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"Short and sweet" is an accurate description for this mature municipal golf course located in Rochester, Minnesota. City streets define the outer limits of Soldiers Memorial Field Golf Course and the holes run parallel to one another, which is a typical layout when land is at a premium. The course was certainly busy on the Monday morning we visited.
The course itself is part of Soldiers Memorial Park and upon arrival players are greeted with adequate directional signage and flowering planters. The clubhouse has a pro shop, a restaurant with seating areas and locker rooms. The pro shop is well lit and well stocked. We were greeted and recognized immediately by the friendly staff.
The front nine is straightforward with only a few hazards to negotiate. The holes are straight and the fairways are lined with massive mature trees. Water comes come into play on holes 5, 6 and 9 and there are out-of-bounds areas on holes 1 and 3. While most are not long, these holes are certainly not easy and require accuracy. There is, however, a 212-yard par 3, which is a bit challenging for the average player. With the fall rain, the fairways and rough were very green and lush, without much roll. The greens were in great shape, not too fast and rolled true. They are medium to large in size and seemed to hold approach shots quite well.
The back nine is nearly a carbon copy of the front, with short straight holes and many mature trees to penalize errant plays. There are water hazards on #10 and #18 and out-of-bounds stakes line the 12th, 13th and 14th holes. The par 3s are short and there are two par 4s that big swingers may be able to reach on their drives, making birdie a realistic possibility. Overall, this golf course provides a typical city layout with some challenges, but more opportunities for the average hacker to score well. Given the great food and friendly customer service, we'll be returning to this well-managed course soon.