7 Minute Miles

Golf on my birthday (kinda)

Posted Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 05:02 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf at 5:02 PM

Thanks, Jamie!

Originally published by DK on January 19, 2021 at 5:02 pm

The DK Year in Sport

Posted Friday, January 1st, 2021 12:35 am GMT -6 in Biking,Golf,Running at 12:35 AM

As the clock inched closer to midnight at the end of this extraordinary year, I realized I was only 10K away from 300 miles on my run chart. This was already the highest annual total for the last four years, but I couldn’t end with 293.8 miles, right? Two treadmill sessions later (while watching season two of Dark), 2020 officially ends up with 300.1 miles. This, unfortunately, is mostly hill walking on a treadmill and not running outside on trails. Given the circumstances, though, I’m fine with just having a trend going in the right direction again.

With the lack of a bike challenge at work this year, my overall bike miles dropped significantly from 2019 (634.1 versus 1074.2). Part of that was also due to Erik the Bike Man being massively overwhelmed with business during the pandemic, forcing me to leave my bike at the Highland Store for three prime summer riding weeks for a needed repair. I imagine mileage will go up again in 2021, with more commuting and single track miles, along with a trip or two to outstate trails like Root River.

I can’t imagine how golf could get better in 2021. I played more rounds last season than any other year I’ve kept records. By a lot. We started a little later than normal because of the initial lockdowns (first round: April 23 at Willingers), but the weather was good all season and we played all the way into the beginning of December. My handicap dropped quite a bit this year, so there is definitely something to be said for more practice (even if I did it all on actual courses).

Grateful (in so many ways) to get to do these things. Now on to programming for the new year…

Originally published by DK on January 1, 2021 at 12:35 am

Minnesota golf in December

Posted Friday, December 4th, 2020 06:29 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Weather at 6:29 PM

Water hazards are *much* easier

Originally published by DK on December 4, 2020 at 6:29 pm

Top 7 Joel Goldstrand Courses

Posted Monday, November 30th, 2020 09:01 pm GMT -6 in Golf,History,Sports at 9:01 PM

My latest research rabbit hole started when my friend Brad told me the Montgomery National Golf Course website said MNGC was one of architect Joel Goldstrand’s best designs. We’ve played a lot of rounds on Goldstrand courses over the years and I was curious to 1) know what he was up to now and 2) come up with a list of my personal favorite Goldstrand courses. Jim Souhan helped me out with the first part by interviewing him last year before the 3M Open.

Now in his 80s, the Plymouth resident has designed or renovated more than 100 golf courses during his career in several states (the majority in Minnesota). He also had an impressive playing career, winning a Minnesota state high school title in 1957, two NCAA titles at the University of Houston, the Minnesota State Open in 1973 and 1985, a tie for 12th at the U.S. Open at Hazeltine and an appearance at the 1971 Masters (82-77-MC). He was a pro at Minneapolis Golf Club for 16 years and won the Minnesota Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year award in 1979.

I haven’t played all of his courses, but here are my favorites (in rough order):

  • Ridges at Sand Creek – also a part of my Minnesota 7, this gets the top slot mainly because I’ve played it the most.
  • Superior National (Canyon 9) – technically now a Brauer course, the Canyon 9 has some amazingly photogenic holes (above).
  • The Pines – Fred Boos (RIP) knew what he was doing when this grandfather of Brainerd courses opened in 1990.
  • Eagle Valley – the City of Woodbury has a very nice muni layout thanks to Joel.
  • Cannon Golf Club – not a lot of original Goldstrand left (second nine, but Garrett Gill re-did four holes in 2006).
  • Links at Northfork – haven’t played here a lot, but lots of people rave about it.
  • Fox Hollow – last time I played here, I got paired up with Pepe Willie. Love the green in the middle of the Crow River.

The Golf Advisor website has a comprehensive list of Goldstrand courses, while RJ Smiley at Tee Times Magazine has a fun story about Minnesota architects (Goldstrand ties with Don Herfort for biggest impact on Minnesota golf history). Explore Minnesota Golf also published a short video interview with Goldstrand back in 2010. I think Joe Bissen should head over to Plymouth with a note pad and tape recorder – a Goldstrand book would be awesome!

Originally published by DK on November 30, 2020 at 9:01 pm

Squeezed in one more round

Posted Saturday, November 28th, 2020 02:47 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf,Weather at 2:47 PM

Round #65, Montgomery National

Originally published by DK on November 28, 2020 at 2:47 pm

Shaking things up?

Posted Sunday, November 15th, 2020 09:31 am GMT -6 in Golf,Television at 9:31 AM

Cue the outrage

Originally published by DK on November 15, 2020 at 9:31 am

Saturday at the Masters

Posted Saturday, November 14th, 2020 01:18 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Television at 1:18 PM

From no coverage of the front nine to (perhaps) too much coverage?

Originally published by DK on November 14, 2020 at 1:18 pm

The penultimate round

Posted Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 02:54 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Weather at 2:54 PM

Best November weather day ever?

Originally published by DK on November 3, 2020 at 2:54 pm

Interesting selections, Golf Mag

Posted Monday, November 2nd, 2020 02:29 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Links at 2:29 PM


Originally published by DK on November 2, 2020 at 2:29 pm

Sixty and sixty-one

Posted Saturday, October 31st, 2020 04:51 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Weather at 4:51 PM

This has been a wonderful golf season

Originally published by DK on October 31, 2020 at 4:51 pm

End of the line?

Posted Saturday, October 17th, 2020 05:32 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Weather at 5:32 PM

Might’ve been the last round of 2020

Originally published by DK on October 17, 2020 at 5:32 pm

Craziest golf weather ever

Posted Friday, October 16th, 2020 05:44 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Weather at 5:44 PM

Flurries to sunshine @ The Wilds

Originally published by DK on October 16, 2020 at 5:44 pm

First golf outing with Jeff

Posted Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 02:19 pm GMT -6 in Family,Golf at 2:19 PM

…and Joyce (Lost Spur #6, Eagan)

Originally published by DK on October 14, 2020 at 2:19 pm

Top 7 Minnesota Courses

Posted Friday, October 9th, 2020 11:43 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 11:43 PM

Patrick’s list of his top 10 Minnesota golf courses got me thinking. People often ask me my favorite courses in the state, but I’ve never really wanted to rank them. I’ve also never joined a club, so there are a number of great private courses that I’ve only played a handful of times (and some key ones I’ve still yet to play). Throw in the recent Minnesota public and private rankings from Golfweek and I guess it’s time to finally come up with my list. But since this is 7 Minute Miles, we only do “Top 7” lists around here, OK?

Before we start, a few general comments. Golf has been insanely popular in Minnesota during COVID, which has made it harder to get tee times all over this season. This is a complete reversal of the downward slide the industry took since the “Tiger Boom,” which lead to the closing of so many courses in the state (Joe Bissen documents this history extremely well in his two books on the topic). It’s been a really long time since Minnesota had any courses listed in national “best new course” rankings, but we definitely punch above our weight class nationally, with a wide range of great courses that are typically much less expensive to play than other parts of the country.

Full disclosure: I’m a big fan of Donald Ross and local architects Paul Miller and Garrett Gill are friends of mine. Minnesota has many great Ross courses that don’t make my list, but are truly great courses. Northland and White Bear Yacht Club, in particular, would likely make the list if I got to play them more often (and I’ve never played Woodhill or Minikahda). I’m curious to play Minneapolis again after the big redo, but the layout wasn’t one of my favorites before that work was done. Gill and/or Miller worked on many of my favorite public courses around here, including two that aren’t in my top seven, but are very close to the cut: Legends Club and Meadows at Mystic Lake.

I should also talk briefly about the Brainerd lakes area. There are a concentration of spectacular courses there, but most of them get canceled out for me by the Jeffrey Brauer trio of courses farther north. So I while I think courses like The Classic and The Preserve are wonderful, I’d still rather play at Fortune Bay and Giants Ridge. Deacon’s Lodge is the only course on the Golfweek public list that I haven’t played, so I may have to revisit my thinking about this at some point (I also haven’t played Golden Eagle in Fifty Lakes).

Lists like this are always subjective (and ultimately political), but this is my take for 2020. With all of that out of the way, let’s get started.

#7 – Willingers Golf Club, Northfield

I’ve played this Gill/Miller course 45 times and keep my handicap here. I love that the plans for the housing development fell through, leaving the nature vibe intact. I wish they could find a few more yards on the card to get the white tees to 6000 yards so more people would play the correct set of tees, but otherwise this is such a fun layout. It never seems overly crowded and I don’t think we’ve ever had a slow round here in 25 years of venturing down to Northfield. RIP the tree on number 12.

#6 – Ridges at Sand Creek, Jordan

My regular Saturday group used to alternate between here and Willingers on a regular basis, but this really has become our mainstay the past few years. We started playing here in 2000 and had a brief boycott after owner Mike Malone and crew regularly allowed fivesomes on weekend mornings. We had one terribly slow round here this year (a common problem for many courses), but management now is very proactive about keeping things moving. The holes “on top” aren’t all that memorable (aka the farmland holes), but the 11 holes along the Sand Creek would not be out of place in Brainerd. Sand Creek hosts the state high school class AA boys and girls championships (if and when those ever return) and always seems to be in tournament condition. Probably the best Joel Goldstrand course ever. Sad COVID casualty: the free shuttles up the hill for us walkers.

#5 – Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska

My mentor has been a member here as long as I can remember, so I’ve had the honor of playing Hazeltine several times over the years. The new clubhouse is a big improvement over the old the one, but I guess it’s not really that new any more. It was great fun volunteering at the 2002 PGA Championship, playing reporter at the 2009 PGA and attending the 2016 Ryder Cup as a fan. The staff here are top notch, from my friend (and course superintendent) Chris Tritabaugh to past Tapemark participants Mike Barge and Chandler Withington. The history is building for this “modern” course and it’s super fun to play where the pros play. HNGC would likely be ranked higher for me if I were a better player – it’s an extremely difficult golf course, with lightning fast greens and nearly impossible rough when they get it ready for the big tournaments.

#4 – The Quarry at Giants Ridge, Biwabik

When I worked in northern Minnesota, Giants Ridge was the competition. The original golf course, now called The Legend, was the first resort course to open in the area. It wasn’t walkable and conditioning could be a little hit or miss, but it was a fun course. The Quarry opened next, followed closely by The Wilderness. It instantly became a dog fight between us and The Quarry for the top public course in the state. Initially, I thought it was a bit too much target golf, but it has really grown on me over time. It is quirky, stunningly beautiful, well-conditioned, walkable and a joy to play. The clubhouse is small, but has a solid pro shop and a good kitchen. Wasn’t a fan of the closing hole at either Giants Ridge course, but I now appreciate 18 at The Quarry much more than I used to. Eagled number 10 last time I was there – good times, good times…

#3 – Windsong Farm Golf Club, Independence

Back when I worked for an airline, I played Pumpkin Ridge in Oregon and learned about architect Bob Cupp. That lead me to Rush Creek in Maple Grove, which was a Bob Cupp/John Fought collaboration. Mr. Fought started working with Tom Lehman, which brought us the gem that is Windsong Farm (and also the splendid Somerby outside of Rochester). I had taken pictures of the Minnesota Junior Girl’s State Championship at Windsong in 2007, but had never played the course until last year. They recently completed a number of improvements and a second round there this year confirmed my opinion that “the Farm” is becoming a big, big deal in the Minnesota golf scene.

#2 – The Wilderness at Fortune Bay, Tower

Spoiler alert: I worked for the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa for five years, so I’ve played more golf on The Wilderness than any other course. I will always have a bias for it over Giants Ridge, but Fortune Bay generally has a more playable course than either The Quarry or The Legend. It’s just more fun to me, with fewer chances to lose a million golf balls. The stretch of 12-13-14 are still the only holes I’ve ever birdied back to back to back. I love walking this course, even though everyone to this day thinks I’m crazy for doing that. Stellar set of par threes. The biarritz green on the par four fifth hole is the only one I know of in Minnesota.

#1 – Interlachen Country Club, Edina

Hard to disagree with Patrick here – Interlachen is the full real deal of Minnesota golf. I love everything about this club: the history with Bobby Jones and the lily pad shot in the 1930 U.S. Open, watching Annika at the 2002 Solheim Cup, photographing the 2008 Women’s U.S. Open, the beautiful English Tudor clubhouse, the tight fairways, the elevated greens. Willie Watson, Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones, Willie Kidd, Patty Berg, Jock Olson. Always envisioned this as the ultimate Minnesota country club lifestyle: golf with all the other perks thrown in. Only played the course a handful of times (two charity tournaments and one solo round to play and photograph). Only negative is that it’s too short now for the PGA Tour to ever return. Their loss.

So that wraps up my first edition of Top 7 Minnesota Courses. I hope to play the remaining three courses from the Golfweek rankings that I’ve not visited and make this an annual post (or maybe every other year, like a certain golf publication). Would also like to give a big shout-out to Dave Tentis across the border at Troy Burne (another great Tom Lehman course) that we might have to give honorary Minnesota citizenship to at some point. Oh, and be sure to check out the excellent golf course photography that Patrick has posted on his beautiful website.

Originally published by DK on October 9, 2020 at 11:43 pm

The new sign at Gross 👌🏻

Posted Friday, October 9th, 2020 02:51 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf at 2:51 PM

Love the subtle jab at NY

Originally published by DK on October 9, 2020 at 2:51 pm

The Patrick Koenig MN Top 10

Posted Friday, October 9th, 2020 02:36 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Links at 2:36 PM


Originally published by DK on October 9, 2020 at 2:36 pm

Hello, Foxy

Posted Thursday, October 1st, 2020 11:12 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Nature,Travel,Wildlife at 11:12 PM

Don’t see that every day

Originally published by DK on October 1, 2020 at 11:12 pm

Golfing with the Vikings

Posted Tuesday, September 29th, 2020 08:09 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf at 8:09 PM

Beautiful afternoon at Highland National

Originally published by DK on September 29, 2020 at 8:09 pm

This view never gets old

Posted Friday, September 25th, 2020 10:53 pm GMT -6 in Casinos,Golf,Nature,Travel at 10:53 PM

Approach to nine green, peak color, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay #nofilter

Originally published by DK on September 25, 2020 at 10:53 pm

Nature’s pinball machine

Posted Saturday, September 19th, 2020 01:51 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Nature at 1:51 PM

River Oaks in Cottage Grove

Originally published by DK on September 19, 2020 at 1:51 pm

The iPhone camera is 💯

Posted Friday, September 18th, 2020 10:03 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Photography,Technology at 10:03 PM

Miracle in your pocket

Originally published by DK on September 18, 2020 at 10:03 pm

Fall in Northfield

Posted Thursday, September 17th, 2020 05:24 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Weather at 5:24 PM

Still a nemesis (but getting better)

Originally published by DK on September 17, 2020 at 5:24 pm

Done with Meadowbrook

Posted Tuesday, September 15th, 2020 10:46 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 10:46 PM

Waited on every shot (and the holes are worse than I remembered)

Originally published by DK on September 15, 2020 at 10:46 pm

September blooms

Posted Saturday, September 5th, 2020 02:51 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Nature at 2:51 PM

Don’t know what those are, but great to have late season flowers

Originally published by DK on September 5, 2020 at 2:51 pm

First off at Oak Marsh

Posted Friday, September 4th, 2020 01:30 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 1:30 PM

Nice to see Steve Whillock again

Originally published by DK on September 4, 2020 at 1:30 pm

Celebrating 36 Years

Posted Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 10:04 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf at 10:04 PM

Congratulations (again) to Leo @ Hazeltine

Originally published by DK on September 2, 2020 at 10:04 pm

The Brauer Triple Crown

Posted Wednesday, August 26th, 2020 10:24 am GMT -6 in Golf,Links,Travel at 10:24 AM

Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play 2020: Minnesota

Originally published by DK on August 26, 2020 at 10:24 am

Saturday with the Millers

Posted Saturday, August 22nd, 2020 02:08 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf at 2:08 PM

…and Craig (Ridges at Sand Creek #2)

Originally published by DK on August 22, 2020 at 2:08 pm

First off at Inver Wood

Posted Friday, August 21st, 2020 09:25 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 9:25 PM

Has it always been this hilly?

Originally published by DK on August 21, 2020 at 9:25 pm

A Very Dwan Summer

Posted Thursday, August 20th, 2020 09:51 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf at 9:51 PM

Another beautiful morning with Mr. Cody in Bloomington

Originally published by DK on August 20, 2020 at 9:51 pm

Perfect summer morning

Posted Saturday, August 15th, 2020 11:14 am GMT -6 in Friends,Golf,Nature,Weather at 11:14 AM

Phalen with Curtis (plus Craig and Jeff)

Originally published by DK on August 15, 2020 at 11:14 am

Finally got to Pebble Creek

Posted Thursday, August 13th, 2020 09:59 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 9:59 PM

Becker is lucky to have such a nice layout

Originally published by DK on August 13, 2020 at 9:59 pm

Nine year return to Buffalo

Posted Thursday, August 13th, 2020 09:57 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf at 9:57 PM

Wild Marsh was very nice

Originally published by DK on August 13, 2020 at 9:57 pm

One of my better rounds

Posted Saturday, August 8th, 2020 05:32 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 5:32 PM

Broke 80* @ Gross National (with two generous gimmes)

Originally published by DK on August 8, 2020 at 5:32 pm

Peak Badger State

Posted Sunday, August 2nd, 2020 07:20 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 7:20 PM

Troy Burne, Hudson, Wisconsin

Originally published by DK on August 2, 2020 at 7:20 pm

11, 16, 23, 43, 71, 72 & 81

Posted Saturday, August 1st, 2020 01:19 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Links at 1:19 PM


Originally published by DK on August 1, 2020 at 1:19 pm

Iconic Minnesota Golf

Posted Saturday, August 1st, 2020 12:52 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 12:52 PM

The Baker National red barn on #1

Originally published by DK on August 1, 2020 at 12:52 pm

Summer on the Creek

Posted Friday, July 31st, 2020 04:08 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Weather at 4:08 PM

Ridges at Sand Creek, Jordan, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on July 31, 2020 at 4:08 pm

Goldy looks a little rough

Posted Friday, July 31st, 2020 12:14 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Schools at 12:14 PM

Les Bolstad with John and Mike

Originally published by DK on July 31, 2020 at 12:14 pm

New bag, old bag

Posted Tuesday, July 28th, 2020 05:34 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Shopping at 5:34 PM

2.5 pounds of Montana craftsmanship

Originally published by DK on July 28, 2020 at 5:34 pm

Golden Valley was green

Posted Saturday, July 25th, 2020 02:49 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Nature at 2:49 PM

Summer in full swing at Brookview

Originally published by DK on July 25, 2020 at 2:49 pm

Milaca GC, NO MOR

Posted Saturday, July 25th, 2020 02:44 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Travel at 2:44 PM

They added nine holes and changed the name to Stones Throw Golf Course

Originally published by DK on July 25, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Minnesota Lost Courses

Posted Tuesday, July 21st, 2020 08:02 pm GMT -6 in Golf,History,Reading at 8:02 PM

As I started reading through Joe Bissen’s new book, More! Gone. Minnesota’s Lost Golf Courses Part II, I realized that not only are there a lot of closed courses I actually played, there are also a large percentage of the courses I included in my Minnesota Golden Links CD-ROM back in 1999 that are no longer here (43 by my initial count). Joe was kind enough to include a chapter with a list of all the closed courses he knows about, so I thought it would be fun to go back to my original Photoshop files and post the screens for the ones that are no longer open for play (pics after the jump – please excuse the ancient Photoshop techniques and poor color corrections).

Joe says in the introduction to the new book that he isn’t as interested in the courses that have closed recently, but it’s amazing how many of the entries in my 1999 guide are gone (including a few that opened after my guide and are already closed). There are a number of inconsistencies between his list and my guide, as I only included public courses that were members of the Minnesota Golf Association (MGA). Make sure and check out his original book Fore! Gone: Minnesota’s Lost Golf Courses, 1897-1999, as well as his website. Fun stuff.

Albert Lea Golf Club, RIP 1912 – 2006

Birch Bay Golf Course, RIP 1965 – 2015

The Bridges of Mounds View, RIP 1995 – 2006

Brockway Golf Course, RIP 1935 – 2004

Carriage Hills Country Club, RIP 1967 – 2005

Elm Creek Golf Links, RIP 1960 – 2013

Fort Ridgely State Park Golf Course, RIP 1927 – 2017

French Lake Open Golf Club, RIP 1985 – 2015

The Greens at Howard Lake, RIP 1995 – 2013

Greenwood Golf Links, RIP 1985 – 2006

Hampton Hills Golf Course, RIP 1960 – 2003

Hayden Hills Golf Club, RIP 1972 – 2018

Hidden Creek Golf Club, RIP 1996 – 2009

Hollydale Golf Club, RIP 1965 – 2019

Irish Hills Golf Course, RIP 1985 – 2009

Ironman Golf Course, RIP 1960 – 2017

KateHaven Golf Course, RIP 1981 – 2014

Lakeview Golf, RIP 1956 – 2013

Links of Byron, RIP 1994 – 2013

Lone Pine Country Club, RIP 1967 – 2002

Maplebrook Executive Golf Club, RIP 1974 – ???

Meadow Lakes Golf Club, RIP 1998 – 2012

Meadowbrook Country Club, RIP 1984 – 2008

Meadowwoods Golf Course, RIP 1991 – 2004

Mississippi Dunes Golf Links, RIP 1995 – 2017

Orchard Gardens Golf Course, RIP 1967 – 2004

Parkview Golf Club, RIP 1969 – 2013

Pine Meadows Golf Course, RIP 1921 – 2004

Pine River Country Club, RIP 1981 – 2010

Prairie View Golf Links, RIP 1983 – 2013

Red Rock Golf Course, RIP 1932 – 2016

Rich Acres Golf Course, RIP 1980 – 1999

Ridgewood Country Club, RIP 1987 – 2016

Rolling Green Fairways Golf Course, RIP 1977 – 2003

Rolling Hills Golf Course, RIP 1970 – 2016

Root River Country Club, RIP 1962 – 2014

Sauk Centre Country Club, RIP 1921 – 2013

Silver Springs Golf Course, RIP 1974 – 2009

Thompson Oaks Golf Course, RIP 1997 – 2017

Valley View Golf Club, RIP 1992 – 2015

Wendigo Golf Club, RIP 1995 – 2011

Wilderness Hills Golf Course, RIP 1995 – ???

Woodland Creek Golf Course, RIP 1989 – 2010

Originally published by DK on July 21, 2020 at 8:02 pm

Never seen that before

Posted Saturday, July 18th, 2020 12:59 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 12:59 PM

Bluff Creek appears to be under some sort of alien attack

Originally published by DK on July 18, 2020 at 12:59 pm

My golfing idol

Posted Friday, July 17th, 2020 01:46 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf at 1:46 PM

Curtis on 7 tee, Stonebrooke Golf Club

Originally published by DK on July 17, 2020 at 1:46 pm

Summer in Minnesota

Posted Sunday, July 12th, 2020 07:26 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf,Weather at 7:26 PM

Applewood Hills with John and Cathy

Originally published by DK on July 12, 2020 at 7:26 pm

The swamps of Sand Creek

Posted Saturday, July 11th, 2020 01:46 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Nature at 1:46 PM

Approximately 127 turtles are hiding in this photo

Originally published by DK on July 11, 2020 at 1:46 pm

COVID bunkers

Posted Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 06:23 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf at 6:23 PM

I don’t think that’s the real reason

Originally published by DK on July 7, 2020 at 6:23 pm

Seven “Lost” Courses

Posted Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 09:46 am GMT -6 in Golf,History at 9:46 AM

Golf courses I’ve played that are no longer open:

  • Valley View, Belle Plaine
  • Carriage Hills, Eagan
  • Rich Acres, Richfield
  • Hudson GC, Hudson
  • Wendigo, Grand Rapids
  • Brockway, Rosemount
  • Parkview, Eagan

Can’t remember the last new one that opened around here…

Originally published by DK on July 7, 2020 at 9:46 am

Northland Vacation 2020

Posted Sunday, July 5th, 2020 05:09 pm GMT -6 in Casinos,Family,Food,Friends,Golf,Travel at 5:09 PM

I’ve been fortunate to continue working through the pandemic, but it’s been tough to take time away (especially since I’m the only IT person left). Thanks to the support of my boss and one of our awesome game day staffers, I was able to take a week off without looking at work email once. We originally intended to spend the week on Isle Royale National Park, but the ferry and Rock Harbor Lodge decided to scrap the whole 2020 season and our reservations were cancelled.

Plan B was to stay the first half of the week at Lutsen Resort and the Fourth of July weekend on Lake Vermilion (at Fortune Bay). Those plans changed as the temperatures kept rising – it was even hot along the usually cool shoreline of Lake Superior and we discovered upon check-in that Lutsen Resort does not have air conditioning. They were accommodating by offering us a full refund, but there were really no other options in Lutsen or the surrounding spots (Grand Marais, Tofte, Grand Portage). Fortune Bay could get us in early, so we set off on highway 1 through Ely and decided to spend the whole week on Vermilion.

Fortune Bay has done a nice job with COVID safety and procedures. They had temperature checks set up on the entry road, mandatory face masks and lots of signage, plexiglass and hand sanitizer. The casino floor had basically every other machine turned off, but they kindly turned on my favorite game for the week (big thanks to EJ). I think I made it worth their hassle, though, while still getting a lot of quality playing time. They had Frozen-themed giveaways on Thursday and Friday for 100 points earned (an Olaf waffle maker on day one and an Olaf snow cone maker on day two), so I spread my playing time out accordingly. Marisa really, really wanted these, so I was happy for the solid play-through.

Food options during the week were a little limited, but what was open was solid. We stopped at the Ely Steakhouse on the way over from Lutsen and they were following all of the state orders for in-person dining. On the other end of the spectrum, the Vermilion Club was following just about none of the rules, which blew us away (maybe “VC” really stands for Virus Central). We still ate there twice in-person and had take-out a third day, because Poor Gary’s pizza and the bleu cheese and chicken wings are Northland classics (hopefully we were personally careful enough).

Back at Fortune Bay, I hit the Wilderness Grill four times, having great experiences each time. The new chef used to work at Alma in Minneapolis and I really liked all of the sandwiches I tried (pulled chicken, walleye, porchetta and cheeseburger). Their new fries are reminiscent of the state fair classics. In the casino proper, we had a wonderful dinner at the Sunset Steakhouse and stopped several times at the Gold Mine Grill, which is getting better with service and staffing (they’ve always had great coffeeshop-style food options). The Tamarack Buffet was closed for service, but was the room was being used for socially-distanced overflow seating.

Thought I would play a lot of golf during the week, but the temperatures were warm and I just didn’t feel like going every day. I did drive down to Coleraine to play Eagle Ridge with the Millers and got in a twilight round on The Wilderness with John, Cathy and Bonnie. The whole region needs rain badly, so there were some near-dead areas on both courses (especially in the roughs). The Wilderness also has a lot of behind the scenes changes: the contract with KemperSports was not renewed and former golf GM Tom Beaudry and superintendent Vince Dodge have both moved on to the state of cheese. Still love that course, though, and it continues to be the one I’ve played the most.

It was also great to hang out at Dacha Batinich on Birch Point again with Mary and the crew. Big thanks to John and Cathy for taking us out on the boat for a pizza picnic (and for taking Sasha and Marisa out again later in the week). Skip-Bo games and great conversations make that little cabin a very special place indeed.

Originally published by DK on July 5, 2020 at 5:09 pm

Four for four

Posted Saturday, July 4th, 2020 07:07 pm GMT -6 in Food,Golf,Travel at 7:07 PM

Wilderness Grill: chicken, walleye, cheeseburger and porchetta

Originally published by DK on July 4, 2020 at 7:07 pm

Round #62

Posted Friday, July 3rd, 2020 12:14 am GMT -6 in Golf,Travel at 12:14 AM

The Wilderness at Fortune Bay

Originally published by DK on July 3, 2020 at 12:14 am

The Summit is deteriorating

Posted Saturday, June 20th, 2020 03:33 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf at 3:33 PM

Such a shame – it was a really nice course before

Originally published by DK on June 20, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Beautiful day at the Creek

Posted Saturday, June 13th, 2020 08:36 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Weather at 8:36 PM

12th green, Ridges at Sand Creek

Originally published by DK on June 13, 2020 at 8:36 pm

Walking Rules, Carts Drool

Posted Saturday, June 13th, 2020 06:41 pm GMT -6 in Business,Golf,Links at 6:41 PM


Originally published by DK on June 13, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Position “A”

Posted Friday, June 12th, 2020 12:31 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 12:31 PM

Hole 8 @ Hidden Greens Golf Course, Hastings, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on June 12, 2020 at 12:31 pm

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere

Posted Friday, June 12th, 2020 12:27 pm GMT -6 in Food,Friends,Golf at 12:27 PM

Post-round Angry Orchard

Originally published by DK on June 12, 2020 at 12:27 pm

Closeness Alert

Posted Thursday, June 11th, 2020 04:23 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 4:23 PM

Will I ever get another ace?

Originally published by DK on June 11, 2020 at 4:23 pm

Goat photobomb

Posted Monday, June 8th, 2020 08:00 pm GMT -6 in Family,Golf,Pets,Travel at 8:00 PM

Grand Marais mini golf

Originally published by DK on June 8, 2020 at 8:00 pm

Michael Jordan

Posted Thursday, June 4th, 2020 10:55 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Quotes,Sports at 10:55 PM

I’ve loved Shadow Creek since the first time I played it and I’ve played it over 100 times but can’t say I’ve mastered it…

Originally published by DK on June 4, 2020 at 10:55 pm

A Day on the Farm

Posted Thursday, June 4th, 2020 09:18 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 9:18 PM

Windsong Farm, Independence, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on June 4, 2020 at 9:18 pm

Forgot how good this is

Posted Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 04:19 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf,Work at 4:19 PM

Troy Burne, Hudson, Wisconsin

Originally published by DK on May 27, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Since 1910

Posted Saturday, May 16th, 2020 02:03 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 2:03 PM

Faribault Golf & Country Club

Originally published by DK on May 16, 2020 at 2:03 pm

Springtime in the A.V.

Posted Friday, May 15th, 2020 06:36 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Nature at 6:36 PM

Valleywood #8, Apple Valley, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on May 15, 2020 at 6:36 pm

That thing was cool

Posted Tuesday, May 12th, 2020 08:37 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 8:37 PM

COVID cups @ Boulder Pointe, Elko, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on May 12, 2020 at 8:37 pm

15 years between visits

Posted Thursday, May 7th, 2020 04:23 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 4:23 PM

River Oaks in Cottage Grove, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on May 7, 2020 at 4:23 pm

Cool trees and clouds

Posted Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 03:37 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Nature at 3:37 PM

Cannon Golf Club, Cannon Falls, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on May 6, 2020 at 3:37 pm

Still terrible at selfies

Posted Sunday, May 3rd, 2020 08:31 pm GMT -6 in Friends,Golf at 8:31 PM

Great to see the Schusters, though

Originally published by DK on May 3, 2020 at 8:31 pm

Congratulations, Leo

Posted Friday, May 1st, 2020 09:48 am GMT -6 in Football,Friends,Golf,Work at 9:48 AM

Well-earned retirement

Originally published by DK on May 1, 2020 at 9:48 am

That close to an ace

Posted Monday, April 27th, 2020 09:02 pm GMT -6 in Golf at 9:02 PM

Rolled right by the pin

Originally published by DK on April 27, 2020 at 9:02 pm

Personal Records & Mileage

  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Full - 3:43:32
  • 50K - 7:37:00
  • 2021 Run Mileage: 34.8
  • 2021 Bike Mileage: 0

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