The University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course is a lovely, old fashioned club located close to the geographic center of the metro area. Known for its tight fairways lined by towering oaks and maples, "The U" is the kind of course that can give your average golfer fits. Stray just a few yards off the fairway and youre typically left with a knockdown shot to play under the omnipresent hardwoods (22 of which had to be cut down this year due to disease). The rough is long and treacherous. Greens are relatively fast and are hard to hold if youre not approaching from the fairway.
The number two handicap fourth, a 355-yard par 4, deserves special mention. Its an uphill fairway leading to a domed green, with a bunker on the left and an overhanging tree guarding it on the right. This hole was no doubt constructed before the advent of modern grass cutters. Putting on this green today is a nightmare, as putts that miss the hole going only at a snails pace frequently end up off the green, 30 yards back into the fairway. A good suggestion would be to bulldoze it back to flat and replant the grass.
The course is in pretty good shape overall. There is still a bit of winterkill evident on some fairways and greens but otherwise the turf is well tended. Bunkers seem to have a higher ratio of dirt to sand than other courses weve played. After a rain they can bake pretty hard. The entire course is moderately hilly, especially given the fact that carts are not available to the general public (a few are reserved for golfers with special needs). If you only play "the U" once it would be best to go in the fall when the leaves are in full color, but its always a scenic course.
Weekend tee times can be reserved after noon on Mondays. Students and faculty are allowed to call at 7am (with a credit card-backed reservation number) so a lot of prime times are gone by the time the general public can reserve. Shirts are required. A par three course and one of the finest driving ranges in the state are adjacent.
Among the classics
University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course