Richie Ramsay's four key holes at Hazeltine

Richie Ramsay has a real love affair with Hazeltine, sparked when the Scot won the US Amateur Championship at the Minnesota venue. The Aberdonian returned there for his wedding and even has a Hazeltine head cover in his bag. Here, Ramsay picks out his four key holes for the Ryder Cup.

The 402 yards par 7th hole (which normally plays as the 16th hole. Picture: David Cannon/PGA of America
The 402 yards par 7th hole (which normally plays as the 16th hole. Picture: David Cannon/PGA of America

1st Par 4 442 yards

Luckily it’s quite an easy tee shot - under normal circumstances! It’ll feel considerably more challenging at the start of a Ryder Cup. It’s a slightly elevated reasonably long par 4, your only trouble are bunkers left and right. But they’re quite flat so even if you go in them, it’s probably a six or seven iron into the green. Unlike some parts of the course where it really feels claustrophic and demands a straight tee shot, this one is quite an open hole. A gentle start.

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7th Par 4 402 yards, pictured

The toughest hole on the course. You stand on the tee looking at a huge lake on the right hand side so you generally have a breeze coming at you. The hole doglegs left to right, water frowns all the way down the right hand side and it almost feels like the fairway is on a camber that kicks anything through the fairway off towards a burn on the other side. You can hit an iron off the tee but that leaves a longer shot into the hole - or you can take the risk on with driver to cut some of the corner off and leave a sand wedge into the green.

16th Par 5 572 yards

Great hole with real potential to swing a lot of matches. You have to hit down the right hand side for a good look at the green. Anything left makes the hole longer. If you lay up the third shot is a pitch over the water into a slightly elevated green. It probably favours the big hitters because even if you go long into the back bunker it’s a pretty easy bunker shot. So getting it up there in two, or even over the back makes it easier. This could be a game-changer.

17th Par 3 176 yards

Lovely par 3. Quite short but if the flag is tucked away with bunkers left and water on the right it can be a real challenge. You’ve just got to hit a good shot, there’s no margin for error at all, no bail-out. If you hit a good shot in the heart of the green you’re not going to be left with any more than 15 or 20 feet - but it’s definitely one where the nerves will be jangling as the game comes to a climax and you’re one up or one down.