Already on the first hole, you realize that this is not an easy course.
Even if you make the green in regulation, you’ll be faced by a difficult putt if you’re not on the right level. This continued to be true on many holes, especially the fourth hole.
After some rest on the second hole, the third hole, a par five, had index one. Even the pros need three to reach the green, with a difficult approach to an elevated and very undulated green. One of my personal favorites on the course. At the fifth hole, bunkers are the main complication. On hole six, one of the most beautiful (especially if you live in one of the villas by the green) you get the first taste of water. And so it continues.
On the back nine, you get down to Hazeltine Lake already on the 10th, , the most scenic of all the holes, and you soon reach one of the hardest holes on the course, number twelve. With a new tee 50 yards back and a pond guarding the green, for the pros this is a real challenge.
On the 16th, you drive over Hazeltine Lake. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, if you drive too far you end up in a creek. Johnny Miller called this hole “probably the hardest par four I ever played”. But if you play from one of the more forward tees, it is doable for all players.
The course finishes as it opened, with a three-tiered green, letting the greenkeeper make the hole as difficult as the tournament demands. A great setup.