Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)



Best in State

The best golf courses in Minnesota

The Minneapolis and St. Paul area might be one of the most underrated golf regions in the U.S. with six of the top seven courses in the state within a 30-minute drive. The courses span significant architectural eras: Interlachen, Minikahda and White Bear Yacht Club trace their golf back to the first decades of the 1900s. Hazeltine National was built in the early 1960s by Robert Trent Jones. Spring Hill is a 1999 Tom Fazio design, and Windsong Farm opened in 2003 (a second course has recently been announced). For some of the country's most adventurous public golf, head upstate to the areas around Brainerd and Biwabik, where golfers will find the gorgeously secluded courses at Giant's Ridge, a 100 Greatest Public Course; Wilderness at Fortune Bay; one of Arnold Palmer's best designs, Deacon's Lodge; and the Classic at Madden's Resort.

Below you'll find our 2023-'24 ranking of the Best Golf Courses in Minnesota.

We urge you to click through to each individual course page for bonus photography, drone footage and reviews from our course panelists. Plus, you can now leave your own ratings on the courses you’ve played … to make your case why your favorite should be ranked higher.

1. (1) Interlachen Country Club
4.6
167 Panelists
When Bobby Jones won the 1930 U.S. Open at Interlachen (completing the second leg of what would become the game’s first Grand Slam), fellow competitor Gene Sarazen insisted the course was tougher than everything but Oakmont. These days, the hilly, tree-lined design with small greens and plenty of bunkers has been the showcase of women’s professional golf, hosting the 2002 Solheim Cup, won by the American team, and the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open, won by Inbee Park. In 2023, Andrew Green will begin a major restoration of the Willie Watson design that Donald Ross revamped in 1922, possibly giving the course a similar ranking jolt that similar work at Inverness and Congressioinal delivered.
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2. (2) Spring Hill Golf Club
Private
2. (2) Spring Hill Golf Club
Wayzata, MN
4.6
145 Panelists
While Tom Fazio is best known for creating massive landscapes for his designs, Spring Hill required little manipulation of earth. Fazio utilized the existing rolling topography to form what is one of his most natural designs. Holes are isolated from one another by thick forests of evergreens and, in one section of the property, acres of maple trees that provide a brilliant color display each fall. With several tight fairways, marshland along some edges, many uphill approach shots into elevated greens and subtle movements in the putting surfaces, Spring Hill is also one of Fazio’s most challenging designs.
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3. (3) Hazeltine National Golf Club
Hazeltine might be the most controversial championship course of the modern era, designed by Robert Trent Jones for former USGA president Totten Heffelfinger, who used his considerable clout to bring the 1966 U.S. Women’s Open and 1970 U.S. Open to the then-very immature layout. Criticisms were so extreme that Trent Jones spent the next two decades remodeling it, straightening doglegs, relocating holes and rebuilding greens. In the past two decades his younger son, Rees Jones, assumed the reconstruction, with even greater success—and today the layout, like many in the old man's portfolio, is more Rees than Trent. Hazeltine hosted the 2009 PGA and 2016 Ryder Cup, the latter a bright spot for the American team, which perhaps is why the PGA of America has already awarded the 2028 Ryder Cup to this Minnesota site.
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4. (5) White Bear Yacht Club
Private
4. (5) White Bear Yacht Club
White Bear Lake, MN
4.3
107 Panelists
Before he moved to California where he laid the foundation of many of that state's best courses from the pre-Depression era, William Watson was a pioneer of golf in Minnesota. He arranged the first nine holes at White Bear Yacht Club in 1912 near the shore of White Bear Lake on some of the most roly-poly land imaginable. Several years later, Donald Ross, it is believed, added nine holes and remodeled the course. That rumpled, unmodified land is the heart and soul of White Bear Yacht Club. Modern architects would likely have leveled and softened the slopes and ravines, but here they bring the golf to life visually and psychologically, offering nary a level stance and asking the player to hit approaches with extreme control. Over the last two decades under the guidance of Jim Urbina the surrounding canopy of forest has been pared back to better reveal the massive, enthralling undulations of the course.
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5. (7) The Minikahda Club
Private
5. (7) The Minikahda Club
Minneapolis, MN
4
74 Panelists
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6. (4) The Quarry at Giants Ridge
It doesn't get the press that courses such as Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Whistling Straits or Arcadia Bluffs, but The Quarry at Giants Ridge plays very links-like with its collection of fairway speed slots, greenside backboards and backstops and reverse-camber greens. Its very inventive design also demands some aerial play, too. A standout is its 13th, a drivable par 4 that's nearly as wide as it is long, with three alternate routes to a 100-yard-wide green. We named it the best 13th hole in America built since 2000.
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7. (6) Windsong Farm Golf Club
Private
7. (6) Windsong Farm Golf Club
Maple Plain, MN
3.3
47 Panelists
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8. (10) The Wilderness At Fortune Bay
In 2005, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay won America's Best New Upscale Public Course, a year after architect Jeff Brauer won the same award for The Quarry at Giant's Ridge, also in northern Minnesota. Where The Quarry uses slopes and ramps, Wilderness rewards aerial play, with some high-low alternate fairways, lake-edged greens and a pair of drop-shot par 3s. As we wrote back in 2005, "its options outnumber its rock outcroppings, and there are outcroppings galore."
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9. (8) Northland Country Club
Private
9. (8) Northland Country Club
Duluth, MN
4.6
49 Panelists
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10. (9) Madden's on Gull Lake: The Classic at Madden's
The Classic is a genuine amateur architect design, although course superintendent Scott Hoffmann consulted with veteran course architect Geoff Cornish as well as others in creating The Classic at Madden's. It's beautiful but not for the faint of heart, a hilly course with some narrow, pine-lined fairways and occasional challenging shots over water from sidehill or downhill lies. But, like other multiple course operations such as Bethpage and Cog Hill, Madden's has easier alternate layouts for high-handicappers.
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11. (11) Somerset Country Club
Private
11. (11) Somerset Country Club
Mendota Heights, MN
4.1
51 Panelists
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12. (12) Olympic Hills Golf Club
Private
12. (12) Olympic Hills Golf Club
Eden Prairie, MN
4
53 Panelists
Architect Ron Prichard took an existing layout by Charles Maddox and completed transformed it—with an brand-new course reopening in 2015 that is one of the best in Minnesota. Tyler Rae has done some renovation work in recent years to clear out a significant number of trees to open up sightlines and tweak green complexes to make some less severe. Still, Olympic Hills features intriguing greensites built in all shapes and sizes with a good variety of holes.
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13. (13) Minneapolis Golf Club
Private
13. (13) Minneapolis Golf Club
Saint Louis Park, MN
4
72 Panelists
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14. (NR) Midland Hills Country Club
Private
14. (NR) Midland Hills Country Club
Roseville, MN
4.5
27 Panelists
Midland Hills always suspected their course was designed by Seth Raynor in the early 1920s, but they had no records of what that course looked. They could intuit what some of Raynor's original holes were, but the overall architecture had dulled and shrunk over the years. That changed in 2018 when superintendent Mike Manthey discovered a 1921 irrigation map hidden above the ceiling in his office. The drawing showed Raynor's vision for the course including individual holes and bunkers, a roadmap that designer Jim Urbina used to recreate and sharpen the old templates like the Biarritz, Road and Eden. The improvements have help vault the course into the Best in State rankings for the first time.
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Private
15. (19) Golden Valley Country Club
Golden Valley, MN
3.5
51 Panelists
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16. (14) Deacon's Lodge Golf Course
Public
16. (14) Deacon's Lodge Golf Course
Pequot Lakes, MN
4.2
29 Panelists
A former member of our 100 Greatest Public list, Deacon’s Lodge is a scenic Arnold Palmer signature course that plays through woodlands and around lakes. The fairways have a lot of movement to them and are often banked on the sides, filtering balls toward the middle. There are some forced carries over native grasses, which add to the aesthetics of this central Minnesota layout.
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18. (20) StoneRidge Golf Club
Public
18. (20) StoneRidge Golf Club
Stillwater, MN
4.3
30 Panelists
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19. (23) Somerby Golf Club
Private
19. (23) Somerby Golf Club
Byron, MN
3.8
27 Panelists
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20. (NR) Legends Club
Public
20. (NR) Legends Club
Prior Lake, MN
3.8
22 Panelists
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21. (NR) Town & Country Club
Private
21. (NR) Town & Country Club
Saint Paul, MN
3.9
34 Panelists
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25. (NR) The Jewel Golf Club
Public
25. (NR) The Jewel Golf Club
Lake City, MN
3.6
21 Panelists
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