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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Fairways & Greens
August 22, 2017

Territory Golf Club - Close To Comfort
Territory Golf Club #11
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Territory Golf Club #11
Territory Golf Club #8
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Territory Golf Club #8
E. Nolan


How do you measure proximity? Do you consider 70 miles a long ways? I usually do, no matter what it's for. The Mall of America is a long way to go from Rochester to fulfill my son's Panda Express "needs," for instance. But for golf... I'll drive all over the planet for great golf (and have - over 6,000 miles this year alone... so far) and I LOVE it when I only have to drive 70 miles for a "Best in State" golf course. That is the luxury afforded to Twin Cities golfers thanks to Territory Golf Club in St. Cloud. You take that specific course and put it in New York, Florida or California and it'd be a $150 round (easily). And it would be packed every day! You and I... we can play Territory for less than $50 any time, any day, even in peak season. #crazy #awesome

But with such great golf afforded to Minnesota golfers in suburbs like say... Prior Lake and Hudson... is it really worth leaving "town" for golf? In this case... Heck Yeah.

As the Ratings Editor for a national golf/travel magazine I have played in 36 different states. I have evaluated over 300 golf courses in those three-dozen states and can list the best courses anywhere in America, including the most over and under appreciated. Why should you care about that? Maybe you shouldn't. But where it is actually pertinent is that (banking on those credentials) I can honestly and confidently attest to Territory Golf Club being one of the most underrated courses in Minnesota, and legitimately a Top 10 golf experience in the state as well. 70 miles is NOT a long way to drive to play this course, especially when (on multiple occasions) I've driven 150 miles to do so.

Truthfully, course rankings are a personal thing, very subjective, and often quite unreliable to people with a completely different game than your own. I always take that into account while casting my ballots and doling out my two cents. We each love certain places based on how they fit "our game." Territory is certainly a "comfort zone" to me. I love that I've never shot higher than my 12-handicap there. The fairways are deep and wide, the greens slick and smooth. You dictate everything about the results you get on the course. Sure, wind can be a factor, balls can get lost in the fescue and ponds, and even in St. Cloud some people insist on trying to surpass Pebble Beach length rounds. Those things can mess with you, just as they would/do anywhere. But every time I've been to Territory the playing conditions have been superb, the greens have read so impeccably true, and I've loved the course a little more than the last time. That's the kind of things I look for: memorability, fun, rewards and fairness.

Territory Golf Club is links golf with a little forest, rolls with some plummet, bridges, rivers, ponds... mostly beauty, little beast... all sweet, no sour. Its one of those courses that teaches you lessons your first round (mostly ball placement) you can easily take advantage of on each successive one. You'll find the back nine is tougher than the front, but also prettier. There are some truly stellar holes on each nine. There's a trio on the front to rival any course you regularly play, including a rollercoaster par 5 at #3 - with a great water-carry approach, and two more stars at #7 and #9, with 9 being another awesome pond guarded par 5.

I mentioned the beauty. As a fan of Scotland-style golf I love the front nine for all its natural open glory. (And the fact you can score really well.) The back takes you over the river and through the woods to a whole new ballgame, where the magnificence on the tee is often replaced by gnashing teeth on the green. Water hazards can make you sweat your way through some of my favorites: the par 3 11th, the twin "bowling pin" 12th and 14th holes, and the awesome duo 17/18 that make you want to go right back out for more.

I love golf, and I especially love visiting places where I say, "I can't believe it took me this long to play here." I experienced that a couple years ago at Territory Golf Club and it's now a routine stop for me on my way to/from Brainerd (or whenever I visit my sister-in-law in Maple Grove). With a great practice facility and tasty food at the Coyote Moon Grille, you'll get every penny of your money's worth here. I'll take that over what I'm often stuck with elsewhere... every day of the week. Wouldn't you? Come find out.






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