Fall is a great time for golf on the Iron Range. Most courses in the Iron Range are intended as destination attractions for the avid golfer. Therefore, the facilities are attractive and the courses are styled with grace and splendor. The greens will challenge every able golfer, but are not formidable. For a list of many more courses, see Best Fall Golf Spots In Northern Minnesota.
Yards, ratings and slopes are given for the most challenging of tees, thus giving the reader an idea of the extent of resources put into course design.
6325 Wynne Creek Drive
Biwabik, MN 55708
Quarry course is 7201 yards, 75.6 rating and 146 slope
Legend course is 6930 yards, 73.7 rating and 133 slope
The Quarry is a creative reclamation of an old sand and gravel mining operation. Golf Digest rates The Quarry fourth on the list of “Minnesota Best In State Rankings.” It was rated 54th in the nation by Golf.com and is among the best public courses in the Midwest and the 200 Best Modern Courses 2014 by Golfweek. Golf aficionados raved when the Legend was carved out of the Superior National Forest in 1997. The awe-inspiring tees and tranquil sylvan fairways make for a memorable experience.
Madden’s On Gull Lake
11266 Pine Beach Peninsula
Brainerd, MN 56401
The Classic is 7,109 yards, 75.3 rating and 139 slope
Golf Digest gives The Classic a five-star rating and has listed it among America’s 100 Best. Golf Digest rates The Classic is tenth on the list of “Minnesota Best In State Rankings.” The Legend also makes this top 20 list. Golf packages are especially attractive October 6 through October 19 this year when green fees are $45 on weekdays, $55 on weekends and $35 for twilight. Watch for several events scheduled in September and October.
The Legacy Courses at Cragun’s
11000 Craguns Drive
Brainerd, MN 56401
Dutch Legacy is a par 72, 6,879 yards, 73.8 rating and 146 slope
Bobby’s Legacy is a par 73, 6,755 yards, 73.9 rating and 149 slope
Golf Digest places the Legacy courses on the list of “Minnesota Best In State Rankings” top 20 list. Robert Tent Jones Jr. established the paradigm of northern Minnesota golf years ago when he laid out these courses. Ever since, Cragun’s was the place to go for top golfing events and vacation golf in Minnesota.
The Wilderness at Fortune Bay
1430 Bois Forte Road
Tower, MN 55790
Wilderness course is 7,207 yards, 75.3 rating and 142 slope
The Wilderness at Fortune Bay was named Minnesota’s 2014 “Golfweek’s Best: Courses You Can Play State By State,” and ninth on Golf Digest’s “Minnesota: Best In State Rankings.” Majestic pines, dramatic rock outcroppings and panoramic views of Lake Vermillion make this course a must-see destination for even the humblest of golfers.
Pokegama Golf Course
3910 Golf Course Road
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Pokegama is a par 72, 6,426 yards, 70.9 rating and 131 slope
Pokegama may be a municipal course but it is manicured to perfection with fastidious greens keepers not leaving a divot or a brown spot on the course. Even the wooded roughs are kept clean, which is nice for finding the balls after the occasional errant drive. Nevertheless, Pokegama fairways are forgiving enough for the occasional golfer. Watch out for water hazards on several of the holes and the final hole along the beautiful Pokegama Lake. The course is very mature, with the first nine holes having been built in 1926.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.