Minnesota Golf Courses: Territory Golf Club in St. Cloud

By: Dana Buttenhoff

What you will notice when you arrive at Territory Golf Club and make your way to the clubhouse is a rolling prairie landscape. What you will also notice is wetlands and streams running through the property. What you won't notice is an abundance of trees. This is what you see about the property from the parking lot. Because looks can be deceiving, what you will later discover is the tale of two golf courses. All of the hole on the front nine, as well as, holes 10 and 18 are situated on rolling prairie with a compliment of native grasses in the rough and other places that you are not supposed to hit your golf ball. Holes 11 through 17 are cut out of an oak forest that also features wetlands and streams along with some significant elevation changes.

Territory Golf Club plays to a par of 72 and measures 6,921 yards from the back tee markers. The course rating, from the back tees, is 72.9 and has a slope index of 125. There are four sets of tee markers, which means there is an appropriate yardage for golfers of all skills.

The management team consisting of Brock Swanson, head golf professional, Dan Stang, golf course superintendent and Dan Dols, general manager make sure that the players experience is outstanding. The course condition and the pace of play make Territory Golf Club a golf course that you will want to place on your list of places to play in central Minnesota. My playing partner and I played our round on a weekend morning and completed our play in just less than four hours. There were groups in front of and behind us and the pace of play flowed nicely.

The greens at Territory Golf Club are quite large, averaging nearly 7,000 square feet each and have significant undulation. These two factors make club selection as you approach the green critical. Just being on the green in regulation does not guarantee that you will have two putts for a par. My playing partner for the round described the greens a looking like "big potato chips" referring the random shapes as well as the wavy appearance as you walk onto the putting surface.

Another challenge at Territory Golf Club is the sand traps. The traps can generally be described as large, deep and having steep faces on them. Getting out of the traps successfully should be your first concern, getting close to the pin should be of secondary importance.

The back nine plays longer than the front nine with number 10 and number 18 being the two longest holes on the golf course. The par-3 holes are longer-range holes with the shortest playing at 170 yards and the longest playing at 245 yards.

If you are looking for a challenging golf course to play in central Minnesota I would certainly check out Territory Golf Club in St. Cloud. You can call for a tee a time at 320-258-4653 or visit their website at www.territorygc.com for more details.

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