This summer, the PGA Championship (August 10-16) returns to Hazeltine National Golf Club, just west of Minneapolis and Minnesota. It’s a safe bet that Tiger Woods, Anthony Kim, Vijay Singh, hometown boys Tom Lehman and Tim Herron and other PGA notables will be on hand.
Visitors attending the event can expect excellent golf options, dining and things to do in the Minneapolis St. Paul area while hereabouts.
A lunch and golf stop on the southern rim of the metro area at Lakeville is Legends Club. The Legends Grille is a wonderful room that also overlooks the course’s 30-acre lake, wetlands, ponds and rolling fairways.
Another south metro golfspot is Shakopee, with three courses. Mystic Lake Casino features national name entertainment, and its Meadows is a well-appointed track with 13 water holes, 20 fountains, 80 bunkers and a stream with four waterfalls in the middle of the course.
The Wilds, across from Mystic Lake, is a Tom Weiskopf/Jay Morrish creation with a beautiful clubhouse has a very good restaurant that’s popular with golfers and locals.
Stonebrooke, just west of Mystic and The Wilds, sports a circular clubhouse with a restaurant and lounge worthy of lingering. Stonebrooke is known for its signature #8 par four, which requires a 260 yard drive from the blues to the fairway across Lake O’Dowd. Golfers are transported by boat to the landing area for second shots. If you have time on your hands around playing golf and attending the PGA Championship, Canterbury Park Racetrack in Shakopee has live horse racing May to Labor Day and a 24/7 card club.
Braemar Golf Course is located just minutes from the Mall of America, and its 27 holes and 2 executive courses are set among 500 acres of hills and scenic lakes. Braemar also boasts an excellent practice facility and a welcoming clubhouse and casual menu of comforting burgers and sandwich selections.
Keller Golf Course (north of St. Paul) is a venerable track with a deep history. Site of the PGA Tour’s St. Paul Open from 1930 to 1968, Keller also hosted the PGA Championship in 1932 and 1954. Its historic clubhouse holds a collection of photos and memorabilia from its heyday.
For more information on Minnesota golf or to request the Minnesota Golf Guide, go to www.exploreminnesota.com Many of the courses mentioned in this story have video posted at www.exploreminnesotagolf.com Tickets to the PGA Championship can be obtained by going to www.pga2009.com
Chuck Lennon is Golf/Travel Media Relations contact with Explore Minnesota Tourism and a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.