Great Places to Play Fall Golf in Minnesota
It’s been said many times that during the fall in Minnesota, golf courses are in the best shape they have been all season. The conditioning is incredible and the greens are often perfect. But that isn’t the only reason to hit the links as summer turns to autumn. The tapestry of fall colors throughout the Minnesota countryside is breathtaking.
The leaves are turning, so it’s no time to put away the clubs. Rather put the clubs in the car and hit the road for some of the best courses to enjoy a round of golf amongst the fall beauty throughout the state. Here’s a short itinerary for catching the show–start up north, as the colors change there first and then head south.
The northern triumvirate of Jeffery Brauer-designed courses know as the Minnesota Golf Trilogy, is a good place to begin. Texas architect Brauer came north to the iron range cities of Biwabik and Tower and carved three courses out of the beautiful northern woods: The Legend at Giants Ridge, The Quarry at Giants Ridge and Wilderness at Fortune Bay.
The colorful birch and aspen trees accentuate the plentiful pine trees, and the course elevation changes make for some great vistas. Don’t miss the gorgeous par three 17th hole of The Legend course, which borders Lake Sabin. The tee box has been the locale of an eagle’s nest above in the trees and numerous engagement dinners, photo shoots and even a wedding with the colorful leaves reflecting in the clear blue water.
After playing those three courses, head south a ways to the central lakes region where some of the best golf in the state is awaiting in its autumnal surroundings. Like impeccable green ribbons winding through multi-colored garments, the fairways of the courses at Madden’s on Gull Lake, Grandview Lodge and Golden Eagle provide a feast for the eyes.
You can view the brilliant leaves from the water aboard a lodge pontoon or boat, or just stroll each fairway on your rounds, filling your lungs with crisp scent of fall air in Minnesota. It will calm your senses and slow your heart rate, so you can make that tight approach at the 18th hole at the Classic at Madden’s.
Down in the Twin Cities metro area there are plenty homes and buildings, but you can find a number of courses meandering through beautifully adorned wooded areas. Rush Creek Golf Course is surrounded by plenty of fall colors from the surrounding trees to the greens, browns and golds of the reed-filled marshes throughout.
On the east side of the metro, Prestwick Golf Club’s elevation changes present some great leaf peeping from many decent vistas. Go to The Wilds Golf club in the southern metro for more of the same, where a 150-foot elevation on the 10th tee provides a gorgeous panorama of the Prior Lake countryside in fall transition.
Before the fall leave/golf season is gone, head south where the golf is excellent and the fall colors are spectacular. It’s a short trip to The Legends Club on the border of Prior Lake and Lakeville, and even the drive there can offer great fall viewing. Located in woods and marshland, The Legends Club may make you choose between being focused on golf or enjoying the view.
Willinger’s Golf Club in Northfield features tight fairways winding through hills and deep woods and grand open areas to take in a larger view of the area’s majesty.
Finally, you’ll want to experience a Minnesota fall in bluff country, where the leave show goes on forever. The Jewel Golf Club in Lake City captures the rugged area of the towering bluffs dressed up for the season. The golf is challenging, but you won’t mind if you didn’t bring your A-game, because the surrounding tree-filled bluffs always bring theirs in the fall, and that is what you will remember.
Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of Minnesota golf courses and resorts as international travel destinations. Our member facilities feature award-winning, championship golf courses and are geographically disbursed across the great state of Minnesota. The combination of exceptional quality and outstanding value make Minnesota one of the best golf destinations in the United States.