Designed atop a moraine left by glaciers thousands of years ago, Spring Valley Golf Course showcases two distinct front and back nine sides featuring significant elevation changes due to the landscape's ancient terrain. The front nine is designed over a deposit of debris, rocks, and the scribbled wills of melting icebergs, a tricky track of holes where wind becomes a factor due to the scarcity of trees. As soon as players make the turn to the more challenging back nine, towering pine trees crowd the narrow fairways and demand extremely precise course play.
Players can browse the latest equipment or rest weary legs on the Pro Shop's welcoming porch, a prime vantage point for watching players take aim at the green of the par 3 seventh hole or swordfight with sand wedges over a disagreement concerning maximum gimme distance. The grounds also encompass a restaurant and full bar area.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,053 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70.4 from the back tees * Course slope of 124 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
The two courses at Mississippi National Golf Links?the Highlands and the Lowlands?do share a few things in common. Both are 18-hole layouts with a par of 71, they boast beginner-friendly lengths of less than 6,500 yards, and they offer players sweeping panoramas of the Red Wing Bluffs.
But that's where the similarities end. For one, the Highlands is named for its position atop those bluffs, so golfers can peer down into the Hiawatha Valley and the Mississippi River below them. This unique terrain creates some interesting shots, most notably the tee shot at the 17th hole, a par 3 that boasts a staggering 150-foot drop from tee to green. The Lowlands course, as might be expected, resides at the valley basin, keeping everyone from beginners to pros guessing which holes are just a hole and which one might actually be the valley's drain.
Lowlands Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,489 yards from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * View the scorecard
Highlands Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,282 yards from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * View the scorecard
Sculpted into the sandstone bluffs of the Mississippi River Valley in 1915, the course at Red Wing Golf Club has challenged golfers? accuracy and consistency for nearly a century. As they line up tee shots down tight fairways bordered by towering oaks and pines, players soon realize that the layout rewards accuracy and positioning as opposed to brute strength or double-jointedness. Upon finishing their rounds on the 6,190-yard gauntlet, golfers can head inside to The Brassie Spoon Bar & Grill for sandwiches, salads, and drinks in front of a big-screen television.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Total length of 6,190 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70.7 from the back tees * Course slope of 133 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole
A row of neatly trimmed trees lines either side of the winding driveway that leads up to the stately clubhouse at Kilkarney Hills Golf Course, welcoming visitors to its verdant grounds. Ever since players began spraying drives and rolling putts over the 18-hole course in 1994, the club has filled the space with similar congenial flourishes, including flower beds and a central lake fountain. After players hole out and exchange secret handshakes on the 18th green, they can head for drinks at the course bar, complete with a veranda where they can watch the sunset.
The par-three 11th at Bristol Ridge Golf Course is a formidable sight from the tee box. Armed with whatever club or curtain rod they can hit roughly 130 yards, golfers peer at a green wreathed by a semi-circular pond, which constitutes a watery grave for any tee shot that strays long, left, or right. And that's the third easiest hole at Bristol Ridge Golf Course's 6,582-yard, par 72 course. Rolling terrain, tree-lined fairways, and intermittent ponds—water comes into play in some form on 10 holes—characterize the layout, anchored by a par-five on each nine that rate as the two most difficult holes. Golf instructor Leif Bjornson roams the course and its practice facilities, offering clinics and private lessons for golfers of all ages and abilities that want to improve their game so they can finally ask their crush to caddy for them.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,582 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 72.1 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 133 from the farthest tees * Three tee options
Though they look tranquil and serene, the water hazards at Amery Golf Club's 18-hole golf course are a menace. A pair of ponds straddle the fairways on both the 9th and 10th holes, leaving a scorecard-thin margin for error on drives. On the par-five sixth, a pond deviously interrupts the trajectory of the fairway, forcing it around to the right before it snakes back to the green?a major reason why this hole has earned the number-one handicap rating. All told, there are water hazards on ten holes, and avoiding them requires constant vigilance and a well-caffeinated driver. Originally built in 1922, the course spans 6,235 yards from the tips.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,235 yards from the tips * Slope rating of 121 from the tips * Course rating of 70.2 from the tips * Four tee options * Scorecard