Minnesota golf courses come in a wide variety, from 9-hole mom and pop operations to 54-hole resort complexes and we have been discussing different destinations in this series of articles. Today we will highlight the city of Rochester in the southeastern portion of the state.
Rochester is located approximately 85 miles southeast of the Twin Cities on Hwy. 52. Rochester is known worldwide as the home of the Mayo Clinic. There are plenty of places to stay and other activities to participate in while in Rochester when you are done golfing. A good reference site is http://www.rochestercvb.org, which is the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau, but we are here to primarily discuss the golf opportunities that Rochester has to offer.
The golf courses in Rochester and telephone numbers are:
· Eastwood Golf Club 1-507-281-6173
· Maple Valley Golf & Country Club 1-507-285-9100
· Meadow Lakes Golf Club 1-507-285-1190
· Northern Hills Golf Club 1-507-281-6170
· Oak Summit Golf Course 1-507-252-1808
· Rochester Golf & Country Club 1-507-282-3170
· Soldier’s Memorial Field Golf Course 1-507-281-6176
· Willow Creek Golf Course 1-507-285-0305
As you can see there are plenty of opportunities to play golf in Rochester. You can either come for a weekend or stay for a week and never have to play the same golf course twice.
Eastwood Golf Club: Eastwood Golf Club is city owned golf course that is located in the southeastern part of the city. This facility is an 18-hole course that plays 6,205 yards from the back tee markers. Par at Eastwood Golf Club is 70. The course rating is 69.6 and the slope index is 121. The green fee for 18-holes is $26.75 and golf cart rentals are available for $24.00 for 18-holes. If you have a group outing planned in the Rochester area you can rent the entire golf course for half or full day. Contact the golf course management staff for more details.
Maple Valley Golf & Country Club: Maple Valley is a par 71, 18-hole golf course. The course plays at 5,916 yards from the back tee markers with a course rating of 68.1 and a slope index of 108. Maple Valley Golf Course is located approximately 15 minutes south of the city of Rochester in the beautiful Root River bluff country. Elevation changes in this area of the state are quite dramatic so don’t let the yardage of this course deceive you.
Weekend 18-hole rates are $31.00 plus tax. A power cart can be rented for $14.00 per person plus tax.
Meadow Lakes Golf Club: Meadow Lakes Golf Club is an 18-hole par 71 “links style” course and has water hazards on 15 of the 18 holes. There are two island greens featured at Meadow Lakes. There are four sets of tee markers to choose from to challenge golfers of all abilities. Power carts are also available for rent. After your round of golf, don’t forget to stop in the lounge for cold refreshments.
Northern Hills Golf Club: Northern Hills Golf Club is a city owned golf course that is located in the northwestern part of the city. Northern Hills Golf Club is an 18-hole facility that plays 6,335 yards from the back tee markers with a course rating of 70.9 and a slope index of 129. Green fee for 18-holes is $26.75 and golf cart rentals are available for $24.00 for 18-holes. If you have a group outing planned in the Rochester area you can rent the entire golf course for half or full day. Contact the golf course management staff for more details.
Oak Summit Golf Course: Oak Summit Golf Course is located five miles south of the city of Rochester and just ¼ mile west of the Rochester Municipal Airport. Oak Summit Golf Course is an 18-hole par 70 facility that features 4 sets of tee markers. The course plays 6,434 yards from the back tees with a course rating of 71.0 and a slope index of 118. The cost to play at Oak Summit Golf Course is $25.00 for 18-holes with power cart rental available for $14.00 per person additional.
Rochester Golf & Country Club: Rochester Golf & Country Club is a private members-owned club located on the western edge of the city. You will have to be a guest of a member to play here or if you are moving to the Rochester area you can apply for membership. There are also non-resident memberships available if you live 40 miles away from Rochester. The Rochester Golf & Country Club features four sets of tee markers, the course plays at 6,469 from the back tees with a course rating of 71.4 and a slope index of 131. If you are in the area and have the ability to get in a round, it certainly will be an adventure for you to experience the history of this club that dates back to 1915.
Soldier’s Memorial Field Golf Course: Soldier’s Memorial Field Golf Course is a city owned course that is located in the center of the city that was built in 1927 and the Zumbro River runs through the course. The course plays just 5,706 yards from the back tees with a course rating of 66.8 and a slope index of 116. Strategy and ball placement are vital to scoring well as the Zumbro River comes into play on several holes. Green fee for 18-holes is $26.75 and golf cart rentals are available for $24.00 for 18-holes. If you have a group outing planned in the Rochester area you can rent the entire golf course for half or full day. Contact the golf course management staff for more details.
Willow Creek Golf Course: Willow Creek Golf Course is an 18-hole par 70 course that plays 6,053 yards from the back tees. There is also Little Willow 9-hole executive course that plays 1,434 located on the property. The weekend rate to play 18-holes is $26.00. There are also power carts for rent at Willow Creek. After your round of golf don’t forget to stop by the 19th Hole Lounge for a cold beverage and a sandwich from the daily menu.
The Rochester area is filled with variety, not only in the choices of golf courses but also in accommodations and other points of interest in the area. Whether you decide to stay for a weekend or a week, and choose to stay in a Bed & Breakfast or a luxury hotel, Rochester has something for everyone. When making plans for your summer vacation make it a Minnesota rural golf vacation!
Copyright 2006 Dana Buttenhoff
Dana Buttenhoff is an avid golfer and a native Minnesotan. After 20 years of golf and traveling around the USA, Dana would like to share the golf gems rural Minnesota has to offer. http://www.minnesotaruralgolf.com
History of Golf in Kenya
The history of golf in Kenya goes back a long way, with one club in Nairobi due to celebrate its centenary in 2006. Locally, the game is thriving as never before. Young and gifted Kenyan golf players are starting to compete internationally at the highest levels.
But it is only comparatively recently that Kenya as a nation has woken up to the fact that its magnificent golfing inheritance is, in fact, a valuable commodity that can and should be marketed overseas. What’s more, several of the Kenyan top golf courses have been refurbished or upgraded in recent times.
What Golfing in Kenya offers:
For the lovers of the game, Kenyan Golf offers:
o Un-crowded and mostly well maintained courses.
o Comparatively inexpensive green fees and associated playing costs.
o A perfect climate during Europe’s winter months.
o Hotel accommodation of a high standards that is also reasonably priced.
o Frequent flights to Nairobi from Europe and the Far East.
o Manu excellent courses in and around Nairobi, at 100metres above sea level, but even more within two hours’ drive of the capital
1. Muthaiga Kenyan Golf Club
Of the nation’s 40 or so courses, probably the best known is the Muthaiga Golf Club, home to the Kenya Open and founded in 1913. The Kenyan golf course is popular with the locals at the weekends, but it is comparatively easy to play on weekdays. Muthaiga has recently undergone a major refurbishment to lengthen some holes and tighten other aspects of the golf course.
2. Windsor Kenyan Golf Hotel & Country Club
Other good Kenyan golf courses in the Nairobi area are Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club and the Royal Nairobi. Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club is unique to Kenya. Set amid coffee plantations, it consists of a large luxury hotel overlooking its own golf course. The Kenyan golf course itself has some of the trickiest holes and is not for the faint hearted or those a little wayward off the tee.
As such, Windsor golf course is a stiff test for any golfer. There is plenty of water around, not to mention some blind greens, a do-or-die 14th hole and an 18th hole that is capable of wrecking any card.
Like Muthaiga, the Royal Nairobi Golf Club is a golf course with strong colonial ties. Establishes in 1906, this is Kenya’s oldest golf course.
3. Railway Kenyan Golf Club
Along with the Railway Golf Club, it is located right in town. AT 6,600 meters off the back tees, the Royal Nairobi is a testing course. Both the club house and the golf course have been refurbished recently.
Slightly further from Nairobi, but certainly no less interesting, are golf courses such as Karen, Limuru and Sigona.
4. Karen Kenyan Golf Club
The 6,630 meter Karen Golf Club, in the Ngong Hills, proved a worthy alternative venue for the 2004 Kenya Open. This is an admirably maintained course with a well connected membership, strong traditions, high standards and strict dress code.
5. Sigona Kenyan Golf Club
About 40 minutes out of Nairobi, on the Nakuru Road, is the recently upgraded Sigona Golf Club. This course is greatly favoured by local golf players and enjoys a moderate climate. Its par-71, 6015 meter golf course is suitable for players of all levels and its fairways are among the best kept in Kenya.
6. Limuru Kenyan Country Club
Located a similar distance from Nairobi is the par-71, 6,020 metre Limuru Country Club. At 2,330 meters, the Limuru is high above level and receives more rainfall than most other courses. Its greens and fairways are particularly lush, even in the dry season. This well maintained Kenyan golf course is a delight to play, but at this altitude players may need a sweater for early morning and evening rounds.
7. The Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort
The Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort at Naivasha is about 2,150metres above sea level and consists of a par-72, 6,073 metre course with some of the best views in Kenya. This is not the toughest golf course in the Kenya, but what it lacks in difficulty it more than makes up for by its sheer charm and beauty.
8. Many Other 9 and 18 hole Golf Courses near Nairobi
Apart from those already mentioned, there are nine-hole and 18-hole Kenyan golf courses dotted all around the highland areas above Nairobi. Some are in excellent condition, while others probably require some improvement before it would be worth traveling long distances to play golf.
Golfing at the Kenyan Coast
On the coast, meanwhile, visitors can expect a tropical atmosphere in terms of climate and playing conditions. There is a choice of two fine courses, Leisure Golf Club and the Nyali Golf Club, with rumours of new Kenyan golf courses to come in the area.
9. Leisure Golf Club in the Kenyan South Coast
The unforgiving Leisure Golf Club at Ukunda, on Mombasa’s South Coast, has tight fairways, good quality greens and is in good order thanks to some new grass-cutting equipment. The 6,084 metre golf course is open to non- hotel guests and visitors can expect a warm welcome at the club house.
10. Nyali Golf Club in the Kenyan North Coast
North of Mombasa, the Nyali Golf Club offers a more traditional set-up. This Kenyan golf course is a fair test for any golfer, while the club house has a reputation for excellent food.
Better Winter Golfing in Kenya than in Mediterranean
Whatever Kenyan golf course or courses you decide to play in Kenya, you are bound to be pleasantly surprised by what you find. In fact, compared with the Mediterranean in winter, there really is no contest.
Robert is a tour consultant and co-owner of Landmark Safaris Ltd in Kenya. Visit them http://www.landmarksafaris.com/tours/sports.php to read more on your Golf tour.