Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of Minnesota golf courses and resorts as international travel destinations. Our member facilities feature award-winning, championship golf courses and are geographically disbursed across the great state of Minnesota. The combination of exceptional quality and outstanding value make Minnesota one of the best golf destinations in the United States.
The 2016 Ryder Cup comes to Minnesota in (very) late September. That may have some of the planners of the event shivering in fear over what the weather might bring. But for golf fans coming to Hazeltine National Golf Club to enjoy the event, it just takes a little preparation and foreknowledge to plan for Ryder Cup weather in Minnesota — and we have that here.
What is fall golf like in Minnesota?
Every fall, my extended family has a golf outing on the last weekend in September (planned for then because we are a group with varying degrees of golf skills and don’t want to clog up courses during peak summer play), and honestly we have a seen a wide range of weather over the years — including snow pellets shaped like tiny golf balls on one occasion. But in general, we have experienced golf in, arguably, some of the finest weather of the season.
Fall golf in Minnesota is unsurpassed around the country. The courses are in peak conditioning because the heat and humidity of a Minnesota summer are gone, and the courses are just a little less crowded with school back in session (except for a family of local hacks, perhaps).
Make a point of playing a round while you are here, as the local courses will be ablaze in their fall tapestry of colors. There are numerous courses within a short drive from Hazeltine (Chaska Town Course, Edinburgh U.S.A., Stonebrooke Golf Club, StoneRidge Golf Club, Rush Creek Golf Club, and Braemar Golf Course, to name a few) and they all will be in top condition, as well.
What’s the weather at the end of September?
The point is, don’t fear the extreme weather that you hear national media outlets from around the country claiming to find here in the fall. According to WeatherSpark.com, the temperature on September 30 typically varies from 48°F to 63°F and is rarely below 37°F or above 77°F. Rainfall is possible, according to the website, but snow is as rare as an eagle at one my family golf outings.
What should you wear for the Ryder Cup weather?
So, if you are here to watch the Ryder Cup, it’s best to bring some light layers to adjust to changing conditions (which is commonplace here). Shorts and short sleeves are fine, but bring a sweater or even some rain gear to cover up and protect yourself from some potential wind or precipitation. A golf umbrella is advisable for sun or light rain, and helpful for walking the hilly grounds of Hazeltine National.
The course does have some exposed holes around its borders, particularly on the famed hold No. 16 (No. 7 for the tournament), which winds along the shore of Lake Hazeltine on the edge of the property. There could be some strong and chilly breezes coming in off the lake to mess with fans’ comfort and with the players’ approach shots to the peninsula green.
And if you forget to bring the right apparel to the golf course, fear not, there is a massive Ryder Cup merchandise tent on-site that is sure to have something in your size designed to make you comfortable in a Minnesota fall.
As a native Minnesota, my best advice is to take a pre-tournament day to hit a local golf course and experience what it is like to spend a few hours outdoors in late September/early October weather in Minnesota (you will thank me when you experience it). Walking one of the great local courses will give you an indication of just what you might be in for at Hazeltine. Just be on the lookout for that family of golfers whose golfs balls may stray to the wrong fairway on occasion.