Faceoff — Weather finally cooperating, so let’s talk some golf
Great debate, choosing favorite courses
PHERSY: Well, it’s nice of you to join us back in Minnesota, Feldy, after your trip to golf heaven, Augusta National. With the weather finally improving and golf stuck on my brain, why fight it? This week, let’s discuss our favorite golf courses in southeastern Minnesota. Now, we both love golf; I played college golf (many moons ago), and Feldy plays ... like a drunk college student. So this shouldn’t be too tough. Let’s do picks for public and private courses and a sleeper course. Since I moved to southeastern Minnesota almost seven years ago, Cannon Golf Club has been my favorite public course. When I rate courses, layout comes first. And I love the design of Cannon Golf Club. It’s a true, fair, challenging test of golf. Plus, Cannon is well taken care of and affordable for a course of its caliber. I love everything about it.
FELDY: I’d like to say I’m glad to be back facing off with you, Phersy. I’d like to say that, but I’d actually like to be in Augusta where it was 85 and sunny. Our guy Brandt Snedeker played like you on Sunday, like his mind was more on the buffalo wings waiting for him at the end of the round. Speaking of true, fair tests of golf in our area, how about The Oaks in Hayfield. The green fees are reasonable and the course, at 6,410 yards, is challenging. The first hole can be tricky for slicers like me, with water to the right. The two closing holes are tough, too, with a 430-yard par 4 followed by a 517-yard par 5 with a two-tiered green.
PHERSY: The private-course pick is a tough call, with both Rochester Golf & Country Club and Somerby Golf Club in our area. For me, though, it goes back to design and layout. And in those aspects, I’ll take Rochester Golf & Country Club any day. Now, Somerby’s greens are faster, the fairways are immaculate, and you could eat off the tee boxes. But I will always love the layout of the Country Club. The mature trees and elevation changes give it that old-time feel. And when it comes to golf, I’m an old-time dude.
FELDY: I love the look and feel of the Country Club, too, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Somerby. We’ve both had the chance to play there, and it kicked our behinds. Pros Boo Weekley, Brandt Snedeker and Johnson Wagner (all of whom played in the Masters last week) couldn’t say enough good things about Somerby, but I think Somerby GM Brian Jones had to tell Boo he wasn’t allowed to hunt the wildlife on Somerby’s grounds.
PHERSY: Honestly, you can’t go wrong with Somerby or RGCC. Now, as for my sleeper pick ... I’m torn between a course to the north (Zumbrota Golf Club) and a course to the south (Root River Golf Club). I’ll stick with Zumbrota, maybe just because it’s now an 18-hole course. When you’re playing Zumbrota, it’s like getting two courses for the price of one. The front (old) nine is tight, with trees lining both sides of almost every fairway. It’s not very long, but postage-stamp greens keep it challenging. The back (new) nine is more links style, but I see tons of potential on that side of the course.
FELDY: It’s not really a sleeper, but Lake City Golf Club is definitely a gem. The contrast between the two nines (a second nine holes were added in 2000) makes you feel like you’re playing two different courses. Plus, if you play a great round, you can act like a pro and jump in the nearby lake.
Ben Pherson and Jason Feldman are Post-Bulletin sports writers. Check their daily blog at postbulletin.typepad.com/faceoff/ .