Victory Links Golf Course – The Definition Of Win Win
By E. Nolan
How do you win in golf? The short answer is: “Play at Victory Links.” By virtue of the name, every visitor is a winner there. The more complex answer though… you can get that at Victory Links, too. It involves fun with friends and family, exercise, saving money, falling in love, eating, drinking and relaxing. “To the Victory golfers go the spoils!”
Victory Links is an 18-hole championship course in the northern Twin Cities suburb of Blaine. Opened in 2003, the only PGA TOUR-designed course in Minnesota open to the public was intended to be a place everyone could play with relative ease (from the proper tee boxes), but with a challenging set of back tees and sufficient length to test the very best – even PGA TOUR pros. Brooks Koepka visited in July of 2019, prior to the PGA TOUR’s 3M Open. He came away quite impressed. “This place is legit. The greens are fantastic!”
The Par 71 course tips out at 7,048 yards. Not crazy long, by any means, but long enough to ensure a return visit from one of the longest hitters on the PGA TOUR. The PGA TOUR team produced a broad, links-style course that covers 400 acres of Minnesota prairie-land and has hosted numerous Tour champions and countless qualifiers, all the way up to the Champions Tour and PGA TOUR 3M Open. Head professional Tom Kirkland told me, “The course is great, but the practice and recreational amenities around it are also a huge hit.” Those amenities include a phenomenal practice facility with an oversized driving range and great chipping and putting areas, as well as “Tournament Greens” – an 18-hole bent grass putting course temporarily closed at this time, but will be reopening in the future.
Victory Links is operated by the non-profit National Sports Center Foundation – the world’s largest amateur athletic complex – and therefore has a plethora of other draws for soccer, hockey, lacrosse and other athletic endeavors. The golf course is rich in color and diverse native grasses, making it an enjoyable “walk in the park” and suitable home for an infinite assortment of wildlife.
The course has a free APP available for download with course flyovers, score-tracking software and hole-by-hole GPS, and – to emphasize my point that this is a place for ALL golfers – the SIX tee box arrangements even include a Junior option at only 2,834 yards (perfect for 6 to 9 year olds). Hard to imagine a more “family-friendly” way to introduce golf to the next generation, and it’s no wonder you see so many different ages at play on a visit. (We need way more facilities like this in America!)
Players playing from the back tees will face a number of forced carries throughout the round. What the course lacks in visual elevation changes, it makes up in those forced carries, bunkers and mounding. You have to work your way carefully around the traps, deep grasses and hazards to produce a great score and those various “hazards” increase in threat and quantity the further you move back.
There are several signature holes on each side. The Par 3 fourth is a beast in the wind, but not nearly as difficult as it looks off the tee. Another great Par 3, the seventh has a green that appears to be surrounded by seven bunkers when in fact it is only three, and (uniquely) that hole is followed by another Par 3 with yet another forced carry for most golfers (my favorite hole on the front).
Hole 10 is the only hole where water is in play from the tee boxes, with splash zones front, left AND right. The 11th hole is another great Par 3, one that I wish I could play six times, and try from each set of tees just for the complete shot variety it presents. Then – my favorite hole on the back – the 18th is a stellar closer with more prairie grass leading to a large landing area with grass bunkers surrounding the green left and long.
I can’t imagine making it through Victory Links without losing at least one ball in the tall grass. But then, that’s a sacrifice I’d gladly make for the opportunity to play this all-around exciting playground. Bombers can bomb, snipers can take on the pins, and putters can find the smoothest, truest rolling greens in the area. Something for everyone… that’s my takeaway, for sure.
Everyone can use a guaranteed win right now – wouldn’t you agree? Book yours in Blaine, today, at Victory Links.