St. Croix National Golf And Event Center – Manthis’ Top Ten
By Steve Manthis
|The month of May is rife with beginnings and endings. It marks the (almost) end of the school year and the beginning of summertime. It’s the end (hopefully) of colder weather and the true beginning of golf season. It’s also the end of the TV season and the beginning of reruns. However, one ending that won’t have a new beginning is “The Late Show with David Letterman.” This May marks the end of 33 years on television for Letterman, and to honor his departure, I’m going to steal one of his best known bits: The Top Ten List. Let’s focus on St. Croix National Golf and Event Center located just across the St. Croix River from Stillwater.
So here we go, the Top Ten reasons to play St. Croix National.
#9 – Bridge Construction. I doubt I’m the only one, but making the trip to St. Croix National allows you to view the construction of the new bridge across the river. It’s an amazing feat and an impressive sight. It will be fun to see the progress they make.
#8 – Elevation Changes. From hole #1 to #18, you’ll be tested with several uphill and downhill shots. While some holes are flatter than others, I wouldn’t consider any of them to be flat. And several holes mix both downhill tee shots with an uphill approach to the green. My advice: make sure you take enough club when going up those hills, and be careful you don’t go too far coming down.
#7 – It’s Something Different. Whether you have played there or not, it’s definitely not the norm for courses in the metro area. There are so many things unique to the course that it’s difficult to identify them all. Architect Joel Goldstrand always has lots of tricks up his sleeve to make his courses challenging, and this one is no different. In addition to the elevation changes already discussed, there is a great mixture of long and short holes, easy and difficult ones, straight ones and doglegs. Whatever hole you’re playing, you certainly won’t think you’ve played it before.
#6 – Your Cart Is Included With The Price. It would be a tough course to walk, so you’ll appreciate your golf cart. Luckily for you, the green fee comes with a cart making the rates ($47 for 18 holes M-F, $57 on the weekends) very acceptable. Seniors get an even better deal: $37 M-Th until 2:00 p.m.
#5 – Online Tee Times Can Score You A Real Bargain. If you’re a bargain hunter, booking online can really save you a few bucks. Simply go to their website (http://www.scngolf.com) and click on “Tee Times.” There you can see available times, some of which come at a great discount. A recent look offered rounds for $28, a 51% savings!
#4 – Bent Grass Fairways And Greens. When I played there recently, the course was in fantastic condition. The bent grass fairways looked very good and the greens were lush and smooth. Putts held their line, and if you made a good stroke, you had a chance to make it.
#3 – That Up North Feel. St. Croix National’s website says this about the course: “Feels like golfing in the north but only minutes from Stillwater.” And how right they are. The mature forest that surrounds the course makes it seem like you’re a lot farther north than you actually are. In reality, it’s a few minutes from charming Stillwater.
#2 – The 19th Hole. No, I’m not talking about the bar; they really have 19 holes. The extra hole is a severely downhill shot of just over a hundred yards. There is a teeing area, but there is only a mat – no grass. Nevertheless, it’s a fun little bonus. With a small green, it’s not easy to knock it on. You could use it to break the tie in your match, or to decide who has to buy the drinks when you’re done.
And The #1 Reason For Playing St. Croix National – The Views. With the aforementioned changes in elevation and the up north feel, St. Croix has spectacular views. Everywhere you look, there’s something pleasing to see. Hopefully for you one of them will be a tap in birdie.
So there you have it – 10 great reasons to play St. Croix National. Instead of playing the same old courses you always play, make the trip to Wisconsin and give yourself a challenge.