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Green Lea Golf Course in Albert Lea, Minnesota, is a true gem of a course. It's well worth the drive if you live in the Twin Cities and a must-play if you live in the Albert Lea area. The clubhouse is very attractive and a welcoming sight to golf lovers.
The inside has a small-town cafÃ©-like atmosphere. The warm and friendly restaurant has a great breakfast selection as well as hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, salads and appetizers. There is also a full-service bar. The food is very good. You certainly don't have to be a golfer to enjoy this clubhouse!
The pro shop is one of the nicest we have seen. They have everything from clubs to apparel, all at good prices. The staff took good care of us at the check-in desk and quickly got us on our way. The putting green is near the 1st and 10th tee boxes. We'll mention the two negatives, and then we'll move on: 1) They do not have a driving range, so warming up is tough, and 2) The golf cart paths are in bad shape throughout the course. But this is only a minor distraction as you are looking at the 1st tee and fairway. What a gorgeous view. The tee boxes are in great condition and the fairways are beautiful. There are plenty of trees throughout this course, so you might lose a ball on occasion, but it's well worth the risk. The rough is long enough to give you a penalty if you miss the fairway, but it's not ridiculous. The greens are as nice as any we have played on all year. They are fast and the putts roll true. Green Lea has some nice bunkers throughout the course, and they were in good condition even after a couple days of rain. The signs for each hole are fantastic and easy to read.
Overall, the course is hacker friendly, but it is also a good challenge to those with a lower handicap. The length of the course seems fair at 6200+ from the blue tees, 5990+ from the whites and just over 5000 from the reds. The price to play is very good, and even memberships are reasonable. We drove from the south Metro area and were happy we made the trip, even in the rain.