Couple on a golf green

Couples Golfing: 72 Hours in the Twin Cities

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Take a couples golf vacation in Minnesota / Paul Vincent

Couples Golfing: 72 Hours in the Twin Cities

By Martin Kaufmann, courtesy of Golfweek

Major championships have been coming to the metro area since the 1916 U.S. Open at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis. TPC Twin Cities also used to host PGA Tour Champions annually, and as of 2019, the 3M Open is now a regular stop on the PGA Tour.

Here’s a look at some of the cultural and entertainment options couples can find during a three-day visit to the Twin Cities.

The Meadows golf course at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel

The Meadows was ranked No. 6 in Golfweek's rankings of Minnesota public courses / Mystic Lake Casino Hotel

Day 1

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, 20 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis, is a good place to start your Twin Cities visit. The resort is home to The Meadows, No. 6 in Golfweek’s rankings of the state’s public courses. It’s a lovely, but demanding layout, with water on 13 holes. Fittingly, for a casino course, there are many shots that present risk-reward scenarios.

The Twin Cities, of course, is defined geographically by the Mississippi River. So after golf, a good way to explore the metropolitan area is via charter boat tours. Another option: Spend an afternoon at Mall of America, which annually attracts more than 40 million visitors, not just for its 500-plus stores, but also attractions such as Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy and FlyOver America.

At day’s end, couples might enjoy returning to Mystic Lake for gaming or one of the nightly shows, many of which are free of charge. Or visit Target Field, one of Major League Baseball’s finest stadiums, to see the exciting young Twins play.

Fall at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Fall at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen / Norbert Lucas, courtesy Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Day 2

Despite its humble name, Chaska Town Course is a worthy neighbor to Hazeltine National; in fact, it hosted stroke-play qualifying when the 2006 U.S. Amateur was played at Hazeltine. The prolific architect Arthur Hills designed Chaska Town Course, which Golfweek ranks No. 5 in the state.

Chaska also is home to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, which has more than 1,100 acres of public gardens. Exploring the gardens by foot or on bicycles is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. The Twin Cities also is known for its incredible parks and trails, considered by many to be the best urban parks systems in the country. One of best options, thanks in part to its waterfall, is Minnehaha Regional Park.

Minneapolis has one of the nation’s most vibrant theater scenes, so consider booking tickets to see a play. The Guthrie Theater, on the riverfront, has a proud Shakespearean pedigree, but you also can find American classics and first-run productions being performed nightly on one of its three stages. It’s also worth checking what independent theaters around town have showing.

If you would instead prefer lighter, entertainment, consider visiting Topgolf on the north side of town, where you can enjoy food, drink and more golf.

Downtown St. Paul skyline from the Mississippi River

Downtown St. Paul skyline from the Mississippi River / Visit Saint Paul

Day 3

There still are plenty of public golf options. Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove, just northwest of Minneapolis, is ranked No. 9 statewide by Golfweek. It has hosted the LPGA and the 2004 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. If you enjoy golf history, check out Keller Golf Course in Maplewood, a St. Paul suburb. It opened in 1929 and hosted the PGA Tour from 1930 to 1968 and the LPGA from 1973 to 1980. All of the game’s greats—Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and many others—have competed at Keller, which architect Richard Mandell renovated in 2014.

Golfers often like to end their rounds at the 19th hole, but in the Twin Cities, there’s a better option. The region has one of the nation’s most energetic craft-beer scenes, with dozens of new establishments springing up in recent years. Some of the most popular spots offering creative brews and food are Surly Brewing near the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, Day Block Brewing near U.S. Bank Stadium, and Pryes Brewing, which benefits from its riverside patio setting. Many local brewers offer public tours.

Not surprisingly given Minnesotans’ love of the outdoors, alfresco dining is a big deal in the Twin Cities, particularly if you can find a waterfront table. Here are a couple options: Psycho Suzi’s along the Mississippi River, and 6Smith on Wayzata Bay, west of Minneapolis. Visitors will find a diverse culinary scene around the Twin Cities, but everyone should make it a point to try one of the state’s most iconic dishes, the cheese-stuffed Juicy Lucy burger (some know it as the “Jucy Lucy”).