Best short course in the area.
Most short courses are just short, without much challenge or anything interesting, for about $15 for 9 holes walking. Arbor Pointe is an exceptional short course, with challenge and danger around every corner, for around $15 for 9 holes walking.
This course -- Par 31 (five par 3s and two par 4s) -- was designed by Garrett Gill and opened in the late 90s. It weaves through a neighborhood in Inver Grove Heights, with town-homes lining some of the fairways (so this is not for the faint of heart or the under-insured), leading the golfer across a street and back during the round, and every hole is difficult. With lots of trees, water (with a few forced carries), thick rough and other dangers throughout this course, a high percentage of mishits end up in lost balls and penalty stokes.
For being a neighborhood course, it is actually quite scenic, with a lot of hilly lies and elevation changes. In particular, every time my score blows up on the infuriatingly difficult par 4 fourth hole, I swear as I cross the street, then look back to see that gorgeous rolling downhill fairway and smile at its beauty in spite of my rage.
The greens are not usually super-fast, but they are always in good condition and roll true. The clubhouse is small and no-frills, but they're all nice and accommodating.
Some issues I have with the course: The rough should be a little less rough, the tee boxes should be a little more level (there are side-hill lies throughout the course, so that tee shot is the one time you should get a perfectly level and fair lie), and they should put water at some of the holes because it is a pretty grueling walk compared to most short courses I've been on. These are small concerns, though. I spent a year as a member here, and after playing it nearly 100 times, I still find it enjoyable, interesting and challenging.
If you want your short course to be a boring, easy test of your game, this is not a good choice. But if you want a challenging, interesting exec nine at a good price, and you don't mind a course weaving through a neighborhood, this is a great course.
For an executive 9, this gets 4.5 out of 5.
Date Played: October 17, 2013 | Cost: $15