While the 5 stars I decided to award to this golf course don't mean that it can compete with PGA world class courses, it is a gem within the Twin Cities, so put that into context. Theodore Wirth Golf course is located just a few miles west of downtown, and has some breathtaking views that will elevate the quality of your golfing experience. The back 9 are particularly scenic, so if you are only playing 9 I suggest you play these.
It has a balanced combination of people walking and riding; we decided to walk and boy was it a challenge. This is a very hilly course so you will definitely get a work out of this. While the course was a bit wet as it was raining the past few days, it was however a very rewarding experience. The course is challenging with several water and shrub obstacles, so it will put your capabilities to the test.
All and all, a great value for your money.
I'm at about a 2.5 star rating for Theo Wirth so I'll round it up to 3 stars since I'm feeling generous. Certain aspects of this course I love, such as the view from the 3rd tee (one of my favorite views of the Minneapolis skyline) and the "old" worn in feel of the course (you can tell it's been there a long time and that the course was built to fit the land, not the other way around). Certain apsects of this course I hate, such as bizarrely designed holes, very questionable service, and pace of play that can be mind-numbingly slow.
The Front 9 is fairly reasonable, though Hole #4 is pointless (220 yard Par 3 with no undulation or bunkers, just long) and only serves to slow down play. The Back 9 you can tell was not really meant to house a golf course (but is a nice test for XC skiiers in the winter). Hole #10 is straight up a ski/tubing hill (another pointless hole), and hole #17 doesn't even give you an area to land your tee shot even if you hit it perfectly (the mature trees have grown out too far).
Perhaps it's just that Theo Wirth doesn't fit my game, or perhaps it's because I've had to endure painfully slow play here almost every time. Whatever the case, I'm just not wowed by it (and the Back 9 is simply forgettable). Play the Front 9 sometime and take in the view on Hole #3 - that's all I'd recommend.
Public golf course in rough shape with nice staff.
You can tell that the budget must be stretched pretty tight as the course is in pretty rough shape and I found the men's bathroom disgusting. Some of the 'cart paths' are nothing more than a dirt path full of ruts and exposed roots and rocks--treacherous both on foot and by cart. Many of the walks from green to the next tee leave your shoes dirty.
It is a challenging course, especially when playing from the back tees. It's also a challenge to walk. The course is full of large hills that really give you a workout. The play has typically been pretty slow for me, so it gives plenty of time to catch your breath if you need to...
The front nine have a better layout than the back nine. I especially find that the holes 17 and 18 just kind-of got crammed in as a way to get back to the club house...even though you still have to survive a steep hill descent back down. If it recently rained, be prepared to get muddy. There doesn't seem to be a lot of drainage in the lower holes, so you can get pretty wet and really appreciate playing 'lift-clean-and-place' rules! One advantage to the course is that there aren't many out-of-bounds locations, so it makes it easier for beginners not to feel so nervous about nearby roads or homes to avoid. There are a few wide open holes that give you a few options to play aggressively (and be rewarded!) or conservatively for nice safe round.
Is it worth playing? Yes. It is full of beautiful landscape and can really give you a workout when walking and carrying your bag, but I think there are better maintained alternatives. With so many great courses in the area, I wouldn't make this a regular course until you've tried out the others to see what you like.
By far my favorite Minneapolis Parks Golf Course.
It has a great mix of scenery and terrain, my friend and I came across 3 deer and a bunch of wild turkey also, pretty cool sight considering you really are close to the city. There are great views from some of the first 5 holes and although you can see the skyline quite clearly it feels like you are on a course with a lot more space.
Course is great for any level golfer and has a nice mix of water, hills, mature trees and distance. Depending on the time you come it can be a slow round, I would suggest during the week before 3pm if you can manage. Buy a Value Round on Teemaster.com or a Patron Card and you can make it even more affordable.
For X-Skiing, this place can get packed, but if you find some room later in the day, it is awesome. I learned how to ski here for the first time this past winter and I am hooked! I do like that they have a ski lodge to warm your toes and get hot drinks and treats. After a few hours of skiing, you totally need it.
What I didn't like was the fact that you do have to check in advance to make sure that there aren't any races going on. We made the mistake of trying to go another time and there was an under 16 X-skiing race. Who knew?? Later in the day and on an off-day worked fine once we figured out the system. They do have "practice" areas to learn or just hone your skills and every so often you can take a class and learn with the pros.
My goal is to come here in summer and run around, but that seems like a ways off given our current Minnesota forecast.