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In the northwest suburb of Ramsey, Minnesota, adjacent to Anoka, is a links-style course called The Links at Northfork. Until you get to the back 9, you don't have any trees that really come into play. However, native prairie grasses and fescue-like roughs with waste bunkers and tricky fairway bunkers, make the course very challenging.
The course is Scottish-looking without the Atlantic Ocean to look at. What you see are some very nice homes around the course and frequent railroad freight cars and the North Star Commuter Rail going to and from central Minnesota to the Twin Cities.
The clubhouse is extremely nice with a great bar/grill. Friendly staff serve beverages and excellent food. Beverage coupons giving patrons ½ off drinks are given away during the round. The appetizers are very good and satisfy any hunger pains you might be having. Beverage cart service is also available on the course to keep golfers hydrated.
The tee boxes are immaculate. The fairways are beautiful and the greens are very fast. Accuracy is extremely important so many errant shots end up being lost. Come prepared with a few sleeves of golf balls.
There is very nice driving range just below the clubhouse. A putting and chipping area is adjacent to the clubhouse. The starter was extremely helpful in explaining some of the conditions on the course and what to expect. The only negative issue is the cart path between holes #1 and #2 - it needs to be blacktopped. Divot mix is provided on the golf cart so golfers can place the seed in the divots rather than replacing divots. There is also a basic GPS system on each cart which helps identify the yardages in addition to the various ground markers. Hole and distance signage is very apparent here.
Something real interesting is the 3 Hole Loop. This is an area adjacent to the back 9 where golfers of any skill level can warm-up or take families on a short 3-hole layout. Fees to use this area are extremely reasonable. Adequate restroom facilities are on the course and water stations with plenty of cold water are available in several different locations. There are several signature holes but #12 is of particular interest as the green is sloped in such a way to make any putt difficult.
The Links at Northfork has been in this area for a number of years. From its early days until the present time, it has come a long way through improvements, overall conditions and friendly customer service. Don't miss the opportunity to play this gem!