House for rent – $125,000 for a week
“If you finish in four hours, you’ll get to see the entire course”, quipped the starter on the first tee at Hazeltine. We found that a little harsh, since he hadn’t even seen our drives on the first hole yet.
Maybe the starter had a bad day. If that was the case he was the only one. Everyone else at Hazeltine was super friendly and helpful. One of the caddies even took the time to drive me around the course prior to our round, so that I could get some nice photos in the morning sun.
Once we got past the pesky starter, the course turned out to be a real delight.
Already on the first hole you get a taste of what’s to come; large undulated tricky greens, many of them with several different levels, making it ever more important where you place your approach shot. This also makes the course very difficult to play only once, since only experience can teach you the greens.
The third hole has an example of such a green. A par five, tough to reach in two even for the pros, with a nice approach to an elevated green. One of my favorite holes on the course. Another favorite is the sixth, one that will be especially nice for spectators.
The tenth hole is the most beautiful, and also the first time you get down to Lake Hazeltine. A dogleg left, with an approach from high up down to a green by the water, so scenic that it is essential that you hit the longest drive so that you get more time to take in the view while your friends hit their shots.
The sixteenth is maybe the most difficult hole, and maybe the hole where many matches will be won or lost. A par four along the water, the tee shot is quite long for the pros, to a fairly narrow fairway. The green is then set almost out in Lake Hazeltine. I look forward to watching them play this hole next September.
Back at the clubhouse we were treated to a nice lunch, followed by a tour of the clubhouse. Lots of effort have gone into decorating the halls with photos and memorabilia from all the tournaments played here.
Hazeltine will host the Ryder Cup in 2016, and that’s why we were here, to write about it and make you, the reader, excited to come for the cup. If you want tickets, you’d better hurry up – the lottery closes on September 30, only a few days from now. But don’t panic, if you missed the lottery, there are plenty of tour packages available that include tickets to the event. Or you could go all in and rent a house next to the course. The one behind the 16th tee rents for a mere $125,000 for the week. But it’s big enough for you to bring a few friends. And you get to see the drama on maybe the most difficult hole at Hazeltine close-up. Go for it.