The USPGA Championship venue is a classy, well guarded course that will provide a stern test – wind or not.
Though not yet 50 years old, storied Hazeltine National Golf Club is a prestigious Minnesota golfing intuition that has hosted more than a dozen major events.
At 7,678 yards off the back tees, it’s narrow fairways and many water-guarded small greens should provide a stern test for the USPGA Championship – especially if the wind gets up.
Totton P. Heffelfinger, a former president of the USGA, wanted to create a golf club in Chaska, Minnesota, that would host major championships while simultaneously offering a pure golf experience for its members.
Hazeltine National Golf Club is the result of that dream
It wasn’t always easy to get it to what it is today – a course that is probably unmatched by any other US club that is less than 50 years old.
Its long and demanding eighteen holes, designed by the famed Robert Trent Jones, opened for play in 1962, has had its trials and tribulations , some of them financial, along the way, but its founders were tough men with a pioneer spirit and persevered to such an extend, the course today is one of US golf’s championship gems that has hosted numerous gold standard events through the years.
-Two US Opens (1970 – Tony Jacklin and 1991 – Payne Stewart)
-Two US Women’s Opens (1966 – Sandra Spuzich and 1977 – Hollis Stacy)
-A Senior US Open (1983 – Bill Casper)
-The 2002 US PGA Championship in which the unheralded Rich Beem beat Tiger Woods and
The 2006 US Amateur won by Scotland’s Richard Ramsay.
In addition, the 2016 Ryder Cup is to be played at Hazeltine.
The 1970 US Open was won in a commanding fashion by Tony Jacklin, the last European to earn this title, but the difficulty of the course and the windy conditions on the first day of that year caused scores to soar, causing a backlash among many of the players which in turn set in motion a number of changes to the course.
The public debut about the changes, including the now-famous sixteenth hole, and the rave reviews given the course in 1983 when Billy Casper emerged victorious in the Senior Open, saved its reputation and paved the way for the return of Hazeltine to the international golf scene.
In latter years Rees Jones has upgraded father Robert Trent Jones’ basic routing by adding new tees and trees, adjusting fairways, and repositioning bunkers to maintain the demanding shot values of the years before.
The result is a golf course at this members only club that continues to provide a challenge for professionals and for members and their guests alike. The work of the father and the work of the son blending effortlessly to offer an exhilarating test.
To quote the official website of the Hazeltine Club, it is built “on a piece of ground where the woods battled the prairie for dominance over the centuries, and where the golfer is faced with a mixture of both.
The course, grassed from tee through the greens with bent, is hilly, and it has narrow fairways and small greens.
Nine of the holes have water hazards. The “signature hole” at Hazeltine is the fearsome par four sixteenth.
The tee shot on the sixteenth must carry 220 yards over Hazeltine Lake. The green is a raised peninsula which falls off on all sides, including into the hazard at the back and on the right.
The seventeenth is a long par three that used to be a short par four. Four bunkers and two water hazards guard the green, which is one of the most undulating on the entire course. The finishing hole is a long, well-bunkered par four.
Keeping with the club’s goal of improving the golf course as needed, a number of changes were made in the fall of 2005, including the addition of new tees which all caused the course to be re-rated in 2006.
Prior to the changes, the course measured 7,360 yards (6,730 m) and had a rating of 77.0/153.
During the 2008 summer the club made many further changes in preparation for this year’s PGA Championship. Some of these included adding bunkers to the Par 4 2nd Hole and adding a new tee box on Hole 12, a par 4 which will now play at almost 520 yards..
And so, this week Hazeltine National will measure 7,678 yards from it’s championship tees and will have a rating of 78.0.
Head professional Mike Schultz has warned:, “If you are out of position at Hazeltine, you are always hitting over something. At times it is a natural feature of the land, and at times it is one of the many strategically-placed bunkers that closely guard the greens..
The course information in brief:
-Location: Chaska, Minnesota
-Type of club: Private
-Designed by Robert Trent Jones
-Length: 7,678 yards off the back tees.-Course rating 78.0
You can get a hole by hole description on the club’s official website by
GENERAL COURSE INFORMATION:
-Playing groups may not exceed four players.
-Metal spiked shoes are not allowed.
-The club has a ‘no cell phones’ policy
-For weekdays, green fees are $125 plus tax for eighteen holes,
-Members are allowed only one guest on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, but there are no guest restrictions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
An elegant clubhouse with:
-A gracious ballroom with a capacity of up to 400
-Complimentary room rental
-A high class pro shop offering a wide range of the major brands
-Clubs, golf cars and golf trolleys can be rented
-Up market locker and change room facilities
-Top quality practice facilities where professionals are available to give lessons
CONTACT HAZELTINE NATIONAL GOLF CLUB:
You can learn more about the club by contacting it at:
Hazeltine National Golf Club, 1900 Hazeltine Boulevard, Chaska, Minnesota 55318
-website address http://www.hngc.com/
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