Updated June 2023 Golf’s handicap system is the great equalizer in the game, but when…
The business meetings are done for the day and you are back at your Twin Cities hotel to grab your golf clubs. There is plenty of sunlight left in the late, Minnesota summer day to get a round in and, naturally, there is a golf course nearby. The state of Minnesota has one of the highest numbers of golfers per capita, so that means the Twin Cities is filled with great golf courses, right?
Golf in the Twin Cities
Correct! The Twin Cities metro area is filled with more than 100 golf courses within reasonable driving distances, and it is the peak time of year for course conditioning. Simply check out this Guide to Playing Golf in the Twin Cities and you can find the course that fits your needs in terms of challenge, proximity, and experience.
Within or near the driving “Loop” of Interstates 94, 494 and 694, there are several great courses to play: Braemar Golf Course in Edina, Chaska Town Course, Prestwick Golf Club in Woodbury, Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove, and Edinburgh USA in Brooklyn Park (and you can find more information on those courses here). But if you are located in the southern part of the metro or are willing to drive a little further, there are several great courses adorning the area just outside the Loop.
Edge of the Twin Cities
A good place to start is at Stonebrooke Golf Course in Shakopee. This 18-hole championship course has been called “the perfect Minnesota golf experience,” according to the club’s website, and features the memorable par 4 8th hole, which requires a tee shot carried across Lake O’Dowd and then a ferry ride over the water to your golf ball.
A little further down the road in Jordan is Ridges at Sand Creek, which was designed by renowned Minnesota golf course architect Joel Goldstrand. The nationally recognized course includes grand, expertly-conditioned fairways and tight, secluded wooded holes, making for a great golf challenge.
The town of Prior Lake on the southern side of the metro area includes two top-tier tracks: The Wilds Golf Club and the Legends Club. The Wilds features extreme elevation changes (150 feet) for incredible vistas, beautiful natural wildlife areas and, if you are there in the fall, the famous “Pay the Temperature” promotion on which a cool day is a very hot deal.
The Legends Club, meanwhile, offers a great golf experience amongst the wetlands, native grasses, and wildflowers of rural Prior Lake. Named the National Golf Course of the Year by the NGCOA back in the earlier 2000’s, The Legends Club, with its vast variety of challenging and gorgeous golf holes, is a golf experience to be treasured.
Outside the Cities
If you are a little more adventurous and have the time, head down I-35W south to Northfield where you’ll find Willingers Golf Club and every bit of a challenge you could want. This course, which includes a slope of 150 and a rating 74.4 from the tournament tees is also a beauty, surrounded by mature forests, protected wetlands, numerous water hazards and expansive bunkering. The views from the elevated tees are fantastic.
Finally, don’t miss Territory Golf Club located northwest of the Loop in St. Cloud. It is a mixture of links style and parkland golf that is unsurpassed in the Twin Cities for beauty, challenge, and prime conditioning. It’s a little further down the road, but, like any other great trip, is well worth the trek.