Minnesota – The Land of 1000 Lakes – is certain to provide all the thrills of one of the world’s greatest and most watched team sports events this autumn, but the jewel cities of this Mid Western state have so much else to discover.
The Ryder Cup
Hazeltine. Image courtesy of Twin Cities Golf
This year the 12-strong European team, captained by Ryder legend Darren Clarke, is aiming for a record fourth win at Minnesota’s national golf club at Hazeltine, and with US captain Davis Love’s less than ideal wild card options Clarke and his team’s dream might become a reality.
The biennial Cup, formally established in 1927, will this year run until October 2nd, with 5 match-play sessions over 3 days determining whether Europe or the USA take the cup.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, the 7,628 yard 72 par course at Hazeltine is set over rolling hills, mature woods, striking lakes and expansive prairies, and features a long and demanding layout with narrow fairways and small greens. Half of the 18 holes feature water hazards with the 16th hole particularly spectacular to watch with a tee shot measuring 220 yards over Lake Hazeltine.
Opened in 1962, Hazeltine’s reputation among other “young” golf clubs has grown to eclipse its peers, confirmed this year with its hosting of the most prestigious of international golf team events.
Apart from showcasing Minnesota’s natural beauty, Hazeltine offers much more for visitors to this year’s event with Minnesota’s twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul just 20 minutes away. The two cities have quite unique identities, each with a distinct look and feel that belies their close proximity.
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Things to do in Minnesota
Explore the art scene
Your dog by Nara Yoshitomo courtesty of Minneapolis Insitute of Art
Amongst Minneapolis’s towers is a thriving art scene, from the Minneapolis Institute of Art which spans 5,000 years with its 80,000 plus works of art, to the Walker Art Center, established the same year as the Ryder Cup in 1927 but more recently brought to the international architectural stage with redevelopment by world-renowned Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.
Architectural splendour also abounds in another of Minneapolis’s finest museums, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, with its American modern art collection – including works by Warhol, O’Keeffe and Lichtenstein plus an impressive ceramics collection – housed in a stunning avant-garde building by Frank Gehry.
Visit Saint Paul
St. Paul Skyline, Minnesota
From the high-rises and large art institutions of Minneapolis visit its twin city Saint Paul with its more European feel and quaint neighbourhoods featuring excellently preserved Victorian architecture – including the wonderful Summit Avenue, the longest stretch of intact Victorian architecture in the United States and where F. Scott Fitzgerald once made his home.
Saint Paul’s varied performing arts scene is also a must, including the legendary Fitzgerald Theater and the Ordway Theater with the symphony, opera and Broadway shows sharing the stage.
The Bachelor Farmer
Toffee semifreddo cake with chocolate and almond meringue. Image courtesy of The Bachelor Farmer
Once you have embraced nature and the arts be sure to enjoy an evening in Minneapolis’s vibrant warehouse district, including a meal at The Bachelor Farmer, named one of the most notable neo-Nordic restaurants in the world by GQ and The New York Times.
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