Hazel­tine na­tional golf club

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life -

• ry­der cup • pga cham­pi­onships, u.s. opens hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 in to­tal yards 442 429 633 210 352 642 402 186 475 3 771 452 606 518 248 448 405 572 176 432 3 857 7 628 par 4 4 5 3 4 5 4 3 4 36 4 5 4 3 4 4 5 3 4 36 72

es­ign in­tegrity be damned. Hazel­tine Na­tional has been re-routed for the Ry­der Cup.

Golf ar­chi­tects of­ten lay out de­signs in the man­ner of a sym­phonic com­po­si­tion, in vary­ing move­ments, a gen­tle sonata to open, then a se­ries of bold holes in­ter­mixed with qui­eter ones, in­ten­sity build­ing on the back nine to achieve a crescendo on the fi­nal holes.

Of­fi­cials who run golf cham­pi­onships are pretty much tonedeaf to such sub­tleties. They think noth­ing of re­con­fig­ur­ing an 18 for lo­gis­ti­cal rea­sons, with lit­tle re­gard to the ebb and flow of the orig­i­nal de­sign.

The 7 628-yard (6 975m) Hazel­tine Na­tional GC is a per­fect ex­am­ple. For the 2016 Ry­der Cup, of­fi­cials have set it up so com­peti­tors will play the first four holes, then skip over to the nor­mal back nine for the next five holes That means the 352-yard 14th, po­ten­tially driv­able for some, will play as the fifth hole in the Ry­der Cup, and the 642-yard 15th will be the sixth. It means the gor­geous par-4 16th, which runs along the shore­line of Lake Hazel­tine and fig­ured promi­nently in Payne Stewart’s 1991 US Open play­off vic­tory over Scott Simp­son, will be the sev­enth hole dur­ing the matches. And the up­hill, 475-yard, par-4 18th, where Rich Beem and Y E Yang cel­e­brated PGA Cham­pi­onship vic­to­ries over Tiger Woods, is the ninth hole for the Ry­der Cup.

The rout­ing re­verts to form on holes 10 through 13, and then there’s an­other switch. Holes five through nine will play as 14 through 18.

It’s still a dra­matic fin­ish,

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