Even when a snow storm hits Minnesota and buries the outside beneath a layer of white, A Lot of Green ensures your golf skills won't dip like the thermometer's mercury. Here, high-definition golf simulators invite you to putt and drive across virtual replicas of some of the world's most renowned courses, including Spanish Bay, Casa de Campo, and Pebble Beach. The easy-to-use simulators feature touch screens and post accurate measurements after every shot, such as club speed, launch angle, and how far your ball would have carried before having to deploy its parachute. Private lessons are available, and an on-site sports grill keeps swings strong with sandwiches, pizzas, and beer.
With its clubhouse occupying a renovated ivory barn originally built in the 1930s, CreeksBend Golf Course transports golfers back to a bygone era before embarking on a trip across a prairieland course replete with bucolic flourishes. As bluegrass fairways bob and weave across more than 80 acres of ponds and wetlands, quaint footbridges make the course navigable for clubbers and caddies yet to develop gills. Water comes into play on nine holes across the 6,293-yard, par 71 course, including on the signature seventh hole, a 161-yard par 3 where tee shots must clear a creek and avoid hydraulic hazards left of and behind the green. Before rounds, golfers can roll orbs across the 10,000-square-foot practice green to prepare for the course's speedy bentgrass putting surfaces, or share a tender bonding moment with their 3-wood at the grass tee driving range. After rounds, players enjoy retiring to the clubhouse restaurant to refuel with refreshments and casual grill fare.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 71 course
Length of 6,293 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 70.6 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 131 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
Water cascades over the precipice of a towering rock face, forming an elevated waterfall that overlooks the 18-hole circuit at Malt-Tees Mini Golf (formerly known as Adventure Gardens Mini Golf). Featured in CBS Minnesota's Best Things to Do in Richfield, the course winds through a labyrinth of colorful gardens and flowing streams, which players navigate via a system of bridges and putter pole-vaulting challenges. After rounds, appetites piqued by celebratory putter-gnawing can find relief at the malt shop, which serves up frozen desserts, drinks, and light snacks.
Golfers of all experience and confidence levels are accommodated by 18 diverse holes spanning more than 6,600 yards of well-groomed fairways and four sets of tees. Designed by Joel Goldstrand, the Heritage Links course features arbor-lined greens, 45 bunkers, and challenging water hazards on 16 of the 18 holes. Before you saunter up to swing for your full round, warm up your putt and pendulum arm in Heritage's practice facility, consisting of a wide-open driving range and manicured putting greens. In between holes, keep your feet and legs well rested in preparation for their victory dance by kicking up your spikes and relaxing in the included golf cart.
Lake Wissota Golf and Southern Hills Golf courses feature traditional well-kempt greens and challenging obstacles. Measuring more than 6,000 yards each from start to finish, these ball-battered battlegrounds envelop players in grandiose frondescence as they steer dimpled warriors past water hazards and sand traps filled with frowns. Each hole greets gurus and greenhorns with three sets of tee boxes from which to swing, marked by specific colors according to difficulty. Rather than slow roasting clubs before rounds, players can warm up naturally with a small bucket of balls on the full-sized driving ranges, or swing equipment-toting hatchbacks up to one of the full-service pro shops to procure hole-conquering provisions. Both locations recommend scheduling tee times in advance.
At Golf USA of Eden Prairie, golf shoes and gear line the walls, and seemingly endless rows of clubs stand like soldiers at the ready. The shop's experienced staffers match golfers with the optimal equipment during personalized club fittings, and employ a computerized swing analysis to provide objective feedback. They can also re-grip or repair clubs bent from too much hacking at interfering pine trees.