Updated June 2023 Golf’s handicap system is the great equalizer in the game, but when…
Enjoy a tour of Twin Cities golf courses.
The Twin Cities metro area is a mecca for golf. There are more than 100 courses within reasonable driving distance from the Twin Cities, and many of them are excellently conditioned championship tracks. If you were on vacation for an entire summer and were content with doing nothing else, you probably still couldn’t play them all. Therefore, here are some tips for a Twin Cities golf tour—in two parts.
This first tour covers some of the great courses in the northern part of the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area. There are plenty more than this available, but we will highlight several that you don’t want to miss.
One of the area’s oldest and most popular courses is Braemar Golf Course in Edina. With 36 holes (including an executive par-three course), a huge practice area and an indoor dome, Braemar has been serving golfers since 1964 and doing it well. It’s a variety of challenges makes it welcome to all kinds of golfers, and it’s a great place to learn the game. Braemar has been rated among the top 75 public golf courses in the nation by Golf Digest and was named by Golf for Women Magazine as one of its top 100 Women Friendly Courses.
Head west to Chaska to play Chaska Town Course (CTC), which may be the best Twin Cities course you haven’t heard much about. Located about a strong 3-wood from Hazeltine National Golf Club (it’s more famous big brother), CTC has shared duties with Hazeltine when some big golf events come to town. (In 2006 at the U.S. Amateur, Billy Horschel, now a touring pro, set a course USGA record at CTC with a first-round 60.) Though in the shadow of Hazeltine, CTC is no slouch. It has been voted in the top 10 best Golf Courses in Minnesota by Golf Digest and ranked the 23rd Top 100 Municipal Golf Courses in the U.S. by Golf Week.
Prestwick Golf Club lies across the metro to the east in Woodbury, but it’s worth the drive. The beautifully maintained course features significant elevation changes that make for many unique and challenging holes. It has been ranked the Top 3 public course experience in Minnesota by the Star Tribune, a 4.5 Star Facility by Golf Digest and “Golf Course of the Year” by the Minnesota Golf Course Owners Association.
Head a little northwest and stop by the semi-private StoneRidge Golf Club, which is rated the No. 1 public access golf course in the Twin Cities (GolfWeek). The beauty of this Bobby Weed design must be seen to be experienced, as rolling bentgrass fairways framed by native fescue grass lead to large undulating greens. Don’t miss the unique 11th hole known as the Barn Hole because of a barn, a remnant from the former farmland there is an interesting obstacle on your approach to the green.
Traveling west you’d be remiss not to check out Edinburgh USA. The former home of an LPGA tournament, Edinburgh offers a very tough test of golf. With water in play on nine holes, accuracy off the tee is a must. Large greens (particularly the massive shared green for Nos. 9 and 18) make for some interesting putting. The 17th hole requires a unique drive to an island landing area and another equally challenging approach to a peninsula green. This Robert Trent Jones II track has won numerous honors, including one of the Top 100 Courses You Can Play by Golf Magazine.
Finally, take a short drive up I-94 to Maple Grove to play Rush Creek Golf Club, a fabulous mix of natural beauty and challenging golf. The course weaves through reed-filled marshland and trees, providing a pleasant distraction to the tough test at hand. The par 5 18th is worth the trip alone for both aspects. Rush Creek has hosted several national events including three LPGA Tour events and the 2004 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and it is a must on your Twin Cities golf tour.