|White (W)||72||6221 yards||77.4||143|
|Red (W)||72||5701 yards||74.2||138|
|Black (W)||72||5129 yards||71.2||131|
|Tournament M: 78.1/152||490||431||633||210||448||405||572||176||432||3797||452||606||518||248||352||642||402||182||475||3877||7674|
|Blue M: 75.7/147||442||425||568||205||400||380||562||166||425||3573||424||570||445||198||352||642||380||182||438||3631||7204|
|Gold M: 73.5/143 W: 79.9/148||412||384||560||186||382||368||512||144||389||3337||404||550||420||174||328||538||353||156||405||3328||6665|
|White M: 71.5/139 W: 77.4/143||390||368||522||160||365||345||494||124||376||3144||378||515||374||166||310||525||312||135||362||3077||6221|
|Green M: 68.1/131 W: 73.3/134||321||360||468||142||284||338||422||116||320||2771||318||464||313||144||303||468||240||108||346||2704||5475|
|Black M: 66.5/129 W: 71.3/131||321||308||396||142||284||256||422||116||320||2565||318||406||313||144||303||426||240||108||306||2564||5129|
A National Treasure
Wow. I don't think much explanation is necessary here. This course has so much history... from USGA championships to major championships to Ryder Cups. Even if the course was amazing, this would be a must play course if you can... but it is amazing and beautiful.
The most surprising thing to me was how fast the course played... even with a lot of rain. I expected mushy, soft fairways and greens, but that is not what I got.
I'll keep it simple... if you can find a way... PLAY THIS COURSE!
Hazeltine National: God Loves Golf in Chaska
Golf in the Twin Cities/Minnesota area is just imbued with history...
Charles (Chick) Evans Jr. winning the US Open at The Minikahda Club with 7 clubs in the bag; Robert Tyre Jones Jr. winning the Third Leg of what the New York Sun's George Trevor termed "The Impregnable Quadrilateral," which O.B. Keeler reduced down to the "Grand Slam"; multiple PGA (think Y. E. Yang's hybrid on 18 to take out Tiger) and US Open venues (Payne Stewart in an 18 playoff over Scott Simpson), both held at Hazeltine National and being one of less than a handful of states that has held EVERY one of the 17 championships the the USGA conducts. And amongst that history is Tony Jacklin's (the only player under par at the end of 4 rounds) 1970 US Open win at Hazeltine, this after Dave Hill's classic response to the question of what the course lacked: "Eighty acres of corn and a few cows. They ruined a good farm when they built this course."
Many, many years later and after a successful 2016 Ryder Cup campaign by the United States, Hazeltine has attained a place in the mind of the recreational golfer that stands aside clubs like Oakmont, Pebble Beach and Pinehurst #2. Rightfully so. This golf course in Chaska, MN, is just... brawny. It's muscular but not in a brutish way. Nor is it sinewy. It is simply mighty, rugged and strong.
Forget playing it from the US Open plates (the tees that are behind the back tees - unless 7600 yards of golf makes sense to you). Blue tees are a shade over 7100 and the gold right between 6600 and 6700. Interestingly, the slope for both tops 145. The key to playing Hazeltine well lies in driving the ball in the fairway. The rough and it's thickness and difficulty makes getting the ball on the green in regulation FROM the rough next to impossible. The green complexes are pronounced in their difficulty, with strong bunkering and a fair amount of movement on the large putting surfaces. Remember, if you have some experience with RTJ courses, this may have been a classic Robert Trent Jones design (and, to a degree, it still is) but when his son Rees came in to bring it all together, it became what it is today: A Quintessential American Golf Design. If you have a chance to play here, do. If you have the opportunity to become a member, please do. This course, this facility, brings out the very best in those it touches - from the caddies in the Evans Scholarship program, the professional staff that is exemplary and a membership that understands and recognizes why history matters SO MUCH to the Game of Golf.
Great Destination, Will Be Legendary
Hazeltine will be hosting the 2016 Ryder Cup and I had the opportunity to play the course about 1 year prior - so the same time of year, expected weather, conditions as when Team USA and Team Europe square off. Fall in Minnesota is gorgeous and this course delivers with scenic views that were highlighted by trees changing colors. The routing for the Ryder Cup and when I played will be slightly different - but that is being changed for the Ryder Cup so that the most dramatic holes will be some of the pivotal holes late in matches.
The course conditions were spectacular and this course has a tremendous balance between providing challenges for top-tier players, but also a lot of fun for the weekend warrior like myself. And this course will be the perfect stage for great match-play competitions, both between the world's best in the Ryder Cup or just you and your golfing buddies.