The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux offers top-10 ranked golf course at Mystic Lake

Vincent Schilling, Today correspondent
5/22/09

PRIOR LAKE, Minn. – The Meadows at Mystic Lake, an 18-hole championship golf course owned by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is now known as one of the Midwest’s most spectacular golf destinations. Located just outside the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, The Meadows are a short drive from downtown Minneapolis or the Mall of America.

The Meadows, with its impressive layout in the hills of Minnesota, is a golf course renowned by enthusiasts. With its long list of amenities including bent grass fairways, tees and greens, 13 holes with water, 80 bunkers, 20 fountains, streams, waterfalls and lifelike statues, it’s no wonder that in 2007, Golf Digest Magazine ranked the course one of the top 10 new golf courses in the country.

The SMSC feels it is the perfect course for golf enthusiasts of all skill levels; with five sets of tee boxes to challenge golfers, no matter their amount of expertise.

Additionally, should anyone need a little guidance or advice on how to approach a particular hole, Mystic Lake golf carts are equipped with advanced GPS units that provide information such as the exact distance to each pin, hazards a golfer may experience on the course and tips on how to play each hole.

“With its blend of this leading-edge technology and Minnesota’s natural beauty, The Meadows at Mystic Lake offers a golfing experience not met by many other Minnesota golf courses,” reads the Mystic Lake Web site.

Though the course is beautiful, it has not always been this elaborate.

The Meadows at Mystic Lake started as a simple nine-hole course in 1974 under the name Country Hills. In 1980, Don and Betty McKush purchased Country Hills and operated it for five years. The McKush later renamed the course Lone Pines and expanded it to 18 holes.

In 2002, SMSC purchased it. In 2003, they shut down Lone Pines for major renovations and redesign. Master architects Garrett Gill and Paul Miller, known for their passion for golf, skills in golf architecture and expertise gained from building more than 200 golf courses in 33 states, began work to create a golf course masterpiece.

In late summer 2005, the Meadows at Mystic Lake opened to take its place as one of Minnesota’s most formidable and impressive championship golf courses. “This is more than a round of golf, it’s an experience,” Gill said. “With waterfalls, native plantings and statuary, it’s unlike any other golf course.”

“The Meadows at Mystic Lake is the most exciting golf course project that I have been involved in,” Miller said. “We had an opportunity to enhance the natural features of the landscape to create a dramatic golf experience that is second to none in the state of Minnesota.”

On April 10, Meadows at Mystic Lake opened its season and announced that the 7th hole had been redesigned. The press release states, “This hole is already one of the more dramatic holes on this highly regarded golf course. Nicknamed ‘Eagle,’ Number 7 plays as a downhill par-3 at anywhere from 115 yards to 213 yards. The redesign brings additional challenge and drama to the golf hole by adding a dramatic waterfall as a backdrop to its left side.”

The announcement also mentioned a new cascading stream, which spills into a pond in front of the green.

With all the success garnered by the golf course and casino, the tribe prides themselves in giving back to their community as well as other American Indian communities.

SMSC utilizes its financial resources from gaming and non-gaming enterprises to pay for the internal infrastructure of the tribe, including roads, water and sewer systems, emergency services and essential services to its tribal members in education, health and welfare.

The community also has a charitable program, which has donated more than $156 million to organizations and Indian tribes, including more than $14 million already in fiscal year 2009.

For more information on the Shakopee and the golf course call (952) 233-5533.

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