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Best Golf Courses in Minnesota

The 2016 Ryder Cup showcased the best of Minnesota golf. The fall weather was picture-perfect for HD TV broadcasts, the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska proved to be an entertaining venue, and, best of all, an enthusiastic home crowd cheered the Americans to a rare victory in one of the best golf courses in Minnesota.


Minnesotans love golf. As evidence, the state has more golf courses per capita than anywhere in America. Although there are a few standalone courses sprinkled in outposts throughout the state, the best golf courses in Minnesota typically exist in three hotbeds within the state; the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Brainerd three hours north, and the remote Iron Range farther northeast. In these destinations, you’ll find golf as good as anywhere in the Midwest.


South of Twin Cities, Prior Lake delivers the best 54-hole combination in the suburbs, with rounds at The Legends Golf Club, The Wilds Golf Club by Tom Weiskopf & Jay Morrish and the Meadows at Mystic Lake, a casino course. Other top choices are spread out: to the south you have Willingers Golf Club in Northfield; to the north, Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove and Edinburgh USA Golf Course in Brooklyn Park; to the west, Bluff Creek Golf Course (pictured above) in Chaska; and to the east, StoneRidge Golf Club in Stillwater.


City slickers escape to Brainerd for their cottages and lakes. Gull Lake is the centerpiece for two of Minnesota’s best golf resorts, the 63-hole Madden’s on Gull Lake and the 45-hole Cragun’s Resort On Gull Lake. The Classic at Madden’s is the quintessential Top-100 experience, with walking and caddies available. The 45-hole Grand View Lodge anchors Nisswa, a shopping destination filled with boutique stores. Further north in Pequot Lakes is Breezy Point Resort. Its 54 holes are highlighted by Deacon’s Lodge, one of the best Arnold Palmer-designed courses in the world.


For golfers looking to check off more Top 100-ranked courses from their bucket lists, it will take an adventurous spirit. The backroads eventually lead to Giants Ridge Golf Course in Biwabik and the Wilderness at Fortune Bay in Tower. Texas-based architect Jeff Brauer put Minnesota’s Iron Range on golfers’ maps with three projects from 1997 to the mid-2000s; the Quarry and The Legend courses and the Wilderness Fortune Bay. Golfers can stay at the Fortune Bay Casino, or go more rustic in the lodge and villas of Giants Ridge. Fishing, boating, hiking, trail riding and more adventures off the course will pack your days with fun and your heart with joy.


Good weather is fleeting in Minnesota, so get outside and enjoy the best golf courses in Minnesota while you can.


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