BEST GOLF COURSE - 2001
Francis A. Gross
There has been a rash of golf-course development over the past few years, particularly in the exurban metro. While these fancy-schmancy clubs might attract fleeting attention from the new-economy linkheads (the much-raved about course in Prior Lake, the Wilds, costs $99 a pop), regular folk jonesin' for good, cheap golf need look no further than the northern tip of Minneapolis. Francis A. Gross, which has been operating since 1925 and sees 55,000 duffers a year, fits neatly within its urban landscape. The flat terrain is mostly dry. Mature trees line the fairways, making for a good walking course. And some minor summer renovations will double the number of water holes from two to four. Gross is playable for the novice golfer, yet challenging enough to interest the expert. Gross's signature hole is number three--a deceptive, 179-yard par three that slopes wickedly from the tee to the green. Perhaps the course's greatest asset, though, is affordability. Eighteen holes will cost you $24 on weekdays. On the weekends that price goes up only two bucks, meaning that the market needn't dictate your handicap.