It’s not news that golf courses are getting longer. With the constant improvements in golf equipment technology (that generally result in players hitting the ball further than ever before), golf courses which have been built or renovated in the past couple decades or so have some pretty long holes so they can keep up. That includes courses here in Minnesota. So, here’s a look at some of the longest holes in the state and some hints on how to play them.
No matter how much we all love golf, it takes time. Sometimes, too much time to fit in a full round. Whether you have to work late, worry that the sun is setting earlier each day, or that your weekend schedule doesn’t have a six-hour opening to drive to your favorite course and play a full 18 – we have a solution. Playing nine holes can be just as satisfying—it’s the same game, after all—and you can even post it for handicap purposes. It can be especially rewarding when you look around the Twin Cities and see all the great courses—and great holes—that you can play in a short, nine-hole round.
Whether you’re squeezing in a round before watching fireworks, or hitting the course during your 4th of July vacation, golfing on Independence Day is as American as, well, an eagle – not to mention a birdie or par. For many of us, golf really is a 4th of July tradition, and with the holiday falling on a Saturday this year, our members are making it easier than ever to get out on the course. You can always check our Special Offers page for a complete listing of specials, however, here are some of the best golf deals and golf highlights in Minnesota this Fourth of July.
Water on golf courses provides plenty of beauty. The calming ripples of a crystal blue lake or the rushing sound of an active stream give golfers pause to remember they are in the beautiful outdoors of Minnesota. Then they have to pull a club, and all serenity flows away like a raging river. Beautiful and challenging – such is the fate that awaits golfers at five of Minnesota’s most memorable water holes.
With two excellent Jeffrey Bauer courses, The Legend and The Quarry, Giants Ridge has long been on most Minnesota golfers’ must-play lists. Giants Ridge head professional John Kendall has been at the resort in Biwabik for 16 years, and has helped it grow into one of the top courses in the country. We talked with Kendall recently, and asked him five questions about those great northern Minnesota tracks.
Q: What makes The Quarry a consistent Top Public Golf Course in America?
A: More than anything, I think that the variety of holes golfers play at The Quarry is the reason it has been so well received. Jeffrey Brauer used the elevation changes on the property to create some memorable views and gave the course a look that you wouldn’t expect from northeast Minnesota. The par 3s and par 5s at The Quarry are all great, but for me, the par 4s really stand out. I’ve never played a course with as good a mix of outstanding short and long par 4s that are not only challenging to play but are also as picturesque as they are.
Q: How is The Quarry different from The Legend? Do they appeal to the same or different kinds of golfers?
Winter’s Over And So Is The Need For Winter Rules
Minnesota is known for its winters—sometimes long, occasionally harsh, and certainly snowy. But the people here are used to it and prepared for it—just like they are prepared for any adverse conditions, especially on the golf course. This year we’re experiencing great conditions for early spring golf— which means most courses won’t need any “winter rules” because the courses are ready to go.
What Are Winter Rules?
In the previous two years, local golf courses have suffered through two late, wet and cold springs, and some clubs (particularly last season) employed the Preferred Lies or Winter Rules procedure, which falls under Local Rules in the Rules of Golf book. The procedure calls for the following:
“Adverse conditions, including the poor condition of the course or the existence of mud, are sometimes so general, particularly during winter months, that the Committee may decide to grant relief by temporary Local Rule either to protect the course or to promote fair and pleasant play. The Local Rule should be withdrawn as soon as the conditions warrant.”
How Early the Golf Season Actually Opens In Minnesota
Minnesota is known for our long, cold winters. But we also have some of the most beautiful golf courses in the country – not to
mention some of the most passionate golfers. In fact, Minnesota leads the nation in golfers per capita, meaning there’s plenty of pressure to get those courses open for the season. Still, you may be surprised by just how early the golf season actually opens here in Minnesota.
Granted, we had a milder winter than usual, but most of the courses in the Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance were already open by the middle of April.
You may need to pack a sweater and some rain gear for your first rounds of the spring, but that never stopped anybody from golfing in Scotland. And once our weather warms up, golf in Minnesota is absolutely glorious. So click the links below and schedule a round or two.
Enjoy the season!