Ryder Cup ends, tear down begins at Hazeltine

The 41st Ryder Cup is over and the teardown process has begun at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn.

More than 250,000 people attended the event throughout the week. Although the tournament was over, Hazeltine still drew an impressive crowd on Monday with many people still riding high following the United States victory over Europe for the first time in eight years.

Much of the crowd was due to fans flocking to the Ryder Cup shop for discounted tournament gear. The 49,000-square foot tent was the largest shop ever built for a PGA tournament and on Monday it was filled to capacity. Some fans said they waited over an hour to get in.

Tournament director Jeff Hintz tried some new things with the Ryder Cup this time around by borrowing from other sports. He and his team tried to create a home game atmosphere and added a pregame feel to the tournament, with music at the first tee. Hintz said both additions are likely to be repeated at the next tournament.

“We heard nothing but positive things about the music,” Hintz said. “For the game of golf to take a step forward and have some, you know, it was fun.”

While the 1 1/2 million square feet of tents and platforms are quicker to come down than they were to go up, it will still be early to mid-December before the debris from the tournament is completely cleared out.

As for the course, it is in great shape. It will be turned back over to club members on Wednesday, after corporate sponsors and event staff try out the tournament they set up.

“It was an experience, it was something I wish more people could have experienced because it'll probably never come back here again,” Hintz said.