Minnesota, often referred to as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” is not just a paradise for water enthusiasts; it’s also a dream destination for golfers. With its picturesque landscapes, lush green fairways, and a plethora of top-notch golf courses, Minnesota offers a golfing experience that’s second to none. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 golf courses in Minnesota, each a gem in its own right.
Top 10 Golf Courses in Minnesota
Minnesota’s golfing history dates back to the late 19th century when the first golf courses were established. Since then, the state has seen remarkable growth in the sport, attracting golfers from all over the world. The cool climate, beautiful summers, and breathtaking scenery make Minnesota an ideal location for golf.
The state’s diverse landscapes, including dense forests, serene lakes, and rolling hills, provide the perfect backdrop for golf courses that are both challenging and visually stunning.
Below are the top 10 golf courses in Minnesota.
- Hazeltine National Golf Club
- Interlachen Country Club
- The Quarry at Giants Ridge
- The Wilds Golf Club
- Rush Creek Golf Club
- Superior National at Lutsen
- Maddens on Gull Lake
- The Legend at Giants Ridge
- Deacon’s Lodge Golf Course
- TPC Twin Cities
Let’s dive into the details of each now.
1. Hazeltine National Golf Club
Hazeltine National Golf Club, nestled in the charming city of Chaska, is a name synonymous with prestige in the world of golf. This illustrious course has not only hosted major championships but is a frequent host of elite tournaments, including the prestigious Ryder Cup.
The moment you step onto Hazeltine’s grounds, you’re greeted by pristine fairways that seem to stretch on forever. The course boasts a meticulously manicured landscape, a hallmark of its dedication to providing golfers with an exceptional experience. As you traverse the course, you’ll encounter holes that have challenged the finest golfers in the world. Each hole is a unique test of skill, strategy, and precision.
One of the defining characteristics of Hazeltine is its impeccable greens. The greens are renowned for their speed and true roll, providing a fair challenge to even the most seasoned golfers. The quality of the putting surfaces is a testament to the club’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards in the sport.
Hazeltine is a must-visit for any golfer seeking a taste of golfing excellence. It offers a blend of history, breathtaking views, and a challenge that will leave you with lifelong memories.
2. Interlachen Country Club
Nestled in the suburb of Edina, the Interlachen Country Club is a living testament to the timeless traditions of golf. Designed by the legendary golf course architect, Donald Ross, this club offers a classic layout that harks back to the golden age of golf course design.
The course at Interlachen is a gem of strategic design. Golfers here are required to employ a wide range of shots and tactics to navigate the challenging layout successfully. The undulating fairways, small greens, and strategically placed bunkers demand precision and skill. Ross’s signature design elements can be seen throughout the course, with its emphasis on shot-making, accuracy, and a premium on approach play.
In addition to the remarkable golfing experience, Interlachen Country Club is steeped in history. It has hosted various prestigious events over the years, adding to its allure. The clubhouse, too, exudes an old-world charm and provides a perfect setting for post-round relaxation.
For golfers who appreciate the rich heritage of the game, Interlachen is a must-play course that offers an opportunity to step back in time while enjoying the timeless art of golf.
3. The Quarry at Giants Ridge
Heading north in Minnesota, you’ll encounter The Quarry at Giants Ridge, a course that is a true embodiment of nature’s rugged beauty and golfing innovation. Carved out of an old sand quarry, The Quarry offers a golfing experience like no other.
The most striking feature of this course is its dramatic elevation changes. As you move from tee to green, you’ll encounter breathtaking views of rocky outcrops, serene lakes, and dense forests. The elevation changes are not just for aesthetics but also add an exciting challenge to the game.
Water hazards play a significant role in the course’s strategy. Numerous holes bring you face to face with picturesque lakes and ponds, demanding precise shots over water. The course’s strategic layout ensures that golfers need to think carefully about club selection and shot placement to conquer each hole.
The Quarry at Giants Ridge offers a unique and rugged golfing experience that’s both visually stunning and mentally stimulating. It’s a must-play course for those seeking adventure and a golfing challenge in the heart of Minnesota’s natural beauty.
4. The Wilds Golf Club
Nestled in the charming city of Prior Lake, The Wilds Golf Club offers a golfing experience that harmoniously blends natural beauty and a demanding layout. It’s renowned for its breathtaking scenery and its unique setting, providing golfers with a genuine wilderness experience.
The course at The Wilds winds its way through dense forests, taking you on a journey through a pristine natural landscape. As you play, the dense foliage creates a sense of isolation, immersing you in the tranquility of the woods. The rolling hills add a dynamic element to the course, making for a challenging yet enjoyable round of golf.
The fairways at The Wilds are meticulously maintained, providing a green carpet that contrasts beautifully with the lush surroundings. The greens themselves are strategically designed, often requiring precise approaches and putts.
While the golfing experience at The Wilds is demanding, it’s also incredibly rewarding. The course’s ability to transport you into the heart of nature while challenging your golfing skills makes it a must-visit for those who appreciate the serenity and challenges of a wilderness golf course.
5. Rush Creek Golf Club
Rush Creek Golf Club, located in the vibrant community of Maple Grove, has earned its place as a local favorite, and for good reason. This championship course offers a fair yet challenging test of golfing skills, making it a go-to destination for golf enthusiasts in the area.
The first thing that stands out at Rush Creek is the impeccable condition of the fairways. The well-maintained grass provides a pristine playing surface that ensures consistent ball striking. The fast greens add an extra layer of challenge, requiring a deft touch with the putter.
What makes Rush Creek truly special is its layout. The course is designed to offer a fair test for golfers of all skill levels. It presents a variety of shot options, from tee to green, allowing golfers to strategize and make choices based on their abilities and preferences. The course’s fair but challenging nature means that it can be enjoyed by both novices and experienced players.
Rush Creek’s welcoming atmosphere, together with its exceptional maintenance and thoughtful design, make it a course that keeps golfers coming back, year after year.
6. Superior National at Lutsen
For golfers seeking a unique and picturesque experience along Lake Superior’s scenic North Shore, Superior National at Lutsen is a standout choice. The course’s location along the shores of Lake Superior provides not only stunning views but also a challenging and memorable golfing experience.
As you tee off at Superior National, the views of Lake Superior stretch out before you, creating a backdrop of unparalleled beauty. The dramatic landscape, with rocky cliffs and dense forests, creates an awe-inspiring setting for your round of golf.
The fairways at Superior National are carefully carved out of the natural terrain, with strategic bunkering and challenging greens. The course’s design makes the most of the elevation changes and natural features, ensuring that golfers need to think strategically and make precise shots to navigate successfully.
The combination of breathtaking scenery and challenging golfing conditions makes Superior National at Lutsen a golfing experience like no other, ideal for those who seek the beauty of nature and the thrill of the game.
7. Maddens on Gull Lake
Maddens on Gull Lake, situated in Brainerd, is not just a single golf course; it’s a golf resort that offers multiple courses. Of these, the Pine Beach East and West courses are famous for their scenic beauty and well-designed holes, making it a golfer’s paradise.
The Pine Beach East course is known for its lush fairways and well-placed water hazards. The course offers panoramic views of Gull Lake, with holes that weave their way through towering pines and alongside pristine lakes. Each hole is a picturesque journey through the Brainerd Lakes area’s stunning landscape.
On the other hand, the Pine Beach West course complements its counterpart beautifully. It challenges golfers with its undulating terrain and strategic bunkering. This course’s unique layout takes advantage of the natural landscape and requires golfers to be both strategic and skillful.
Maddens on Gull Lake isn’t just about the golf; it’s also about the complete resort experience, with accommodations, dining, and recreational activities to complement your golfing adventure. It’s a place where you can indulge in the game while enjoying the scenic beauty and amenities that a golf resort like Maddens has to offer.
8. The Legend at Giants Ridge
Nestled within the breathtaking Giants Ridge, The Legend is a golf course designed by the renowned architect, Jeff Brauer. It stands as a true testament to the natural beauty of the Northwoods and offers a golfing experience that challenges and inspires in equal measure.
The Legend course showcases the rugged beauty of Northern Minnesota. As you play, you’ll be surrounded by towering pines, picturesque lakes, and an undulating landscape that beautifully integrates the course with the pristine wilderness. The design takes full advantage of the region’s natural features, and it’s not uncommon to see wildlife making appearances during your round.
One of the defining characteristics of The Legend is its challenge. It offers golfers a true test of their abilities, with strategic bunkering, water hazards, and subtly undulating greens. Each hole presents a unique and memorable challenge. The course is thoughtfully designed to provide a rewarding experience for golfers of varying skill levels.
The Legend at Giants Ridge has indeed earned its name as a legend in the making. It’s a course that immerses golfers in the unspoiled beauty of the Northwoods and leaves them with a deep appreciation for the magic of golf in this pristine environment.
9. Deacon’s Lodge Golf Course
Designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer, Deacon’s Lodge Golf Course in Breezy Point is nothing short of a golfing masterpiece. This gem among Minnesota’s golf courses offers golfers an unforgettable and challenging experience.
One of the most striking features of Deacon’s Lodge is its meticulous design. Arnold Palmer carefully crafted each hole to offer a balance of challenge and enjoyment. The course features strategic bunkering, elevated tees, and carefully placed hazards, ensuring that every shot requires thoughtful consideration.
One of the course’s standout features is the presence of a par-6 hole. The 11th hole, known as “Eagle’s Nest,” is the longest hole in Minnesota and offers a unique and exhilarating challenge to golfers. It requires not only power but precision to navigate the course successfully.
In addition to the superb golfing experience, Deacon’s Lodge provides an ambiance of natural beauty. The course is surrounded by serene lakes and lush forests, creating a tranquil and immersive golfing environment. The clubhouse, too, offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for post-round relaxation.
Playing at Deacon’s Lodge is not just a round of golf; it’s an opportunity to experience the artistry of Arnold Palmer’s design in the heart of Minnesota’s natural splendor.
10. TPC Twin Cities
TPC Twin Cities is a prestigious golf course located in Blaine, Minnesota. This world-class course is part of the TPC (Tournament Players Club) network, known for hosting professional golf tournaments and delivering exceptional golfing experiences.
Host of the 3M Open each July, the course at TPC Twin Cities is characterized by its immaculate conditions. The fairways are like well-manicured carpets, ensuring consistent ball striking. The greens, known for their pure and fast-rolling surfaces, present a true test of putting skills.
What sets TPC Twin Cities apart is its design. The course is thoughtfully crafted to provide golfers with a challenging but fair experience. Strategic bunkering and well-placed hazards require golfers to think critically about shot placement and club selection. The course’s layout is designed to test both the accuracy and length of your shots.
The clubhouse and facilities at TPC Twin Cities are equally impressive, offering a luxurious and welcoming atmosphere that complements the world-class golfing experience. Whether you’re a professional golfer or an avid enthusiast, TPC Twin Cities is a destination that promises a golfing experience of the highest order.
Conclusion on Minnesota’s Top Golf Courses
Minnesota’s golf scene is a testament to the state’s natural beauty and dedication to the sport. The top 10 golf courses mentioned in this article offer a range of experiences, from historic classics to rugged and contemporary layouts. Golfers of all skill levels can find their paradise in Minnesota.