On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am pleased to announce that the Club has hired Eric Rule as General Manager of Hazeltine National. Eric served as the General Manager of Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York for 27 years. Much like Hazeltine, Oak Hill has a storied tradition of hosting major championships. During Eric’s tenure, Oak Hill hosted a Men’s U.S. Open, a Ryder Cup, a U.S. Amateur, a PGA Championship and a Men’s Senior PGA Championship. Eric is highly regarded by the PGA of America.
In addition, Eric oversaw $40,000,000 of capital improvements at Oak Hill. In 2010, Oak Hill was Golf World’s Readers’ Choice as the #1 country club in America.
A few years ago, Eric began golf course construction consulting in China until that country placed a moratorium on additional golf course development. During 2017, Eric served as the Interim General Manager at Sleepy Hollow Country Club located in the greater New York metropolitan area.
Eric has been married for 35 years to Margaret, who is a retired schoolteacher. They have three grown children and are new grandparents for the first time. The Rule’s plan to sell their house in Rochester and make Minnesota their new home. Eric will start his new job at Hazeltine on February 26. The Board will plan some sort of reception early this spring for the membership to meet Eric and Margaret.
I’d like to share with the membership the process utilized to conduct the search. The Board approved the creation of a Search Committee, which included Ruth Kimmelshue, Doug Podolak, Patrick Hunt, Tom Ryan, Scott P. Anderson, David Donnay and Tim Curoe. The Club engaged a national search firm that specializes in golf club and hospitality leadership searches. The Search Committee conducted a national search, including evaluating local candidates. The Search Committee also leveraged a firm that specializes in selection assessment. This is the same firm that we used to assist in the hiring of Chris, Chandler and Cathy. It was important to the Search Committee that whomever we hired would connect well with our current leadership team. We believe Eric will quickly establish rapport and credibility with Hazeltine’s team.
The mission of the Search Committee was to hire a General Manager with strong leadership skills, deep operations experience and a focus on member service. By hiring Eric, we think we achieved our goal in all three categories.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the members that served on the Search Committee and thank them all for sharing their time and talent for the benefit of the membership, especially during a very busy time of the year. And a special thanks to Tim Curoe for leading this great group of volunteers.
After February 26, please be sure to seek out Eric and introduce yourself. We hope to make Eric and Margaret feel at home at Hazeltine.