Minnesota’s beautiful golf courses regularly host some of the countries biggest tournaments. Although many of the state’s renowned courses belong to private clubs, several of Minnesota’s best golf courses are public: All you need is a set of clubs, a greens fee, and a lot of patience. These are our favorites.
Both of Giants Ridge’s premier courses, the Legend and the Quarry are regularly ranked among the nation’s best courses by several leading golf publications. Both of these challenging courses offer a stunning combination of top-notch golf and gorgeous Northwoods scenery. Plus, Giants Ridge is the only resort in the state where you can play two such highly-ranked courses.
Regulary ranked among the best public courses in the Twin Cities, StoneRidge Golf Club offers the public an experience that feels a lot like membership. In additional to a course of challenging bentgrass fairways and irregular bunkering, StoneRidge is also home to a well-appointed pro shop and a full-service restaurant and bar.
Another stunning course in Minnesota’s far North, the Wilderness was designed by Jeffrey Brauer. The course is sculpted from the pines, poplars, and aspens that fringe the shoreline of Lake Vermilion, making it one of the state’s prettiest courses. A restaurant and pro shop help golfers round out the experience and relax after 18 holes.
Rush Creek is a perennial among best public course lists in Minnesota. Host of several national pro and amateur events, Rush Creek has been challenging golfers from the Twin Cities and around the world since 1996. A golf academy, banquet facilities, and the Highlander Restaurant round out the course’s offerings.
Deacon’s Lodge is the Arnold Palmer-designed signature course at the Breezy Point Resort, in the Brainerd Lakes region. Built across 500 acres of pine forests, along lakes, and among the areas pristine wetlands, Deacon’s Lodge is sure to challenge any level of golfer. Fortunately, the beauty of the course helps to keep the blood pressure in check.
Legends Club is located on the southern edge of the Twin Cities metro. Hewn from the lakes, ponds, creeks, and wetlands of Prior Lake, Legends Club was designed by Gill Miller to be an always-challenging course. However, it was built with sustainability in mind so it challenges only golfers and not its environment.
The Classic is truly a classic course at a classic Brainerd Lakes area resort: Madden’s. The course was designed by its superintendent, Scott Hoffman, with an emphasis on walkability. Beautiful views and challenging holes make this course a walk you definitely won’t mind taking. Caddies are availble for those who wish to lighten their load.
Built along 800 acres of Mississippi River bluffs, the Jewel offers golfers sweeping views across the river valley to Wisconsin. But this Hale Irwin-designed course is as challenging as it is beautiful. The rugged bluffs and hardwood forests of the area mean that golfers will see a lot of changes in terrain and elevation. After all that climbing, take a break on the restaurant’s terrace and enjoy the views without worrying about your ball.
Rees Jones designed Dacotah Ridge to complement and take advantage of Western Minnesota’s rolling prairies and hardwood forests. Built among 240 acres of mature trees and around a 14-acre lake, Dacotah Ridge’s links trace the winding track of Wabasha Creek as it snakes through the landscape. A full-service restaurant and bar, as well as a pro shop, help to complete your trip to Morton.
The Chaska Town Course is likely the most-well-thought-of municipal course in the state: Golf Week named it among the nation’s top 25 city courses. Sharing the same terrain as nearby Hazeltine National—multi-time host of the U.S. Open and many other events—the Town Course is often tapped when a major event requires another nearby-yet-challenging course.