Hole 1 - Par 4, 325 yds
Literally steps from your vehicle and clubhouse, the first tee offers up a great choice right off the jump. Facing directly into a south wind, a heavy hitter might be able to make it past the slight dogleg right corner. For shorter players however, the prudent play is down the left side of the fairway, giving the player the best angle to attack the mostly east-west running green on the approach. However, like so many other little quirks to this course, just because a shot is a prudent one doesn’t mean it won’t come with its challenges. In this case, the play down the left could result in a lie on the side of a gently sloping hill. Most hills in Minneapolis, and Kansas for that matter, happen to be gentle though so a difficult lie on the left is still preferred over the potentially flatter, but infinitely more difficult shot on the right. A miss-planed, or misplayed, shot down the right side brings all sorts of trouble both short (cedars, then elms, and then a small water collection area) and long (out of bounds) into play.
Hole 2 - Par 3, 145 yds
Moving next to the par three, second hole at Minneapolis, club choice will depend on the tee box your playing that round not only for distance control on the roughly 145 shot, but also shot trajectory. From the far right tee box, you’ll face the overhanging branches of a cottonwood that can send well struck shots in nearly any direction. There is out of bounds all down the left side, but a large berm can help kick errant shots back toward the landing area. The second green is perched well above the landing area short of the surface making up and downs less than certain. Shots that landed long have a downhill chip toward the green that runs away. The putting surface is one of the largest on the course though make this hole the easiest par three on the course, so take advantage while you can.
Hole 3 - Par 4, 425 yds
The par four, third hole is a hard dog leg left hole that tees facing northeast, but finishes with an approach directly north. Lined with trees on both sides of the fairway, strong players may choose to challenge the dogleg corner to use their distance advantage. Considering the fairway runs downhill in the landing area, shots directed on that line may trickle toward the rough or the fairway of hole number one. Missing left of the dogleg also brings not only brings tree trouble but also a heavy rough waste area where lies are anything but certain. A safe play is a club that gets the player to the middle of the dogleg where the fairway is at its widest. From there, the player will have a longer approach shot to a narrow green but should have the prevailing south wind to help give a boost up a the gentle rise to the green. The greens on number three and number four are the only ones on the property without any out of bounds within 30 yards of the complex so players can swing easy. Still, hitting this narrow green in two can be a chore. Par is a great score for this hole as big numbers can easily come into play and it all starts on the tee box.
Hole 4 - Par 5, 485 yds
The fourth hole is the first par five on property. It is the shortest of the two par fives and gives a great opportunity to get one back on the course, or your playing partners. From the high point on the tee facing the southwest, the hole stretches downhill toward a meandering stream before bearing left into the south breeze for the approach shot. Most players will be able to clear the creek off the tee with a well struck shot. And that is where the fun begins. As you near the creek, the trees get taller affecting approach shots from almost any direction, including right in the middle of the fairway as a large elm tree has it roots, and branches, right in your line of play. A miss to the left off the tee isn’t dead and is usually playable if you avoided the stream and collection pond. One of the best birdie, or better, chances comes at the fourth but it will require two solid shots to get a player close enough to take advantage as the green complex also has some challenging contour to make this short part five a little more difficult.
Hole 5 - Par 4, 385 yds
The par four, fifth hole is sneakily one of the best designed on the course. Teeing off in the southwest corner of the property, out of bounds beckons just to the left of the fairway that gently slopes downhill and slightly to the right toward the meandering stream encountered on the previous hole. A large cottonwood tree guards the green from approach shots down the left hand side, adding another layer of difficulty to an already challenging hole. Shots too strong, especially with the south wind off the tee, have two things to worry about: 1) the aforementioned creek, and 2) catching the hill of the fairway wrong and kicking the ball into the tree row that borders the fairway down the entire right side. For most, the ideal tee shot is probably less than driver to a landing area between 140-160 yards from the green. To score on this hole, you’ll need a bit of strategy, some skill, and maybe a bit of luck.
Hole 6 - Par 3, 210 yds
If you’re in a pinch for time, just skip the par three, sixth hole at Minneapolis. Maybe just skip it anyway, even if you aren’t in a hurry. Running to the east with out of bounds down the length of the left side of the hole, the 200+ yard par three hole is a stone cold assassin waiting to coldly execute the great scorecard you had going when you stepped on the tee. The prevailing wind will push shots toward the out bounds on on the left so if it’s blowing, make sure to leave yourself plenty of room by aiming down the right side of the hole. The green slopes fairly severely back to front making holding the green on a front pin placement fairly difficult. Obviously, you shouldn’t skip this hole but it might be the most difficult par on the course. Good luck. You’re going to need it on this one.
Hole 7 - Par 4, 460 yds
As you walk off the sixth green you are probably going to be wishing for the next hole. What you’re going to get is the most difficult hole on the entire on the course. The seventh hole tee shot faces southeast but the hole turns back to the southwest following the tee shot. This is the most challenging tee shot on the entire course as players are forced to at least partially carry the largest pond on property. Shots to the left clear the pond most easily, but leave a player with a longer second shot on the approach. Shots to the right require the longest carry over water, are directly into the prevailing wind, and are treated on the far bank by a row of trees waiting to reject balls back to the water. If you clear down the right side, the approach is shorter so there is a risk reward for those brave enough to take the chance. Approaches on this hole are directed into the south wind and you may be tempted to grab one more club to ensure you make it to the green but know out of bounds is waiting on the back side of the green to snatch that approach you hit a little too well. Bogey isn’t a bad score on this hole; quadruple bogey is. Bite off what you are comfortable with off the tee (safer left, riskier right), keep the approach in bounds, get it in the hole with a combo of chips or putts, and the hardest holes at on the course are behind you.
Hole 8 - Par 3, 163 yds
The par three, eighth hole runs back to the east and plays anywhere from 150 to 175 yards depending on tee and pin location. Out of bounds lingers on the right but the wind should help keep balls in bounds as it blows back to the middle when out of the south. Short and left of the green is a grove of cottonwoods that will be devils to deal with in about 25 years, but for now are mostly non factors in playing the hole except on poorly executed shots. This hole’s tricks are all about the green. The green slopes severely from back to front which will catch and hold your mid iron shots very well to give you a shot at par or better. Any shot that holds above the pin location will be an extremely difficult downhill putt, that has potential to even roll completely off the front of the green. At this point in the round, you’ll have discovered that the greens at Minneapolis are fairly firm and quick, especially during the summer months, so respect a downhill putt on this hole and you’ll be in good shape.
Hole 9 - Par 5, 510 yds
The finishing hole brings the player back to the clubhouse with an opportunity to once again get one back as the par five, ninth hole tees off north running along the east side of the property. The Minneapolis cemetery is out of bounds down the right side. Do you best to stay out of the cemetery as long as you can, especially on this hole because a good tee shot can get you good look at birdie or better. The landing area off the tee is the start of a gentle dog leg toward the green that is nestled along the highway on right and the parking lot on the back side. The best tee shots will reward the player with a short to mid iron to this par 5 over a drainage chasm to the green. Players should be advised to take notice of the pin location before selecting their approach club though. Again, downhill putts will be dangerous on this green that once again slopes back to front. Staying below the pin, even if that means landing short of the green on a front pin location, will give the player the best scoring opportunity.