Through the years, Hazeltine National Golf Club has hosted the best golfers in the world. It's one of the most compelling reasons competitive amateur golfers in the Twin Cities choose Hazeltine when it comes to selecting a private golf club – a world class venue, played by the top golfers on the planet.
The best golfers in the Twin Cities compete at Hazeltine
And each year, members take to the course in the club championship competing for the right to say they are the top player at one of the most challenging golf courses in the world. So, what does it take to win the Hazeltine club championship? According to teaching professional, Mike Barge, joy is probably the second thing a golfer feels after they win the club title:
"They probably feel tired first. It's an endurance contest. If you win the men's event and you're the last person standing you should feel very proud of yourself."
The men's club championship is a two-day, 36-hole match play event in which the winner will have to successfully get through 4-matches before he can capture the crown as champ.
Scott Gustafson, whom Barge says is probably the top player at the club, has won the club championship multiple times including back-to-back in 2012 and 2013. You might think his ability to stand-up to the pressure of events like the club championship should be a non-issue given his experience playing as a scholarship golfer at the University of Notre Dame.
"I don't think pressure is any more or less playing in these club events," Gustafson said in a 2012 interview. " I certainly feel pressure in Hazeltine events, just like I did playing in high school, college, or state amateur events."
It's not like the women's club championship, or the junior and senior men's championship for that matter, is a walk in the park. Take Mary Flynn who has won the women's title five times! No small feat given the ultra competitive women's field that competes each year.
"I think the mental game is the toughest part of tournament play," said Flynn. "I'm usually spent at the end of each round. You have to keep a good attitude, stay positive, visualize the shot, leave the last hole behind and stay focused on the shot you have right now."
No matter the age group or the gender, competitive golf is a hallmark quality of Hazeltine golfers. Even those members who have not played at a competitive level are still tough sticks. According to Hazeltine Golf Instructor, Mike Barge, more than half of the male golfers who keep their handicap at Hazeltine carry a single-digit handicap. That's a tough group and yet even a golfer with a double-digit handicap can compete in any club championship, as long as they can endure and hold their nerves together.
"The prestige of being a club champion is magnified at Hazeltine because it is a golfer's club," explained Barge. "This is the only place (competitive golfers) should join because they know they're going to have a competitive game and they will compete against some of the best amateurs in the state."
Do you have the game? The nerves? The endurance? If so, you might be the next in line to say, you're the club champion at Hazeltine National Golf Club!
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.
Topics: Member Stories