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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Fairways & Greens
August 18, 2017

Hayward Golf Club - The Area's First Course Is A Must Play
Hayward Golf Club #8
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Hayward Golf Club #8
Hayward Golf Club #14
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Hayward Golf Club #14
By Will Brogan


Hayward Golf Club (formerly Hayward Golf and Tennis) may be the most well maintained golf course that isn't an annual PGA TOUR stop. Opened in 1924, "Golf and Tennis" (as the locals call it) was the first golf course in the Hayward area. Both the course and the staff are highly decorated and have received ample praise for several decades of quality golf.

The Golf Course
Course Superintendent Greg Dobbs and his staff do such a fine job of manicuring fairways and closely mowing greens that their impeccable maintenance is indeed the defining aspect of the golf course. 6,718 yards provide a solid test, and while there are plenty of obstacles, most tee shots can still be found (and played). Though there are multiple dogleg rights, a majority of the holes are best played with a right-to-left ball flight. In fact, a right hander's draw off the tee should set up prime scoring opportunities on half of Hayward Golf Club's holes! Not a right-to-left kind of golfer? No worries, there's plenty of room to fade the ball on just about every tee shot as well.

Dobbs and his crew have done a marvelous job getting the course in prime condition so early in the season. Their work is best exemplified on the greens, which are fairly firm and quite fast, especially for springtime in the Upper Midwest. The course's greens as a whole come in a mixture of shapes and sizes, but there are a few on the back nine that are shaped very much like shoeprints! Hayward Golf Club provides half a dozen pin placements to keep even the most seasoned members on their toes.

The four par 5s are among the most exciting holes on the course, as they are all reasonably reachable in two well-struck (and well placed) shots. Other than some rough to negotiate on the two back nine par 5s, golfers are provided open access to try to set up an eagle opportunity at each one. In order to have a considerable chance to attack these par 5s, be sure to be playing from one of the four tee boxes that's best suited for your game.

The ninth hole, a 531 yard par 5, is home to a "beach bunker" that is aesthetically pleasing and also a mainstay on many of the courses designed by a fairly famous name in golf, Arnold Palmer. Speaking of both water and sand, only four holes are challenged by water hazards, but nearly four-dozen bunkers stand ready to challenge shots that miss their targets.

The neatest hole on the course is the 16th, a 290-yard par 4 from the longest tee box. A myriad of options await golfers, all with the potential to offer a birdie opportunity or better. Shorter hitters will be presented with a relatively wide open tee shot that, with good execution, will allow just a short wedge into a receptive green. Medium length hitters can cast a baby draw around the pine trees on the left to set up a simple pitch shot. The most exciting option is the best risk/reward gamble you'll find at Hayward Golf Club; going for the green. There are two options to try to "go for it all" on the sixteenth. First, the most talented drivers can hit a sweeping (right-handed) draw around the dogleg left to open up easy access to the green. Those who prefer to go long and straight will get the chance to do so as well, though tall pine trees and a well-placed greenside bunker are ready to steal a shot that is even slightly miss-hit. With out-of-bounds just to the left of this hole as well, it is fully charged with plenty of both danger and opportunity, but isn't that what makes a great golf hole?

"Caddyshak" Bar and Grill and Club Staff
The in-house dining at Hayward Golf Club is the Caddyshak Bar and Grill, which is a full service eatery that is open to the public. Seating up to 150 guests for an assortment of occasions, Caddyshak is open all seven days of the week.

The teaching staff is noteworthy at Hayward Golf Club as well. Head Teaching Professional Dave Blake was a selection for the "Guide to America's Top Golf Professionals" in 2003, as well as a former president of the Wisconsin High School Golf Coaches Association. He has also been the Head Golf Coach at Hayward High School for the last quarter century! Tom Puls has been on staff as a teaching professional since 2001, and the very helpful Ben Kanters is presently doing his PGA Apprenticeship. All are available to provide solid (and inexpensive) lessons at the club's large practice facility to help you improve your game.

When planning your trip to Hayward, it is essential to play the area's original golf course. Who knows, you might even cash in on one of those aforementioned eagle opportunities.







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