Carved out of the countryside by Minnesota course architect Joel Goldstrand, Montgomery National Golf Course unfurls across rolling terrain, pocked with ponds nestled in the cool shadows of cottonwood trees. Generous fairways beg to be split by confidently swung drivers, and sandtraps wait to ensnare orbs gone astray due to a moment of self-doubt or the suction of a briefly active bunker wormhole. The 6,540-yard circuit concludes at the dramatic 18th—the course’s second handicap hole—which features a 540-yard climb to a short-grass summit defended by Scottish ski instructors.
Duffers can prepare for their round or carve fractal divot patterns into the large, all-grass hitting area at the club’s driving range, flanked by a practice bunker and green. After a day of intrepid pin hunting, players can retire to clubhouse and bask in the frothy ambiance of a beer or soda on the clubhouse deck overlooking the ninth hole.
Course at a Glance:
Shadowbrooke Golf Course weaves through the Minnesota countryside to form a scenic par 71 layout envisioned by architect Joel Goldstrand, whose designs are sculpted throughout the state. The course eases golfers into the round on the older and more forgiving front nine, letting swings find their stride before a more treacherous second act that winds through tunnels of mature trees. Shadowbrooke's pro shop keeps hot dogs, candy, and drinks on hand for hungry golfers, as well as gloves, apparel, and balls for those who fear they may not be able to keep every shot in play or prevent their orbs from being smuggled away by a local juggler.
Shadowbrooke Golf Course's rates fluctuate during the day and throughout the week.
Under the guidance of new course superintendent David Simeon, who draws on nearly a quarter century of experience and a degree in turf management, the links at Greens of Howard Lake underwent a thorough makeover and renewal in 2011. Course architect Ed Lahr made myriad improvements, such as regrading the fairway on hole 2 and enhancing it with a pond. In addition to rejuvenating the course’s turf and waging a war on weeds, the overhaul led to a renovated clubhouse where players can rent premium clubs for playing the links or carrying knapsacks over their shoulders on contemplative walks through the course. After the last swing is swung, they can also fuel up with pizza and beer onsite or stop at the pro shop to pick up new gear.
Course at a Glance:
Fog floods the 6,000-square-foot arena as youngsters race behind glowing crates and walls to escape lasers, thus fulfilling the business's Active Play Active Kids philosophy of getting wee ones on their feet and keeping them moving. The laser maze's 30 crisscrossing beams put participants' coordination to the test as they navigate through, and the glowing Lightspace Play Floor accommodates up to four players trying to copy each others' dance moves. At the snack station, kids can recharge with pizza and nachos before challenging friends to air-hockey bouts in an arcade with more than 35 games.
Narrow, tree-lined fairways, undulating greens, and a flowing creek that dips in and out of play make Elm Creek Golf Course more challenging than its nearly 6,000-yard length might suggest. The balanced difficulty means golfers of all ability levels can enjoy an afternoon on the course.
Course at a Glance:
Wow! Zone entertains bodies and minds of all ages, boasting attractions and activities such as bowling, laser tag, miniature golf, and arcade games. Kick off a day of family fun with two games of bowling on one of Wow! Zone's 16 bowling lanes, fully decked with automatic bumpers and 42-inch LCD scoring monitors. Bowling balls and shoes are provided, maintaining unstubbed toes and preventing the need for using balled-up hedgehogs to knock over pins. Strap on a laser lobber for one game in the multilevel laser-tag arena, where players can go at it solo or team up with friends to perform reenactments of favorite battles from the Hundred Years War. An indoor miniature-golf course shimmers with the incandescent glow of Wow! Zone's specially designed black lights, illuminating vibrantly hued jungle-themed obstacles to be conquered by hand-eye cahoots. The super-variety package also includes a $5 gift card to satisfy the voracious appetites of machines in the arcade area, which is stocked with classic attractions such as skee-ball and newer favorites such as Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution ($0.25–$1/play).