The members at Northland gave Donald Ross a challenging piece of property to work with, but the Dornochman rose to the occasion. Ross negotiated the hundred foot change in elevation by designing the course in three sections: a gentle hillside that houses holes 1-3 and 15-18; a transitional section of holes 4-5 and 13; and a flatter upland section for the other nine holes. The result is a routing that looks like a “W” when shown on a map. Another result is striking views of Lake Superior from half the holes, the finest being the infinity green at # 13.
Like many of Ross’s other Minnesota works, only four greens have the kind of imaginative contours that would define his later efforts. And strategy from the tee is not much in evidence. But there are strategic options on every approach but three. That and the lovely vistas make a round at Northland a fun experience.
Date: September 22, 2019