Finding my Minnesota golf answer

I am a fan of lists. I’ve been tracking where I’ve played golf and how many different courses I’ve played each year since 2002.

I would love to know how many different courses I have ever played in my lifetime, but that seems very difficult to get a complete picture of. It at least seems like a very time-intensive process.

Yesterday, I received the latest issue of Minnesota Golfer in the mail. As is generally the case this time of the year, the issue included a directory of all of the MGA member clubs in the state. I went through the list and put together a new page at the top of the blog that includes my best estimation of every course I\’ve played in Minnesota.

Apparently there are more than 400 courses in the state that are MGA members. They range from little 9-holers to courses that are ranked nationally for various reasons. There are places on the list where playing shirtless in the summer is acceptable attire to places that are quite stuffy and smell of money.

Among those 400 are courses I would love to play (or play again) and others that I don’t have much or any interest in. After all, I do believe that life is too short to play bad golf courses.


My total courses in Minnesota: 129.

That total does include three courses not listed in the directory (I’m assuming they aren’t MGA members) and three that are no longer in operation. Most of these courses were played from age 15-23 when I played junior tournaments across the state and when I was in college and playing all sorts of random metro public courses in college. Or they have been played since I moved back to Minneapolis about 10 years ago.

Since moving back and being a member at a couple of different clubs, I’ve had opportunities to play a lot of the private clubs in the Twin Cities. Some of been in tournaments/events ranging from the state Mid-Amateur (you have to be at least 30 to enter) to St. Paul City League action. I’ve also gotten on some when my club has hosted events and other clubs have given us tee times.

Are there some courses I still want to play? Certainly.

What’s still on the to-do list?

1. White Bear Yacht Club — It is the only course on Golf Digest’s Minnesota top 20 that I haven’t played.

2. Edina Country Club — I’m interested in seeing this after it reopens. The plans of the Tom Lehman redesign look cool.

3. The new Hazeltine — The course is scheduled to reopen reasonably early this season after a bunch of work has been done. Would love to see the changes.

4. The tournament courses — I’ve never played either Bemidji or Detroit, hosts of two of the three major week-long amateur tournaments. I’d love to play in either the Birchmont or Pine to Palm (or the Resorters in Alexandria).  It seems like it would be a great week of golf and fun.

5. I do hear good things about a few of the outstate courses I’ve never seen. Cloquet CC apparently had nine holes designed by Donald Ross. The Bridges (formerly Winona CC) is supposed to be cool and quirky. I’ve heard that the new Wedgewood Cove in Albert Lea isn’t bad.

Hopefully I’ll get to some new places this year and that total of 129 will grow in 2011.


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