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Breezy Point

Fairways & Greens
November 19, 2017

Matt's Top 10 - Public Golf Practice Ranges
Hiawatha Practice Facility
Hiawatha Practice Facility
Matt Vandelac

My ideal 'dream' range would be close to home, is comfortable, quiet and has real grass to hit from. The targets (they can be signs, poles, trees or even an old car or piece of machinery) should be visible. It helps to have two ends and be positioned north and south to minimize the sun's glare and let you hit into the wind when you can. If there is a short game area that lets you chip and putt that's a good thing and if you can work on uneven lies and bunker shots you're really in business.

1. Hiawatha, Minneapolis: You can practice all your shots on great turf. Chipping, pitching, and putting all within a few steps. Even without the old shade tree on the tee, it's still the best around.

2. Troy Burne, Hudson: Great turf and unlimited balls with greens fee. Make a day out of it.

3. Chaska Town Course, Chaska: Just like the golf course, there was a plan for everything. You can practice your whole game here.

4. Baker National, Medina: Something about hitting a ball from up high is pretty cool. Hit the barn and I owe you a round.

5. Keller, St. Paul: Like the golf course: historic, thoughtful, and comfortable.

6. Edinburgh USA, Brooklyn Park: Good range, unbelievable short game area and putting green.

7. River Oaks, Cottage Grove: Good turf, targets and both ends come in handy when the wind blows.

8. Columbia, Minneapolis: Good turf, shorter targets will help distances for wedges.

9. Links at Northfork, Ramsey: Can practice low running shots you'll need on the golf course. Awesome putting green.

10. New Richmond Golf Club, New Richmond, WI: New facility is a dramatic upgrade! Tee is elevated just the right amount to see every ball land and the turf is impeccable.

My tip for practice once you locate one of these beauties: Practice JUST like you play to take your range swing to the course. You'll be glad you did!

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Article comment by: Steve Wetzler


In fairness to Matt, this article was written 8 years ago. I do agree with you - Braemar's new range is awesome, as is Legends Club, The Wilds and several others throughout the Twin Cities (I have never been to the Ponds at Battle Creek.) I do love The Jewel's chipping green.

Let me know if you find a lighted practice facility. I don't know of any in Minnesota.

Thank you for your feedback.


Posted: Sunday, September 4, 2016
Article comment by: Tom Rogde


I think you are quite mistaken. Where do I start? Hiawatha's turf is crappy. They could improve their various practice areas so much with just a little effort (and money). You left out Braemar, Legends, Wilds and The Ponds of Battle Creek. There are likely others I am not thinking of. What I wish there were a few more of is lighted ranges. And another feature I'm always fond of is a good chipping green. Big. I like Mississippi Dunes when no one is around. Keep researching.

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