With its clubhouse occupying a renovated ivory barn originally built in the 1930s, CreeksBend Golf Course transports golfers back to a bygone era before embarking on a trip across a prairieland course replete with bucolic flourishes. As bluegrass fairways bob and weave across more than 80 acres of ponds and wetlands, quaint footbridges make the course navigable for clubbers and caddies yet to develop gills. Water comes into play on nine holes across the 6,293-yard, par 71 course, including on the signature seventh hole, a 161-yard par 3 where tee shots must clear a creek and avoid hydraulic hazards left of and behind the green. Before rounds, golfers can roll orbs across the 10,000-square-foot practice green to prepare for the course's speedy bentgrass putting surfaces, or share a tender bonding moment with their 3-wood at the grass tee driving range. After rounds, players enjoy retiring to the clubhouse restaurant to refuel with refreshments and casual grill fare.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 71 course
Length of 6,293 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 70.6 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 131 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
Water cascades over the precipice of a towering rock face, forming an elevated waterfall that overlooks the 18-hole circuit at Malt-Tees Mini Golf (formerly known as Adventure Gardens Mini Golf). Featured in CBS Minnesota's Best Things to Do in Richfield, the course winds through a labyrinth of colorful gardens and flowing streams, which players navigate via a system of bridges and putter pole-vaulting challenges. After rounds, appetites piqued by celebratory putter-gnawing can find relief at the malt shop, which serves up frozen desserts, drinks, and light snacks.
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.
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.
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.
National Sports Center is one of the few places in the world where you can step from verdant fields onto stretches of ice. Eight ice arenas?four Olympic-sized, four NHL-sized?comprise more than 148,000 square feet inside the Schwan Super Rink. And as for the fields? The National Sports Center was originally conceived as a soccer complex, and it still boasts 52 fields. The Guinness Book of World Records has certified National Sports Center as the largest soccer complex on earth.
Hockey and soccer still only make up a small portion of the sports that are playable at the center. Those same soccer fields might host rugby on one day, lacrosse on another, and ultimate disc the following week, provided the discs have not flown south for the winter. The ice rink might host figure skaters as well as broomball teams. At the center's outdoor cycling velodrome, brake-free bikes race each other along a canted track, thrilling crowds every Thursday from late May to September. Players of all stripes can sign up for leagues and lessons in their favorite sport, or check out everything from expos to fitness classes on the calendar of events.