By Mpls.St.Paul Magazine / Inspired by Andrew Zimmern's My North
When TV host and chef Andrew Zimmern isn’t off gallivanting around the world eating bizarre foods and hobnobbing with celebrities, he’s finding his center at home in the Twin Cities. Often that means enjoying a meal at one of his favorite restaurants in the oh-so-hot-right-now Twin Cities culinary scene, but you’re just as likely to find him lining up his throw on a disc golf course. Here are five outstanding disc golf courses around the Twin Cities.
Part of the Three Rivers Park District, the Bryant Lake Park disc golf course in Eden Prairie is AZ’s home turf. Its 18 holes—including hole 17, which features a massive cliff tee shot—are carved out of a mix of forest and field, offering golfers a variety of scenic lake views and regular wildlife sightings. And with short and long tee boxes for every hole, Bryant Lake Park is great for disc golfers of every skill level.
In Inver Grove Heights, The Valley disc golf course spans the city’s North and South Valley Parks, featuring eighteen holes that work their way up and down the hillsides of the park’s namesake valley. Watch out for pond crossings and tight fairways on this scenic and challenging course in the southeast metro.
Situated along the wooded shoreline of Amber Lake in the small, southern Minnesota town of Fairmont, you won’t find a championship disc golf course at Cedar Creek—you’ll find two. Cedar Creek is actually a pair of championship courses—the first built in 1996, the second in 2006—that regularly rate among the best disc links in the state. At 4,826 feet long, the original “East” course is relatively short but also quite technical, which makes it solid for experienced and new players alike, while the newer “West” course is nearly 1,000 feet longer and brings both water and elevation shifts into play.
A veritable disc golf country club, with 27 total holes and a dedicated clubhouse and practice facility, Blue Ribbon Pines in East Bethel is the gold standard of Minnesota disc golfing. Broken up into three nine-hole courses, Blue Ribbon makes good use of its lush green grass and manmade water features on holes that weave in and out of the pine forest surrounding the property. Oh, and there’s even a concession stand at the turn.
Located just downriver of downtown St. Cloud, Riverside Park might not have the elaborate disc golf infrastructure of some other courses on this list, but like they say in real estate, location is everything. Riverside’s eighteen hole course follows the hilly east bank of the Mississippi River, with scenic views and challenging putts around every bend. And if you get to St. Cloud and realize you forgot your discs, a visit to Disc Golf Today (just across the river) will prove a fine place to arm yourself for your round.