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Blackberry Ridge Golf Club is located in Sartell, Minnesota, just minutes north of St. Cloud. The clubhouse has a full restaurant and bar, and the pro shop has a wide range of golf equipment and accessories. Getting on the course was not a problem even though we had no reservations.
We got our electric cart-complete with GPS-and drove a few feet to the 1st tee box, which actually has five separate tee boxes to accommodate golfers of every ability. Everything on the course is first class. This championship course, designed by Joel Goldstrand, is very scenic and challenging. There are mature trees lining the fairways, rolling hills and wetlands. The well-mowed fairways have bent grass and are in great shape. The rough was mowed and, except for the wetlands, we lost only a few balls. The greens are fast, smooth and pristine. Cart paths are smooth, and they easily led from the green to the next tee box.
Water comes into play on about half of the holes, but sand traps with fine, soft sand are present on almost every hole. The 1st hole is a dogleg left around trees and over a water hazard to a small green. Three of the four par-3 holes require drives over wetlands. In fact, wetlands come into play on 14 holes! The par-5 hole #5 has three doglegs with wetlands along most of the left side of the fairway and wetlands on the right side for the last 100 yards. Number 13 has an S-shaped dogleg with wetlands on both sides and the final shot over the wetlands. These are some examples of the tricky variations in the course. It requires some thinking to do well.
It is interesting that there is about a half-mile difference between the lengths of the red and black tees (about a hundred yards per hole average), but everyone would walk the same distance. The course is long and the GPS is useful, so a cart is a plus, but the course is definitely walkable. In short, Blackberry Ridge is a difficult but enjoyable course, and with five different lengths, all level of golfers can do well here.