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Course Review Mississippi Dunes

Shots with Steve

By Steve Pease

Spring rates: $34 (walk); $38 ride.

Post-round beer: Get a tap Summit or Grain Belt Nordeast and take a seat on the patio overlooking the 9th green. (Note: After your round you "pay what you shot." In my case, my beer cost only .89ยข).

Tucked away, 20 minutes south of St. Paul, is Mississippi Dunes golf course in Cottage Grove. Artfully crafted in 1995 out of the rolling hills that run along the Mississippi River, the course's moraine-like terrain and native wildlife make the experience enjoyable even before the first tee-shot is hit.

At 6,509 yards and par 72 from the tips, a strategic player with any length can leave the driver in bag on a number of tee shots. However, if you feel the need to go all Bubba Watson and rip it, rest assured the Dunes' absolutely massive fairways will lend a hand, even if you don't have a handle on your slice.

Yes, there's some gnarly fescue. Yes, you're going to want to hit greens and leave it below the hole. But it is Mississippi Dunes' six par-threes that test a visitor's mettle (or hybrid, as is the case on the 215-yard 4th hole). While the 2nd- and 9th-holes are perched atop riverside vistas, providing some of the most scenic approach shots found at any Twin Cities course, public or private.

Swails and hollows haunt the Dunes' challenging-but-true bent-grass greens. And its finely manicured fairways are bottlenecked on a few tee shots by Pete Dye-style railroad ties that vertically line fairway bunkers. Early in the 2012 season, the Dunes is in beautiful condition-not an aeration plug or dead spot in sight. Definitely worth the $34 to walk on a weekday, or $38 on a weekend (spring rates). However, you might be better served with a cart.

The Dunes sports a top-notch events facility-mainly for weddings-and an excellent, gated practice facility for members. The course record is a mind-boggling 54, leaving happy patrons that stroll into the course's quality pub & grill dubbed "Doc's Landing" to wonder aloud what he shot on the back. Much like the course, the joke never gets old.

Revised: 01/09/2013 - Article Viewed 32,692 Times - View Course Profile

About: Steve Pease

Steve Pease Steve Pease, resides in Wisconsin and carries the burden of a 13 handicap. He enjoys microbrews, the Pack and Twitter. Often at the same time. He plays TaylorMade R9 irons, an old-school R7 driver and whatever putter is "working."

He has worked for four golf courses in his life (pro shop attendant, then later, the more prestigious title of course ranger. Ha!) In 2008, he took a part-time job at Golfsmith, custom-fitting clubs when he wasn't running his own freelance writing business. He also experimented with a golf blog.

His favorite interview was ex-USGA executive director David Fay.

Golf writers he reads: John Feinstein, Herbert Warren Wind, Nicklaus (the guy is a little too "feel-oriented" to really provide tangible advice), Jason Sobel and Alan Shipnuck (latter two on Twitter). Although, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel beat writer Gary D'Amato is his "favorite."

Interested in: golf travel writing; course reviews; freelance golf writing; club reviews; Wisconsin golf culture reports; the art of golf gambling; the rules of playing music at low volumes while on the course (read: no Rodney Dangerfield impersonations); learning how pros never, ever accidentally knock the ball off the tee at address, and other stuff.

Greatest moment on a golf course: Uhhhh ... yeah.

Most embarrassing moment on a golf course: Trying to high five Steve Stricker only to have him give me the "knuckle-knock," only it was too late. It ended in more of a "knuckle-hug" and my "best friend" doubling over in laughter.

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