The Links at NorthFork-Versatile With A Syle From The British Isles
By Will Brogan
Not many courses in Minnesota can allow you to literally host your own version of the British Open, including up to date scoreboards! The Links at NorthFork is perhaps the state’s best example of a “links” style golf course, and while the course itself has the “ancient” ambiance to it, the club as a whole is truly right on the cutting edge of technology.
The Mobile Leaderboard App: Owner Mike Tozier has introduced a free mobile leaderboard app for smartphones in which you can enter your scores after each hole and keep up to date with groups elsewhere on the course. So, basically, as long as you have a smart phone and know how to fill out a scorecard on it, Tozier has given players the ability to keep track of their playing companions in other foursomes during tournaments, large or small, in real time! Honestly, how cool is that? Couple that with carts equipped with GPS units telling you the numbers you need to know, and you have a true 21st century golf course from a technological standpoint.
Now, let’s face it; the only Minnesotan to ever win a British Open Championship is Tom Lehman. Ironically enough, this month’s edition of the Championship is being played at the very site Lehman won his lone major, Royal Lytham & St. Annes. You will likely never get to compete in a real British Open, but why not create your own with a great group of golfing buddies at the Links at NorthFork and use the mobile leaderboard app to ratchet up the fun?
Minnesota’s Finest Links: The Links at NorthFork’s true distinctive quality however is taking the game back to the 19th century and making you feel as if you are in the British Isles for your round. With the exception of three holes, the Joel Goldstrand design is about as pure “links” style as you’ll find anywhere in the state. Very few trees are found on the course, while long, wispy grasses line the gently rolling fairways. The course features the “out and back” loop that so many Scottish Links courses followed after the example set by St. Andrews.
Water can potentially come into play on six holes, including separating the “split greens” found on the par 3 – 7th hole. With two different, and small greens (truly a unique aspect of the course), the hole can play two different yardages. Quite simply, it’s just a neat hole that you don’t get to see every day, so enjoy it. Just for fun, if the course isn’t busy, see if you can hit both greens; even though the pin will only be on one of them!
In the spirit of links style, there are just shy of 100 bunkers on the course, including an astounding nineteen on the short par 4, 371 yard fifth hole. On that hole, a sharp dogleg right that can be drivable if the wind is right, a dozen of the bunkers are clustered on the hillside in which long hitters will attempt to carry in order to reach the green. Hit it in one of those, and you’ll need all the luck in the world to escape with a par. Want to know if it’s truly drivable? There’s been a hole-in-one from the back tees on that hole, which should answer your question!
Versatility Galore! In addition to the links inspired golf course, The Links at NorthFork has three separate practice greens, one that is for chipping, two for putting, a huge driving range, and a par 11, three-hole practice loop that is as well maintained as the rest of the golf course. Tozier and his staff have no problem allowing groups of any size to “mix it up” and play different amounts of holes, 6, 12, 18, 21, you name it, they can – pardon the pun – swing it!
The whole idea behind the golfing experience at The Links at NorthFork is to Enjoy Golf, but immediately after that is versatility. At most courses, the phrase, “what can we do for you” has inherent limitations based on the nature of the course’s setup. Tozier and his staff have the ability to offer a variety of ideas for you, so the time you spend at The Links at NorthFork is truly an a la carte type offering. Take advantage of the versatility (and hospitality) and create a golfing experience tailored to your specifications.
In addition to the versatility that the property naturally offers, the clubhouse facility provides a great pub with a solid selection of taps. There is an elegant banquet hall/ballroom that has tall ceilings and scenic windows that overlook the 18th hole as well.
Simply put, The Links at NorthFork is an entirely different golfing experience than what Minnesotans are used to. There just isn’t another course with the concoction of versatility and style that is offered at The Links at NorthFork, so that, by default, makes the course a must play. Being July, British Open month anyway, see what the “links” game is all about and book a round at NorthFork today!