6200 Interlachen Blvd,
Minnesota (MN) 55436,
- +1 612 924 7424
5 miles SW of downtown Minneapolis
Members and their guests only
Interlachen was built in 1909 from three parcels of farmland and the original architect was Willie Watson. The legendary architect Donald Ross updated Watson’s design only ten years after the course was opened. Robert Trent Jones was involved in further modifications in 1960 and Geoffrey Cornish made further changes to the layout in the 1980s.
Interlachen Country Club is located in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina and this hallowed course is routed across rolling ground with wide, tree lined fairways and water coming into play at six holes. The greens are relatively small and very fast and no fewer than ten of Interlachen’s greens are elevated. The short par fours on the outward half require precision if a score is to be made on the front nine. The back nine has a number of holes with doglegged fairways. The signature hole is the 530-yard par five 9th featuring a dogleg right fairway and a lake on the inside of the bend beside the green. During the 1930 US Open here, Bobby Jones skimmed his ball over the water to make a birdie which went a long way to ensuring he achieved the "Grand Slam".
In addition to the 1930 US Open, Interlachen has hosted many top competitions over the years, including the Solheim Cup in 2002 and the 2008 US Women’s Open. According to the brilliant New World Atlas of Golf, Interlachen “is blessed with an abundance and wide variety of trees, calling for the unique ‘leafie’ rule that enchanted players from the UK in a 1980 re-creation of the 1930 Open.” We’d love to know more about this rule so if anybody can throw any light on the subject we’ll be thrilled to hear from you.
The number of architects who have tinkered with this layout over the years is often a talking point, but a return visit to this Minnesota masterpiece reaffirms how special the course continues to be. With the recent appointment of a new Superintendent, who I had the honour of meeting, there is an immediate sense of class that oozes across the glowing property.
Just standing on the first tee, you see how well maintained the holes are with pristine mowing lines, appropriate tree removal and healthy playing conditions. The canvas that we play today has never looked better. While the opening par 5 is considered a birdie opportunity, hold on to your hat as soon as you reach the short par 4 second hole as you’re quickly exposed to one of the countless raised greens at Interlachen that will make you look silly in a hurry. I love the variety that Interlachen offers, with menacing short par 4s, a couple of long par 3s, and gettable par 5s that give you a chance to score. In totality, this course demands respect and is a true honour to experience.
While the USGA history is unquestionable at this venue, year over year, Interlachen proves itself to be a championship venue. There is a road that separates 7 of the holes on the back nine, once you cross the bridge to the 11th tee, this brilliant course takes it up a notch to offer what might be the pick of the bunch. Golfers are primed for greatness on either side of the road.
The topography at Interlachen is relatively flat with the exception of a few gentle hills, but it’s the routing towards the elevated green-sites that confirms Interlachen as one of the county’s most sought after tee-times. It’s a very humbling and rewarding club to visit with many of Ross’ talents in full view.
A traditionalist treasure. Huge oak tree lined fairways, small slippery greens and a need to be a shotmaker rather than a bomber are all reasons to really want to get a chance to place this iconic golf venue.
Drawers of the ball will appreciate the number of holes that dictate a right to left flight path to maximize the availability of the best landing areas. Sand traps are smallish as is customary in courses that I have played of this vintage. Expect the need to have your ball below the hole to avoid multiple putt situations and a short game is key to keeping par in play.
I had the wonderful privilege of playing Interlachen as part of a charity fund raiser. The course and club house just ooze with history. From the Bobby Jones plaque on the course where he hit his famous skip shot to the tournament trophies in the grand, historic, clubhouse. Excellent course layout as you would expect. So many large fairway sand traps made my score very high but did not take away from such a wonderful playing experience. A golf lifetime highlight.
Interlachen, in the suburb of Edina, is my favorite course in Minnesota, but I don’t get to play here as often as I would like. Although I know several members, invitations are rare. The setting is very serene; beautiful rolling hills, lovely lakes and ponds, many of which are framed by lush weeping willows. It’s a Donald Ross design and by far one of his better ones, with plenty of elevation changes and lots of water that comes into play.
In 1930, Interlachen hosted a U.S. Open, the third of Bobby Jones’ grand-slam victories that year, when he skipped his ball over the water onto the 18th green for a spectacular finish. A few months later, he won the U.S. Amateur at Merion to win an unprecedented grand slam. Larry Berle