I haven’t had much desire to write lately, but lots of cool stuff happened last weekend that deserves at least a passing mention…
First off, we went to see the “naked Japanese dudes” at the Walker Art Center. Eiko and Koma’s Gallery 2 exhibit was truly unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. Eerie, reflective, damp and intimate, it really needs to be seen in person to fully appreciate it. Closes November 30, so move fast.
Second, I took a guided tour of the new clubhouse at Hazeltine National in Chaska last Saturday. I unfortunately didn’t take any photos and it appears that their website doesn’t have any yet either, so you’ll just have to take my word that the inside is just beautiful. I wasn’t wild about the exterior design during construction, but I think overall it turned out very nice (and it’s very unique – very Hazeltine). A few notes:
- The new building sits higher and closer to the ninth and eighteenth greens, so the views towards the course are spectacular.
- Wood beams from the old building were used throughout the new structure, giving it a nice historical (and green) storyline.
- The old putting green is gone, replaced by two new ones: a small one near the first tee and a much larger one located at the site of the old practice bunker.
- The driving range was rebuilt with a mock fairway that contains six target greens (three on each side).
- A new indoor practice area is being built in the basement that will include a 9,000-square-foot putting green, a Ping room with launch monitors and video analysis and a simulator bay that will allow play on a virtual Hazeltine.
- The locker rooms are beautiful – sloped roof with lots of windows opening towards the course, light wood lockers with vertical lines and understated handles with engraved member names, large shower heads and nice sitting areas. There is a row of lockers for past Hazeltine champions (Payne Stewart, Rich Beem, Y.E. Yang, etc.) and I felt the mens locker room had a very Zen rock garden feel to it (and a little Frank Lloyd Wright too).
- Like at Augusta, there is a mini “Crow’s Nest” at the top of the clubhouse accessed via a spiral staircase, but I didn’t get to see this.
- The new pro shop seemed smaller to me than the old one, but it reportedly has more display space.
- I loved all of the photos, paintings and historical items displayed throughout the facility, which included original drawings by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and a lot of USGA and PGA memorabilia.
All of the on-course upgrades were completed before the snow hit, so the course is currently on schedule to re-open in June. The new grass took so well, in fact, that the grounds crew actually mowed on November 1 before placing the winter covers.
Finally, we took the kids to see the animated feature My Dog Tulip at the Edina Cinema. In hindsight, I’m not really sure that it’s an appropriate movie for younger children, but it was very cute. Based on the book by J.R. Ackerley, it starts with a great quote:
Unable to love each other, the English naturally turn to dogs
Lots of good English humour scattered throughout, it definitely merits a viewing when it hits Netflix – especially if you are a dog person.
OK, back to radio silence…Originally published by DK on November 22, 2010 at 9:35 pm