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:
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.
Staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor swings and break down each individual’s form on a high-definition video display. Sensors chirp with approval whenever they detect the perfect stroke or an especially witty golfing joke. GolfTEC’s certified teaching professionals will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.
Soaring drives splash onto three-dimensional greens at Inside Edge Golf, where nine aboutGolf PGA Tour simulators set the scene for year-round golf and revelry. Stunning, realistic graphics reproduce more than 50 world-famous courses on the facility's sprawling screens, summoning golfers to carefully tread the ocean-side vistas at Pebble Beach or eschew diminutive jeers from the wind-swirling pixels that plague St. Andrews.
On The Back 9, players trade electronic courses for an 1,800-square-foot practice green outfitted with chipping areas, breaking putts, and a mini flop hedge. Leagues throughout the winter crown champions with simulated green jackets, and Kitchen, which is open year-round, sustains swing strength with snacks, sodas, and beers.
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.
Golfsmith's online and in-store storerooms house an almost endless list of golf gear for men, women, and children alike. Clubs, balls, and accessories from brands such as TaylorMade, MacGregor, and Callaway give players precise control over their game, and polos and long-sleeved shirts from Nike and Snake Eyes garb players in course-appropriate attire now that tuxedo T-shirts no longer qualify. Along with the extensive collection of equipment and golf bags, Golfsmith also carries GPS systems to give players a high-tech edge and tennis gear to help them overcome the bunkers’ tricky nets.