Men’s Golf Competes at PGA Level Course

By Alyssa Kranz

It’s not everyday that the Crown Men’s golf team competes on a world-famous golf course.

Yet, that’s exactly what happened on October 10 on a course played by Tiger Woods as Crown competed in an unprecedented round against the Bethel University Royals.

Hazeltine National Golf Club, located just outside the Twin Cities in Chaska, MN, hosted the 2016 Ryder Cup and was selected as the future site of the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the 2020 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, and the 2028 Ryder Cup.

Twenty-four of the best golfers from the U.S. and Europe compete at the Ryder Cup, including Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth. The course features long fairways which require power drives, incredibly accurate chip shots, and precise putts.

When Head Golf Coach Ryan Doheny initially told the team there was a chance they could compete at Hazeltine, they were ecstatic.

“It’s something we were looking forward to the whole season, that’s for sure,” says Logan Brunsting, a freshman Youth and Family Ministry major from Iowa. “I have watched multiple golf tournaments growing up, and I always wanted to know how I would do on a PGA-level course.”

Touring the clubhouse and learning its history, and all that happens when the Ryder Cup comes to town, was a highlight to their day.

The course at Hazeltine differs greatly from those where the team normally competes.

“Championship-level golf courses have a few things in common,” says Austin Coyne, a senior majoring in Sport Management. “They are really long, have tough green complexes, and have tight fairways. They all have lots of history behind them.” He knows this through his experience of playing championship style golf courses throughout the country.

Dreaming of playing at Hazeltine since he was a freshman at Crown, Coyne felt honored to close out his senior season in such a memorable way.

When asked about the difficulty of the course, all members of the team kept a positive attitude. “It seems intimidating at first because it is a PGA-level course, but I think we’ll be just fine,” says Brunsting before teeing off on the first hole.

The team finished in seventh place overall for the season and Coyne shot an 84 against the Royals, taking 2nd place for the day — a great round to end the season.

“We are so grateful to have the chance to come out and compete for each other, and for the Lord,” said Coach Doheny. “I am proud of how our team battled through difficult conditions and carried themselves because Hazeltine is an incredible challenge, even for the professionals.”