Tuned For Fun At Timber Creek G.C.
By Rhett Arens
For those about to golf… Timber Creek salutes you! You might recognize that blatant rip-off of the classic AC/DC lyric, but it seemed like an appropriate introduction to an energizing round of golf played on one of Minnesota’s most fun courses. Timber Creek Golf Course brings the goods, and the good times are in play, so why not sing about it? After all, Paisley Park isn’t too far down the road. In the western burbs the fun times seem to happen under their own momentum and a round at this Watertown, Minnesota track is no different. Owner Brooks Ellingson and his courteous staff are ready with a smile and the magnificent course conditions will do nothing to change that smile.
Warming up for your round shouldn’t be a problem at Timber Creek with the spacious, practice driving range and putting green. Loosen those shoulders and swing away with any club on the full-length range. Dialing in your putter feel is always a good idea as well, work the contours and speed so you’re ready to step up to that first ten-footer with confidence. Now you’ve got your long game and short game ready to go.
Golf membership can be the way to go, and Timber Creek has smartly put together several options including individual, families, couples, seniors, and juniors. Pricing for these various packages is very approachable ranging from $200 (Junior) to $1,800 (Couples). Most offer unlimited 7-day/week play (carts not included). There are options to purchase a limited package at reduced price and/or custom add-ons like range passes and carts. The memberships buy you into free league play, always a nice bonus.
The lay of the land around Watertown is sprinkled with natural marshlands and just enough undulation to keep those fairways playing with some uncertainty (in a good way). The course design has also added enough blind corners and doglegs to keep the shorter yardages at a challenging level. Small ravines and stands of tall trees show up on nearly every hole providing risk/reward decisions, with the added cornering holes play trickier than it initially appears. This type of layout, when coupled with great conditions, is exactly what mid-handicappers and scratch players love. The four sets of tees allow beginners and casual players lots of choices to maximize fun. The forward tees play at 4,632 while the back set stretches things out to 6,248 yards. It was this topography that attracted Brooks to the purchase of Timber Creek. Having started his career in the superintendent ranks, he knows fun golf starts with the lay of the land. His appreciation for the beauty of this slice of the western Twin Cities eventually led to his decision to go all in on his dream of ownership.
The drive on Highway 394/Highway 12 into Watertown past Lake Minnetonka has evolved over the years as the suburbs and all its commercial attachments stretch further west. This year construction on Highway 24 has changed the routing into the course – which is no big deal. As a thoughtful courtesy to customers Brooks has posted detour messaging for the Highway 24 construction on the front page of Timber Creeks’ website.
I love a course that starts with a par 5 and that is exactly what Timber Creek offers. As a bonus, it’s not too long (455 from the tips), so carding a birdie out of the gate is not out of the question. Things turn the other way on the longish par 3, 2nd hole. Now that you’re dialed in front to back, you can take on the number 1 handicap hole, the short par 4, #3 (340 yards from the whites). Speaking of short par 4s (who doesn’t love them?), the back nine opens with a string of 3 of them… 340, 310 and 290 yards respectively. This is a good spot on the scorecard to push that round into your top-ten list.
The comfortable pro shop offers a well-focused, no nonsense, and ready-to-go menu with burgers, brats, sandwiches, and plentiful snack options. Top it off with a cold Surly craft beer or any of the beverage selections chilled just right. The clubhouse provides a nice, shaded patio for relaxing after your round and enjoying some time with friends and a cold refreshment. There’s no need to rush off, soak in the peaceful surroundings and order another round.
As you crisscross the scenic bridges and navigate your way around and over the creek and past the many natural water hazards, keep in mind these course elements were meant to add to your challenge and bring the fun factor into full bloom. That smile on your face was exactly what Brooks was working towards when he took the reins at Timber Creek in 2014 and brought his vision to life. Nestled alongside the hometown hospitality of Watertown, Timber Creek is ready to add some energetic fun to your summer playlist.