Grand Golf for All-May 2012

Grand Golf for All-May 2012

The Twin Cities offers an abundance of superb public courses.

With a wealth of distinctive public golf courses in the Twin Cities, you don’t need a country club membership to treat your VIP guests to a great afternoon on the links. For optimum executive-style ease and efficiency, remember to book tee times, cart, and rental clubs well in advance, as these courses are in high demand.

Rush Creek Golf Club

In true Twin Cities’ philanthropic tradition, Rush Creek was developed by W. Duncan MacMillan, a scion of the Cargill family. An avid golfer, MacMillan told the Star Tribune in 2004 that he wanted to “make something available for golfers in Minnesota that wouldn’t happen otherwise.” Designed by John Fought and Bob Cupp, this Scottish-inspired 18-hole par-72 course was the site of the 2004 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and several LPGA events. In 2011, the club was voted Course of the Year by the Midwest Golf Course Owners Association. Outdoor dining, as well as meeting and banquet facilities, are available. Guest fees for 18 holes: $109. Maple Grove, 763-494-8844,


Braemar Golf Course

In 1869, Andrew Craik, a Scotsman, named the Edina Mill after his hometown of Edinburgh; the name of the town followed. More than three-quarters of a century later, Braemar Golf Course was carved out of the green, rolling prairie. Today, Braemar’s convenient location (just off Highway 169 between Interstate 494 and Highway 62), scenic course, superb conditions, reasonable fees, and personalized service have made it one of Golf Digest’s top 75 public courses. With 27 regulation holes and two executive courses, Braemar is challenging for novice golfers and playable for experts. After a day on the links, invite your guests to join you for a round of gin and tonics followed by a celebratory steak dinner at nearby Jimmy’s Food & Cocktails, just off Shady Oak Road and Highway 62. Guest fees for nine holes: $20; for 18 holes: $39. Edina, 952-903-5750,


Chaska Town Course

Located less than three miles from the high-profile, exclusive Hazeltine National Golf Club, this top-notch 18-hole public course offers an equally memorable experience for the purist golfer. Named one of the top 100 municipal golf courses by Golfweek magazine, the challenging, Arthur Hills–designed course meanders over 285 scenic acres of prairie, marshland, and woods. After putting your clubs away, relax with an Arnie Palmer on the patio of Charlie’s Grille and enjoy the sweeping views. Guest fees for 18 holes: $60 weekday, $66 weekend. Chaska, 952-443-3748,

Highland National Golf Course

If your clients have an interest in St. Paul history, a round of golf at Highland National is a must. Wait till you reach the Snoopy-shaped bunker at the 15th hole to explain that this is where cartoonist Charles Schulz learned to play. This landmark course features three sets of tee boxes, an array of challenging hole layouts, 10 ponds, and countless grand old trees. Afterward, make tracks to the nearby Liffey pub and raise a glass of single-malt scotch to Snoopy on the rooftop patio. Guest fees for nine holes: $21; for 18 holes: $33 weekday, $35 weekend. St. Paul, 651-695-3774,


Les Bolstad University of Minnesota Golf Course

For old-school golfers, this classic collegiate golf club is as picturesque as a vintage postcard. Designed in 1929 as a nine-hole executive track, the 18-hole, parkland-style course was renamed in 1983 in honor of legendary Gopher golf coach Les Bolstad. Over the decades, the course (which also plays an important role in the university’s turf grass management program) has hosted Tom Lehman, Louis Lick, Karen Weiss, John Harris, and other Minnesota golf greats, as well as a long list of Big 10, NCAA, and state Public Links championships. Guest fees for 18 holes: $33; discounts for students, faculty, and staff. St. Paul, 612-627-4000,


Como Golf Course

For urban charm, few Twin Cities courses can rival Como Golf Course, situated behind the storybook Como Park Zoo and Conservatory and across the parkway from scenic Lake Como. Ideal for an easy afternoon of golf, this sporty, rolling 18-hole course is dotted with bunkers, water hazards, and elevation changes. As a bonus, you can see (and hear) the zoo from the seventh and eighth holes. Guest fees for nine holes: $18; 18 holes: $30 weekday, $32 weekend. St. Paul, 651-488-9673,

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