Most golfers love the challenge of a long golf hole. With today’s golf equipment that promises more distance and greater accuracy, teeing it up on one of the “Monsters of Minnesota golf” can be an exciting challenge. So, for those big hitters who love a challenge, we offer a quick primer to some of the longest holes in Minnesota golf.
Secrets to Playing the Long Holes
Now, for some golfers, even 500-yarders can be difficult to navigate. So, the advice of Chris Foley, PGA Master Professional and Director of Instruction at Cragun’s Legacy Courses in Brainerd, is sound: take it one stroke at a time.
“Playing an extremely long hole can be very intimidating and seem like a daunting task. However, if you break the hole into chunks, the hole will be much easier to conquer. For instance, on the 618-yard par 6, 6th hole at Madden’s Pine Beach East, you have four shots to hit the green in regulation. If you hit four 150+ yard shots, you are on the green in regulation, two-putting and walking to the seventh hole with a par!”
Easy, peasy, right? Well, maybe. But always a good challenge. Here are five of the longer “challenges” around the state.
Wilderness at Fortune Bay — Par 5, No. 1—470-649 yards
Don’t let that yardage from the tips scare you. Just grip it and keep ripping it. There is a split fairway divided by an exposed rock ledge, so you have choices to make in trying to avoid nine bunkers. You will need all five shots here, but as you hit them, enjoy your walk down the beautiful fairway.
Territory Golf Club — Par 5, No. 1 — 464-594 yards
A behemoth right out of the gate, but golf architects are not all sadists — this long par 5 is downhill and has a generous landing area, so you can fire away. Even if you hit a great drive, consider the idea of a layup, as the second shot is all carry over a hazard to the green. And make sure to check the wind.
Stonebrooke Golf Club — Par 5, No. 17 — 449-595 yards
There is water on the left and bunkers on the right off the tee, so the challenge starts with your first shot. The second shot has more water on the right that ultimately runs across the fairway in front of the green. Laying up there is not a bad play to avoid a watery grave. Hitting it long — and straight — are both crucial on this one.
Rush Creek Golf Club — Par 5, No. 8 — 489-613 yards
With three holes of 575 or greater, Rush Creek will have you pulling the big stick often. But the 8th hole that surpasses 600 yards requires some of your best golf. There are bunkers and woods off the tee, but they border an ample landing area. The water along the left up to the green requires more focus when approaching a severely sloped putting surface.
Madden’s Pine Beach East — Par 6, No. 6 — 502-618 yards
Seeing “par 6” on a scorecard likely makes many golfers think about an eagle. But before you get too crazy (and ignore Foley’s advice above), six is a lot closer to a snowman than on a par 5. Still, three good shots of 205 five yards will have you putting for eagle — if you avoid the water surrounding the green, back and right. Are you still thinking about that eagle and the 200-yard shot into a guarded green?
Haven’t had enough? Here are three more long holes to test your skills.
Legends Club — Par 5, No. 11 — 444-593 yards
StoneRidge Golf Club — Par 5, No. 4 — 446-580 yards
The Quarry at Giants Ridge — Par 5, No. 2 — 483-575 yards