There is something exciting about crossing a neighboring state border to play golf. The excitement of the unknown exists as you discover new courses that you may have heard great things about but never experienced. I have taken short trips to Wisconsin to check out different tracks, and have enjoyed the encounter of new challenges immensely.
The same opportunity awaits Wisconsin golfers seeking a new golf adventure just across the border into Minnesota. So, here is a short primer of ideal Minnesota golf courses for a quick getaway from Wisconsin.
The key is not that the Minnesota courses are necessarily better than those in your home state, but there is always something new and different to experience in the land of 10,000 water hazards.
Take a look at these top-end Minnesota tracks — you won’t be disappointed.
Whether you are up north in Wisconsin, down by the Twin Cities or a little further south, Minnesota has you covered for your border-crossing golf getaway. Up north, the Black Bear Golf Course in Carlton is just 20 miles south of the port city of Duluth on the border, and the course offers up all kinds of action.
The 18-hole, par 72 championship course is set in the quiet beauty of the northern Minnesota woodlands. It is marked by its iconic bear paw-print bunker (which you don’t find on every Wisconsin course). And when the golf is done for the day, saddle up to your favorite gaming table inside the Black Bear Casino, which offers a host of different games (slots, blackjack, poker, and bingo), plus great eats and deluxe accommodations in the attached hotel.
If you are just across the border in Wisconsin outside the Twin Cities, head east over the St. Croix and take your pick from a couple of excellent golf courses located in the metro area. StoneRidge Golf Club and Prestwick Golf Club are located on opposite sides of Interstate 94, just a hop and a skip away from Hudson, Wisc.
StoneRidge GC was built in 2000 and has been thrilling its patrons ever since with a links-style layout that incorporates native fescue grasses, large and beguiling green complexes and at least one hole — the Barn Hole — that you won’t soon forget. Hole number 11 features a small barn, a remnant from the original occupant of the land, that could, depending on your shot, come into play as you head toward the green. There are barns in rural Wisconsin, but seldom are they situated between you and your approach shot to a well-manicured bentgrass green.
Prestwick GC is an award-winning track located a little further west on I-94 from StoneRidge (19 miles from Hudson) in Woodbury, and it boasts one of the more unique courses in the Twin Cities. With huge elevation changes (offering spectacular vistas), Prestwick’s challenge will have you coming back again and again. The Midwest Golf Course Owners Association’s 2005 Course of the Year, Prestwick has plenty of water and sand to challenge your game and natural beauty to distract your focus. The newly renovated clubhouse that includes David’s Chophouse restaurant is a great place for post-round cocktail and meal.
If you are traversing the border from a bit more south of the metro area, you need to check out The Jewel located in Lake City. Not far from beautiful Lake Pepin, The Jewel lives up to every bit of its dazzling name. A Hale Irwin-designed course, The Jewel shines as it winds through 800 acres of Minnesota river valley, surrounded by the beautiful and towering bluffs of the area. Recognized by the National Audubon Society, The Jewel is a feast for the eyes, while the golf, with a unique variety of holes and five sets of tees, offers up any sort of challenge you may be seeking. You are sure to find it at this gem hidden in the grand bluff country along Minnesota’s eastern border.
So, no matter where you hail from near Wisconsin’s western border, just hop in the car for the short trip west and find yourself a great golf getaway. There are plenty of new and exciting golf challenges just a short drive away.