GolfPass - The Approach | GolfPass Grass Guru - TPC Twin Cities
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The 7th hole at TPC Twin Cities, designed by Arnold Palmer.

TPC Twin Cities + Bonus – GolfPass Grass Guru

3M Championship • Hole 7 • Par 4 • 382 yds

We are officially in the weird part of the PGA schedule. Courses will get chewed up and spit out while the European Tour is slinging huge haymakers at the PGA tour schedule. Feed me three straight weeks of links golf starting with the Irish Open this week. And for all my bunker-philes out there, this week is bananas. I hope your S.O. is out of town and it’s just you and 90+ hours of pure bunker madness. We have it all. Minnesota is showcasing large, meandering bunkers with beautifully crisp sand. In Ireland, we get revetted bunkers and pot bunkers so deep, stairs are required to get out. Thanks to all those delivery app founders out there, these are the moments we need them.

First, the PGA Tour. This week’s course is TPC Twin Cities, which is not a slouch in the slightest. I haven’t met a TPC course that I haven’t liked. There’s a reason they are TPC courses after all. TPC Twin Cities exhibits Minnesota properly with 14 of the holes having water on them. How can you even have a course in Minnesota without water hazards? That’s like going to Cheesecake Factory and ordering the chocolate mousse. You just don’t do it.

Hole 7’s gargantuan bunker green side right, is everything I look for in a newish course design.

Arnold Palmer plopped a beaut of a bunker here. Bunker fingers, a native grass island, it’s got it all. It’s a fully loaded car. With slimming fields as players gear up for The Open, I want to see a BOTW that can go up against any course.

TPC Twin Cities is a fantastic course. It truly shows off Arnold Palmer’s want for a fun, yet challenging course, that, simply put, just looks good. They don’t call him The King for nothing. Arnie saw a course or two and even though this isn’t his most famous, you will not be disappointed.

Lahinch Golf Club (Old Course)

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open • Hole 6 • Par 4 • 424 yds

The 6th hole at Lahinch (Old Course)
Photo: lahinchgolf.com

Irish Open- so you better believe I have an emerald of a bunker for you guys this week. Hole 6 at Lahinch’s Old Course  is aptly named Paradise. The run out bunker is anything but paradise. Random native fescue clumps, rocks, and jagged edges surround this low pot bunker. And did I mention it’s 20 feet below the fairway surface? This bunker/ hazard complex is as close to a black hole as we can possibly get on Earth. The bunker itself is not too big around, but has a moderate lip adding to the difficulty of achieving an out. The saving grace of this bunker is you’re 100 yards from the green so there’s no need to sail a ball past with the right club selection. But who really wants to be in there to begin with?

I personally enjoy the architecture of a links style course over a modern day course. I prefer links style golf but whether you’re watching the PGA or European Tour, you will not be disappointed.

Thankfully, we have the holiday weekend to indulge our bunker obsession in the peacefulness of home, not our cubicle computer. What more can you ask for? I know. Maybe a more patriotic name for the PGA Tour Event, 3M Championship. Really PGA? Let’s get a little American with it. Might I suggest the 3M Bald Eagle Challenge? The 3M Stuff Your Face Championship? Or even the *Firework Sound* sponsored by 3M, and that’s just off the top of the dome. Next year, PGA, if you keep this same schedule, please bring the heat.

Cover Photo: TPC Twin Cities

Eric MacPherson knows a lot about golf, but even more about grass (hello Huggy Bear). Having worked in golf for what seems like forever, and going on to graduate school in turfgrass, he’s able to walk mow a green, and change the shaft in your favorite driver. He’s worked on some of the east coast’s primer golf clubs doing everything from washing carts to building brand new putting greens. He’s also volunteered at several high profile Tour events including a major and the President’s Cup. The only thing he likes more than pushing a walk mower on a crisp morning, would be teeing it off. Shoot Eric a message at eric@golfpass.co or check out his other blogs here.

Eric MacPherson
eric@golfpass.co