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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Fairways & Greens
August 16, 2017

Minnesota National Golf Course - Minnesota's Best Kept Secret
By R.J. Smiley

For the past several years this writer has been telling golfers about the excellent golf course in McGregor, Minnesota. This writer, previously a Golf Digest Course Rating Panelist, believes that Minnesota National Golf Course is one of Joel Goldstrand's very best. When a designer as good as Goldstrand is given 300 acres of wilderness, an unlimited budget, and asked to create the best golf course in the state of Minnesota, you know the result will be something spectacular - a definite must play facility you need to add to your bucket list.

A few short years after opening in 2008 the money necessary to maintain a top quality bent grass golf course was just no longer there. That all changed when the current owners, Don and Elisa Proulx, purchased the property after the 2012 season. They understand value in real estate and know that a big time golf course needs to be maintained at a very high level by a crew that takes pride in their work.

As I surfed the Internet for golf course reviews, I found that golfers who have experienced Minnesota National have given it 4.7 Stars. That means that almost every golfer who wrote about the golf course gave it a 5 Star review.

"Just brought our first group of golfers here for a weekend trip and was blown away. Have been to every other golf resort in Minnesota and the overall combo here of: a) great course in immaculate condition, b) easy two hour drive up Highway 65 from the Twin Cities, c) beautiful clubhouse with great food, d) great practice facility, e) unbelievable accommodations, f) affordability, and g) friendly, relaxed and welcoming staff makes Minnesota National tough to beat. We will be back... OFTEN. When there, try to stay in the executive cabin or townhomes - those places are nicer than the Parade of Homes. Tip: Buy the superintendent a 'thank you' beer - the course when we played on August 20, 2016 was in the best overall condition of any course we've EVER played. Their Ohio white sand bunkers and pure rolling greens put the icing on the cake of this gem of a layout. Bottom Line: Try it. You'll probably add it to your Top 5 favorite courses list... we have."

"I have always enjoyed playing Minnesota National because it is such a good layout. But since the new owners took over the condition of the golf course has gotten better each year." Plus the rates are less than you'd expect, they treat you like family and truly appreciate you being there.

"Every hole at Minnesota National is truly unique, demanding creativity in a vast variety of golf shot options. Golfers will never say that hole is just like another."

"My handicap is coming down and I am a long hitter, but from the back tees Minnesota National is really a challenge. Fun, but very tough!"

"With five sets of tees the course can be enjoyed by everyone."

"I had heard about Minnesota National and have wanted to play it for the past two years, but when I played the golf course it was much more than I imagined. Truly a great golf experience."

This author is in full agreement with those quoted players. The golf course has everything; length, water hazards, Ohio white sand and wonderfully conditioned, true rolling greens. The golf course was created to test your game and the course rating and slope prove that. The Black Tees play to 7,230 yards with a course rating of 75.6 and a slope of 148. The Blue Tees with the length measured at 6,813 yards has a slope of 139 and a course rating is 73.7. This is an extremely good and fair test of golf.

James Carlson, PGA Head Golf Professional, wants golfers who are planning a group outing or a corporate golf event to know that Minnesota National's golf carts are equipped with the latest GPS system. Not only will you get the distance to the pin, but group events can enjoy Live Scoring creating a Live Leaderboard as you play your round.

For most Twin Cities golfers playing a round or two at Minnesota National, an overnight stay would make sense. Their Play and Stay Packages offer a variety of lodging options. On course townhouses and an executive log home (that sleeps 8-14). Or choose from lakeside lodge rooms, villas and cabins at Big Sandy Lodge & Resort.

The grand 20,000 square foot clubhouse features 40 foot open beam ceilings, 5 stone fireplaces, 2 bars and 4 event venues with media making it a perfect place for weddings, corporate functions or special events.

This summer aim your automobile due north and follow Highway 65 to McGregor. Just a few more miles and your golfer instincts will automatically turn left to Minnesota National Golf Course. Your pulse will quicken as you see fairways in the wilderness. Then suddenly the mammoth clubhouse jumps up in front of you. The scene is always much more impressive than expected.

When the 2018 Tee Times story about Minnesota National is written maybe your quote will be used to describe this Goldstrand Gem.

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