Golf: Governor Walz opens up golf courses in Minnesota starting Saturday

Eagle's Landing Golf Club prepping to open Monday, April 20. Minnesota governor Tim Walz signed an executive order Friday, April 17, to open golf courses in the state. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Golfers across Minnesota exhaled at the news Friday that governor Tim Walz signed an executive order to open golf courses across the state starting Saturday, April 18, at 5 a.m.

“I’m very excited,” Grandview Lodge golf pro Jack Wawro said. “Obviously, we are a little bit cautious, but we are very, very excited for the opportunity to have some golf.”

Grandview will be opening the Pines Saturday, and hopes to have the Preserve opened up by May.

In Crosslake, Crosswoods Golf Course also plans to open first thing Saturday morning. They mowed the greens Friday in anticipation of an announcement.

Driving ranges will be opened along with courses.


“We have all sorts of protocols with social distancing in place,” Crosswoods Golf Course superintendent Mike Stone said. “One of things is we will have a foam cup to prevent the ball from going in.”

The Vintage at Staples will be opening at noon Saturday. The Vintage’s golf pro Bill Israelson said with the good weather this coming week the course can work its way into shape.

“With not a lot of things going on we just hoped people would be able to take advantage of the nice weather and get rid of getting a little stir crazy these last couple of weeks,” Israelson said. “I live on the golf course, so it’s been easy for me to get out there and get things ready for people to enjoy it.”

Israelson said The Vintage usually floods in the spring, but the water receded this week so they can open the full course and not just nine holes.

“This next week it looks like things are really going to take off and the grass will start growing,” Israelson said.

Eagle’s Landing Golf Club is still working on their course and will open up Monday. Madden’s Resort will open up Pine Beach West course and the Airport Driving Range Saturday. Golden Eagle Golf Club in Fifty Lakes will open Saturday at 10 a.m.

Cuyuna Rolling Hills opens up its back nine Saturday, and hopes to have the full 18-holes open by Sunday.

“We are certainly happy that the governor is allowing golfers for sure,” Cuyuna Rolling Hills owner Terry Thompson said. “We will have at least nine of our holes open, anticipating restrictions.”


One of those restrictions is one cart per person unless the golfers live together. There will be no rakes in the bunker. There will also be foam in the cup to make sure the ball does not go all the way in the hole. No coolers will be allowed on the courses, but some of the courses hope to have takeout food options in their restaurants.

Cragun’s Legacy Courses is opening up Dutch’s Legacy Saturday with the first tee time at 9:30 a.m. Chuck Klecatsky, director of golf at Cragun’s, said he hopes to have Bobby’s Legacy and the reversible par 3 course opened by the middle of the next week.

Overall, it’s excitement that rings with the opportunity to do something outside while keeping distance that keeps Crosswood’s Stone enthusiastic.

“We started to bring staff back on the golf course to maintain it,” Stone said. “We are just really excited. People are going to be excited to be outside and get some fresh air. Golf is one of the sports that really lends itself naturally to social distancing.”

Eagle's Landing Golf Club manager Josh Dahl at the first tee of Eagle's Landing golf course. The course will open Monday, April 20. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

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