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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Craguns 2017

Fairways & Greens
June 23, 2017

Heritage Links Golf Club - Hit It With Your Best Shot
Heritage Links #11
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Heritage Links #11
Heritage Links #15
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Heritage Links #15
Steve Manthis

We all know that there's lots of variety in the game of golf. We all have our favorite manufacturers of the equipment we use and the clothes we wear. Some people hit the ball high, others low. Some golfers seem to run around the course while others plod along like they have an IRS audit to go to once their round is done. One variation you shouldn't forget is to get out and play some different courses. We are blessed with many options here in the Twin Cities metro area, so add a little more variety to your game and go play Heritage Links Golf Club. Even if you've already played there, the wide variety of shots you'll have to hit might just be the thing your game needs.

Located just west of I35 in Lakeville, Heritage Links will challenge your shot-making ability over its 18 holes. While it's not overly long (nearly 6,700 yards from the back tees and 6,320 from the standard men's tees), the golf course provides opportunities to hit many of the clubs in your bag. In fact, during a recent round I used every club except for my 6 iron. The front nine is the "links" part of the course where you'll see more of the rolling hills and open areas; the back nine is still somewhat links-like, but it has more of a parkland feel to it with more trees, water and changes in elevation.

Head Golf Professional Brett Martinson calls it a fun track and one of the best 6,700 yards you'll ever play. "It's a shot maker's course," says Martinson. "You have to be able to hit your driver and irons off the tee to the right position."

Holes 6, 8 and 10 are great examples of what Martinson was talking about. #6 is a 360 yard par four where you need to stay left off the tee in order to have a clear look at the small, heavily-surrounded green. Go too far down the right side of the fairway and you'll have a very hard short iron to the green. #8 is about the same length, but you'll need to either hit a 190 yard tee shot or bomb your driver 300 yards to clear the ravine. #10 is shorter than the other two, but again, you'll need to hit an iron off the tee as the fairway runs out after 200 yards. You'll then have a wedge to get to the elevated green.

Heritage Links will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year, and while Martinson says the course is in very good shape he also says they're continually improving it. Recently they've been working on the tee boxes, improving their quality and making them more consistent. I found them to be in fine shape, just like the greens. Other recent work on the course has been the removal of several bunkers that never really came into play, and they have plans for some renovation of three others on the course.

With the rolling terrain and changes in elevation, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to hit the ball, especially if you've never played the course. Luckily, first timers to the course get a complimentary course and yardage guide, which I found to be very useful. The guide gives yardages to the ends of the fairways so you can decide which club to hit, and it points out hazards to avoid. While I wasn't always successful in avoiding them, I at least knew where they were. The par four 18th is one hole you'll definitely want to take a look at. From the tee, you can't see the water that lurks on both sides of the fairway, but the guide points it out quite clearly. If you can hit your driver dead straight, then go for it, but the wiser choice is to hit something a little shorter as a way to stay out of the water.

Besides the golf course itself, Heritage Links is the home of the Lakeville boy's golf team, and Martinson says they have about 170 golfers in its junior program. There are men's and women's leagues, and a very affordable membership rate. Check their website (www.heritagelinks.com) for further information on leagues, costs and other specials like the family friendly rate on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays after 3:00 where kids play free with a paying adult.

Like anywhere, though, it all comes down to the golf. Heritage Links will challenge your ability to hit different kinds of shots with many of the clubs in your bag.

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