As Hazeltine prepares to host the 2016 Ryder Cup, our members are looking back at their favorite memories from the major championships we hosted in the past. Paul "Bear" Olson has too many memories to fit into one video. He's been a fixture at Hazeltine since his parents joined the club in 1962. Paul has been part of every major event at Hazeltine since caddying in the 1966 US Women's Open, leading major volunteer efforts along the way, but one of his favorites memories came when he didn't get to caddy for eventual champion Tony Jacklin at the 1970 US Men's Open.
"The US Open occurred in 1970, Tony Jacklin winner. I caddied in that. (Hazeltine founder) Tot Heffelfinger would pick a name out of the bowl, one of our names, and then we would come up and pick the name of a player. There were about 6 or 7 names left, and Tony Jacklin was still in the bowl. But I picked one out, and my golfer was Lionel Hebert.
He was from Lafayette, Louisiana. He'd won the PGA a few years back, and I looked at the name and I said 'Lionel Heh-bert,' and Tot looks at me, and he says 'Paul, it's Hay-bayr. It's Hay-bayr!' I went okay, here we go. And that was a terrific time. I learned so much, had a great time."
Paul says he enjoyed caddying for Hebert, once he learned to pronounce his name properly, and had a great conversation with Jacklin near the clubhouse, where the eventual champ signed his yardage book. Tony and Paul had another great conversation when Jacklin came back to Minnesota to help celebrate Hazeltine's 50th anniversary — but he'll always remember that other conversation, when Tot Heffelfinger taught him how to pronounce Lionel Hebert's name.
Hazeltine National Golf Club is a private golf club located in Chaska, Minn., about 30 minutes southwest of downtown Minneapolis. The club opened in 1962 with a mission to build and maintain a golf course suitable for the conduct of national championships. Hazeltine is one of only two courses in the United States to have hosted the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Amateur, and Ryder Cup. Hazeltine’s meeting and event space, golf shop and specified services in the learning center are open to the public. More information about becoming a member at Hazeltine is available at www.hazeltinenational.com.