top of page

#5 - Top 10 Public Courses in Minnesota

By Mason Savage, A Good Walk Spoiled contributor

For those of you who missed it, six weeks ago, we at A Good Walk Spoiled released "The Completely Unbiased 100% Scientific Golf Course Ranking System." The point of the system is to create a ranking system that was geared to the Everyday Golf. If you missed that post, please check it out in the link below so that you can understand how these rankings work and what each category represents in the system.

Before we dig into the Review/Ranking, these are the Top 10 Public Courses in Minnesota so a couple of notes. 1. As the title states, these are Public Courses, there are no Private Courses on this list so please do not ask why courses like Interlachen are not on this list. 2. These are courses that we at A Good Walk Spoiled have played. If there is a good public course that is not on this list, that means we do not think it is in the top 10 or we have not played it. 3. Most important note, this is the Top 10 so all of these courses are GREAT and we would recommend any of them to out of town travelers. That said, we are critical when it comes to analyzing Golf Courses so any negative comments or points of critique in these Blog Posts come from a place of Love and wanting the courses to better themselves.

After taking a week-long break, we are set to dive into our Top 5 starting right now at Number 5.

#5 - Chaska Town Course - Chaska, MN

The Clubhouse at Chaska Town Course with the 9th and 10th hole in the background

Chaska Town Course seems to be the forgotten course of the metro. In conjunction with Hazeltine National, Chaska Town Course has Co-Hosted a few USGA events (including the upcoming 2024 US Am). In some ways, Chaska Town is the epitome of the 1990-Late 2000s Golf Era. A course that is designed to be difficult, surrounded by homes and needing all of the conditioning to be flawless. On the other hand, when you really look at the detail and examine the course, there are some distinguishing factors that make it emerge from that Era of golf into the modern age in a new and better light than its peers. We hope that in this article we are able to clearly articulate what makes Chaska Town Course elevate as a public course when it is often forgotten in the shadow of its neighbor, Hazeltine National.

Culture - 8

If you are going to exist as Hazeltine’s little brother, you need to nurture a large and big hitters culture. Inversely, since you are a public golf course, you need to remain accessible and playable for the public. Chaska Town Course does a great job of fulfilling these two dichotomies!

Additionally, this golf course is well supported by the city of Chaska. A big reason for this (among other reasons) is because of the dynamic pricing that Chaska Residents are afforded on this golf course (more on dynamic pricing in the ‘Price” section). Regardless of why, community importance and support is crucial to creating a great culture at a Golf Course and Chaska Town Course is a prime example of that.

Place - 6

The sense of place at Chaska Town Course is unfortunately not the best, and that is not the worst thing. Surrounded by houses in some portions of the course and lack of natural tie-ins to the land, this golf course could literally be placed anywhere in the metro area and I could not tell the difference. Again, that may not be the worst thing when you are playing Chaska Town Course for its architecture, but since it is something that we are ranking our courses based on, it has to be noted.

Quality - 8

To be able to Co-Host USGA Events, you need to meet certain requirements and meet a threshold of quality that Mike Whan and Company expect of their venues. With all of that information, you know that you have to have a good maintenance team that keeps the course. The greens are pure and consistent, the fairways and tee boxes are manicured and even the waste areas look maintained. In the immediate metro, this course has to be one of the best maintained courses.

The 9th Green at Chaska Town Course

Price - 6

The price of Chaska Town Course is a little bit steep compared to the other courses in the area. However, how many other public courses can brag about hosting a USGA event in the great state of Minnesota? That said, it is worth paying the greens fee and playing a course of Chaska Town Course’s calibur.

Additionally, the score on Chaska Town Course for Price is bumped up one notch compared to a course with pricing similar to theirs. That is because Chaska Town Course has dynamic pricing for its city residents, a model that AGWS thinks MANY public courses could benefit from implementing. This means that the residents of Chaska pay a reduced fee compared to non residents. The result is a community supported golf course and the extra revenue generated from Non-residents goes right into upgrading and maintaining the golf course.

Architecture - 9

A score of 9?! That (as readers of these rankings will know) is a very high score. With that said, we need to get some of the negative out of the way right now so we can keep the rest of this section positive. The negative is that Hole 11 might be one of the worst holes in the State. That is a big claim but it cannot be stated enough how bad this hole is. A forced lay up to have an equally long shot into a green guarded by trees and water? That is a no for us. A complete linear hole.

Now that the bad is out of the way, we can extol our praises for Chaska Town Course. The collection of the short Par 4s at Chaska Town Course is second to none. Multiple short Par 4s that allow for numerous ways to play to take on risk and give you the possibility for a lower score. The first two holes that come to mind when we think about the great short Par 4s are the 3rd and the 16th Hole. The 3rd Hole at Chaska Town Course tips out at 287 yards and from the tee, it is probably one of the widest fairways you can aim at. So what is the challenge? There is a centerline Tree that blocks the ideal landing spot for a tee ball. With OB and water all down the left side of the hole you are left with 3 options on the tee. 1. Take on risk early and lay up to the left where you will have a better angle into the green. 2. Take the easiest shot out to the right but we faced a delicate wedge shot into the green needing to take on the deep green side bunkers short and water long. 3. The ultimate risk of trying to hit the hill and roll your ball onto the green in 1. It is a great hole that offers numerous different avenues to score which creates a fun and exciting golf hole.

The 3rd Hole at Chaska Town Course

The 16th hole is also a short Par 4. Tipping out at just over 300 yards, this is another short Par 4 that offers a lot of different fun options off of the tee (similar to hole 3). Short of the green there is a large mound that is the centerpiece of how the design of the hole works. If you want to lay up, you need to take on a bunker and favor the left side of the fairway so that you can see around the mound and have a look at the pin. A lay up anywhere else leaves you with (most likely) a blind shot into the green with your line of sight being disrupted by the mound. This mound that protects the green though is also the avenue for which one can drive the green here. A shot that lands on top of the mound will most likely use the slope on the back side to run up and on to the green. This is a great hole that provides great drama late in the round.

The 16th Hole at Chaska Town Course

In addition to these short Par 4s, we want to take a second to praise the front nine at Chaska Town Course. The whole front nine feels coherent and flows really well. A large part of that is the routing as the whole front 9 is uninterrupted with housing and long walks from green to tee. Instead, the front nine traverses this open landspare really well and smartly takes advantage of a pond and an associated creek which come into play in the middle of the front 9. Pair that with fantastic variety in shots and hole designs and the front 9 at Chaska Town Course is absolutely in the conversation for the best 9 holes in Minnesota.

The 16th Green at Chaska Town Course

Value - 8

Where else in the immediate metro area are you able to play a proper USGA test that is available to the public? While the price might be a little higher compared to other nearby public tracks, that does not mean that there is not value to be had here. Fantastic golf course architecture that makes you think on every shot, great consistent conditions and a great culture that consumes the course makes for a fantastic round of golf that you can’t get a ton of places.

The 16th, 17th and 18th Hole at Chaska Town Course

Overall - 45

Chaska Town Course is worthy of all of the accolades. You can’t fake being a good golf course if you are going to Co-Host high Level USGA events. From the pristine conditioning and golf course design, to the welcoming and community supported, Chaska Town Course is a fantastic golf experience from start to finish. While local Minnesota residents know that Chaska Town Course is a great course, we are happy that is in our Top 5 Public Courses in Minnesota because somehow it still feels underrated. It is often stuck in the shadow of Hazeltine and because it is out on the far reaches of the metro, it is not always top of mind except for the Southwest Metro residents. We hope that if you have not played Chaska Town Course that this review has you thinking about it and want to play it when the snow melts here in the coming months. The 2023 Golf Season cannot come fast enough!

Thank you for reading the 6th post in our Top 10 Public Golf Courses in Minnesota. To stay up to date as we continue posting the list, be sure to Subscribe here so you are notified when our next course goes live. If you enjoy the course rankings, consider checking out our other mediums of content. Over on Instagram, we post great photos of golf courses, post engaging instagram stories and post Short Form video content. On our YouTube page, we have many videos that highlight certain golf courses. We hope that you find our videos both educational and entertaining!

Thank you again for taking the time to read this course review. We look forward to continuing our countdown next week with the #4 Course on our list.



bottom of page