GRAND NATIONAL at HINCKLEY
Grander by the day
by Mark Sculati
Golfers, as a rule of thumb, will
drive/fly anywhere to get in a round of golf. Las Vegas, Florida, Alabama, "up
north", - you name it, golfers will go there. Metro area golfers routinely drive
thirty to forty-five minutes to play their favorite courses. One such course that is
definitely worth the drive is Grand National Golf Club located in Hinckley, just
an hour north of the twin cities.
On your way up to Duluth? Gonna go to Grand Rapids or
If you are, you should plan on stopping at
this Joel Goldstrand designed course. The Sportspage staff made a return visit this summer
and came away feeling good about our initial positive
recommendation of this course.
With four sets of tee boxes ranging from
5100 yards to 6894 yards, this course has something to offer for every type of golfer.
This course does get every type of golfer, as Grand Casino is located next door.
For those who travel out to Las Vegas to get in golf and gambling, Grand National is a
whole lot closer and by far a better bang for the buck.
Ever play a course and come away thinking
that it played a lot harder than the rating or slope indicated (not because of your
swing)? Thats exactly how we felt the first time we played the course, and not to
pat ourselves on the back or anything, but as of last year, the course was re-rated by the
MGA. How does that happen? A team of three individuals from the MGA evaluates everything
on the course (fairway, rough, and trees) once it is built and assigns both a rating and a
slope. After two to three years of play, if requested, the MGA will revisit the course and
re-rate the course as necessary.
At most courses its the drives that
get average golfers in trouble. Out of bounds, trees, etc. lead to the dreaded double
bogey or worse. The beauty of Grand Nationals layout is that its the second
shot at greens that makes one a man or a mouse. Many a time one of our foursome went
whistling down the mostly generous fairways with a well-struck drive only to arrive at a
take a gulp of air second shot. The reason being? Dont miss right. Oh and on second
thought dont miss short right. Oh and on third thought dont miss
long right. Anyway, you get the picture. For the average handicapped right-handed golfer,
it provides a true and believe it or not fun test of golf (especially so with each
time you play the course).
The fairways and greens were in great
shape and seem to get better every year a true sign that the course is being well
maintained and cared for. The sand traps were a bit hard from the 100-degree heat, but
that can be taken care of.
At some courses you can pay $5-10 and get
a players guide to show you around the course. At Grand National it comes for free
(golfers love that word) on a card showing the course layout (in color) and giving advice
on where to hit your shots. A great little perk that all courses should follow.
The greatest compliments that a golfer can
give a course are to (a) return many times and (b) recommend it to their friends. On both
accounts Grand National passes.
WEEKDAY(MON-THUR) 18 $27.00
WEEKENDS(FRI-SUN,HOLIDAYS) 18 $30.00
TWI-LIGHT WEEKDAY(AFTER4 MON-THU) 18 $22.00
Grand National Golf Club
300 Lady Luck Drive
Hinckley, MN 55037