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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Craguns 2017

Fairways & Greens
June 23, 2017

Wild Marsh Golf Club - High Praise, High Value
Wild Marsh #7 Photo Courtesy Patrick Siequeist
+ click to enlarge
Wild Marsh #7 Photo Courtesy Patrick Siequeist
Wild Marsh #17
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Wild Marsh #17
Will Brogan

Minnesota is a fantastic hotbed for golf courses that balance value with challenging, yet enjoyable play, and many feature spectacular beauty to accompany the rest of the course's inherent qualities. While a strong handful of these courses are within a bit of an extended radius relative to the most populous areas of our readership, that just gives you the opportunity to enjoy the drive with your golfing buddies as much as the round itself. One course to add to that list - if it hasn't been already - is Wild Marsh Golf Club.
The 6,500-plus yard, par 71 golf course has earned lofty praise from local publications, earning a spot in the "Top 25 Courses in the Twin Cities" from City Business Journal, as a "Top Five Value" course from the Minnesota Golf Guide, and it's 7th hole as one of Explore Minnesota's "Dream 18." Wild Marsh's rankings are well deserved, but they've spent the last two years becoming even better with outstanding renovations to tees and bunkers and making the course more enjoyable for all golfers. Wild Marsh is more than just "worth the drive," it has rightfully found itself among the area's "must play" courses.
Anyone who has ever played Wild Marsh is likely to share their experience on the two holes that make up the majority of the eastern bank of Mink Lake, holes six (par four with a tee shot carrying over an expanse of marsh) and the aforementioned seven (a marathon of a par five). While those holes likely define the round to many day trippers to Buffalo's finest golfing track, there is more to the front nine.
One of the more enjoyable holes on that side of the course is the hole prior to those two signature holes, the sharp dogleg left, par four 5th hole. At 415 yards, distance is important, but not because it's a bomber's hole. Rather, the fairway sits a couple stories below the tee boxes, with trees both left and long, then the hole heads back uphill to a challenging green protected by two bunkers. Getting the distance right from the tee is key: too short, and you'll have to contend with the trees on the left thanks to the angle or at best have a longer club to an elevated and already tough green; too long and you'll possibly be behind a tree that will also cut off your angle to the green.
Beginning subtlety enough with a wide fairway, the 10th hole (par four, 415 yards) presents an opportunity to get on the right track once you flip to the back. Things tighten up immediately after that, with the visually daunting 11th hole. The bark is worse than the bit at a modest 345 yards, but there are plenty of places to get sidetracked or intimidated. That said, find the fairway and you'll likely find the green with a chance for birdie.
A pair of holes later, you'll find another visual challenge, the longest par three on the course, the 218-yard 13th. Taking just shy of 200 yards from the back just to reach the green, this one is a real test - even for the best ball strikers. The miss is short and right into the approach, following with a pitch since there is likely a great deal of green to work with. That said, however you choose to attack this hole, be happy to pull a par out of the cup.
It won't take long to discover the quality of the golf course once you're on property - and management continues to commit to strengthening the playability of the course, as well as it's accessibility to those in the Twin Cities. Not sure if the lofty praise and solid rankings from local publications are worth it? Check out the course's website (wildmarsh.com) and get an excellent preview for yourself. It's a fine example of what a drone can do to bring you a golf course!
The Tavern at Wild Marsh is a year-round dining facility. A full-service restaurant serving quite the diverse menu to its guests, The Tavern also hosts your various banquets, meetings and weddings, while adding the unique wrinkle of off-site catering. Whether you just need the food delivered or need a full-service event at your select location - in which Wild Marsh's staff can not only deliver, but set up, decorate, and clean up. Wild Marsh really does give you the opportunity to have it all through The Tavern! So come for the all-you-can-eat pasta on Thursdays or the crab legs on Fridays, or have it delivered to you through the catering, you really can't go wrong!
Lastly, a course with the stunning settings that Wild Marsh possesses should be keen on protecting its environment. Wild Marsh is a proud member of the National Audubon Society for ecological conservation, another status worth noting for any links master who enjoys more than just the 18 holes a golf course has to offer.

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