A handful of those courses were recently named among the best courses throughout the United States as part of Golf Digest's most recent ranking of public courses in the country.
The publication does a ranking every two years, highlighting the top 100 public courses across America. Three of those courses that earned placement among the 100 best for 2023 and 2024 are located in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. More specifically, they're all located in Northern Minnesota.
All three of these courses should be no major surprise to golf enthusiasts, though you might have something to say about where they rank among the best in the country. I mean, everyone has their own personal thoughts on what makes one course better than others.
Let's dig into the most recent rankings for Minnesota courses that appear in the 100 best public courses in the country.
Minnesota Courses Appearing On Golf Digest's 100 Greatest Public Courses List
Falling a few places from Golf Digest's previous ranking, The Quarry at Giant's Ridge in Biwabik remains standing as the best course in Minnesota according to this list from the publication. In Golf Digest's previous ranking, The Quarry was at #35 on the list, falling this time around to #43 for 2023-2024.
Likened to courses like Brandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, and Whistling Straits, Golf Digest says about the course: "Its very inventive design also demands some aerial play, too. A standout is its 13th, a drivable par 4 that's nearly as wide as it is long, with three alternate routes to a 100-yard-wide green. We named it the best 13th hole in America built since 2000."
Rates during prime season (June 2-August 27) for 2023 are listed as $120 on the weekend and $105 on weekdays for an 18-hole round with twilight and early/fall/late season rates as well.
Rugged beauty situated along the shore of Lake Vermilion in Tower, this is the only one of Minnesota's three courses on the Golf Digest list that actually moved up from their previous ranking. Last ranked at #69, this course moved up two spots for the 2023-2024 ranking.
Golf Digest commented on the course in description, saying it "rewards aerial play, with some high-low alternate fairways, lake-edged greens and a pair of drop-shot par 3s."
Rates during peak season (June 2-September 3) for 2023 are listed as $116 on the weekend and $103 on weekdays for an 18-hole round with twilight and early/fall/late season rates as well as rates for those staying at the resort.
The final course in Minnesota making the list for 2023-2024 is the Brainerd Lakes Area's "The Classic" at Madden's Resort. While it fell significantly from #62 in the last ranking to 81 for the most recent, this is still a stunning and challenging course in the heart of "Lakes Country".
Golf Digest's description for the course mentioned "It's beautiful but not for the faint of heart, a hilly course with some narrow, pine-lined fairways and occasional challenging shots over water from sidehill or downhill lies."
Rates during peak season (May 19-October 1) for 2023 are listed as $175 Friday-Sunday and $160 on Monday-Thursday for an 18-hole round with twilight and early/late season rates as well as rates for those staying at the resort.