Playing Favorites (1)

Playing Favorites (1)

Local business people—who are avid golfers—share some of their favorite courses in Minnesota and elsewhere.

Voigt Lenmark, president, Electric Scientific Company, a supplier of fire protection systems in St. Louis Park

How often do you play? “In the golf season, two to three times a week. I try to practice one to two other days a week.”

Handicap: 10. “I was as good as a 4, but now it’s hard work being a 10.”

Favorite Courses

Twin Cities: Wayzata Country Club—he’s been a member there for 25 years. “It’s the type of course that you can play every day. It’s not that difficult, and it’s fairly open, but yet it has uniqueness in its large, fast greens. It’s difficult to score and play well. I could play it every day and not tire of it.”

Greater Minnesota: While he estimates that he plays 85 percent of his golf at Wayzata, he does like The Classic at Madden’s in Brainerd and The Quarry at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik. “My sons encourage me to have a round someplace besides Wayzata.”

U.S. and beyond: Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is his old favorite. “I love it. I played that course 40 to 50 times in the 1970s and 1980s. It’s very challenging and very picturesque.”

His new favorite is a course he played recently, The Quarry at LaQuinta near Palm Springs, California. “The course is maintained more immaculately than any other course. We went out as a foursome and the caddie’s responsibility was to be at each ball, give the player the distance to the hole, and recommendations on how to play the shot. He also cleaned up all the divots and reseeded where it was. There was no debris on the golf course. It really impressed me.”

 

Tony Hallada, principal, LarsonAllen Financial, LLC, an investment services firm in Minneapolis

How often do you play? “I don’t play enough—maybe fifteen times a year—and I’d like to get that up considerably.” His dream, he says, would be to play two to three times a week.

Handicap: 15.

Favorite Courses

Twin Cities: Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska. “It’s a real treat to play, and it’s tough.” He also enjoys his home course, the Wayzata Country Club. “It’s a beautiful course, and we have lots of friendships with the people there. It’s a really great network and community of people.”

Greater Minnesota: The Classic at Madden’s. “It’s most people’s favorite up in that area, and we love it up there. We take the kids up there to stay every summer.”

U.S. and beyond: In the United States, Pebble Beach [Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California]. “I’ve played it once, and it’s my favorite of all the courses. It’s beautiful in that area, and the ocean holes are just spectacular.” Outside of the United States, he likes Cabo Del Sol, located on the Baja California coast of Mexico in Cabo San Lucas.

Tom Dupont, owner, Tom Dupont & Associates, a marketing firm in Minneapolis

How often do you play? He tries to play at least once on the weekend, sometimes twice a week if he can.

Handicap: 15.

Favorite Courses

Twin Cities: The Minneapolis Golf Club. “It’s very, very playable day after day, week after week. That’s why it’s always a good place for me to entertain. It’s a great track—a very challenging, traditional course—and it’s a fun golf course.”

Greater Minnesota: He likes the Northland Country Club in Duluth, but also enjoys Windsong Farm in Maple Plain.

U.S. and beyond: “Like a lot of people, I try to get someplace every year in the winter.” He enjoys the two courses at The Gallery in Tucson, Arizona. “The designers have taken the topography of the canyons and foothills and put golf courses in them. It’s just gorgeous.”

 

Randy Darcy, executive vice president and chief technology officer, General Mills in Golden Valley

How often do you play? Two to three times a week during the summer. He also plays in the City League, a competitive group consisting of the top five players at 20 country clubs around the Twin Cities.

Handicap: 2 (at home course); 1.4 index.

Favorite Courses

Twin Cities: Windsong Farm and Olympic Hills Golf Club in Eden Prairie. He’s a member at both clubs.

Greater Minnesota: While he doesn’t play much in greater Minnesota, “the courses that I like the best are The Classic at Madden’s in Brainerd and the Troy Burne Golf Club in Hudson, Wisconsin.”

U.S. and beyond: Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, and Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey. “Whistling Straits is awesome in terms of the beauty. It’s right around the Great Lakes, with elevated views of water, and has tremendous elevation changes that pose difficult challenges. I like that.” He enjoys the history of Pine Valley and the tradition surrounding the exclusive course. “The course has a lot of character, and it’s a difficult course to get on to.”

 

Sue Fischer, attorney, Rider Bennett law firm in Minneapolis; president, Minnesota chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association

How often do you play? Two to three times a week.

Handicap: 13.

Favorite Courses

Twin Cities: “There are so many beautiful courses, we’re really lucky in the Twin Cities.” One of her favorites is Legends Golf Club in Prior Lake. “It’s well-maintained and has a variety in the layout, with the beautiful setting with woods, water, and wetlands. Its signature hole, number 13, is a par 3 right across the lake.”

Greater Minnesota: Willinger Golf Club in Northfield and Superior National in the Lutsen area, with its view of Lake Superior.

U.S. and beyond: A sentimental favorite—Lawsonia Golf Club in Green Lake, Wisconsin, an hour north of Milwaukee. “It’s special. I had my hole-in-one there, on hole 16 in 2004.”

Martha Yunker, owner and president, Yunker Associates Architecture in Minneapolis

How often do you play? Two to three times a week during the golf season.

She’s been golfing for about 15 years.

Handicap: 21.

Favorite Courses

Twin Cities: The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis. “It’s one of the oldest clubs in the country, opened in 1898, and it’s where I play all the time.” She’s been a member there since 1993.

Greater Minnesota: She’s enjoyed playing Windsong Farm. “I’ve played it once, and it’s quite beautiful and demanding.” Her company designed the clubhouse and won a design award for it.

U.S. and beyond: “I liked Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz, California.” She also traveled to Ireland to play golf. “We played several places, but the three that I really enjoyed were The Waterville Golf Club, Old Head Golf Links, and LaHinch Golf Club.”

 

Mary Jeffries, president and COO, The Petters Group Worldwide, a collection of companies based in Minnetonka

How often do you play? “In the golf season, my husband and I try to play together once a week.” She calls herself a “weekend golfer.”

Handicap: 28. Her goal is to consistently shoot in the 90s. “I’m a respectable fun golfer.”

Favorite Courses

Twin Cities: Bearpath Golf and Country Club in Eden Prairie. She plays with friends who belong to different clubs but enjoys Bearpath because she’s comfortable with it.

Greater Minnesota: She’s loyal to Bearpath, but says she also likes the Legends Golf Club in Prior Lake.

U.S. and beyond: She’s enjoyed playing in Hawaii at the Kona Country Club, a course overlooking the ocean. “We teed off and watched the whales.”

 

Dave Mona, chairman, Weber Shandwick, a public relations and communications firm with offices in Bloomington

How often do you play? “One-third as many rounds as I’d like.” He plays once every other week and would prefer to play more often. “I always say that next year I’m going to play more, and I’ve said that every year since about 1975.” He’s been golfing for, “as long as I can remember with no discernable effect on my game.”

Handicap: 20.

Favorite Courses

Twin Cities: Interlachen Country Club in Edina, where he’s been a member for 12 years. “It’s a course that I like to play and entertain at.”

Greater Minnesota: He enjoys Hazeltine National Golf Club and going up to The Classic at Madden’s.

U.S. and beyond: “It’s really hard to come up with one. I’ve played Pebble Beach three times, and I remember the details of each of the rounds. It’s such a spectacular course, with the holes along the sea.” He says The Bay Course in Kapalua, Maui, is one of the most beautiful courses he’s played. “The 5th hole is right over the ocean, and it’s an absolutely gorgeous piece of real estate.”

Tim Ridley, partner, Meagher & Geer law firm in Minneapolis

How often do you play? Two or three times a week—he’s been golfing for 20 years. “I played with my father when I was little,” he says, but didn’t pursue it as a teenager. “I really enjoy it now.”

Handicap: 7.

Favorite Courses

Twin Cities: He has three: Minneapolis Golf Club, Wayzata Country Club, and Interlachen Country Club. “All those courses are scenic and challenging.” He’s also a member at The Minikahda Club.

Greater Minnesota: He doesn’t play outside of the Twin Cities a lot, but he likes The Classic at Madden’s, Giant’s Ridge, and The Wilderness at Fortune Bay in Tower.

U.S. and beyond: He again names three: Pebble Beach, Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, and The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

 

Larry Berle, founder, LB Productions, an entertainment company in Minneapolis. His book about playing Golf Digest’s top 100 golf courses in the United States over a 10-year span will be released in May.

How often do you play? “Now that I’m not working anymore, I play three or four times a week. That’s been pretty consistent for past couple of years.”

Handicap: 12. “It’s changed in the past year and gone down a little but hangs around in that area.”

Favorite Courses

Twin Cities: Interlachen Country Club. “It’s extremely well-designed and taken care of, with a fair amount of history in it. There’s something about the experience out there that makes it a wonderful place to play golf.” He’s also been a member at Bearpath for ten years.

Greater Minnesota: He likes Giants Ridge, but there are plenty of great courses to choose from, he says. “In the last five or six years, they’ve built some really terrific public courses in Minnesota: The Wilds [Golf Club in Prior Lake], Rush Creek [Golf Club in Maple Grove], Troy Burne. There is terrific stuff in Brainerd, too. Brainerd has made a real effort to promote itself as a golf destination.”

U.S. and beyond: Considering his experience, it’s not surprising that he has several favorites. “The group would include Pebble Beach; Cyprus Point Club, a very private club right next door to Pebble Beach; and a place called Merion Golf Club, a private club in Philadelphia.” He also notes Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, a lush course in the middle of the desert, created by Las Vegas resort developer Steve Wynn and architect Tom Fazio.

 

Ryan Alexander, financial representative, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, an insurance and financial services firm in Edina

How often do you play? Three times a week in the golf season. “I do half my business through golf and specifically prospect for [clients] that are golfers. They have to share the same passion for the game as I do.”

Handicap: 0.

Favorite Courses

Twin Cities: Interlachen Country Club—he grew up playing high school golf there. “But day in, day out, I like the Minneapolis Golf Club. It’s a player’s club, and it has the most single-digit handicappers in the state. I love the course. I could play three times a week and never get tired of it.” He’s been a member at the club for five years, joining when he was just 24.

Greater Minnesota: He’s played all of the courses in the state and says he enjoys Windsong Farm.

U.S. and beyond: Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona, is one of many favorites. Of the club’s seven courses, he enjoyed Chiricahua the most. “I like desert courses, with the mountains and the perfect green patches stuck in the middle of the desert scenery.” He’s also enjoyed playing St. Andrews in Scotland, where he shot a -2 while playing with his father in 2002. “It was the greatest experience. I birdied the last hole on the Old Course and my dad shot a 75.”