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Five Questions with Giants Ridge Pro John Kendall

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.Close up view of golf ball on tee on golf course

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?

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Going Green by Using Less Water

Sprinkler watering in golf course“Brown Is The New Green”

You don’t have to look far to discover that the country (and world) are experiencing a water shortage. Simply Google the term water shortage and stories of water issues pop up from all over the globe. The golf industry has always been a major water user, so they have moved to the forefront of dealing with the issues. And in Minnesota, golf superintendents are developing and implementing all kinds of ways to decrease water usage.

A Proud History of Sustainability

Unbeknownst to some, golf course superintendents have long been stewards of the environment. Whether the issue is chemical inputs, green spaces, Audubon sanctuaries or many other issues related to maintaining golf courses as environmentally sound areas, superintendents are generally working to improve the impact of their course on nature.

The latest issue to confront superintendents is water usage, as the country is facing water shortage issues that are heading, in some places, toward crisis levels.

Golf courses have met the issue head on. In 2014 at the U.S. Open in Pinehurst, N.C., the viewing public was greeted with slightly startling images of brown areas on the course as the slogan that “brown is the new green” is fast becoming golf’s modus operandi.

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Tips for a Twin Cities Golf Tour, Part 1

Enjoy a tour of Twin Cities golf courses.

The Twin Cities metro area is a mecca for golf. There are more than 100 courses within reasonable driving distance from the Twin Cities, and many of them are excellently conditioned championship tracks. If you were on vacation for an entire summer and were content with doing nothing else, you probably still couldn’t play them all. Therefore, here are some tips for a Twin Cities golf tour—in two parts.Two Male Golfers Riding In Golf Buggy On Golf Course

This first tour covers some of the great courses in the northern part of the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area. There are plenty more than this available, but we will highlight several that you don’t want to miss.

One of the area’s oldest and most popular courses is Braemar Golf Course in Edina. With 36 holes (including an executive par-three course), a huge practice area and an indoor dome, Braemar has been serving golfers since 1964 and doing it well. It’s variety of challenges makes it welcome to all kinds of golfers, and it’s a great place to learn the game. Braemar has been rated among the top 75 public golf courses in the nation by Golf Digest and was named by Golf for Women Magazine as one of its top 100 Women Friendly Courses.

Head west to Chaska to play Chaska Town Course (CTC), which may be the best Twin Cities course you haven’t heard much about. Located about a strong 3-wood from Hazeltine National Golf Club (it’s more famous big brother), CTC has shared duties with Hazeltine when some big golf events come to town. (In 2006 at the U.S. Amateur, Billy Horschel, now a touring pro, set a course USGA record at CTC with a first-round 60.) Though in the shadow of Hazeltine, CTC is no slouch. It has been voted in the top 10 best Golf Courses in Minnesota by Golf Digest and ranked the 23rd Top 100 Municipal Golf Courses in the U.S. by Golf Week.

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