Best Golf of the Season on the Range
On Minnesota’s Iron Range, golf courses are varied, numerous and among the top in the Midwest. And there’s no better time to experience the fun and challenging play of an Iron Range golf course than fall.
Despite what’s commonly known about the Iron Range, this region, while steeped in mining tradition, is fully integrated into a landscape that includes the Superior National Forest, numerous lakes and rivers, and a great deal of reclaimed mineland.
And consider that while other courses around the region are baked from the summer heat, ours are hitting their prime. Days are cooler and the weather is perfect for a walk or ride around the links.
A long weekend or mid-week getaway means finding a place to stay then visiting up to seven “local” courses. All affordable, all entertaining.
Two of the top-rated courses are found at Giants Ridge Recreation Area in Biwabik. With awards and accolades galore, these courses seamlessly blend natural features with challenging design.
As the #4 public course in Minnesota according to Golf Digest Magazine, The Legend’s distinctive design is a marvel to all who set foot on her fairways. Younger sister to The Legend, The Quarry is sculpted in equal parts from tall timberland and reclaimed mine lands. In 2013 Golf Digest named it the top public course in the state and 20th in the nation. The Quarry recently made GOLF magazine’s “Top 100 Courses You Can Play,” the only entry from Minnesota to be included.
And if that’s not enticing enough, great fall rates, plus sweet lodging packages, should seal the deal.
Starting September 1, rates on either course drop special weekday and weekend rates. Includes cart. (Restrictions apply. Visit giantsridge.com for details)
The Couples Fall Golf Getaway includes a two-night stay at the all-condominium property, The Lodge at Giants Ridge, plus two rounds of golf, a couple 60-minute massages, and range balls. (Again, restrictions may apply. Visit giantsridge.com for details)
And, since winter’s coming, make the most of your perfect-season experience to play around. The stunners at Giants Ridge are just the beginning of the Iron Range golf course menu. Consider including the Eveleth Muni on St.Mary’s Lake or the Golf Digest-rated Mesaba Country Club in Hibbing on your tour.
Great golf and food await at Virginia Golf Course clubhouse, and the character of the Hoyt Lakes course won’t disappoint. Hibbing’s muni is wide-open, perfect for a quick round before or after visiting some of the area’s historic sites and attractions.
Where to Stay: You’ll have a choice of historic bed and breakfasts, luxury guest accommodations, franchise hotels, resort villas or condos, mom-and-pop hotels or peaceful campgrounds.
Where to Dine: Dine indoors our out at the Wacootah Grille overlooking Mine Lake at Giants Ridge Recreation Area, or enjoy the view of the ski mountain at Giants Ridge from the deck or interior of The Lodge restaurant or pub. Don’t forget the WCCO-featured Vi’s Pizza in Biwabik, or the much-acclaimed Whistling Bird in Gilbert.
What to Do: Another great recreational activity in fall is bicycling. The paved Mesabi Trail bicycle path traverses 115 miles from Hoyt Lakes to Grand Rapids, with plenty of scenery and history in between. Rent bicycles, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards at the Rental Shop at Giants Ridge. Through September, make the most of your Iron Range stay and visit a mineview, either Mineview in the Sky in Virginia, or Hull-Rust mineview in Hibbing. Dig into state and regional history at Minnesota Discovery Center, the Minnesota Museum of Mining (both in Chisholm), Gene Nicolelli Bus Origin Museum (Hibbing) and the US Hockey Hall of Fame Museum (Eveleth).