The Takeaway: A course designed with the prime purpose of attracting championship golf, Hazeltine has done just that by hosting virtually every major USGA and PGA event. The course is straightforward in its approach and offers little inspiration from an architectural perspective, but rather is one of the stoutest tests in the country with holes 10 and 16 being absolutely top shelf. Grade B+
Designer: Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1962
Phone Number: (952) 556-5400
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Hazeltine National Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 1900 Hazeltine Blvd., Chaska, Minnesota 55318
Accolades: Ranked 5tht in Minnesota on Golf Course Gurus' Best in State list.
What to Expect: A course with a steep tradition in championship golf, Hazeltine National is the go-to location for the USGA and PGA when it comes to hosting an event in Minnesota. Hazeltine quickly became known across the country when it hosted the U.S. Open just eight years after opening. However, it was more of a rise to infamy than it was a rise to fame as the course took verbal abuse from the players in the 1970 U.S. Open when nearly half the field didn’t break 80 on the first day. Located west of Minneapolis, Hazeltine is located on gently rolling terrain and features a design built to test the best players in golf while boasting over 100 bunkers throughout the routing. Renovated in preparation of the 2016 Ryder Cup, the brilliant white sand in the bunkers is both striking and fantastic to play from. In addition, the conditioning of the course is top notch with firm fairways and beautifully rolling greens that give you exactly what you deserve. While the test at Hazeltine is solid, the architecture lacks creativity with the 10th and 16th holes being the only compelling offerings; but they pack some serious punch and rank as two of the best holes in the state. Players are given the option to ride a cart if they wish but walking is encouraged, especially with the caddie program the club offers in an effort to stay true to the roots of the game. In the end, Hazeltine National is a worthy experience considering its tournament history lacks the compelling architecture to be considered amongst the elite courses in the country.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 16th Hole – 402 Yard Par 4 – The 402 yard 16th hole is not only the signature hole of Hazeltine but is the most famous and recognizable hole in the state of Minnesota. The hole capes around Hazeltine Lake to the right and sets up one of the prettiest and most difficult holes you’ll ever face.
Best Par 3: 17th Hole – 182 Yards – Like many great courses, the final stretch of holes are the strongest and the 182 yard par three 17th hole fits that mold. The green site is surrounded by bunkers and a water hazard will lay claim to any approach left short. Once you reach the green it is no gimmie two-putt due to the large bowl and shelving found on this putting surface.
Best Par 4: 16th Hole – 402 Yards – This stellar two-shotter features Hazeltine Lake on the right and a creek that frames the hole on the left. The peninsula green rests out in Hazeltine Lake are pours fear into the hearts of unconfident golfers that try to guide the ball to the putting surface.
Best Par 5: 7th Hole – 572 Yards – The 572 yard 7th hole is a double dogleg that is heavily treed along the right side of the hole and finishes to a long and narrow green. Players trying to reach the green in two will have to contend with the pond that protects the left side of the green and three bunkers that protect the right side of the green along with a lone bunker resting behind the green.
Birdie Time: 14th Hole – 352 Yard Par 4 – At 352 yards the player should be relieved to step up to this hole. The landing area is at its widest short of the long fairway bunker on the right side of the hole. Placing your tee shot in a good position for the pin placement will give you a relatively simple and short approach shot and offer an excellent chance to card a birdie.
Bogey Beware: 12th Hole – 518 Yard Par 4 – Hazeltine has more than enough holes to bogey when playing from the championship tees, but none are more challenging than this 518 yard par four. The tee shot is fairly open and the green is pretty tame, but with water looming short and right of the green and a ton of yardage to cover in just four strokes, one cannot to score much better than bogey on most attempts here. During the 2009 PGA Championship this hole played more than ½ stroke over par.