1980 PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
Next came the modifications that created the hole that is Hazeltine National’s most famous. The original 16th was a downhill par 3 that played toward Hazeltine Lake. It was followed by the short and tricky par- 4 17th hole. The new design integrated the lake into the golf course on the 16th hole, a demanding par 4 on which both the drive and the approach shot risk winding up in hazards, especially when the legendary Hazeltine wind is up. The green site of the old 17th hole was maintained, but a new tee was built, converting it into a par three.
The first championship played on the new Hazeltine National was the fourth U.S. Senior Open in 1983. It was a tremendous success, with Billy Casper winning in a playoff versus Rod Funseth. Casper and others who had played in the 1970 Open faced a different golf course than they had before, and its rave reviews led to the awarding of the 1991 U.S. Open.
Another transition would take place prior to that championship, as Rees Jones, the son of Robert Trent Jones, made the modifications to the golf course that were needed to prepare it for the best players in the world (as he has continued to do in subsequent years).
Payne Stewart came into that Open having missed the Masters due to injury and with few prospects for victory. Yet he played masterfully. His 57 pars were the most of any player, and he finished strong each day, in contrast to many in the field, for whom the final three holes were costly. Tied with Scott Simpson after 72 holes, Stewart won the Monday playoff to win his first U.S. Open.
TOP: COURTESY HAZELTINE NATIONAL GOLF CLUB; RICH BEEM: THE PGA OF AMERICA
Fresh off of the success of the Open, Hazeltine National looked for the next major opportunity (and purchased adjacent land to support the infrastructure needed), and hosted a number of notable amateur championships. In 1994, Tim Jackson defeated Tommy Brennan, 1-up, to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur. Five years later, the leading collegiate golfers played in the Division I Championship, with current professionals Luke Donald of Northwestern winning the individual title and Ryuji Imada leading Georgia to the team championship.
The 2001 USGA State Team Championships were played in Minnesota to celebrate the centennial of the Minnesota Golf Association. Hazeltine National hosted the men’s championship, which fittingly was won by the Minnesota team of John Harris,
Above: The Robert Trent Jones redesign prior to the 1983 U.S. Senior Open transformed the 16th from a downhill par 3 into a treacherous par 4. Below: Rich Beem’s 10-under-par 278 at Hazeltine National in 2002 resulted in a one-stroke victory over Tiger Woods.
John Carlson, and Jered Gusso. Amazingly, the Minnesota women also won (at Woodhill Country Club), making Minnesota the first state to win both titles in the same year.
The following year, the PGA Championship came to Hazeltine National for the first time. In the 12 years since 1991, the course had been lengthened, but it still played at less than its original yardage. Despite his hopes for a calendar Grand Slam having been dashed at the British Open at Muirfield, Tiger Woods dazzled the crowds with his remarkable shot from a fairway bunker on the 18th hole (which he said was his best ever) and the spectacular four-birdie end to his final round, arguably the greatest finish by a contender in major championship history.
He fell one shot short, as Rich Beem was propelled by an eagle on the 11th hole (the only one on that hole all week) and a birdie on the 16th to claim the Wanamaker Trophy.
In 2006, the U.S. Amateur Championship was held at Hazeltine National for the