Updated July 2023 Some of the keys to golfing with children and beginners who are…
Updated March 2023
Picking the top par 3’s in all of Minnesota Golf is virtually impossible. In a state that boasts more than 400 golf courses, when undertaking this task, you’re bound to omit hundreds of beautiful golf holes that are tucked away at some of the best golf courses in the country. Yet, here’s a list of some of the finest par 3 golf holes in Minnesota.
Deacon’s Lodge – Par 3, 17th
Visually, the 17th hole at Deacon’s Lodge doesn’t appear overwhelming, primarily due to the size of the green which is 40-yards deep, but in the course of the round, this gem comes at a point in the round when it’s easy to let your defenses down. Resist the temptation. Put it this way, the 17th at Deacon’s Lodge is among the “King’s Dream 18,” a list of the late Arnold Palmer’s favorite 18 holes which he designed. The full listing is here in Kingdom Magazine. You’re greeted with a forced carry from the tee and the green, while large, is flanked by wetlands. From the tips it plays 200-yards and from the forward tees a polite 108-yards. Regardless of where you tee it up, you will get a stiff challenge and a gorgeous view!
The Legend Course at Giants Ridge – Par 3, 17th
You’ve been through a challenging round. One hole is no more spectacular than the next. You’re in your golf cart traveling to the 17th tee and as you walk up the steps and see this view.
Guess what? You’re crossing water from one way or another. From the back tees, this beauty is a beast at 226 yards and there’s not much relief from the next set of tees at 216 yards. Your buddies might snicker and call you names, but no one will blame you if you have a career round going and play the forward tees from 137, but even there, you have got to carry the hazard. So, as you’re sizing up the image and imagining the shot, here’s one more thought – it plays longer than you think. Once you’re on the green, you’ll realize the view is even better than it was from the tee.
The Wilderness at Fortune Bay – Par 3, 3rd
The par 3, 3rd at The Wilderness at Fortune Bay may be the most majestic hole in the state. In a word – breathtaking. Standing above the hole on the tee box you have an intimidating carry, a tiered green that looks like footsteps and one that plays like a rollercoaster. Placement is key on this tee shot, but when you play this hole, all you can think of is, “just put it on the green!” Push it back to the tip and you’ll play 220 yards. It’s 166 yards from the white and a challenging 133 yards from the forward tees. Forget the yardage, when you get to the green, you’ll find the tiered green brings a whole new set of challenges, but guaranteed, you’ll remember this hole for a long, long time.
Superior National Golf Course – Par 3, 2nd on the River Nine Course
Start with the setting at Superior National – as rugged as it gets in Northern Minnesota with the great Lake Superior as a backdrop. Add to it a mix of 27 holes that play in an 18-hole rotation and you’ve got a spectacular “day on the lake.” One of the most memorable holes is the 2nd hole on the River Nine Course. After a redesign in 2019 by Jeffrey Brauer, the green is demonically placed next to the river, challenging the better player and leaving plenty of room for the safe shot to the left. Of course, once you reach for your putter, you’re in for an experience as the green is modeled after the 12th hole at Augusta National, so you’ve got that going for you! One last tip, when you’re standing on the elevated tee box vacillating between clubs, try to ignore the roaring rapids screaming at you from below. Don’t worry, they’ll sell you more balls in the golf shop.
The Legends Club – Par 3, 13th
Visit the Twin Cities and a trip to The Legends Club in Prior Lake is a must. You’ll feel like you’re in the north woods for the entire round and you’re less than 30 minutes from MSP International Airport. The 13th hole at The Legends Club is majestic and daunting. From the tips, you’ve got to negotiate trees and water from 209 yards out. The green is generously sized, but subtly tiered, so you need to hit your shot to the “right” spot. No matter how you slice it (actually, don’t slice it) – forward tees or back tees – you’re covering water, so if the hazard makes you squeamish, prepare to “squeam”! This golf hole is visually perfect and if you get to this course during the change of seasons, you’ll see why it’s one of the most scenic par 3’s in the state.