First opened for municipal play in 1929, Keller Golf Course in St Paul hosted the PGA Championship in 1932 and 1954. Richard Mandell oversaw an extensive renovation of this much underrated layout between October 2012 and July 2014.
“For a ‘muni’ Keller is a very good course,” commented Mr. Top 100 (Rudo) in his blog. “The land has very good movement and the course has a good routing… There are some very interesting holes, especially #4 and #17. The 4th is a flat 150-yard par 3 (from the back) to a good sized green with a 50-foot high oak tree sitting smack dab in front of the green. The canopy of the tree stops about 10 yards short of the front of the green. Trust me, it is quite a shock when one walks over to the 4th tee from the third green, but somehow it works. Because the hole is relatively short, the player has a lofted iron in their hands so that clearing the tree is not a huge issue.
The 17th presents a similar situation, this time on a 376-yard par 4, which turns slightly right and is uphill to a green sitting on the crest off a slight rise. Once again a large oak tree presents a real obstacle that makes the player consider how to play it off the tee.
Keller has two other superb par 3’s. #13 is 148 yards, slightly uphill, and requires a carry over wetlands to a shallow green and #15 is uphill 195 yards with a false front and a sharp drop off to the right and short. The four par 3’s at Keller are really the strongest aspect of the course.”
A venerable old course with a lot of history gets a much needed makeover. Not much gained in length but the overall condition of the course and its playability is much better.
Keller is a wonderful parkland layout just outside of St. Paul, MN. The rolling topography is a great setting for a golf course, and there are many interesting/unique holes. The stretch of Holes 8-13 is wonderful, with the par 5 12th being a particular highlight that requires a drive over a large hill to set up a heroic approach shot to a green guarded by water and bunkers. Holes 17-18 provide a strong finish as two tough par 4s coming in. Richard Mandell did a good job of bringing new life back to this course, and the course is very playable and the conditions are typically very good for having a full tee sheet most of the days. Though there are a couple of center line trees that are much discussed, especially the par 3 4th that has a tree directly inline, I don't think they come into play as much as they appear. Keller offers a classic layout at an affordable price. It is the best muni in Minnesota.
First off let me say that the course is nicely maintained, defiantly a good municipal track. However the course days as a host venue for major championships has long passed. Keller overall is not a long course, which suited my game when I played. It does seem to get packed on the weekends but that doesn't detract from it as a seller option near the heart of the Twin Cities.