For one spectacular week in late September and early October, Minnesota was the center of the golf world. And boy did Minnesota shine!
As the first foursome took to the tee for the opening shots of the 2016 Ryder Cup, a thick fog blanketed the fairways across Hazeltine National Golf Club, and the cool damp air soaked into the spectators as they awaited the start of play in overwhelming delight. Chilly temperatures early in the week gave way to brilliant blue skies, warm breezes, and nostalgic Indian summer afternoons. The Ryder Cup was here, along with the world’s best golfers, creating the greatest stage for Minnesota golf and both were up to the challenge.
Not only was the mild mid-fall weather on display, so too were the Minnesota golf fans. Known as some of the most passionate golf fans in the world, Minnesotans have developed a reputation as “gamers” who come out in droves to support major golf events. Some at the PGA of America will say that there is no other state in the union that rallies around major golf events like Minnesota. So, to the people of our state, hats off to you.
Of course, some fans at the Ryder Cup were accused of acting out of line and at times belligerent. However, this international event drew from around the country, and the world, and while we shared in the enthusiasm, it’s not clear how many of the outspoken patrons were actually Minnesotans. And yet, when the fans surrounding the 16th green coordinated their chants of “Red! White! Blue!” it felt like a Sunday afternoon in the old Metrodome. Loud, festive and fun, supporting the hometown team. That’s how you could describe Minnesota golf fans during Ryder Cup week.
The tee sheets at most of our area golf clubs were packed during the week with players who were inspired by the stars of the game at Hazeltine National. What a week to showcase one of the greatest golf states in the country! Although some of our courses were damaged by heavy rain in the days leading up to the Ryder Cup, a majority of our courses, flirting with the glow of autumn colors, shone beautifully in the sun.
Well done, Minnesota, you looked amazing for all the world to see.