A world-class golf experience is coming to Edina with the completely new Braemar Championship 18. Opening Spring 2019, enter to win a round of golf for you and 3 friends on OPENING DAY.
By Greg Stanley Star Tribune
SEPTEMBER 26, 2018 — 10:04PM
Ramsey County believes that good weather, the state of the economy and well-kept courses have attracted more golfers, like Scott Crossman, out to play.
Ramsey County’s bet on the future of golf appears to be paying off, after deciding to spend $12 million to renovate the historic Keller Golf Course and its clubhouse.
Since Keller reopened in 2014, steady usage has been high. Total play at all five of Ramsey County’s publicly owned courses is up by about 20 percent from six years ago, which Parks and Recreation believes is because of a combination of a better economy, attractive facilities and good weather.
Now county parks officials are wondering how long that uptick might last and how the county’s golf courses fit in an often uncertain market. A study of the county’s courses is underway and set to be completed in October, breaking down market conditions, expected costs, trends and what to expect in coming years.
“Golf is maybe not on the uprise, but it seems like it has plateaued,” said Jon Oyanagi, Ramsey County parks director. “It seems pretty stable and the market tends to be self-correcting.”
County officials will use the report to decide whether to change rates for their courses or market them differently. It will help the County Board determine whether to invest in course improvements or to close any of them, Oyanagi said.
Ramsey County spent $12 million to renovate Keller Golf Course, above, and has seen use of its five publicly owned golf courses increase. A study of the county’s courses is underway and set to be completed in October, breaking down market conditions, expected costs, trends and what to expect in coming years.
“We want to have a plan in place if use should drop, so we’re not just knee-jerk reacting to a change in the market,” he said.
The Keller course dates back to the 1920s and has hosted several PGA events over the years since, drawing golf legends that included Walter Hagen, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
Patty Berg, who came from Minneapolis and became one of the LPGA’s legendary golfers, was the inspiration for a tour event played at Keller throughout the 1970s.
Since reopening two years ago, Keller has had a waiting list to join its men’s and women’s clubs. The number of rounds played has climbed from 26,000 in 2011 to 29,000 in 2017, records show. Even on a recent overcast weekday afternoon, more than a dozen golfers lined up for a shotgun scramble.
Publicly owned golf courses are rarely profitable, even in parts of the U.S. where they stay open year-round.
In Minnesota, just six of 35 municipal courses turned a profit in 2016, according to the latest data available from the state auditor’s office. Municipal courses returned an average loss of $97,000 in 2016.
Counting operating costs alone, Ramsey’s five courses together made just more than they spent in 2017. But that doesn’t include the roughly $800,000 a year that the county will pay in debt service until the 2030s for the Keller renovation. It also doesn’t include human resources and other administrative costs covered by the county.
Ramsey County owns two other 18-hole courses, Goodrich in Maplewood and Manitou Ridge in White Bear Lake, and two nine-hole courses. The variety of courses helps draw players with a spread of skill levels, from first-timers to scratch golfers, Oyanagi said.
The county runs its five golf courses with the same mind-set it uses for its ice arenas and network of parks, Oyanagi said: The purpose isn’t to turn a profit but to fill a demand. And the evidence shows that current demand for the county’s golf courses is strong.
Play has stayed relatively stable, within a few thousand rounds, at most of the courses since 2012. The one exception is Goodrich, which has exploded in popularity over the past five years.
More than three times as many people played at Goodrich in 2017 than in 2012. Through the end of August, the course was on track to complete its climb from the county’s least to most popular course. That may be largely because of changing demographics in the Maplewood area, Oyanagi said.
“We’re seeing that Southeast Asians are coming out more and more, and that course has been really appealing,” he said.
One of the reasons the county has stayed in the golf business is that it has decided to keep operating ice arenas, said Sara Ackmann, the county’s director of golf and arenas.
“The staff that works on the golf courses in the summer also fills the arenas in the winter,” Ackmann said. “They complement each other and we’re able to keep staff on year-round.”
Tee it up at Red Wing Golf Club (Red Wing, MN) for "TCG Social Media Day" on Friday, October 5, 2018.
Experience this 18 hole championship golf course and enjoy golf, cart, range and lunch after the round provided as a courtesy for guests in exchange for sharing your experience on social media.
Check-in at 8AM with a shotgun start at 8:45AM. Participants are asked to share pictures and reviews to help us spread the word about the course.
CLICK HERE to RSVP and join us for a fun day at a great course!
Want to catch a glimpse of the new Championship 18 course?
Join us on Tuesday, October 16 for a walking tour at 2:30PM led by Golf Course Architect Richard Mandell, General Manager Joe Abood and Superintendent Jeff Mold.
Attend this TwinCitiesGolf group tour and be entered into a drawing for a free foursome to tee it up in 2019!
CLICK HERE to RSVP a spot for 2:30PM on Tuesday October 16
Will you be the first to make an ace on the new Braemar Championship 18?
TwinCitiesGolf.com is offering the chance for 28 golfers to take a shot at winning $10,000 on Friday, October 12 in a hole-in-one contest on Hole #13 of the new Championship 18 course.
CLICK HERE to enter to win and 28 lucky golfers will be selected on Tuesday, October 9th.
Tee it up at Le Golf National where the USA is taking on Europe in the Ryder Cup at Inside Edge Golf simulators in Eden Prairie.
Featuring state-of-the-art PGA TOUR simulators, play as 2-person team Scramble format with prizes paid for 1st, 2nd, 5th, 10th and 20th places.
Play 1, 2, or all 3 days of the challenge (event hosted Tues, Weds and Thurs evenings). Improve your chances of winning by playing multiple days!
6PM-9PM. Cost is $20pp. Signup as a twosome, single (we'll pair you up) or foursome. Upon arrival, teams will be assigned bays.
To play, click on the link below to RSVP via the GroupLooper system:
Tues September 25
CLICK HERE to RSVP @ https://www.grouplooper.com/tee-times/5861
Wednesday September 26
CLICK HERE to RSVP @ https://www.grouplooper.com/tee-times/5862
Thursday September 27
CLICK HERE to RSVP @ https://www.grouplooper.com/tee-times/5863
Every year, thousands of individuals take up the game of golf. Excited and ready, these novices hit the links with new clubs only to find out very quickly that they aren’t good. In frustration, they soon cast aside their pricey clubs to the dungeon of the garage where they remain gathering dust.
Beginners fail at loving golf because they don’t take the proper steps to learn the game the right way. From choosing the right equipment to learning how to swing, beginners set themselves up for failure by hitting the gas the moment “golf fever” hits them rather than slowly understanding that the game is rewarded by persistence and patience.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to attack learning the great game of golf.
Step 1: Finding the right equipment
Beginners do not need to go out and purchase a full set of new clubs. Since these amateurs have not developed a swing yet, then there is no need for an expensive collection of clubs. That said, I understand that you will need something to hit the ball with to begin your golfing journey.
In the spirit of starting slow, I encourage all of my students to purchase five clubs. They are a 7-iron, 9-iron, 52-degree gap wedge, 56-degree sand wedge, and a putter. The swing flex on the shafts should be rated at “regular” flex although if you are over the age of 60, then it might be wise to find “senior” flex shafts.
You can find these clubs at any pro shop or superstore that sells second-hand clubs. Don’t be afraid to ask the local professional for help in locating these clubs. They will steer you in the right direction.
After you purchase your clubs, it is essential that you immediately change the grips on them. Second-hand clubs are notorious for having well-worn grips that need updating.
Step 2: Keeping the Right Mindset on the Course
Keeping a positive mindset will be the toughest step to maintain as you go through the ups and downs of learning how to swing. The first, and best, thing you can do when starting your golf journey is to find the right coach to teach you the game. You will want to choose someone who is a patient and energetic teacher.
The next area of focus for putting your mind in the right place is to encourage yourself to always have fun. Two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson grew up with an emphasis on having fun while playing and practicing golf. He challenged himself to hit over and around obstacles, such as trees, to engage himself when the game became mundane.
Finally, your mind will focus better if it is not thinking about 300 hundred things when you approach the golf ball. For that reason, it is vital that you come up with pre-shot routines for full swings and putts. The routine will put your mind on auto-pilot leaving you focused solely on the shot ahead.
Step 3 - Using a Full Swing to Hit Woods and Irons
When building a swing, it is important to remember that everything good comes from having a solid foundation. The golf swing is built from the ground up as the legs feed into the abdomen or core, and that area affects the shoulders and arms as they turn through the backswing and release during the downswing and through the impact with the golf ball.
A great stance over the golf ball begins with a flexible, yet comfortably straight back. A proper stance encourages a full turn away from the golf ball on the backswing. Feet are shoulder width apart directly under the shoulders.
Once you learn a proper grip and stance from a coach, then your focus should always be staying athletic through the swing. Strong legs coupled with a proper shoulder turn on the backswing will put you in a great position to hit the ball long and straight with your clubs, leading you to becoming a mid-handicapper.
Step 4 - Learning to Putt like a Pro
So much of putting is about the grip on the putter. There are many different ways to hold a putter that can bring success, so don’t go looking for a magic style to become a great putter. Instead, find a grip that is comfortable and works for you.
The most popular way to hold the putter is the conventional grip used by golfers like Tiger Woods. The handle of the putter lands along the bottom of the left hand as the right-hand runs parallel to the left. Both thumbs are positioned down the flat center of the actual grip on the club, and the left forefinger lays down the fingers on the right hand to provide a unified connection.
The most important thing when putting is having a calm body through the stroke. This means a still head that locks onto the golf ball and doesn’t move through impact. If you look ahead as the ball rolls off the club, you will sacrifice solid contact on the center of the putter face.
When taking the putting stroke, the shoulders stay level as they swing through the putt. Don’t take a long backswing and make sure you accelerate through the golf ball. This will assure that you don’t leave putts short of the cup.
Step 5 - How to Chip like A Pro
Chipping and putting share similarities that focus on calm bodies and firm wrists. Much like putting, chipping is about finding the right grip. Many pros use a putting-style grip that gives them more control to get the ball moving forward toward the hole.
The most important feature of the chipping stance is where the weight exists in the body. You want the weight to be moved onto the front foot so that your swing encourages contact first with the golf ball and not the ground.
Firm wrists that move the club through the golf ball help keep the club face down and into the ball. This prevents a sweeping-up motion that causes thin chips and weak shots.
Step 6 - Playing the Game the Right Way
There are few things a beginner can do to look like an old pro at the course. Always show up early to warm up on the range and putting green. It is essential to get a feel for your swing and putts heading into a round.
Know what attire is acceptable at the course you are going to play. Different clubs have different rules, and some won’t let you on the links if you are underdressed. Also, make sure you take nutritious snacks onto the course and stay hydrated to keep your energy level high and steady.
Finally, know the rules of the game and always be ready to play when it’s your turn.
If you take these tips into account, then you should slowly build a lifelong love for the great game of golf.
Looking to boost your social media reach and increase your revenues?
CLICK HERE to download the “11 Things Every Business Can Do to ROCK Facebook” guide by Kevin Unterreiner
Magical things happen when you do social media right. Here’s what happened when TwinCitiesGolf announced opening night of Topgolf Minneapolis (Brooklyn Center)
It’s Official. TopGolf is Coming to Minnesota Fall of 2018
The official opening date for Topgolf Minneapolis - Brooklyn Center will be announced soon!
Special TwinCitiesGolf.com Offer: Get a $10 Topgolf coupon (valid on your first visit). CLICK HERE (or on the button below) then choose MN - Minneapolis - Brooklyn Center location.