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BEST GOLF COURSE Minneapolis 1998 -

Readers' Choice: The Wilds

Stonebrooke looks more like a public garden than a golf course. Flowers abound, and the perfectly manicured fairways and greens are adorned with creeks and ponds. Golfers are fond of the course because of the variety of play it offers. The par 3s, 4s, and 5s all come in different lengths and elevations, but each fairway gives golfers a good view of the hole. Water features prominently in 15 of the holes, and at the eighth, golfers have to ride a ferry to play this elevated par 4. (The trip is brief, but beverages are served.) In terms of difficulty, the U.S. Golf Association rates Stonebrooke as one of Minnesota's 10 toughest public courses. Still, golfers of all abilities maintain that the splendor of this course, surrounded by mature oaks and crowned with annuals and perennials, is worth every frustrating stroke. Spring is blossoming, so reservations are already at a premium. Book your tee time ASAP, or you may have to caddy your way in. Prices for 18 holes run from $31 Monday through Thursday to $38 Friday through Sunday and holidays. Reservations are accepted three days in advance.

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