for all of my readers who happen to be golfers/golf fans, i have important news to share.
this week, as you are watching the 91st pga championship on television–especially on the weekend when the announcers begin to praise the subtleties of a classic course like hazeltine, and when 16, 17, and 18 begin to separate the also-rans from the leaders–i want you to know that i, your humble blogger, have played there.
host to the 1991 u.s. open (won by payne stewart) and the 2002 pga (won by rich beem), hazeltine national golf club is in chaska, minnesota, a suburb of minneapolis. when i found out my wife’s stamp convention was scheduled to visit the twin cities in 1999, i immediately began to implement my “play hazeltine or bust” campaign. really, it was as simple as writing the director of golf, bragging on his golf course, and asking if i could play. he wrote back and said they would be glad to accommodate me, and to call when i got to town. he even let me play for free! he hooked me up with a couple (husband and wife) who were members. they loved the course and were familiar with its history. they’d volunteered at all the big events, and regaled me with memorable stories. i played very poorly (88), but it was one of the greatest golf days of my life.
so feel free to envy me. i can’t wait to watch the tournament this weekend on tv. it’s really fun to see a course you’ve played and say, “i remember that shot” and “i hit it in the junk on that hole.” it is an experience i recommend highly.
i can’t wait to tell you about playing pebble beach.