Destination weddings are all the rage. Young couples race all over the world to find the perfect setting in which to take their vows for a lifetime. But all the globe trekking for the perfect locale may not be necessary. You can find a great place for your big day right here in Minnesota — at a Minnesota golf course wedding venue.
Many of the golf courses of the EMGA host weddings. The brilliant greens of the fairways appointed by beautiful trees and shimmering waters provide a great wedding setting even before the decorations are set up. And since the courses are right here in Minnesota, more of your intended guests can make the drive to attend.
There aren’t any oceans near the state of Minnesota, but we are known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” so a good view of the water is easy to find when playing golf here. There is something calming about hitting a high approach and watching it descend to the green earth with a view of beautiful blue water as a backdrop. So if you are in the mood for some lakeside golf, your search starts in Minnesota, the land of “sky blue waters.”
From the stunning (there is plenty of private and public golf in Duluth with fantastic views of Lake Superior) to the sublime (holes constructed amidst or surrounded by one of the state’s 10,000 water hazards), Minnesota has a lot of lakeside golf.
Here are a few of the most memorable places to play on your next trip here.
- Giants Ridge in Biwabik — Hole No. 17 of The Legend course is likely the most famous water hole in the state. The beautiful setting on the shores of Lake Sabin is tranquil until you have to pull the trigger on a long iron across a corner of it. The setting is home to abundant wildlife and has hosted engagement dinners, photo shoots, and even weddings; and you will long remember your tee shot there — especially if it is a good one.
- Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee — Lake O’Dowd is hard by holes 8 and 9 at Stonebrooke. The back tees of the par 3 8th require a nervy shot over the water as waverunners race by on the left. And it’s just a few steps to the tee of No. 9, where you need 180-190 yards to cross the lake and have a decent shot from the fairway to the green. Whether you make landfall or splash down, there is a short ferry ride over to the other side with some genial conversation with the ferry driver, who has cold beverages for sale on board.
- Gull Lake in Brainerd — You can find three big names of Minnesota golf in the Brainerd area of the Central Lakes region. Grand View Lodge, Madden’s on Gull Lake, and Cragun’s Resort are all located on beautiful Gull Lake, and together these three resorts provide 144 holes of magnificent and gorgeous lakeside golf. Play at any one and find a challenge for all levels of golfer in your group and countless activities and amenities that make lakeside golf the excellent excursion it is.
Minnesotans love to go up north. That phrase “up north” conjures all kinds of images of relaxation, excitement, and adventure. We have great golf, beautiful deep woods and lakes, ranging from the western border to Lake Superior, and plenty of activities to help put together a memorable northern Minnesota vacation.
Here is a handy checklist to help plan the perfect trip “up north.”
- A good portion of northern Minnesota is known as the Iron Range, because it has been the source of iron ore for steel mills to ship off in the Great Lakes to the eastern United States. The countryside still has the scars from deep pit mining of decades past and the Iron Range Research Center in Chisholm, Minn., is the place to start if you want to learn about the history of the region.
Northern Minnesota has great golf. That is well-known to the many golfers in this state and even to some who travel here. Courses at such resorts as Madden’s, Grand View Lodge, and Giants Ridge have hosted golfers for years to great success. But if you are looking for something just off the beaten path, there are other northern Minnesota resort options that offer great golf and are well-worth checking out.
To begin with, golf in northern Minnesota provides some of the best golf vacation opportunities you can find. Whether it is the quiet beauty of the northern woods or unsurpassed challenge on courses with conditioning found at the highest-end courses around the country, northern Minnesota will roll out the bright, “green carpet” for your next visit.
Here are a handful of resorts to add to your must-visit list.
Black Bear Golf Course in Carleton, Minn., is just down the road from Duluth and the land of Lake Gitchegumee, where Minnesota vacations abound. The golf course at Black Bear is a scenic walk through the northern Minnesota woods, and with tees from 5,072 yards to 6,560 (for which the slope is 138), there is a challenge for every level of golfer. You will remember the beauty of Black Bear (and its bear paw shaped sand trap) when you are relaxing at Black Bear Casino Resort after your round.
The summers in Minnesota are glorious for golfers, and often gone too soon. But the falls are fantastic in the state and no time to put your clubs into hibernation. In many cases, fall is the prime time to play in the area, and you can find the best public golf courses in Minnesota wide open and waiting for you to tee it up.
Minnesota and Wisconsin have long shared a contentious border thanks to pro football and the close proximity of the Twin Cities. But in golf, it becomes an advantageous border, as so many great golf courses are a close drive for Wisconsinites or those out-of-staters visiting nearby Wisconsin Lake Country. No matter where you are near the Wisconsin border – north, south, or central – you can find a top-drawer course to your liking easily within driving distance. If you have time to venture further west into the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, there are plenty more, but here’s a quick list of top Minnesota golf courses close to Wisconsin that won’t take a big bite out of your gasoline budget.