RYDER CUP '16: A hole-by-hole look at Hazeltine National
CHASKA, Minn. (AP) A hole-by-hole look at Hazeltine National, site of the 41st Ryder Cup matches on Sept. 30-Oct. 2:
No. 1, 442 yards, par 4: On the card, this is nearly 50 yards shorter than it was for the 2009 PGA Championship. The landing area is squeezed by fairway bunkers. Scoring depends on whether the approach is on the right tier of the green, which could be the difference between a good birdie chance or a tough time lagging it close.
No. 2, 429 yards, par 4: A dogleg to the left will leave little more than a wedge into the green. A fairway bunker on the left side requires a more accurate tee and might force some to play more conservatively. The hole is located behind big bunkers that are front left of the green.
No. 3, 633 yards, par 5: The tee shot must avoid bunkers on the left side of the fairway. The best approach is to a flat spot in the fairway about 130 yards out that leaves a wedge into the large green, which allows for a variety of pin positions.
No. 4, 210 yards, par 3: The green is surrounded by bunkers and has a shelf in the back that is difficult to hold tee shots. The green slopes severely from front to back.
No. 5, 352 yards, par 4: This was the 14th hole in the 2009 PGA Championship, where Y.E. Yang chipped in for eagle against Tiger Woods. A new cross bunker short of the green enhances the risk-reward character of the hole.
No. 6, 642 yards, par 5: A new tee makes this par even longer, bringing bunkers into play on the tee shot and the second shot. It still comes down to a wedge and a putt to try to win the hole.
No. 7, 402 yards, par 4: The signature hole at Hazeltine (typically No. 16). The drive is over Hazeltine Lake but must be kept short of a creek that runs down the left side of the fairway. The narrow, elevated green angles away and makes it difficult to hold. Pin positions on the right side bring the lake into play.
No. 8, 186 yards, par 3: The green is surrounded by bunkers and water. A large bowl in the front left portion of the green will capture any shots not hit hard enough, and when the pin is to the back, it's a difficult two-putt.
No. 9, 475 yards, par 4: This normally is the closing hole at Hazeltine. The tee shot has to fit between bunkers on both sides of the fairway. The approach is to a green that has three tiers.
No. 10, 452 yards, par 4: A dogleg left where the hole dips down the hill toward Hazeltine Lake. The pin positions at the back of the green are the most difficult because they bring the lake into play, and a ridge that bisects the green can lead to tough two-putts if a player is on the wrong side.
No. 11, 606 yards, par 5: A big drive to the corner of the dogleg will allow players to take on a cluster of bunkers and go for the green. Either way, a par is unlikely to win this hole. This is where Rich Beem hit 5-wood into 6 feet for the only eagle made on the 11th hole in the 2002 PGA Championship.
No. 12, 518 yards, par 4: This was a long, strong par 4 even before some 50 yards were added. The landing area is reasonably wide. The green, however, is shallow and firm. Other than a slick slope in the front of the green, most putts are relatively flat, but subtle breaks and the length of the hole will make birdies quite rare.
No. 13, 248 yards, par 3: The longest par 4 is followed by the longest par 3. A pond is to the left, trees are on the right and bunkers are front and right.
No. 14, 448 yards, par 4: The routing goes back to the front nine to begin the closing stretch. This typically is No. 5, and a new tee has added nearly 50 yards. Long hitters can try to carry the bunkers. The green is narrow and the deep bunkers in the front and on the sides are to be avoided at all costs.
No. 15, 405 yards, par 4: Trees line both sides of the narrow fairway. As long as the ball is in the short grass, players can attack the pin on a long green that sits between bunkers on the right and a pond on the left.
No. 16, 572 yards, par 5: The shortest of the par 5s comes with risk. There is a pond left of the green, and the green is difficult to hold with a long club when the wind is at the player's back. Fairway bunkers have been added on the left side of the landing area to make the tee shot more challenging.
No. 17, 176 yards, par 3: This could be an exciting par 3 for matches that get this far. The small green has water in the front and bunkers behind it. To go after the flag, especially when it's in the narrow front section of the green, is a dangerous shot.
No. 18, 432 yards, par 4: Bunkers on both sides of the fairway make this one of the most difficult driving holes on the course. The approach is uphill to a green that is difficult to see. Anything long or left of the pin when it's on the right side will make par difficult.