Architect Bobby Weed (one-time Pete Dye apprentice and former lead architect in the design of TPC layouts for the PGA Tour during the late 1980s and early 1990s) added the course at StoneRidge Golf Club to his portfolio of more than fifty golf projects when it opened to the public for play at the start of the new millennium.
Built on a 170-acre reclaimed sand and gravel quarry site just off the I-94, to the east of the Twin Cities, the course has been fashioned as an inland links, where rolling bentgrass fairways framed by Kentucky bluegrass and fine fescues play towards large, undulating greens protected by rustic, irregularly-shaped bunkers.
Ponds have to be negotiated at both the 425-yard 10th (“Splinter”) and the 480-yard 12th (“Snag”), and sandwiched between those two holes, an old barn dating back to 1875 comes into play off the tee at the par five 11th hole. And, as might be expected because of the property’s former use, there are plenty of large, sandy waste areas dotted around the layout.
Tom Doak made a point of playing StoneRidge in 2016 and awarded the course a rating of six out of ten. He commented as follows in his Christmas 2017 Confidential Guide update:
“The most interesting daily-fee course in the Twin Cities, StoneRidge is reclaimed from an old sand quarry to the east of St. Paul. The short par-4 1st with its quirky green and bunker in the approach serves notice that you’re going to see something different, and the course delivers on that promise with an exceptional variety of holes and green shapes. However it does come off as a bit contrived, as the combination of waste bunkers and small pots doesn’t register as natural.”
Links style golf course for a majority of the holes with wind a constant companion. Numerous elevation changes, hidden landing areas and very fast greens will ensurer that you use every available method to keep the score reasonable.
The greens are nearly all built with false fronts or collection areas that can ruin what you thought is a nicely played approach. The longer you are off the tee can be both a blessing and a disaster. Running fairways can push you off into terrible lies in large gravely bunkers in the fairways or end to soon and you now hitting from one of the many waster areas.
The par three's are all very strong and the proper clubbing it utmost to get the ball on the right level to ensure two putts. The par fives are all reachable in two if your really striping the ball. Not a course for free swingers unless you don't mind paying off big time in the bar.
Great food as well.