Willingers in Northfield, Minnesota
Accuracy key to solving Willingers

by Rob Levine

Willinger’s is in general an excellent but difficult course, loaded with water, woods, bunkers and narrow fairways. Unlike other difficult courses, Willinger’s has no gimmicks such as hidden greens. A four iron is handy off many tees, leaving a seven or less to the green. For you King Kongs, there are plenty of holes where you can get out the big boy. The greens are gently graded or flat, and the grass in both the fairways and on the greens is in excellent condition.

Bring a lot of ammo
Make sure your bag is well stocked with balls, unless you’re a very straight hitter. Many holes require two precision shots, one off the tee and one to the green. The number one handicap hole (the sixth, a 504-yard [blue tees] par 5 that winds around two small lakes) requires a pinpoint drive, and another accurate shot to the green, which is surrounded by water and beaches. The number two handicap hole (the 12th, a 425-yard par 4 that goes down a hill and then back up) has a narrow fairway with thick woods on the left.

Gestalt its got
Willinger’s is a real nice place to spend an afternoon. The track wends its way around five lowland lakes of various sizes, over gently sloping hills. It’s a course where you definitely do not need to rent a cart. The speed of play was good, with one small exception. Apparently there was a slow foursome early in the day (who were ejected), and it rippled somewhat through our round. Nevertheless, we waited on few tees. One tee we did wait on found the course pro, who charmingly entertained us with a few trick shots and easy banter.

In a nutshell
At $32 Willinger’s is a little on the high side for public courses in the Twin Cities. However, it’s got enough class and appeal to easily warrant the extra couple bucks. Highly recommended.

Willingers Golf Club
6900 Canby Trail
Northfield, MN 55057
Phone: 440-7000
Green fee: weekday $26; weekend $32
Drive from TC: 1 hr
Difficulty: Difficult

  Black Blue White Red

Distance

6711 6233 5859 5166
Rating 73.3 71.1 69.4 71.6
Slope 140 136 132 130