Minnesota provides plenty of unique settings for golf depending on the course, or in which portion of the state you are playing. Here, you will find courses that have hosted PGA majors and regular tour events, and courses that highlight the Northwoods beauty that encompasses the northern portion of the state.
If you are planning to take your golf clubs with you during a summer getaway in Minnesota, we have five courses you must play if you get the chance. They are sure to be the perfect test for your game, a great showcase of Minnesota beauty, and you may just find a water hazard or two in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
1) Interlachen C.C. – Edina, Minn. – 6,967 yards, Par 72 – Private
This course, located just outside of Minneapolis, has a rich and storied history as a host of golf championships. It all began back in 1930, when Interlachen hosted the 1930 U.S. Open. Bobby Jones would win the championship, securing the third leg of the world’s first Grand Slam (winning all four majors in a calendar year). In accomplishing his Grand Slam, Jones provided Interlachen Country Club national and international prominence and its well-deserved place in golf history.
Since 1930, Interlachen has also hosted the 1935 US Women’s Amateur Championship, the 1986 US Senior Amateur Championship, the 1993 Walker Cup, the 2002 Solheim Cup, and the 2008 US Women’s Open Championship.
This may be the finest courses in Minnesota, but one of the reasons it ranks among the best of the best is exclusivity. This is the one of two private courses on this list, so you may need to know someone who knows someone to find a tee time.
2) Hazeltine National Golf Club – Chaska, Minn. – 7,674 yards, Par 72 – Private
If you are a golf zealot, there is a better than average chance that you have heard of the second golf course on our Minnesota list. Although it does not have the longevity of being around for a century like Interlachen, Hazeltine has created its own history throughout its 60+ years of existence.
Hazeltine hosted the 1966 US Women’s Open Championship and the 1970 US Open Championship, but the criticisms of the course by professionals golfers were so extreme that designer Robert Trent Jones spent the next two decades remodeling it, straightening doglegs, relocating holes, and even rebuilding greens.
Major championship golf made its return to Hazeltine in 2009, and did so with a bang as Y.E. Yang became the first player to defeat Tiger Woods after he held a lead entering the final round of a major. The eyes of the golf world will re-focus on this course in 2016, when the Ryder Cup makes its way back to the United States.
3) The Quarry at Giant’s Ridge – Biwabik, Minn. – 7,201 yards, Par 72 – Public
Giant’s Ridge Golf and Ski Resort offers two of the top public golf courses in the state of Minnesota with the Quarry and the Legend. In 2013, the Quarry was voted the best public course in Minnesota, and #20 on America’s Greatest 100 Public Courses list by Golf Digest.
The Quarry is not only recognized as one of the top public courses in the state of Minnesota, it also was named in “America’s Most Important Golf Courses” by Golf Digest shortly after its opening. An excellent example of a repurposed industrial site, it is a fitting tribute to the region’s mining history.
To learn more about booking your tee time at either the Legend or the Quarry courses at Giant’s Ridge, click here.
4) The Classic at Madden’s Resort – Brainerd, Minn. – 7,102 yards, Par 72 – Public
Designed by course superintendent, Scott Hoffman, The Classic was created to give every player the most unique and tour-quality experience available in the Midwest. Offering spectacular views, challenging shots and an unforgettable experience, you simply cannot miss an opportunity to tee it up at this course during a trip to the Brainerd Lakes area.
Like Giant’s Ridge, Madden’s has a variety of courses to match skill levels for every player, but if you are truly looking for the “Tour Experience”, The Classic provides just that. Part of your greens fees go toward a personal caddie, who is familiar with the course and will help you get the most out of your game. Talk about a great deal!
To learn more about booking your tee time at any of the Madden’s Resort golf courses, clickhere.
5) Cragun’s Legacy Courses (Dutch Legacy) – Brainerd, Minn. – 6,879 yards, Par 72 – Public
If you are planning a trip to the Brainerd area, you will have plenty of amazing courses just a short trip from wherever you decide to stay. The Dutch Legacy course at Cragun’s is considered by many to be the crown jewel of Brainerd golf courses, and Golf Digest rated the layout at 5 stars in 2009 (one of only 24 courses in the U.S. to receive this distinction).
Renowned golf course designer Robert Trent Jones, Jr.’s brilliant design blends the beauty of an Audubon Signature Sanctuary course with plenty of Northwoods beauty. Jones also helped to design Bobby’s Legacy and the Reversible 9, two other courses you can try you luck at during your stay with Cragun’s.
To learn more about booking your tee time at one of the Cragun’s Legacy golf courses, click here.