Updated June 2023 For some avid golfers, the term “family golf vacation” might strike fear…
With spring in the air and a long year behind us, many golfers are feeling the desire to experience a new place, a new challenge, and most of all, a few new courses. With Minnesota’s endless natural variety, no place offers a more satisfying cure for wanderlust than a trip through our great state. Of course, traveling entails much more than reaching your final destination, for many of travel’s most meaningful moments occur along the road.
That’s why we’ve put together some ideas of the best golf stops to add to your travel itinerary this summer, whether you’re coming, going, or just passing through. If you’re visiting for a week or weekend and want to make the most out of a travel day, check out some of the courses near the borders and MSP International Airport.
Here’s a suggestion for a Home Base for your visit: Bloomington Visitors & Convention Bureau. They can recommend the right hotel at the most convenient location for you. Located in the shadows of MSP International Airport and the World Famous Mall of America, the Bureau can sweep you away from the crowds and hustle-bustle of the downtown. Their inventory of 45 Top Brand Hotels, creates warm and safe memories for everyone who visits with a dynamic mix of first-class attractions, vibrant restaurants, and diverse hotels. This is the perfect home base for your travel planning.
Travel Day Golf
NORTH METRO/NORTHERN MINNESOTA COURSES
Lots of people head north toward the Brainerd Lakes or Iron Range areas for Minnesota summer fun. Before donning your suit lakeside at the family cabin (or a friend of a friend’s cabin — we’re a generous people!), be sure to warm up your game at one of the finest municipal golf courses in the Upper Midwest, the Chaska Town Course in Chaska, MN.
If your route takes you through St. Cloud on Highway 10, you’ll want to be on the lookout for the signage pointing the way to Territory Golf Club. Territory GC offers a beautifully-maintained mix of Minnesota deep woods and prairie golf. In addition to its natural wonders, the championship course also features 5 sets of tees and a 600-yard par 5 that will have you ready to return before you’ve even finished your game.
If you’re putting some miles under your belt and headed north towards the Iron Range or Arrowhead, this is a perfect place to stop and stretch your legs. Try Black Bear Golf Course in Cloquet, MN for a taste of the Northwoods golf our state is known for.
EAST METRO MINNESOTA COURSES
Whether you’re headed east from Minneapolis/St Paul/Bloomington or you’re driving in from Wisconsin, you’ll want to try StoneRidge Golf Club in Stillwater, MN for a beautiful prairie golf setting. Or stop in Woodbury, MN for lunch and a round at the always well-manicured, Prestwick Golf Club.
Just off the Minnesota-Wisconsin state line you’ll find another worthwhile stop at the Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo, MN. Here’s a course that offers a luxurious experience from the second you arrive that has become an instant favorite since it opened in the spring of 2018.
SOUTH METRO MINNESOTA COURSES
If you’re headed south from The Cities, Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee, MN strikes a perfect first note of — water, woods, and wildlife, and a one-of-a-kind ferry ride — it captures the pure essence of Minnesota golf. Another notable course is The Wilds Golf Club in Prior Lake, MN due to the unparalleled views of ponderosa pines, hardwoods, wetlands, and wildlife habitats. Or you can check out a hidden gem of a course, Willinger’s Golf Club, in Northfield, MN. The natural stunning and wide-open fairways will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Need more superior options headed south? Add Legends Club in Prior Lake, MN and Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Club in Jordan, MN to your bucket list of the best golf in Minnesota.
Try out one of the finest municipal courses you’ll ever play — Braemar Golf Course in Edina, MN, just southwest of The Cities. With its vast and impeccable practice facilities and stunning setting, the course is a great place to start, end, or make a stop along your golf vacation route, even if you don’t stick around for a full round.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that these courses can be visited on the way or as a grand finale final round before heading home. From the wooded beauty of our northlands to the wide, rolling prairies farther south, Minnesota provides a unique brand of pleasure trip for all golf-loving vacationers. Whatever your perfect Minnesota golf vacation looks like, you can’t go wrong by adding these courses to your route to make the most of your journey.