In ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes,’ PGA Tour site offers plenty of risk/reward amid Minnesota's signature wet stuff
The second playing of the PGA Tour’s 3M Open is being contested this week at TPC Twin Cities. Like most TPC courses, it was designed by a prominent architect with a player consultant: the late Arnold Palmer and Tom Lehman, of nearby Austin, Minn., respectively. Not a bad pedigree.
For a course in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” TPC Twin Cities features water that comes into play on nearly every hole.
TPC Twin Cities originally was designed in 1997 by Arnold Palmer Design Co. and hosted the Champions Tour’s 3M Championship in 1991-2018. It underwent a renovation ahead of the Tour’s debut in 2019. Those changes included added length, adjusting fairway lines, some repositioned tees and bunkers and more space for the usual cavalcade of hospitality tents and spectators.
Holes to watch:
No. 6, par 5, 594 yards: Though it’s strange to call a nearly 600-yard hole risk/reward, there are plenty of pros who can reach this par 5 in two shots. To do so still requires challenging a waste area and then water for a chance at eagle or a kick-in birdie. Watch out for when the pin is back right, as that’s the toughest spot to access based on the angle and prevailing wind direction.
No. 7, par 4, 381 yards: This hole is longer than it used to be, and the fairway is surrounded by trouble on all sides: water, sand and OB (if a player pumps one far right). The challenging tee shot didn’t seem to faze last year’s champion, Matthew Wolff, as he birdied the hole during his first three rounds and settled for a par on Sunday.
No. 14, par 4, 437 yards: One of the many doglegs around lakes at TPC Twin Cities isn’t overly long but requires a controlled approach shot as the wind is normally pushing the ball in the direction of the water. A back right pin could be considered the toughest to access with the prevailing wind.
No. 18, par 5, 596 yards: If you watched last year’s event, you’ll know that this is where the fireworks happened. On his 72nd hole, Wolff poured in a 26-foot eagle putt from just off the green to leapfrog Bryson DeChambeau and win his first PGA Tour title in only his third start as a professional. The hole requires the player to decide how much of the lake he wants to cut off to a fairway that is guarded by bunkers on both sides. Any player attempting to hit the green in two will need to carry the same lake for an eagle chance.
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