BLACKBERRY OAKS GM&PRO Chad Johansen holds the Blackberry Amateur trophy, the BB-AM will be played June 23-24, sign up today at Blackberryoaks.com or call the pro shop at (630)-553-7170, this year lets #FILLTHEFIELD at 120 players. Go Rogue, Go Callaway, Fitting Day this Saturday at Zigfieldtroy, call the pro shop (630)-985-9860. ______________________________________________________________________
THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. In the booth at Hazeltine in 2016, Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Liinkedin and Facebook.
IT’S BACK, that little trophy called the Ryder Cup that elicits so much emotion from the players that play for it, and the fans who attend the matches.
Enter, or in this case, re-enter Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska Minnesota, that will be the first course in America to re-host the Ryder Cup when it returns in 2028.
Just 12 years after the little cup made it’s way to Minnesota the first time in 2016. Which BTW for those of you keeping track, was a TEAM USA Win. One of the few, the proud, that our side has been able to pull off in recent years. The PGA of America made the announcement yesterday via a video with members of Team USA curling, that just brought home the gold from the winter games in South Korea. Which was an interesting way to make the announcement. If you want to sell Minnesota there will be playoff hockey NHL style with the Wild coming soon, and the Twins home opener is right around the corner. The Vikings will have a first round draft pick in a few weeks, I could see him sitting with the Ryder Cup.
The first hole area at Hazeltine in 2016.
So could the cup have made a stronger entrance back to Minnesota, you betcha, but the Ryder Cup’s return to the far north of Minnesota does raise some questions.
Yesterday the comment was “money talks”, really, if that was the case the cup would be back at Medinah, a place where the PGA of America made more money than any other Ryder Cup host venue to date. In fact now the only scheduled venue expected to do better than Medinah in years to come in terms of money made is 2024, in New York at Bethpage on the Black Course.
The Ryder Cup on display at Wrigley Field in 2016.
The upcoming schedule of Ryder Cups is this.
This fall in France, at Le Golf National outside of Paris.
2020 Whistling Straits in Kohler/Haven Wisconsin.
2022 Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome Italy.
2024 Bethpage Black on Long Island in New York.
2026 TBA. 2028 Hazeltine, 2032 The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Which means the next Ryder Cup open date in America is 2036. 2036, like wow, that’s a ways off, and it’s a long way off if you are a club wanting to host the Ryder Cup. A Medinah return which was a great idea after 2012 seems out of the question. A return to Valhalla which had been proposed and repeatedly talked about is out of the question for almost two decades. What if Whistling Straits is a big hit in 2020, then you have to wait some 16 years minimum to go back to Wisconsin, a place no longer suitable for a PGA with the new May dates.
With a new PGA HQ on the drawing board for the North Suburb of Dallas, Frisco Texas, where four new courses are supposed to be built, including one designed for a Ryder Cup, and one for a PGA Championship. It would sure take a while to break in those new layouts, if indeed they get built.
The stands rocking on Sunday at the Ryder Cup.
In the case of Hazeltine, the PGA felt the venue was a success in 2016 and not just because the USA won. There is some thought that Hazeltine was supposed to be getting more PGA events going forward, which included the return of the PGA Championship.
The KPMG/PGA Women’s Championship heads up to Hazeltine next year, but with the new May dates Hazeltine is out as a future PGA site, unless at some point the PGA moves back to August.
Hazeltine was designed by the late Robert Trent Jones in 1962 and has had renovation work done by his son Rees Jones in 2002 and 2005. The Par 72 course can play long and very hard when set up to do so, trust me I know after playing there one day in the first week of October in 2014.
One of the great things about golf is how it’s big golf events, majors and Ryder Cups and more, move around our nation to expose top level golf to different markets and parts of the country. It energizes people to go play. Frank Jemsek owner of Cog Hill in Lemont, has always told me for years, when the tour is in town, rounds are up, the same with the majors. When the Ryder Cup was at Medinah in 2012, Chicago area courses were sold out for 10 days around Ryder cup week. Ten years from now the Chaska-Twin Cities area will reap the benefits.
In 2016 during Ryder Cup week, the music blaring around Hazeltine on the big speakers was Kiss-by Prince. It was played so often it was stuck in my head for months after coming home. But something else that got stuck in my head, was the sight of Arnold Palmers Ryder Cup golf bag near the first tee of the matches, and the USA leaving with the Cup for the first time in 8 years.
With that, bring on Hazeltine in 2028, Hopefully with a better Wi-Fi for the media tent by then. RS