Quiet greens, top-quality courses, and dreamy seasonal foliage make Minnesota a wonderful place to play golf. But with over 400 courses to choose from in the land of 10,000 lakes, choosing a spot for your golf break is no small task! Let us help you narrow down your search with this guide to the best golf destinations in Minnesota.
1. Interlachen Country Club, Edina
With endless greenery and lots of challenges, Interlachen Country Club offers a prestigious golfing experience. Founded in 1909, it has welcomed top events like the 1930 US Open, the 2002 Solheim Cup, and the 2009 US Women’s Open. Its impressive collection of accolades earned Interlachen the top spot on Golf Digest’s list of the best places to play in the state.
Interlachen has a brilliant design, first created by Willie Watson and updated by the famous architect Donald Ross 10 years later. Fast greens, tricky par-fours, and fun water features keep the game exciting. The signature 9th hole is the spot where Bobby Jones took his famous lily pad shot, and offers a lake, bunkers, and trees to contend with. But Interlachen is most popular for its glorious greenery and wide variety of trees lining its fairways, guaranteeing a refreshing and picturesque experience.
2. White Bear Yacht Club, Dellwood
For a truly classic game of golf, make sure you check out White Bear Yacht Club. William Watson built the course in 1912 and ignored the trappings of leveling and remodeling we have come to expect from modern courses. Creating a varied route through the natural landscape, you can expect an authentic game and plenty to keep you on your toes.
With glimpses of White Bear Lake and rolling rugged terrain, this is a stunning course to play. But don’t be fooled by its beauty. Challenging fairways and unforgiving terrain make White Bear Yacht Club a true test of your skills. The par-4 5th hole is sure to stir up some frustration.
3. Northland Country Club, Duluth
Northland Country Club is a little out of the way, lying close to the Canadian border. But it’s more than worth the detour. With sweeping vistas over Lake Superior, this cliff-top course offers a serene golfing experience. Play your way through 6,825 yards of gently rolling terrain, including rustling tree-lined fairways, tricky water hazards, and fast greens.
Northland Country Club is on a hill leading all the way down to Lake Superior, providing over 200 feet of elevation change. The uphill 10th hole could have you tearing your hair out but persevere until the 13th, where the glorious waterside views have earned the name ‘infinity green’.
4. Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska
For a challenging golf course with plenty of style, check out Hazeltine National Golf Club. A former host to the US Open, Ryder Cup, and PGA Tour, the 350-acre course has enough to trip up even the most skilled of golfers. Contend with bunker-lined fairways, water hazards, and a high chance wind will derail your shot. But with manicured fairways, idyllic woodland, and Lake Hazeltine views, you’ll have more than enough motivation to keep playing.
Don’t be fooled by the small 8th hole. This pretty par 3 is a narrow maze of water and sand guaranteed to drive you crazy. The same goes for the 16th hole which is as difficult as it is beautiful. If you successfully navigate the rough, creek, and lake, then you could have everything to play for as you approach the final holes.
5. The Minikahda Club, Minneapolis
Another masterpiece from Willie Watson, Minikahda is the oldest country club west of the Mississippi. They make a huge effort to maintain their heritage. Minikahda translates as “by the side of the water” in Dakota and their club logo is based on an Indian shield, which you can find framed in their clubhouse.
The short 140-acre course is picturesque but challenging, with a waterside setting and rolling woodlands. The signature 11th offers a tranquil setting but this hole is anything but! You’ll need to chip over a pond to reach a shallow green guarded by two bunkers.
6. Spring Hill Golf Club, Wayzata
Keeping close to its original topography, Spring Hill Golf Club makes the most of gentle rolling terrain weaving through the marshland. Endless maple trees create a tapestry of color through the seasons. Despite its focus on blending into the surrounding nature, the course is pristine, making it a joy to play.
You’ll find lots to challenge you at Spring Hill Golf Club, from uphill shots to tight fairways. The signature 16th hole can throw a huge curveball for your final score, with tricky elevation changes and strategic bunker placement.
7. Madden’s on Gull Lake, Brainerd
Madden’s Resort has a collection of fabulous amenities and four different golf courses to choose from. Fidis Travel rates it as one of the top places to do a stay-and-play package in the Midwest, making it a great option for an extended golfing vacation. Choose from the varied Pine Beach West course, the charming Pine Beach East Course, or challenge yourself with The Classic Course.
The Classic is a beautiful hilly course surrounded by deciduous and evergreen forest. As you venture past marshland and Bass Lake, you’ll need to battle narrow fairways and shots over water features. The challenging 16th hole is littered with hazards and everything leans to the left.
8. Windsong Farm Golf Club, Maple Plain
Sweeping across a former horse farm, Windsong Farm Golf Club will leave you feeling like you escaped to the country. Serving as the clubhouse, a lavish farmhouse overlooks the course, creating the atmosphere of a stately home from 100 years ago.
Large greens make the most of the picturesque surroundings while fast greens and changing winds provide plenty of disruption. The signature par-4 3rd hole features exciting water hazards and a high risk/reward scenario.
9. Giant’s Ridge Golf and Ski Resort, Biwabik
Why not add more epic fun to your golfing vacation? Giant’s Ridge Resort offers an emporium of mountain activities, on-site lodging, and two championship golf courses. Its outstanding setting along Wynn Lake makes it a great option for the whole family.
Play The Legend- a scenic course great for all levels of player. Or, challenge yourself at The Quarry. This quirky course is on a former iron ore site and has a fun design that’ll keep you guessing for all 18 holes.
10. The Wilderness at Fortune Bay
Carved into the Vermilion Lake Indian Reservation, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay is a fantastic example of Midwestern golf. Rocky outcrops, dense pine forests, and the sparkling Lake Vermilion allow you to incorporate a journey through nature into your golf game. It’s also part of the Fortune Bay Resort, providing rooms, a casino, and outdoor adventures that’ll keep everyone entertained.
Whether you’re playing lakeside or on a granite hilltop, you’ll have panoramic paradise at every turn. Have a blast on huge fairways, challenging uphill approaches, and wetlands teeming with wildlife.
Author Bio – Jason Young
Jason is the co-founder of Fidis Travel and also its main editor. His role includes reviewing and fact-checking articles from Fidis Travel’s contributors and – of course – writing some pieces himself. When he’s not traveling or writing, he spends his time playing golf or practicing musical instruments