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How to Plan for Ryder Cup Weather

How to Plan for Ryder Cup WeatherThe 2016 Ryder Cup comes to Minnesota in (very) late September. That may have some of the planners of the event shivering in fear over what the weather might bring. But for golf fans coming to Hazeltine National Golf Club to enjoy the event, it just takes a little preparation and foreknowledge to plan for Ryder Cup weather in Minnesota — and we have that here.

What is fall golf like in Minnesota?

Every fall, my extended family has a golf outing on the last weekend in September (planned for then because we are a group with varying degrees of golf skills and don’t want to clog up courses during peak summer play), and honestly we have a seen a wide range of weather over the years — including snow pellets shaped like tiny golf balls on one occasion. But in general, we have experienced golf in, arguably, some of the finest weather of the season.

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A Checklist for the Perfect Northern Minnesota Vacation

Perfect Northern Minnesota VacationMinnesotans 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.
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Subtleties of Golf Course Etiquette: Some Mistakes You Might Be Making

Walking golf course

In golf, you don’t hit, body check, kick a ball at or even tag out your opponent. The game of golf calls for no physical contact between combatants, whatsoever, other than the occasional high-five when your opponent gets a hole-in-one. It’s a more genteel game, and in addition to its rules, golf has a section in the rule book on “Etiquette: Behavior on the Course.” So, here’s a look at some written and unwritten rules of golf etiquette you may not know that you’re breaking.

A golfer is not penalized for breaking rules of etiquette, since they aren’t actually rules (although consistent breaches can result in the completion committee disqualifying someone). Rather, they are more just ways of playing the game that are agreed upon by most golfers and are designed to help players to “gain maximum enjoyment out of the game,” says the Rules of Golf  book. “The overriding principle is that consideration should be shown to others on the course at all times.”

That said, if you play the game as if no one else exists on the course and only your game matters, you won’t likely be asked back for another round at the member-guest of that excellent and exclusive country club. You can play the game without worrying about the other folks on the course, or you can take a look at few generally accepted rules of etiquette.

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You’ll Love These Golf Courses for Kids in Minnesota

Casual kids at a golf field holding golf clubs. Sunset

A number of years ago, when my kids were younger, my wife and I took the family on a Minnesota golf vacation. The golf, admittedly was more for me since I was alone in wanting to play for three days, but we didn’t have a lot of other activities for the kids to do — and there was much unhappiness. But that has changed. A lot. Now there are Minnesota golf resorts with amenities and activities for the entire family. No longer does golf vacation translate into golf “man-cation” that’s only fun for dad.

Minnesota golf resorts are just simply great vacation destinations. Many of them start with great golf and then surround it with top-notch lodging, excellent fine-dining (and family restaurants), and plenty of attractions on the property or in close proximity. The resorts have figured out that appealing to the entire family gets more people to their resorts for longer stays, and when you satisfy and exceed expectations for everyone in the group (especially the younger people), the chances increase mightily for a return visit.

Here are some great golf courses for kids for a family-friendly golf vacation in Minnesota:

Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, Minn., is a great place for the family. The golf is fit for everyone from the par 35 nine-hole course called The Garden, to the 27 championship holes of The Pines, and 18 more down the road at the recently-renovated Preserve.

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Pick These Northern Minnesota Resorts for Your Golf Vacation

Golf course action and players hitting the greens

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.

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The Best Minnesota Golf Courses for Early Spring

Playing golf, ball on tee and golf club about to shot. Vintage, retro style

It’s early April in Minnesota and the golf courses are in full bloom. That is, there are plenty already open with golfers walking the slowly greening fairways. After a mild winter and an early spring (some tracks were open in early March), we are experiencing another early spring for Minnesota golf courses.

Call it global warming, El Nina or El Nino or whatever you want, but I’m calling it glorious. The weather has cooperated and so have the golf courses, so I am planning to get out there as soon as possible. Here are a few courses that would be worthwhile checking out for an early spring round.

Some of the courses in northern Minnesota may not be open yet, as the conditions for golf ripen a little later every season, but there are plenty of options in the Twin Cities to get you back in the “swing” of things. The Minnesota Golf Association’s website has up-to-the-minute openings, so check to see when your favorite course is ready for play. But in the meantime, here are some great courses awaiting your next tee ball.

Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee was one of the early openers this season, allowing golfers to tee it up on March 6. The weather is warm enough now so you won’t need an extra layer for that ferry ride across Lake O’Dowd after your tee shot on No. 8.

Braemar Golf Course in Edina has opened their regulation course for play this season (on March 9), but the driving range won’t open until April 15, according to the MGA.

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