Rochester’s Golf Scene

Rochester Minnesota Golf Scene

Rochester’s Golf Scene

With the summer air making its way through Rochester & the sun beginning to be more apparent, one thing that excites me is the opening of local golf courses! Did you know that Rochester actually supports three city courses, two additional courses & the Rochester Country Club? Not to mention four more courses within a 15 minute drive. Rochester has a very strong golf community and thankfully, it won’t be changing anytime soon!

One of the three Rochester City courses is Eastwood Golf Course, located in southeast Rochester just minutes from downtown Rochester. Eastwood has an established history dating back to 1972, designed by Ray Keller & Jim Felton. Eastwood is really a tale of two nines as it had a somewhat recent makeover. The front nine is lined with mature oak trees and tighter fairways with some holes still originating to opening day. The back nine is a little more forgiving but still challenging with some lengthy holes like the par five 14th, that measures 607 yards from the black tee. Eastwood offers four different tee box options for all ages & skill levels making it an enjoyable experience to everyone.

Eastwood Driving Range
Eastwood Driving Range

Rochester’s other city courses available are Northern Hills, which is located in the northwest part of town and Soldier’s Field, Rochester’s oldest course. Northern Hills dates back to 1976 and offers another great option for the avid golfer, supporting a large driving range as well. Rochester’s third leg of city courses, Soldiers Field, is conveniently located downtown and was first opened up in 1927, the same year as Rochester’s iconic Plumber building. You can purchase a city pass to play all three golf courses at any time at any of the 3 locations.

But thankfully the golf doesn’t end there. Willow Creek is another course Rochester has to offer on the south side of town that was just taken over with new ownership. Locals Will Lancaster and Andy Black will be running the course now, fulfilling their childhood dreams or running & operating a course together. Will, the previous head professional at Zumbrota Golf Course (about 20 minutes outside of town) and Andy was the head golf pro at Pine Island Golf Course, couldn’t be more excited. They have been giving the club house a needed facelift as of late, along with promoting weekly golf specials – this is worth keeping an eye on! Willow Creek offers a spacious event space upstairs they rent out for large parties, wedding receptions and more.

Oak Summit rounds up Rochester’s courses available to the public. Located in the beautiful countryside, Oak Summit resides on 240 acres of scenic land. The course has well defined fairways and rolling hills. If you like golfing in the country, you will enjoy Oak Summit Golf Course.

Wine Rochester Country Club
Rochester Country Club

As a personal favorite, I cannot go without discussing our own, Rochester Golf & Country Club. The course and clubhouse had drastic changes over the past few years, but it is a timeless classic. Originally opening in 1915 with 9 holes, it was later groomed and made into its 18 holes you see today. Albert Tillinghast, the course architect also known for designing famous courses such as Winged Foot, Baltusrol, & the San Francisco Golf Club made his mark in 1916 & made the name change to “Rochester Golf & Country Club.” Recent changes include a total revamp to the clubhouse, dining room & workout facility. They also grew the outdoor swimming & family area along with some major changes on the course. Rochester Golf & Country Club has hosted many famous guests over the years while they visited the Mayo Clinic. One of the most iconic guests, Arnold Palmer, was known to play on almost every trip to Rochester & loved the course.

Whether you are an avid golfer or just like getting out for some fun, Rochester has the opportunity for all ages and skill levels to play or take up the game. It’s an unbelievable game full of frustration, excitement, up’s & downs and everything in-between. Best part? You’ll always want to do better & come back for more.

Other courses in the area include: Maple Valley Golf Course, Somerby of Byron, Pine Island Golf Course, Riverview Greens of Stewartville, The Jewel in Lake City, and Zumbrota Golf Club.

Casey Gorman Real Estate Agent