Superb Golf Just A Short Drive Away
by Scott A. Sumner
Golfers in NW Ontario can hop in their cars, drive some 90 miles and be on one of the most scenic golf courses you will ever find at Lutsen, Minnesota. Superior National is a 27 hole facility with three separate nines - the River, Mountain and Canyon. Superior National at Lutsen opened in the fall of 1991 with 18 holes and in 1999 went to 27 holes with the pretty Canyon nine added. Superior National is owned by Cook County in Minnesota and new this year are 40 brand new Yamaha golf carts and wall to wall cart paths on the Canyon golf course.
“ We are up 30% this year with rounds over last year at this time as we opened April 9th. The spring of the year most of our golfers come from Thunder Bay. Last weekend was Memorial weekend and most came from Minneapolis. We are a travelling golf course and with our member rounds we get 19,000 in a typical year,” said Greg Leland, Head Professional
at Superior National since 1992. “ We offer full service, a friendly atmosphere and relaxed golf. If you phone ahead or are a member of our e- club we offer golf discounts. There is a Thunder Bay savers card which many come down on, where a round of golf is $40, a good deal with cart and range included.”
Another 90 miles down the road, you will arrive at Giant’s Ridge, home to The Quarry and The Legend courses. Paul Speltz is an Assistant Golf Professional at the Legend course at Giants Ridge. John Kendall is the Director of Golf of The Legend and Quarry. The Giant’s
Ridge golf courses are fairly new with the Legend opening in 1997 and Quarry in 2003 both designed by Jeff Brauer who started in the Texas area and also designed another local favourite course, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay.
“ Everything has gone very well with a warm spring and the weather has been very good. The course conditioning is better now than usual because of the mild start of the season,”
stated Paul Speltz. “ I think both the courses are excellent. The Legend is your typical northlands setting with serene scenic holes out there. The Quarry is the more challenging to play of the two. I like the Quarry as it is unique with18 good holes back to back with no easy
ones. They are very fair though.”
My day of playing both courses reminded me of how pretty it is at Giant’s Ridge. The holes 13 to 17 at The Legend are some of the most beautiful holes I have played in recent times. A long cart drive from 12th hole to the 13th tee box is well worth it. You feel like you are
in your own little world out there. The 17 is a par 3 surrounded by water and makes you feel like you could just sit down and stay awhile here. It is very pretty!
The excellent highway system in Minnesota means Giant’s Ridge is accessible from pretty much everywhere. Green fees in prime season are $82 during the week and $89 on weekend including cart and range at both courses. Pre or post season the green fee rate is $62. There are also specials through out the season including a 36 hole special. The guests at Giants Ridge come from the Twin Cities and Canada. You can find a great place to stay right at the resort in the main hotel or in the Villas.