The Bearpath Golf & Country Club is located in a residential area near Lake Riley, a charming body in the southwest suburbs of Minneapolis. If you couldn’t guess, the title animal is a reference to the course’s designer, Jack Nicklaus (Black bears themselves don’t typically make their way this far south in the state, but the course and its paths are quite walkable for members).
In a state that bills itself as having 10,000 lakes, no doubt there will be a few ponds around the route. Several are more photographic than your average golf course pond, however, displaying a beautiful display of natural reeds. Don’t get too distracted when hitting over the pond at the par three No. 8! A common pond, displaying the same foliage, will provide a hazard on the left during the approach into No. 9, while sitting on the right during the approach to No. 18. The latter approach will also be threatened on the left by the more “open-water” Jacques Pond.
The big bears in your group can challenge the course from a maximum yardage that just exceeds 7,000 yards.
Bearpath is a complicated place: on one hand, course conditions are impeccable and the layout is interesting enough; and on the other, houses line almost every hole and there is nothing about the course that will flat out wow you. I can almost guarantee you that the size of many homes in the area will make your jaw drop more than the Jack Nicklaus design. Bearpath is serviceable yet underwhelming considering the scale, if that makes sense. If we were judging Bearpath’s merits on the facilities and neighborhood, it would no doubt garner a higher rating. As for the course, there are a few spectacular offerings—the par three eighth, with its forced carry and wonderful views, and the closing hole stick out once your round has concluded—and if you get the invite, you should accept. The atmosphere is friendly and all the folks at Bearpath want nothing more than to show you a top notch time.
Courses is always in a great shape. In particular, the fairways and greens. The course demands precision on and around the greens which a trademark of a Jack Nicklaus signature design. With forced carries on all of the par 3s, they are the most demanding holes on the golf course. Early in the morning and late in the evening will provide the most picturesque views.