Pine Island Golf Course opened on Labor Day weekend in 1994—fitting, since golfers have to put in a fair amount of work to surmount the gauntlet of wide fairways, water hazards, and rock outcroppings spread across 140 acres. Though challenging, the course presents a fair test for golfers of all stripes, earning it a "Hacker's Favorite" designation by Hacker's Guide to Minnesota & Western Wisconsin Golf Courses. When not golfing or searching the woods for winning scorecards, visitors can hone their skills on practice facilities including a driving range and putting green.
Course at a Glance:
Nestled amid 187 acres of mature wooded and rolling terrain, Chippewa Valley Golf Club’s course snakes through striking scenery, dramatic elevation changes, and precision-manicured greens. Golfers will be able to ooh and aah at striking scenery during a weekday ($38) or weekend ($44) round of golf while cruising along in comfort thanks to a cart rental. A computerized irrigation system keeps greens, fairways, and tees as fresh as the grocery produce isle, and an elevated, natural-turf driving range provides an enjoyable spot for practicing swings with a bucket of range balls ($5). Aspiring Sam Sneads can work on their short game and putting on Chippewa Valley's large practice green and bunkers. Visitors can also restock on equipment at the pro shop or refuel with tasty grub at the restaurant or by calling in a food and beverage order at hole nine and picking it up at the clubhouse on the way to hole ten (not included in Groupon). Practice your short game while dazzling friends and frenemies alike with highlight-worthy putts, thanks to today’s side deal to Chippewa Valley Golf Club.
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:
Formerly farmland for five generations of the Schmidt family, Lake Pepin Golf Course now boasts 18 holes that span across rugged links-style topography flanked by the bluffs of the Mississippi River Valley. The course plays to 6,752 yards, with 12 holes showcasing panoramic views of the lake and the remaining six holes providing access to an underground miniature golf course. Those who prefer manmade scenery can gawk at Joe "Snowball" Schmidt's 1869 two-story stone house, nestled between the 17th green and 18th tee.
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:
Highlands Course at a Glance:
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: