If you are on a golf course during the fall in Minnesota, chances are pretty good that (if you look up) you will see some nice autumn colors as you stripe your drive down the still green fairways. Golf in Minnesota is perfect for such glorious displays, and if your quest in the fall is for the peak color experience, there are plenty of golf courses where you can find blazing reds, warming oranges, and brilliant yellows framing your next shot. So, we’ve put together this list of the best places to play golf while enjoying the Minnesota fall colors.
The first step is to find a fall color tracker, like the one that the Minnesota DNR updates throughout the season. The timing is not exactly the same every year, but colors in Minnesota generally start changing from mid-to late-September up north until early- to mid-October down south. To maximize your fall color viewing, just start up north and follow the changes south. To get the most from the experience on some of the more beautiful and tree-filled tracks in Minnesota, just follow this guide:
Leaf peeping (as the endeavor is known) goes right along with golf score-keeping in northern Minnesota. The triumvirate of Jeffrey Brauer-designed golf courses known as the Northern Trilogy — The Wilderness at Fortune Bay and The Legend and The Quarry at Giants Ridge — are perfect for a fall walk in the woods. Each course is framed by hills and mounds filled with vibrant-colored trees. If you prefer to be near big water, Black Bear Golf Course in Carlton offers its own fall display and is not far from the North Shore of Lake Superior, where color viewing is superior indeed.
The Brainerd-Baxter area of the central lakes region of the state is filled with beautiful waters surrounded by incredible autumnal pageantry — and there are some great golf courses to enjoy, as well. Madden’s, Grand View Lodge, and Cragun border Gull Lake, where the blue waters reflect the colors in a shimmering light show. Golden Eagle and Breezy Point Resort are nestled in the woods and water a bit further east from Gull, but the courses are every bit as great and the colors nothing short of spectacular.
Visitors to the Twin Cities often remark how green those cities are with all the parks, green spaces, and tree-lined streets — and each fall, they come alive in more colors. At the numerous courses in the area, it becomes a visual celebration of the season. From Edinburgh U.S.A. and Rush Creek GC in the northwest, Chaska Town Course and Braemar out west, StoneRidge GC and Prestwick GC in the east, to StoneBrooke GC and Ridges at Sand Creek in the south, the Twin Cities is filled with great golf courses that are brightly adorned in the fall. You don’t have to travel far to find a great round with beautiful surroundings.
If you haven’t had enough of fall colors, keep heading south along I-35 and treat yourself to the autumnal beauty of Minnesota’s eastern border. The Legend’s Club and The Wilds in Prior Lake, Willinger’s GC in Northfield, and The Jewel GC in Lake City are four challenging golf courses decorated with incredible fall colors. The many rolling hills and elevation changes are accented by rustic fall hues. And this golf in Minnesota bluff country can be breathtaking at times. The courses in Minnesota are often in the best shape of the year in September and October. Don’t miss the opportunity to get out and experience them, dressed up in their season finery.