There is little that gets the competitive juices flowing like an epic golf tournament with your best buds — and you can create one at your favorite local course. Enjoy a little friendly wagering whether it’s cold hard cash or a cold one after the round.
Use Your Handicap to Even the Playing Field
You don’t have to be top-shelf, elite players to enjoy some friendly competition — and you don’t all have to play with the same ability. The game of golf has an excellent handicap system to help you configure strokes for a tournament, and the GHIN Network handicap system, through the Minnesota Golf Association, is the best way to set that up. If you haven’t signed up for a handicap, you can do so here.
Create Games Within the Game
Short of handicaps, there are plenty of ways to even up the post-round wealth redistribution such as skins (everyone has at least one good hole in them), closest to the pin, or longest putt contests (for when you catch lightning in a bottle) and even some games, such as Wolf, where partners rotate and everyone gets to play with someone else. Get more creative golf game ideas here.
Take Your Tournament on the Road
One way to jack up the excitement of a tournament with the buds is a road trip to one of the many great resort courses in the state. The Brainerd area has plenty of them to choose from (Breezy Point, Cragan’s, Madden’s and Grand View Lodge, for instance) and they all offer a variety of courses to play. You can find the perfect course to fit your group’s skill level, and the variety of courses allows you to play somewhere new for every round.
Keep it Local
If you are playing in the Twin Cities, consider Prestwick Golf Club in Woodbury, which has some great par 5s where anything can happen during a competition. The final three holes of a dogleg par 5 over water to an elevated green on no. 16, an uphill par 3 on no. 17, and another par 5 finish will add excitement and great memories to any weekend tournament with your friends.
Edinburgh USA in Brooklyn Park is a great place to compete with your buddies. Edinburgh USA, which has hosted seven LPGA Tour events and the 1992 U.S.G.A. Public Links Championship, offers a great golf challenge and plenty of excitement. With water in play on nine holes, the competition will get lively throughout the tournament.
Your buddies won’t soon forget the tournament you can play at The Wilds Golf Club in Prior Lake. The elevation changes are frequent and dramatic and make for some interesting shot-making (and score making) during the round. With more than 70 bunkers and water coming into play over nearly half the course, The Wilds is one wild ride and just what your fellow competitors are looking for.
There is also a little of something for everyone at Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee. With four sets of tees, you can play this scenic beauty from 4,830 yards to nearly 6,500 and have a great time at either length. With the short par 3 on hole no. 7 (100-133 yards) leading to the famous tee ball at no. 8 over Lake O’Dowd (complete with a ferry ride), the unique memories will long outlast the pain of not clearing the water on either shot.
Pick a course, get a handicap, set some rules, and have some fun. And then head to the 19th hole at any of these great courses to settle up the day’s wagers (and listen to the banter fly). It really doesn’t get any better (or easier) than that to create an epic golf tournament with your best-golfing buddies.