The Ryder Cup Matches are coming to Minnesota in late September — as are many visitors, excited to see the world’s best players. If you are making a week-long trip out of it, you will be looking for other things to do in Minnesota while you are here. It is a beautiful time of year weather-wise to be in the land of 10,000 lakes (and not to mention just as many water hazards), so here are a few things to do in this great state during your visit.
Visit Northern Minnesota Courses
With the great weather comes excellent golf course conditions, so for those in your party who want to play golf in addition to watching it, Minnesota is home to numerous top-drawer golf courses. You can travel up north to hit the Northern Trilogy of The Legend and The Quarry at Giants Ridge and The Wilderness at Fortune Bay. You might need a little extra time to drive there (3-4 hours), but this trio of Jeff Brauer tracks are well worth the trip.
The Central Lakes area of the state is home to some of the most honored courses in Minnesota, with The Pines at Grandview Lodge, The Classic at Maddens, Deacon’s Lodge of Breezy Point Resort, or either of the courses at Cragun’s Legacy Courses (all about 2.5 hours away). There are plenty of birdies waiting — and also a lot of walleyes if you are interested in wetting a line in one of those 10,000 lakes.
Play Twin Cities Courses
Perhaps golf closer to your Ryder Cup hotel better fits into your schedule, and the Twin Cities is loaded with great layouts. The nearest course is Chaska Town Course, within walking distance from Hazeltine National Golf Club, and they are already taking tee time requests for that week.
But there are so many more courses in the Twin Cities (Braemar Golf Course in Edina, Edinburgh U.S.A. in Brooklyn Park, Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove, Prestwick Golf Club in Woodbury, Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee and StoneRidge Golf Club in Stillwater) and plenty just a short trip outside the immediate metro (Legends Club and The Wilds Golf Club in Prior Lake, Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan, Territory Golf Club in St. Cloud, The Jewel Golf Club in Lake City and Willingers Golf Course in Northfield) that you should have no trouble finding a place to tee it up.
It will be a golf-intensive week, so if you are looking to get away from the links for a time, the Mall of America should be atop your list. The biggest indoor mall in the country, the MOA features indoor amusement park rides surrounded by countless stores everywhere you look. From Minnesota-centric shops to all the big name stores, Mall of America will help you get all your shopping done under one — huge — roof.
If you are looking for a little music, Minneapolis and St. Paul feature a lot of great bands playing downtown. Be sure to check out “First Avenue” in downtown Minneapolis, the night club that favorite son (and recently departed) Prince made famous in his movie “Purple Rain.” You might find anyone from a promising newcomer to a major headlining act on stage at First Avenue while you are in town.
Be sure to hit the chain of lakes in the metro area for a look at some urban beauty or a restful afternoon away from the course. And if you happen to be in town on Monday night after the Ryder Cup, the Minnesota Vikings host the New York Giants on Monday Night Football at their brand new stadium. Downtown Minneapolis will be buzzing with activity for the second game ever at U.S. Bank Stadium and its first airing on MNF.
Still looking for something else to do? Check out this list of must-do activities in the Twin Cities. There is plenty to make your time in the Twin Cities memorable, in addition to (hopefully) watching the U.S. Team hosting the Ryder Cup.
Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of Minnesota golf courses and resorts as international travel destinations. Our member facilities feature award-winning, championship golf courses and are geographically disbursed across the great state of Minnesota. The combination of exceptional quality and outstanding value make Minnesota one of the best golf destinations in the United States.