Recent MN Golf Course Reviews


Franchi$e
South Saint Paul, MN
6 Reviews
Deacons Lodge Golf Course of Breezy Point, MN
  
Deacon’s Lodge.

This is a 5 star course all the way. One word: EPIC.

If you’re into being treated like a big deal – people loading your clubs on the cart and washing your clubs when your round is finished, this course has it. If you’re into huge rolling hills and breathtaking northwoods scenery, this course has it.

Most importantly, if you’re into exceptional, challenging golf, this course has it.

However, if you’re into grip and it and rip it easy golf, you’re in for a long day. Make no mistake, this course is extremely demanding. On probably a third of the holes, you are forced to make a pretty much perfect shot or you will be in trouble. Play it safe off the tee and you will have a tough approach. Bomb it off the tee and you’ll still have a tough approach. And the greens are undulating and tricky. Course knowledge and strategy are critical. Every time I play it I feel just a little closer to getting a handle on the course.

If you look at the online pictures and hole by hole layout thinking “OK, it’s just a golf course . No problem,” you will be unpleasantly surprised. But if you come with a realistic understanding of your game, knowing that this course will humble you, it’s fun.

I’ve played it four times now and it’s the most epic course I have ever played. It humbles me every time, but it’s so fun. Every hole seems to force the golfer into some shot that’s out of the comfort zone. Just a normal 130 yard approach becomes an epic hero shot because of the danger lurking everywhere – forced carries, tough collection areas around a lot of greens, water.

(*This course used to be run by Grandview Lodge, now owned and run by Breezy Point. Grandview was a much better fit in almost every way. The course fits better with the much nicer Pines and Preserve for the Grandview golf packages, while the other Breezy courses are mediocre and often not well kept at all. But Deacon’s is a doozy and well worth your time if you’re up in the area). I've played there at discount prices with the Breezy Point and Grandview packages - but it's pretty pricey usually.

If you don’t mind a serious golfing challenge and you like your golf EPIC, Deacon’s Lodge is hard to beat. Definitely worth playing once in your life, but it gets better the more you play it and start figuring out a strategic approach. Enjoy!

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Date Played: May 14, 2015 | Cost: $30


Franchi$e
South Saint Paul, MN
6 Reviews
Hidden Greens Golf Course of Hastings, MN
  
If you’re into the super-expensive courses with every blade of grass accounted for, this might not be for you, but Hidden Greens is a really nice golf course. In terms of value for good golf, this is a 5-star course, but I just reserve 5 stars for courses that are both ridiculously nice courses worth playing at any price, and also reasonably priced!

Hidden Greens has a lot going for it in terms of golf: Lots of wooded fairways, interesting dog leg holes, judicious use of water hazards, clean and true putting greens, and an interesting layout. Down in Hastings off the beaten path, it feels isolated in the woods without a huge drive to get there. Even the scorecard is excellent, with really helpful local tips for how to play the holes.

Plus, the staff is always friendly and you can tell most of the players are there to play golf, not just party or waste time on a golf course. It has reasonable rates in general, with good twilight rates and specials.

It’s not a wide open track – you need to make strategic, quality tee shots on most holes to have a good look at birdie or par – but it’s not overly narrow or unfair. Nothing gimmicky, either.

I play most of my local golf on the southeast metro courses. There are a lot of nice ones (including Bellwood Oaks on the adjacent property directly south of Hidden Greens), but this one might be my favorite. Recommended.

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Date Played: April 10, 2015 | Cost: $25


Franchi$e
South Saint Paul, MN
6 Reviews
Inver Wood Golf Course - The Executive of Inver Grove Heights, MN
  
No executive course will have the epic grandeur of a full length championship 18. But for what an executive course is supposed to be, this is as good as it gets. 3 par 4s of short to medium length, lots of interesting views with water hazards and gullies to cross with your shots, Inverwood is an interesting executive track.

The thing I like the most about it is that it feels like a shorter version of the big-boy courses. It has rolling hills and reasonably generous landing areas on the par 4s, there are no houses around and it weaves through the championship course seamlessly. Just a little wider and more friendly than most narrow execs, this course also has the same nice greens as their primary course.

The last 3 holes in particular are fun. 7 is a par 3 of about 125-140 over a pond. 8 is a longer uphill par 4 with an elevated tee box. And 9 is a beautiful par 3 over a huge gully onto the elevated green – it’s a thrill when you stick your shot on #9.

If you want a quick 9 holes in the area, this is a good choice. My opinion: go to Arbor Pointe a little further south for a more challenging (downright difficult at times) round and walk, and go to Inverwood for a little easier and more luxuriant executive 9 experience. Great golf.

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Date Played: March 2, 2015 | Cost: $14.50


Franchi$e
South Saint Paul, MN
6 Reviews
Arbor Pointe Golf Club of Inver Grove Heights, MN
  
Best short course in the area.

Most short courses are just short, without much challenge or anything interesting, for about $15 for 9 holes walking. Arbor Pointe is an exceptional short course, with challenge and danger around every corner, for around $15 for 9 holes walking.

This course -- Par 31 (five par 3s and two par 4s) -- was designed by Garrett Gill and opened in the late 90s. It weaves through a neighborhood in Inver Grove Heights, with town-homes lining some of the fairways (so this is not for the faint of heart or the under-insured), leading the golfer across a street and back during the round, and every hole is difficult. With lots of trees, water (with a few forced carries), thick rough and other dangers throughout this course, a high percentage of mishits end up in lost balls and penalty stokes.

For being a neighborhood course, it is actually quite scenic, with a lot of hilly lies and elevation changes. In particular, every time my score blows up on the infuriatingly difficult par 4 fourth hole, I swear as I cross the street, then look back to see that gorgeous rolling downhill fairway and smile at its beauty in spite of my rage.

The greens are not usually super-fast, but they are always in good condition and roll true. The clubhouse is small and no-frills, but they're all nice and accommodating.

Some issues I have with the course: The rough should be a little less rough, the tee boxes should be a little more level (there are side-hill lies throughout the course, so that tee shot is the one time you should get a perfectly level and fair lie), and they should put water at some of the holes because it is a pretty grueling walk compared to most short courses I've been on. These are small concerns, though. I spent a year as a member here, and after playing it nearly 100 times, I still find it enjoyable, interesting and challenging.

If you want your short course to be a boring, easy test of your game, this is not a good choice. But if you want a challenging, interesting exec nine at a good price, and you don't mind a course weaving through a neighborhood, this is a great course.

For an executive 9, this gets 4.5 out of 5.

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Date Played: October 17, 2013 | Cost: $15


corey
Annandale, MN
1 Reviews
Whispering Pines Golf Club of Annandale, MN
  
Played Whispering Pines for the third time since last summer. The course has some of the best greens in the Greater Twin Cities area. It is truly a 'hidden gem' of a golf course. Excellent greens, well-maintained fairways and a test for your golfing abilities. You have to think about your shots and then execute to get a low score. A great course to spend an afternoon of golf with friends. Very friendly staff how make you feel welcome and appreciate the opportunity to make your round fun.

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Date Played: September 14, 2013 | Cost: $30.00


Franchi$e
South Saint Paul, MN
6 Reviews
Rich Valley Golf Club of Rosemount, MN
  
This is a budget course that costs a little too much, but I like it. Not for golf snobs.

At Rich Valley, they seem to be focused on providing budget golf, but their deals (18 w/ cart for $27 or $28 during the week and $ thirty something on weekends) can be easily beaten by much nicer courses if you’re willing to spend 10 minutes on golfnow.

In terms of the course, it feels like an intentionally budget course. Nothing to it really. A couple of tiny water hazards over 27 holes. Just so-so greens (and sometimes not even that), back-yard fairways, no real vistas or elevation changes. It’s just a big cow pasture that someone decided to make into a golf course. (The blue nine is the most like a real course – that is a nice nine holes – the white and red are just kind of long and weird).

I like this course, though. Its weaknesses are kind of what makes it a fun course. With minimal tree coverage – extremely minimal – it’s a slicer’s/high-handicapper’s paradise. Slice it two fairways over and you can still get a shot at your green. It’s fun because you don’t have to worry about anything. A great place to play if you don’t take golf or yourself too seriously.

Go with some buddies from work or with someone brand new to the game, check your highbrow preferences (and your desire to save those extra $7 for a REALLY nice course) at the door, get a beer and have a good time.

Staff was friendly enough - no real pro shop or anything. Ranger Bob was nice - he commisserated with me on a missed birdie putt that he has apparently missed himself from the same spota bunch of times. I appreciated that.

In the final analysis, Rich Valley is a fun budget course that just costs too much for what they’re offering. If they would accept their status amongst many, many superior courses in the area, they would be charging $20 for 18 w/ cart all the time, maybe less, and I would play there a lot more often, because I love playing golf and it's a fun, non-threatening course.

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Date Played: August 15, 2013 | Cost: $27


Franchi$e
South Saint Paul, MN
6 Reviews
Thompson Oaks Golf Course of West Saint Paul, MN
  
OK, $14 is not a lot of money, but since Inverwood and Arbor Pointe are within 10 minutes, are vastly superior in every conceivable way, and cost about the same, consider going elsewhere until they start offering some real discounted rates.

A par 29 with two par 4s and no reason to ever pull driver, this is a very short course in West Saint Paul. If you don't get behind the Golden Girls, it's a fast round - an hour or less for one able bodied hacker to get around. I enjoy it because it's easy and doesn't matter, but I always feel a little ripped off for what you get at that price.

Generally short and boring, but it's easy and it's fine.

Most of the time I've played here, the greens did not count as greens. I'm not snotty-golfer bringing my stimp-meter to the course or anything, but these greens make you want to take up a collection in your foursome to buy the course a lawnmower -- watching your ball bounce and hobble along somewhere near the cup. Come on, guys, cut the greens.

2/5 stars. Unless you want a boring round with pretty lousy greens, or your car broke down on Oakdale ave in West Saint Paul and you have an hour to kill, get on 52 and go south to play Arbor Pointe or Inver Wood's executive course for about the same price.

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Date Played: August 11, 2013 | Cost: $14


tonergt
Lakeville, MN
1 Reviews
Apple Valley Golf Course of Apple Valley, MN
  
Decent little course. Here's the problem. We had a tee time late this morning and there were only 3-4 cars in the parking lot. That should have been our first clue for a beautiful Sunday. We played the first 2 holes then caught up to the foursome on #3. Old guys playing slow, but we should expect that on this type of course. To solve the problem me and my wife were going to jump ahead a couple holes, then come back and finish the holes we would have waited on. keep in mind that me and my wife along with the guys in front of us are the only ones on the course. We were making our way to hole number 6 when, I think it was the manager drove up and said we couldn't move to other holes and that he would ask the old guys (who are members) to speed it up. We didn't want to bother them, they were probably going as fast as they could. When I ask what the problem was with jumping to different holes to keep our round going he would only say "we don't allow that". Keep in mind, there were only 2 holes being occupied on the whole course! I then asked for a pro-rated refund, to which he said no, thus we immediately left. I'll be putting a stop order on my check tomorrow.

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Date Played: July 14, 2013 | Cost: $15


kdani
Rochester, MN
5 Reviews
Excellent public course! On America's 100 greatest public golf courses, Golf Digest best place to play...Northern Minnesota golf doesn't get any better than this. The scenery is breath taking and the course was in excellent condition. The restaurant was great as well, very good food. Great customer service.

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Date Played: April 19, 2013 | Cost: $85


kdani
Rochester, MN
5 Reviews
This was a great course! Greens and fairways were in excellent condition. The staff was excellent and went above and beyond to meet our every need. A must play!

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Date Played: April 17, 2013 | Cost: $32