It won’t be long and the birds will be singing, the flowers will be blooming and the grass will be “greening up.” It means golf season is near and with that, here is a look at my Top 5 area golf courses to play this year.

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    Rich Spring Golf Club

    Between Cold Spring and Richmond along Highway 23

    Rich Spring Golf Club is located just off of Highway 23 between Richmond and Cold spring. If you want a course where the layout is fair, the prices affordable and the people friendly and laid back then Rich Spring Golf Club is a great way to spend a Saturday. Nestled along the Sauk River Chain of Lakes, Rich Spring there is a nice mix of hazards without penalizing the weekend duffer. At $34 for 18 holes and a cart on weekends, Rich Spring is a must play.

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    Albion Ridges Golf Course

    Located just south and east of Annandale, just off Highway 55

    Albion Ridges Golf Course is located in Annandale and is probably not the first golf course you may think of visiting when setting plans to play. But, this central Minnesota gem is fastly becoming one of the best values of golf in the area. In fact, Albion Ridges was given a 4-star rating by Golf Digest for it’s layout, maintenance and golf value. For just over $40, you can play 18 holes with a cart and enjoy the rolling hills and undulating greens. Albion Ridges offers 27 holes of play. You can choose a combination of the Rock, Granite and Boulder courses.

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    Blackberry Ridge Golf Club

    In Sartell, just west of Pinecone Road on Clubhouse Road

    Blackberry Ridge is an 18-hole Championship course located in Sartell. It’s a nice mix of tree-lined fairways coupled with some links-style golf. Blackberry can be as challenging as you want it with five sets of tees and 7,000 yards from the tips. It offers carts with GPS units that will give you yardage, scoring, distance to the pin and even the ability to order food from the Clubhouse. Blackberry isn’t the cheapest option at nearly $60 for a weekend loop with cart, but the course layout, manicured greens and the GPS carts make it a must play.


    Pebble Creek Golf Club

    Located in Becker off on Sherburne County Road 23

    Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker comes in at number 2 on my list of places to play because it’s always well manicured, challenging and maybe most importantly….fair. Don’t get me wrong, there are hazards on this nearly 6,900 yard Championship Course (there is another 9 holes called the Local 9), but it’s not often you are penalized with a lost ball on that occasional wayward shot. The rough is thick, but playable. For $55, you can play 18 holes on a weekend with a cart. And, while it’s not the most affordable course on this list, it’s a Central Minnesota gem. Golf Digest rated Pebble Creek 4 1/2 stars and one of the best places to play.


    Territory Golf Club

    Just behind Coyote Moon Grill

    Territory Golf Club, formerly known as The Fairways is my top pick. This 6,921 yard Championship Course has a little bit of everything. It is a unique combination of Scottish Links and forest-lined holes. The topography includes several elevation changes whether it is along the rolling fairways or elevated tee boxes. There is native grasses on some holes, wetlands along others. The majestic Elk River dissects the course which features undulating greens. The greens may be the fastest in central Minnesota, but you could argue they also roll the truest. Territory will challenge all of your shot making abilities, from bombing drives down wide fairways to firing irons at flagsticks. All that for $43.95 on weekends makes Territory Golf Club my Number 1 place to play this summer.