7 of Southern Minnesota’s best golf holes

Published 12:21pm Saturday, August 25, 2012

Austin Country Club
Hole 10  |   Par 4   |   325 yards   |   Built in 1919

It’s short for a par-4 hole, but it’s the challenge that sets this signature hole apart at one of Minnesota’s oldest courses.

Austin Country Club head pro Michael Hasley said Hole 10 deceives golfers into thinking it is easier than it really is. It can be a hole where players score a birdie, but it just as easily could quickly cause them to get a double bogey.

A big oak on the right side narrows the fairway, and Dobbins Creek runs diagonally about where strong golfers might land, intimidating players to use an iron instead of a wood from the tee. The creek also runs down the left side. Water if hook or tree if slice? Hmm. Better plan well.

If they get past the tree and land safely in the open about 180 to 200 yards out, players might try for the green and cross the creek but find bunkers. A bunker on the left, a bunker in the back on the left side and a bunker on the right, shielding the pin itself, make the green seem small.

The green has a spine from front to rear. Landing on the left side, far from the pin, means an uphill putt followed by a downhill roll.

Hasley said players who know the course respect Hole 10. Players coming to Austin Country Club for the first time can be tricked into thinking it is just another hole. It’s not.

This is the last of a seven-part series featuring the best golf holes in southern Minnesota.