Ryder Cup 2016: What to Expect at Hazeltine National

August 2, 2016
Ryder Cup

Roars and chants will echo through the lush Minnesota countryside this fall at the Ryder Cup matches. To assist you in getting fully prepared for this fantastic event, here’s a brief primer on what to expect.

Patriotic Fervor – An electric atmosphere brimming with intensity and patriotism, the Ryder Cup experience is part soccer game passion and part distinguished international golf tournament. The roar of the crowd and the give and take between the European and American fans is something you’ll never forget. Remember to wear your red, white and blue and be prepared to make lots of noise. There will be leader boards and/or video boards throughout the course. Make sure you purchase Ryder Cup merchandise early in the week so you can get the best selection.

Our Team – Captain Davis Love III brings a calm and resolute approach to coaching our 2016 team. Love III was captain of our 2012 team at Medinah C.C. As of July 29, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth appear to be locks for the team. Phil Mickelson is ranked third, Zach Johnson Fourth and J.B. Holmes fifth as of July 29. Eight of the 12 members of the U.S. Team will be named on points earned following the conclusion of The Barclays, which is scheduled to conclude on Sunday August 28, 2016. Love III will select three of his four Captain’s Picks after the conclusion of the BMW Championship, which is scheduled to conclude on Sunday September 11, 2016. His fourth pick will take place Sunday evening after the TOUR Championship, September 25, 2016.

The Course – Hazeltine National Golf Club, a Robert Trent Jones design, debuted in 1962.  It stretches to 7,674 yards and is hilly with narrow fairways, smallish greens, mature woods and beautiful lakes. The Signature Hole, the par-4, 402-yard no. 16, is framed by Lake Hazeltine on the right and a menacing creek on the left. Approach shots are key as the green is a raised peninsula that falls off on all sides. Hazeltine has hosted two U.S. Opens (1970, 1991), two PGA Championships (2002, 2009), two U.S. Women’s Opens (1966,1977) and a U.S. Senior Open (1983).

Weather – Average temperatures in September are in the high 60s with lows in the high 40s. You’ll typically have some stunningly beautiful Indian Summer days in the low 70s.

Chalet Time – Premier Golf’s chalet overlooking the 16th fairway allows views of the tee and green. It’s a great location because many of the previous Ryder Cup matches have ended on the 16th hole. The air-conditioned chalet has a bar with stools, casual, comfortable seating, wide-screen televisions, executive washrooms and a breakfast and lunch buffet with afternoon snacks and desserts. The chalet can be an add-on for one of Premier’s standard packages or it’s included in the Ultimate Ryder Cup Experience Package.

Viewing Strategy – On Sunday, if possible, get to the first tee early to find a good seat for the singles matches. It’s a raucous and fund atmosphere full of singing, chants and cheers. A solid strategy the rest of the days is to find a good viewing location on the back nine ahead of play and let all the matches come to you. Because there are fewer players, the crowds are large around the greens and it’s important to have a well thought out viewing strategy. Make sure you study the format before you attend. The first two days are divided into morning and afternoon sessions, Fourball (Better Ball) and Foursomes (Alternating Shot). On the final day, Sunday, the captains must choose the order in which their team will go out for the singles matches in which everybody plays. Neither captain knows the order of the opposing team. A great way to keep up with all the action is to purchase the portable radios at the course so you can hear the tournament being broadcast live.

Nearby Golf – If you want to tee up while you’re in the area, there are 65 golf courses within a 20-mile radius of Minneapolis and several within a few minutes of Hazeltine National. Some options include Chaska Town Course, Bluff Creek, Dahlgreen and Stonebrooke.

Away from the course – The Twin Cities-Minneapolis and St. Paul, about a 30-minute drive from Chaska, offer a wealth of shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities. The Mall of America in Bloomington, the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the U.S., has more than 400 stores, an amusement park, aquarium and more than 50 restaurants.  Other places to shop in the the Twin Cities are 50th and France in Edina/Minneapolis; the North Loop situated in the Minnesota Warehouse District; Downtown Minneapolis, which is home to an 8-floor Macy’s and 2-floor Target store; Calhoun Square in Uptown Minneapolis and Grand Avenue in St. Paul. The city of Chaska has an exceptional public golf course, the Chaska Town Course and popular casual eateries like the Crooked Pint Ale House, Cy’s Bar & Grill and Tommy’s Old Fashioned Malt Shop.

Main Attractions – Popular places to visit in the area include the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Guthrie Theater, Stone Arch Bridge, Minnesota Zoo, Midtown Global Market, Minnehaha Falls and Mill City Museum.

Local Favorite Burger – While you’re in the Twin Cities area, try a Juicy Lucy Burger, a legendary Minneapolis favorite, a cheeseburger with cheese inside the meat. Best places to have one is a 5-8 Club, Nook Bar or Matt’s Bar.

Lake Lovers – If you love boating and fishing, the Twin Cities area has nearly 1,000 metro lakes and 180 parks.