Black Bear Golf Course - Carlton, Minnesota
Black Bear Course Review
- First Look
While strickly not on the Lake Superior Circle route, Black Bear is worth the slight detour to play. Located 22 miles south of Duluth's Canal Park, along I-35 near Carlton, Minnesota, the 25 minute ride is an easy drive. The course is part of the Black Bear Casino Resort and they do offer attractive "stay and play" packages. So it is close enough to Duluth to use the resort's hotel as lodging while visiting and sampling Duluth's entertainment and recreation amenities. The golf course's regular season rate is $59 - including cart. Considering the quality of the course (and the fact that you get an electric cart with a terrific on-board gps) I consider the $59 price a good bargain. And then on top of that they do offer senior, military, and junior golfing discounts, which I took advantage of.
BTW If you are camper or RV traveler who golfs we recommend the Buffalo Valley Campground in West Duluth just off I-35. It is only 10 miles from the course (and 11 miles from Duluth's Canal Park district). So you can enjoy the amenities of Duluth-Superior including the Nemadji, Enger Park, and Lester Park golf courses.
Our first look - Golf Course Review
The club house is impressive. An ample, well stocked pro shop with PGA level instruction services available. It is complemented by a decent restaurant-snack bar and full-service "adult beverage" bar plus a spacious outdoor deck that overlooks the course. What I liked most about the golfing amenties were the new or just-like-new electric golf carts complete with an awning for your clubs in the event of rain, on-board beverage coolers, and the top quality Visage Touch Screen GPW system.
The course itself is very scenic. Water boarders wooded, tree-lined fairways on 14 of the 18 holes. Sprinkled throughout the course are attractive flower and flowering shrub gardens and pagodas.While not in the hills like the Duluth municipal courses (Enger Park and Lester Park), there is a decent elevation change throughout the course, adding to both challenge and attractiveness. The greens are average size, not overly large nor teeny-weeny. I also found they read true, no gimmicks. Also no gimmicks on the greenside bunkers. They add challenge but there is always a safer route to the pin. The fairways are carpet-like. Some are narrow with woods or water penalizing a shot that isn't fairly straight. Unless you can drive it 250 yards or more, the 8th hole is the most challenging off the tee. A small doomed landing area between two ponds. I lucked out with one of my best drives of the day on this hole, after having kissed my ball goodbye figuring it would find its way into the drink. A few other holes give you a break on that hook or slice but woods and water are "threats" on many holes. Overall an interesting variety of holes, with different looks and challenges on each one.
Higher handicap golfers will lose a few balls in the woods and water but I think you'll enjoy the experience of golfing on a well-maintained and scenic course, riding the comfortable golf carts, using a 5 star GPS system, and enjoying the day at a decent price. Low handicap golfers will appreciate the same features plus the challenge and the pace of play that the nicely planned layout of the course, the well appointed and signed cart paths, and the cart GPS system enables.
Golf Course Review Rating Card
Black Bear Golf Course & Resort, Carlton, MN
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Lake Superior Golf Course Reviews
Profiles of Minnesota Lake Superior Courses
|Duluth, Minnesota - Enger Park Golf Course|
|Duluth, Minnesota - Lester Park Golf Course|
|Carlton, Minnesota - Black Bear Resort Golf Course|
|Two Harbors, Minnesota - Lakeview National Golf Course|
|Silver Bay, Minnesota - Silver Bay Golf Course|
|Grand Marais, Minnesota - Gunflindt Hills Golf Course|
|Lutsen, Minnesota - Superior National Golf Course|
|Directory of All Minnesota North Shore Golf Courses|