The updated Braemar Golf Course Driving Range and Chipping Area has been open for now 3 years and as someone who worked at the old operation for 20 years I have to say it is impressive. I have played just about every course of worth in MN and have been to few if any that match the Braemar Practice Experience.
Here is my overall assessment of this operation.
Range Grass: This is probably the most important feature for me as over the years I have hit off perfection to dirt and sand. With the redesign they did it right. Over 100 yards of grass will insure you will be hitting off grass where as the old set up was dirt city. I give their turf an A. Only complaint might be to cut it shorter but with the heat I get it as I have not cut my grass in over 3 weeks.
Targets: They have several pins and targets on the range but I don’t get the lack of visuals on the redesign. I can’t see my 7 iron land and I hit it around 160. I have heard others criticize the sight lines and with all the money they spent to redo the range you think they would have factored this in. Should have made the tee area a little higher like you see at other premium ranges so you can see where your ball lands.
Spacing: Some ranges are too short or narrow. Braemar is not! Tons of room and with the volume they do they made it plenty large enough. Love how many stalls they offer and there is room between the stations. Sometimes I feel like my backswing might interfere with the person next to me.
Overall Range Experience: B+
Again if the targets had better visibility this would be the best range in the state of MN.
Practice Putting Green
The grass is really nice and has really grown in since spring. A major flaw is no holes and just targets to putt to which I have seen before the pandemic. Never like that as it is not realistic practice. It is a very large practice putting green and better than the average course.
With the exception of Edinburgh I have not seen a better chipping area. You can hit every type of shot and then some. They have two bunkers in good locations and while the sand was a bit thin I am used to that at Willengers so it made for a good practice session. Wonderful experience and the grass has really grown in and you can play a variety of chip shots out of the rough. This is by far the best feature at Braemar’s practice area.