A Look at the 2016 Ryder Cup
Designed in the early 1960s by Robert Trent Jones with a view to
host a national championship, Hazeltine didn’t take long to turn
heads in the world of golf and only eight years after opening for
play, it hosted the 1970 US Open. Since then, the course has played
host many more prestigious championships including another US Open,
the US Women's Open, the US Senior Open, not to mention the more
recent PGA Championships in 2002 and 2009, which simply underlines
the quality of Trent Jones’ layout; a fitting stage no doubt for the
exciting cut and thrust of The Ryder Cup.
Modified by Rees Jones – son of Robert Trent Jones – prior to the
1991 US Open, Hazeltine offers one of the most demanding tests of
golf in the USA, but it also offers plenty of birdie chances to the
world’s best golfers. Who can forget Tiger Woods posting four closing
birdies at the 2002 PGA Championship, only to be pipped at the post
by the journeyman Rich Beem? Or Y.E. Yang's power lifter celebration
after becoming the 1st player to catch and pass Tiger after holding
the 54-hole lead in a major championship?
Measuring no less than 7,600 yards from the tournament tees, Hazeltine
requires powerful hitting from the tee and yet the narrow fairways and
sweeping undulations put a premium on accuracy as well.
Perennially in immaculate condition, Hazeltine boasts a number of
spectacular holes that will provide the perfect stage for matchplay
golf, not least of which is the par 4 16th; the course’s signature
hole. With Lake Hazeltine patrolling the left of the hole and a small
creek running down the right, as well as a elevated green that sits
perched on a peninsula with water on all sides, don’t be surprised if
this devilish par 4 is the stage for some serious Ryder Cup drama late
on Singles Sunday!
What you need to know
London Heathrow is the only airport in the UK offering direct flights
to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport courtesy of Delta Air
Lines. Several airlines including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic,
KLM and Iberia provide indirect flights covering the rest of the major
airports in the UK.
Flights from London vary between 8 and 9 hours in length, whereas if
you opt for an indirect flight you should be prepared for a much longer
Upon arrival at the airport, it will take you only 15 minutes to make
your way to downtown Minneapolis by car or 24 minutes if you choose to
take the Light-Rail Transit (LRT).
Minneapolis is relatively compact so getting around town is nice and
easy, meaning that, away from the golf course; you can explore the
city to your heart's content thanks to a number of transportation
Metro Transit runs one of the largest public transportation services
in the USA so using the bus is a convenient and inexpensive way of
getting from A to B. Hailing a cab is also relatively straight forward
and the LRT connects downtown Minneapolis with the airport, the Mall
of America and no less than 18 other stations.
Golf in the area
Minnesota, contrary to popular misconception, is not located near the
Arctic Circle and therefore not under snow and ice for the entire year.
A very temperate golf season, which extends through seven months of
the year, culminates in mid-to-late September (perfect timing for
those visiting for the Ryder Cup) when it is the peak growing season
for Minnesota, and when many of the local golf courses are in the best
shape they are all year long.
Top or Tail your Ryder Cup experience with a great golf holiday
Golfers attending the Ryder Cup have a wealth of fantastic golf resorts to
combine as part of their trip. Whether it is re-living past Ryder Cup glories at venues
such as PGA National (1983, US won by 14.5 points to 13.5) or Kiawah Island (1991, again
won by The US by 14.5 points to 13.5) or even 2020 Ryder Cup venue Whistling Straits, there
is plenty of great golf to play in the United States.
For those seeking a Championship golf experience, don't forget the likes of Pebble Beach
which is a 4 hour flight from Minneapolis, the Stadium experience at TPC Sawgrass which
is just a 3 hour flight to Jacksonville or US Open host Pinehurst which is a 2 hour, 45 minute
flight into Raleigh-Durham.
2016 Ryder Cup Captains
Early in 2015, former Open Champion and Your Golf Travel Ambassador,
Darren Clarke, was appointed as Captain of Team Europe heading into
the 2016 Ryder Cup matches at Hazeltine National Golf Club in
Pitted against Team USA Captain, Davis Love III, who of course
skippered the Americans at the 2012 Ryder Cup which would eventually
become known as the "Miracle at Medinah", Darren will be looking to
learn from the successes of past European Ryder Cup Captains and lead
Europe to a fourth successive victory, following on from successes at
Celtic Manor in 2010, Medinah in 2012 and Gleneagles in 2014.
Clarke held off stiff competition in the form of Thomas Bjorn and
Miguel Angel Jimenez to land the role in what was revealed by Colin
Montgomerie – part of the five man selection panel who had the final
say over who would be picked as Captain – as, ultimately "a unanimous
Despite the credentials of Messrs Bjorn and Jimenez, that unanimous
decision is hardly a suprise, especially when you consider the
Northern Irishman's stellar Ryder Cup record.
In seven appearances in total, five as a player and two as Vice
Captain, Darren has ended up on the winning side on six occasions,
most famously at The K Club, where Darren himself won 3 from 3
matches in an emotional display. Alongside another Your Golf Travel
Ambassador, Lee Westwood, Darren also forged one of the most
formidable partnerships in Ryder Cup history, winning an incredible
75% of their matches.
We at Your Golf Travel are looking
forward to seeing Darren fulfill his well-deserved role as Ryder Cup
Captain over the coming weeks and months and, along with European
golf fans everywhere, hope to see him and his team make it 4 from 4
Darren Clarke's Ryder Cup Record