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  • Writer's pictureRichard Mandell

The New Braemar Golf Course

Updated: May 15, 2019

The brand new City of Edina, Minnesota-owned Braemar Golf Course is an eighteen-hole layout that sits on the site of a former twenty-seven hole golf course by the same name. Slated for a Spring 2019 opening, Braemar Golf Course is an example of how natural topography determines the strategy of each golf hole, an approach that provides a variety of options for all golfer types.

This project has moved far from the "narrow is good!" mindset that dominated golf course architecture for much of the past three decades, providing ample fairways of forty to fifty yards wide that require the golfer to find the best route, few of which require forced carries. Many holes possess double fairways with central hazards that are playable by all golfers. The set of par-fives stand out in demonstrating how to maximize the natural topography of a property primarily for strategic challenge.

We laid out tee boxes utilizing our Tee Shot Distance Equity system. In a nutshell, our tee box positioning allows all golfer types to play the same club to each target, rather than playing from the same distance with a different club.

More than anything, our work at Braemar demonstrates how one can carefully place a golf course on an environmentally-sensitive site while expanding the site's environmental footprint in the process. The project was approved by the local authorities and US Army Corps of Engineers in near-record time. Swift approvals were achieved because we fit the golf course around the constraints of the site rather than changing the site to match the golf course, disregarding the site's existing characteristics.

On top of the strategic, fun golf course that was created, Edina residents will benefit from the following environmental and recreational amenities at the property:

  • Reduction in overall golf course footprint of 22.40 acres. Original 27 holes encompassed 195.20 acres. The new 18-hole golf course will encompass 172.80 acres.

  • 9.54 acres are set aside for a Multi-Use Area in the northeast corner of the site.

  • 4.37 acres of created/restored wetlands on the property which will be part of a 7.50-acre area set aside for Environmental Education.

  • 0.59 acres of enhanced wetlands.

  • Creation of 32.11 acres of wetland buffer, a 60% increase over the regulated minimum.

  • 33.85 acres of Oak Savanna Restoration Area will be re-introduced to include Bur Oak, Red Oak, and Northern Pin Oak. Total tree canopy of the Savanna will be 11.25 acres. In 1947, 60.65 acres of the 445-acre total site (13.6%) was wooded. Upon completion of the project, 155.73 acres of the 445-acre total site (35%) will be wooded.

  • 1.02 miles of walking trails surrounding the golf course.

  • 5.10 miles of cross-country ski trails surrounding the golf course.

  • A multi-use artificial-turf field will be built adjacent to the clubhouse for non-golf events such as bocce ball or weddings.

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