Ryder Cup 2016 – Preview

A Hankering for Hazeltine

Written by Craig Young


It’s just 3 weeks until the 41st renewal of everyone’s favourite biennial golf competition, and as we are so close to things kicking off, it’s time to take a look at the course, the teams and who we think will win. The 2016 renewal of the greatest competition in the world takes us to Chaska, Minnesota, and to one of the states premier sites for championship golf. This will be the first time Hazeltine has been awarded the privilege of hosting the Ryder Cup, and we are excited to see what this wonderful course has to offer for the highest quality match play.


The Course


The picturesque setting for the 2016 Ryder Cup.


Important holes that could decide the outcome.

Hole 5


Hole 5 is a fascinating short Par 4 that could really separate the men from the boys.. With the addition of a new cross bunker short of the tiny green that increases the risk/reward factor of attacking the pin, this hole that looks easy on paper could be the first of the 18 holes to regularly claim victims and give players from either team an early lead.

Hole 7


Hole 7 is a par four that was described by the great Johnny Miller as the hardest he has ever played. Players drive over Hazeltine lake and need to keep the ball short of the creek situated on the left and away from the rough on the right. Hole placements on the right side of the green can make the approach dangerous, with the lake coming back into play. Combined with a narrow green, this hole required precise drives and approach shots, with players being heavily punished for inaccuracy.

Hole 16


Hole 16 is the shortest par-5 on the course, it can be hit in two by players who are brave enough, but the pond located on the left of the approach means that there is a small margin for error and sometimes laying up can be a safer bet, but when you are fighting for your teams pride, who wants to do that?

Hole 17


A short par 3 with a tiny green circled by water and bunkers, braver players who attempt to birdie this whole are often punished, whilst players who have won here at Hazlentine usually par this hole. However, this is the Ryder Cup, and with everything on the line, the penultimate hole could be where the cup is won or lost.

Golf fans worldwide will agree that it’s a shame neither Tiger Woods or Ian Poulter are playing in this years renewal, however they will both play important roles in their teams challenge to take home the cup. Along with the captains and other Vice-Captains, both teams have an experienced leadership team that will play an important role in guiding their teams to victory. Captains Davis Love II and Darren Clarke are veterans of 11 Ryder Cups between them, and are both experiencing their first time as captains of their respective teams, this experience combined with a great supporting team of vice-captains, means that both teams have a great leadership infrastructure in place to guide their teams to victory. This experienced team of captains may be particularly important for team Europe who have 5 rookies in Willetts, Woods, Cabrera-Bello, Sullivan and Fitzpatrick, however the likes of Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose bring enough experience to help guide the rookies through the pressure of a first Ryder Cup. USA also boasts an incredibly experienced captaincy team with Love III, Fury, Lehman and Woods bringing unparalleled Ryder Cup experience. Furthermore, their team contains only one rookie in Brooks Koepka, with all other players having previous experience. If we take a look at the players, Dustin Johnson is having the best season of his career, Patrick Reed who electrified fans in 2014 has hit form at the right time with a recent win at the Barclays Championship and Jordan Spieth, who has had a quiet season picking up 2 victories, needs to prove that he can consistently perform under pressure.




This years renewal is a tough one to call. Team USA are strong favourites with most bookmakers, probably due to the experience and strength in depth of their team, compared to the less experienced Team Europe containing 5 rookies. The home advantage will surely play a part in the outcome of the cup, however Europe should never be ruled out, having won 8 of the last 10 renewals of the greatest matchplay tournament in the world.The rookies of team Europe will be hungry to prove themselves on the biggest stage, and with that kind of motivation, players will take risks that could lead to long term glory or short term shame. However team USA have not won the cup since 2008, will be equally as hungry, and combined with players who are arguably in better form plus a home crowd who will be incredibly passionate, I reluctantly predict that USA will take home the cup.


General FAQs

  • Who are Golf South West?

    Founded in 2015, we are the West Country golf travel specialists. We provide our clients with bespoke golf tours and stay & play golf packages for small groups and golf societies alike.

    We are both a domestic golf tour operator working directly for our clients and regional golf DMC who act as an agent for international outbound operators hoping to have their clients experience the beautiful West Country and it’s golfing delights!

    We work closely with our venues to ensure our customers receive the best value available for golf travel within the West Country.

    Our expert team are on hand to ensure you receive the very best service, choice and advice when planning your next golf break. We are proud to announce our nomination for Best Inbound Golf Tour Operator for England at the 2022 World Golf Awards.

  • Which regions are covered by Golf South West?

    Golf South West is the West Country’s premier golf tour operator covering the regions of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Dorset.

    We also work with selected, popular golf resorts across the UK including those under the management of Marriott, plus 4 time Ryder Cup host The Belfry, Celtic Manor and many more.

    If you are planning a golf break, we are the only call you need to make.

  • What is the best way to get in touch?

    We are available by phone 0117 256 5966 (Monday – Friday, 9am to 5pm), WhatsApp, email, enquiry form or via social media channels.

  • Why choose Golf South West as your tour operator?

    GSW is run by golfers and endorsed by golf professionals across the South West of the UK.

    We are a fully insured, experienced and recommended golf tour operator, who are backed by Protected Trust Services, meaning your booking is secured and safe. We offer tours to an exclusive and unrivalled selection of venues across the South West of England and Wales, including some courses which can be tricky to access. We are also proud members of Golf Tourism England and IAGTO, who only work with only the best and most reputable companies in the industry.

    You can rest assured that as a client of Golf South West you will not only receive the best service, advice and choice, but you will also find the best value golf breaks in available in Cornwall, Devon, Bristol, Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire and many more!

  • What is Protected Trust Services?

    Protected Trust Services Limited (PTS) provides security for client and consumer funds through market-leading software and innovative management. PTS prides itself on customer service, flexible thinking and cost-effective solutions for its members.

    PTS offers a unique and comprehensive solution for businesses to trade through a secure trust account using a performance-enhancing software system developed by PTS.

    Protected Trust Services guarantee 100% financial protection to the consumer, ensuring total consumer confidence.

    Any bookings made via Golf South West Ltd from the 1st July 2021 are protected under the PTS Trust. Bookings made before this date will continue to be processed through our original system. If you have booked with us before, please ensure you have the up-to-date bank details to make your payments. If you are unsure, please speak to your Golf South West representative.

    View the PTS brochure for more information on the protection this affords you as a client of Golf South West.

  • How do GSW keep money safe?

    We are extremely proud of the service we provide and a large part of this is ensuring our client’s money is safe. Our practices comply with the 2018 package travel directive meaning that your money is safe with both ourselves and the venues your choose to visit.

    The money for your golf break is paid into a trust account run by an independent partner, so you have peace of mind that no matter what happens, your money is being looked after.

  • What happens if we can’t go on our planned trip?

    Deposits are non-refundable, but they are transferable to a new date or break. We aim to be as flexible as possible and will treat each situation on a case by case basis.

  • Can we make changes to our break?

    Managing a group can be a thankless task and changes to the group leading up to your break are an accepted element. We make changes as stress free as possible (just see our reviews for evidence of this!). Changes can be made up to 6 weeks prior to your break. Some changes are unavoidable so for legitimate reasons we will endeavour to make last minute changes after this period, but as we would have paid our venues at this point, this would be at the discretion of the venue(s) you are visiting.

  • Why book with a tour operator?

    Good question, could you not do this all yourself? The answer is yes you could. You are able to locate the ideal hotel with the accessibility you need to the clubs you plan to play. You could go back and forth with your target venues and line up the tee times.  You could also contact each venue individually to advise them of group number changes and requests during the build up to your trip.

    Alternatively you could;

    – Talk to us about the trip you are planning.

    – Receive quotes for perfectly crafted package meeting your ideal requirements.

    – Secure the booking with small deposits staged in a way to make your life easier as an organiser.

    – Have your funds fully insured and independently held by PTS, our client trust provider.

    – Have changes made to whole tours with just one call or email.

    – Receive exclusive extras such as free places.

    – Pay less with our packages than going direct to venues.

    Why can we do this?

    Quite simply we have spent years (since 2015) forging strong relationships with hotel, golf club and golf resort venues across the South West. We are the expert tour operator for the region and are know for our high quality and personal service to our clients (just see our Google and TrustPilot reviews).

  • Who uses Golf South West?

    The majority of our clients are UK based domestic travellers. We deal with groups of any size, from single travellers and couples, to large golf societies.

    We also are the favoured golf DMC for the South West of England and preferred regional partner of Golf Tourism England. We regularly work with tour operators from Europe, America and elsewhere to provide bespoke tour packages allowing overseas travellers to experience the beautiful West Country.

  • How are package prices displayed on our website?

    Prices on our our website are displayed in two ways. The first is on our Resort pages where pricing tables show the from prices for low, mid and high season golf stay and play package rates at golf resort venues.

    The second is on our example tour package pages. There are often 4 prices shown here, two for low season and two for high season. The struck through price typically shows the highest price the tour can be and is often active over weekends in that season. The offer price is typically a mid week price.

    Every tour quote we offer is bespoke and will vary based on a number of factors including the date, availability, group size, room type, time of day for the tee time, etc… Our package pricing is a guide to the cost of the package and is not a firm price. Please enquire for an exact cost.

    We aim to provide as accurate a price as possible and therefore try to avoid using shoulder/mid season pricing or twilight green fee rates when displaying rates. You may find an intermediate price for breaks in months of April & October at certain venues.

  • Why are golf resort prices the same as elsewhere?

    Put simply, all tour operators work from the same contracted rate card when it comes to stay and play golf resort packages. When it comes to golf tours, that is a different matter, but golf resorts are a level playing field.

    If you find a vastly different price, it’s likely you’ve been misquoted and usually this does come back to bite.

    The question this poses is why book a stay and play golf break with Golf South West if you can book direct or with one of the large operators and receive the same price?

    Benjamin Franklin once said “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after
    the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

    We have a small team so booking through us means you receive a personal service. You are more than just a number to us, we are a tour operator where you will likely get to deal with the same contact throughout the process, who will get to know you and your group and respond efficiently to your queries.

    We know our venues and the people who work there. This ensures a smooth process from initial enquiry to the end of your stay.

    Financially you have an extra layer of protection as your money is securely stored in an independent trust account and is fully insured when it is released to the venue(s) you are visiting.

    We are fortunate to have some exclusive “extras” with selected venues across the South West. Offer 1 in 16 free on every trip AND run an exclusive voucher scheme for our stay and play client bookings.

    We often feel we add further value to our clients when it comes to our bespoke golf tour packages, but you can rest assured that when making a stay and play golf resort booking, Golf South West will offer you an extremely high level of service, financial protection and may even offer you a saving or an exclusive extra!

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