What constitutes a golf hole? Must it contain a gorgeous water feature such as a lake, pond, or rushing river? Or is it a sweeping panoramic view of deep forests, plains filled with native prairie grasses waving in the wind or unique outcroppings of large, unearthed boulders. Well, like all beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder, but any beholder of beautiful golf holes can find something to meet their eye in Minnesota.
In fact, it is difficult to name the prettiest golf holes around the state since there are so many from which to choose. So, we submit, for your consideration (and debate) the nine prettiest holes in Minnesota golf. You may not agree with the entire list, but you won’t be able to discount the attraction of these beauties.
Hole No. 18 at Chaska Town Course
Par 5, 430-547 yards
If you’ve played Chaska Town Course, you’ve met their beautiful, yet difficult finishing hole. This par 5 winds around Bavaria Lake on the left and features a bunker in the middle of the fairway. This challenging hole is emblematic of this entire scenic, yet beguiling course.
Hole No. 17 at Deacon’s Lodge in Breezy Point
Par 3, 108-200 yards
The view from the teeing grounds of hole No. 17 is one you won’t soon forget. The tee shot must wend through a chute of trees to the green, backed by more trees and (if you are lucky) some mist rolling in off the nearby pond. This hole was one of more than 2,700 Arnold Palmer-designed holes that are included in the “King’s Dream 18.”
Hole No. 17 at The Legend at Giants Ridge in Biwabik
Par 3, 137-226 yards
If you know anything about Minnesota golf, you know this one is on the list of the prettiest holes. The site of engagement proposals and wedding photography, this beauty, tight on the shores of Lake Sabin, inspires when it doesn’t intimidate the golfer trying to negotiate a lengthy forced carry over the water. Don’t forget your camera phone.
Hole No. 10 at The Preserve at Grand View Lodge in Pequot Lakes
Par 4, 321-424 yards
Viewed from the clubhouse at The Preserve, this hole offers one of the prettiest views in Minnesota golf, with the verdant expanse of three finely-manicured fairways spread out in front of the observer. All three holes could make the list, so we will choose the challenging, uphill hole No. 10 because it gives this beauty a little bite.
Hole No. 2 at Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo
Par 5, 305- 520 yards
The new Royal Golf Club took the best 18 of 27 holes on an incredible piece of property and enlisted Arnold Palmer and Annika Sorenstam to recast them. Sorenstam said the land reminded her of home, in Sweden, and the result was plenty of great-looking holes, such as the beautiful hole No. 2 that curls alongside a large pond.
Hole No. 18 at Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove
Par 5, 427-575 yards
A pretty finishing hole is a great way to send golfers on their way as the gorgeous marshland winds all along the left side and will remain in your memory until you return. (Unless, of course, this difficult par 5 turns into a nightmare.) Hole No. 18 leads to the magnificent clubhouse perched on a rise, where more beautiful vistas of the course are found.
Hole No. 7 at Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee
Par 3, 100-133 yards
This short par 3 is not a difficult hole, but it is nestled very close to the shoreline of Lake O’Dowd, and there is little room for error left or back. It offers a wonderful water view from the tee, as you can watch the ferry boat pulling out for a ride across the lake you will experience after your tee shot on No. 8.
Hole No. 6 at Superior National at Lutsen
Par 4, 320-483 yards
Superior National recently underwent a restoration and one of the gems to rise from the newly crafted River 9 was the new hole No. 6, which descends toward Lake Superior. Architect Jeffrey Brauer cleared some trees to expand the view of Gitchi Gumee and offer a gaze at wonderful approach shots floating down toward Minnesota’s biggest water hazard.
Hole No. 3 at The Wilderness at Fortune Bay in Tower
Par 3, 133-220 yards
Known as The Walleye, this hole is eye-catching for the water hazard protecting the front of the two-tiered green, which was built seamlessly into the side of a hill below towering north country hardwoods. Surrounded by a large wetland area, the beauty continues with the very frequent wildlife sightings on the hole.
As we said, this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means of the beautiful golf holes Minnesota has to offer. Once you’ve played these nine courses, try your hand at another. You may just come across another one of the state’s prettiest golf holes.