Prairie Ridge Golf Course is located less than 30 minutes east of Mankato in Janesville, Minnesota. The aptly named, public nine hole facility is a “prairie” style course has a “ridge” running right through the middle of the property. The course distinguishes itself by being the only reversible track in Southern Minnesota.
Prairie Ridge’s most unique characteristic is the fact that it plays differently every week. Even though there are only nine holes that golfers can play at any one time, the grounds crew “flips” the course on weekends to make it play completely differently the following week!
Prairie Ridge has sufficient practice facilities. Consisting of a full length driving range and a well sloped putting green, the property has everything you need to prepare for a solid round.
The “South” Course
The longer of the two orientations, the South setup plays to a length of 3,370 yards. Shallow bunkers come into play on five holes. Five holes have water lurking as well. Trees and other native areas are certainly a cause for concern from the tee. There are a few “blind” tee shots to be aware of, so be sure to take the time find a good aiming point.
Golfers will play several shots in which a drastic elevation change will occur. This is a differentiating characteristic from the public courses in Mankato, as most landing areas in the city have similar elevations to the player’s feet. If you’re a golfer who enjoys accounting for elevation changes in your round, this course is Heaven for you!
The greens hold approach shots well and roll true on putts. The areas around the green seem to give forgiving bounces back toward the putting surface, which is always a plus!
Prairie Ridge has 100, 150 and 200 yard markers embedded in the fairways for each layout, as well as stakes along the right side of the fairways for the same numbers. Be sure you know what direction the embedded markers are headed!
The staff at Prairie Ridge is very polite. The clubhouse has a little “wilderness lodge” feel and the pro shop is well stocked. Carts are available on the course, though there isn’t a constant path, due to the reversible design.
Prairie Ridge is a completely different golfing adventure than the public courses in Mankato. Thanks to the elevation changes and reversible setup, it is definitely worthy of multiple trips to Janesville for a full experience.
(Note: “Star Ratings” for this, previous, and future reviews are based on the type of course. Thus, a local nine hole or Par 3 course could theoretically have the same “Star Rating” as, say Hazeltine National, but they are clearly different types of courses. Therefore, “Star Ratings” will be based on the scope of the course.)