These Minnesota Greens Offer a Challenge
While few course in the world can match the difficulty of the greens at Augusta National during the week of the Masters, Minnesota certainly has some greens that can give a golfer fits. Hazeltine National GC, when set up for major-tournament speed, comes to mind, and even Northland CC on the side of a mountain with wind blowing in off of Superior can have puzzling moss. But for well-crafted, confounding greens that are hard to read (and even hit) every day, here is a short list of Minnesota’s toughest greens.
The Wilderness at Fortune Bay
The greens at The Wilderness at Fortune Bay in Vermillion are large, undulating, sometimes elevated and set in a beautiful surroundings—and that’s just the start. The subtle turns and twists of these greens require careful reading for success. Then throw in the long and narrow green on No. 5, which features a five-foot deep swale through the middle that requires an approach to the correct side for a decent putt. Called the Ruffed Grouse, birdies on this hole are as elusive as its namesake.
The Quarry at Giants Ridge
The Quarry, the second course at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, features beguiling greens that only practice and familiarity will help solve. Large greens with multi-levels and plenty of movement make for multiple hole locations and plenty of surprises. The short par 4 13th features an elevated green that is very large and even blind if you come up short with your drive. This undulating green offers no guarantee of par even if you are close in regulation.
The former site of an LPGA event, Edinburgh USA in Brooklyn Park offers a tough test for your putter. There are plenty of water holes at the course, so getting to the putting surface is the first challenge. There you can find big greens with plenty of swales and movement. The ninth and 18th greens are joined together and form one of the largest green complexes in the state—so always aim for the flag (the correct flag) or else you can find yourself along way from the hole.
The Legends Club
The Legends Club in Prior is located in a serene setting, but don’t let that distract you from the tough job at hand. The large undulating greens are impeccably conditioned, but designed for difficulty. Sometimes getting to these challenging greens is a tough test (particularly on the par difficult 3s) and once there, you can’t let up, as the contoured greens require your utmost attention.
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.