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The Most Unique Routing in Golf - The Ridges at Sand Creek (Jordan, Minnesota)

By Mason Savage, A Good Walk Spoiled Contributor

Not far from the Minneapolis and Saint Paul metro area lies a unique golf course. Located in Jordan, MN this course has what I would consider maybe the most unique routing in the State and has to be up there with one of the most unique routings in the country (although nothing will ever compare to Bel Air’s routing). This course is The Ridges at Sand Creek which is a Joel Goldstrand design. This course is braided with the Sand Creek. The course and Creek weave through each other in a special and intimate way that creates a one of a kind golfing experience.

Culture - 7

The Culture at The Ridges seems to be great. There appears to be healthy leagues and great mix of casual and high level play is at the club. It feels welcoming and yet, with the challenges the course can present, is capable of hosting some Qualifiers for MGA Events. Great vibe to be around!

Place - 7

The ‘Place’ score was difficult to come up with for this property. On one hand, there is a unique portion of this course that lies along and is bisected by the Sand Creek. This portion of the property feels unique, unlike your everyday golf course and has a lot of character. On the other hand, you have this wide open portion of the course with houses littered on and around it and it could be located essentially anywhere in the rural Midwest. One thing that adds a sense of place and character to the course is the Train track that runs along the entire northeast end of the property further boosting the “place” of the Creek side holes. All in all, the weight off the “cool” portion of property is more than the “mundane” section.

Quality - 7

The quality of the golf course is as it should be. Great and consistent greens remain the shining beacon of a good Quality score in this Ranking system and Ridges is no different. When I visited, there were a couple of rough patches but a lot of that had to do with a tough winter. I would expect upon another visit that the overall quality of the course would have improved.

Price - 7

The Price of Ridges at Sand Creek is fair and definitely not a discouragement for anyone in the Twin Cities Metro to make the drive out there.

Architecture - 8

The architecture of The Ridges is truly a masterclass in how to route a golf course around a difficult and impending feature. This Joel Goldstrand routing maximizes the available golf this property has to use by creating and using infrastructure to help shepherd golfers around this beautiful creekside property. Part of the beauty of the routing is that you are actually in the creekside portion of the routing on both the back 9 and the front 9 as 11 of the 18 holes are back by the creek. Maybe the most fun of these creek holes is the Par 4 6th hole. The creek cuts through the middle of the hole and forces an option off of the tee. While trying to hit it as far as possible (without going into the creek) you can play out to the right for the safe tee shot or take on the creek with your tee shot down the left. The reward for taking on the creek is an optimal angle into the green, free of obstruction like trees and bunkers. If you go too far to the right, you will have a blind tee shot into a well protected green. This is just one of the few holes that make use of the permeating creek feature.

Value - 8

The value of The Ridges at Sand Creek is quite high and the score this high might actually surprise some of the readers of this blog. So why is the value of this course higher than someone might expect? A majority of that reasoning has to do with the unique experience that the Ridges offers all while maintaining a fair price. Nowhere in the close metro area can you experience this kind of naturescape on the golf course and Joel Goldstrand used the land beautifully to get the best 18 holes the property had to offer.

Overall - 44

Overall, The Ridges at Sand Creek is a fantastic course. While it may not be in the category of some of the heavy hitters in the Top 10 Public Course Rankings, it is still a great golf course and offers a unique golf course that is hard to find anywhere else in Minnesota. Nowhere else in the State (that I know of) are you able to traverse a winding creek in the routing and still be able to manageable to walk the course with ease. Despite some of its architectural warts, the actually routing of this golf course is world class from Joel Goldstrand and is a must play if you live in the metro area. Definitely worth the drive out once to experience this one of a kind property.


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