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: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,563 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 71.8 from the back tees * Course slope of 131 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
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
Built in 1925 as a nine-hole course from soil harvested at a local farm and placed by horse-drawn carts, Lake Wisconsin Country Club has since grown into an 18-hole course that runs alongside Lake Wisconsin. At a distance of 5,881 yards from the farthest tees, the picturesque par 70 eschews overwhelming length in favor of a hazard-intensive round, as players must reckon with dense tree lines, water that comes in play on five holes, and territorial blades of grass throughout the layout. Rounds begin with the course’s most difficult hole, a 415-yard par 4 that demands a straight drive to keep balls out of a small forest on the left and a pond located on the right. A stint at the club’s driving range grants clubbers a chance to prepare for the round and guide 9-irons through warm-up calisthenics.
Kissing the shores of Lake Wisconsin, the club offers complimentary dock slips for guests approaching by boat or in need of a place to station their pet porpoise. The club’s dining room is open to the public for Friday-night fish fries, during which patrons can take in cocktails, surf 'n' turf entrees, and evening views of the lake.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 60 course * Length of 5,881 yards from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 117 from the farthest tees * Three tee options
Standing at 1,900 yards and posting a par of 30, Fairfield Hills Golf Course won't make the pros quiver in their golf spikes. But for families, the 9-holer can present an ideal venue for beginners young and old to take up the game without getting too frustrated. In fact, foursomes can typically traverse the course's three par 4s and six par 3s in less than two hours?not nearly enough time to develop an allergy to their putter. If the course succeeds in planting the seeds of a lifelong passion, new converts can also hone their skills on the 35 hitting stations at the 340-yards-deep driving range.