Every golfer likes the insider tips on the clubs to play and those to avoid and as we all know, it’s often the hidden gems that are the most enjoyable to play. Like many states, Minnesota has its share of courses that fly under the radar, so to speak. And at these courses you often find a tantalizing combination of exceptional conditions, faster play and more affordable green fees. Here are a few of our favorite spots that you should check out this golf season:
Willinger’s Golf Club – Northfield, MN
In the Twin Cities for a long weekend visiting family or even if you’re looking for a day getaway to hit the links, be sure to check out Willinger’s Golf Club in Northfield, MN. This not-so-secret, hidden gem has quietly become one of the best courses in the Twin Cities. Willinger’s 18-holes are spread out over 275-acres of terrain that blends in with the natural elements of the land. Named by Golf Magazine a “Top 5 Best Value Courses” in Minnesota, the secret’s out and yet the course remains accessible and playable for golfers of all levels.
Minnesota National Golf Club – McGregor, MN
Located in Aitken County, due east 50-miles of the well-known, frequently played Brainerd Golf Trail is Minnesota National Golf Course. It is also just 60-miles from downtown Duluth, so no matter your point of origin, you can find your way to this 27-hole golf experience, Designed by Minnesota course designer, Joel Goldstrand, golfers can take their game to the 18-hole Championship Course or the more relaxed 9-hole Savanna Course. With on-site town homes as well as an RV Park, there are stay and play options for all golfers!
Black Bear Golf Course – Cloquet, MN
If you’re coming to Minnesota this summer for a trip to the breathtaking North Shore, be sure to pack your sticks. Not only will you want to play Superior National in Lutsen, but it will be well worth your while to hit Black Bear Golf Course in Cloquet. Driving from the Twin Cities, you’ll practically run into the course and the adjoining casino. Don’t be fooled by the playable yardage from the tips at 6,550. This course is cut into the Minnesota Northwoods and with no shortage of water hazards, there’s a premium on the straight ball!
Royal Golf Club – Lake Elmo, MN
A relative newcomer to the Minnesota Golf portfolio is the last course designed by the late Arnold Palmer and the first design for LPGA Hall of Famer, Annika Sorenstam. Hence, the opening nine is known as the “Queen’s Nine” and the last nine is known as the “King’s Nine”. The course, which opened in spring of 2018 in Lake Elmo, MN, is east of St. Paul and just across the St. Croix River for our friends in Wisconsin. As part of a new golf community, players who discover Royal Golf Club could literally come for the day and stay for a lifetime!
Territory Golf Club – St. Cloud, MN
As you drive from the Twin Cities through St. Cloud en route to northern Minnesota on Highway 10 keep your eyes peeled for an understated sign pointing you in the direction of Territory Golf Club. A mix of Minnesota Woods and Prairie, Territory is tucked away in St. Cloud and yet has a wonderfully large presence in the local golf scene. Beautifully maintained, this championship course features 5 sets of tees and a par 5 that stretches more than 600-yards. It’s a fabulous test of golf that has you planning your next visit before you walk off the 18th green.
While we’re proud of all our member courses, these are a handful for you to check out as you make plans to visit Minnesota this golf season.