WELCOME TO GOLF LEMONADE!
We believe that finding a great public golf course should be fast, fun, and easy.
Our map covers all locations equally and Golf Lemonade (GL) does not accept compensation from any venue other than discounted rounds for review purposes.
Our national map is on the path to highlighting every golf course in the United States that would score an estimated 9.0 or higher under our 20 point review process.
Our Twin Cities map attempts to cover every local public course regardless of cost or prestige.
We hope this can be a valuable tool in your golfing journey!
ACTUAL VS ESTIMATED SCORES
Official reviews with actual calculated scores:
The first thing we did was establish a comprehensive 20 point professional review process. We do not award one star for a stale cupcake experience or five stars because our buddy owns the course. We strive to be the most unbiased and accurate rating source around so that you know how much course you are getting for your hard earned money!
Next, we linked this rating with the most commonly needed data and put it on a map. Easy. Fast. Done.
Last, we put in a link to the review details and a link to the golf course so you can click and go.
We use extensive online and personal research to best estimate how nice a given course is. This is an estimate and only intended to help save time and narrow down your choices. We are not compensated in any way by the courses listed. Hope this helps you find your next great destination!
WHO ARE WE?
We are a couple brothers that love to golf and have backgrounds in accounting, engineering, and number crunching. We love to solve problems, do research, and establish better processes which makes for thrilling party conversations :)
We are Daryl Kariniemi (Founder) and Troy Kariniemi (Co-Founder)
WHY DO WE NEED ANOTHER GOLF WEBSITE?
Because it is a pain to rapidly find information about multiple golf courses in the Twin Cities. We are all busy and want our info faster. We also want to see reviews that are actually helpful. Many of them are, but too often a few poorly done reviews throw off the total rating. We feel you should not have to read all 96 posts in the comment section to make a true determination on best place to make a tee time. We think once you use our site, you will see how easy it can be to do your search.
WHICH GOLF COURSES ARE COVERED BY GOLF LEMONADE?
We cover every single public course in the Twin Cities loop and some close to it including western WI. Did you know that Google charges a premium to be listed at the high level map view? We show you all courses equally regardless of size or status.
DO WE SELL TEE TIMES?
No. There are plenty of tee time resellers out there and we prefer to give you a link to the official golf course site for that.
DO GOLF COURSES PAY GOLF LEMONADE FOR THE REVIEWS?
No. Our reviewing rounds are generally discounted or compensated but that is it. We do not receive any other compensation from golf courses.
--- MAP AND SCORING DETAIL ---
Golf Lemonade Score - Score calculated by our review team out of 10. See section below titled "How to Read the Scores" for more info.
Public / Private - At this time we only review public courses. Any course that can be easily played on by the general public is classed as public for GL purposes.
9 or 18 Hole - Most courses are 9 or 18 holes but the exact number of holes will be listed. 18 + 9 implies an 18 hole regular course plus a short 9 hole for example.
Par - This is to help you determine what kind of course it is. For example, a par 30 nine hole course would imply something shorter than regulation, maybe mostly par 3's with a few par 4's or 5's.
Peak Rate - Top walking rate charged during premium times such as Sat and Sun morning. If cart is included, rate will have an asterisk by it.
Off Peak Rate - Also called Twilight. Most courses have multiple off peak and discounted rates. We publish the most common off peak rate that starts at 4:00pm or earlier.
HOW TO READ THE SCORES.
All scores are out of 10. We average the three sub scores to create one final score. The sub scores are generated from our 20 point review. Our main goal is to show you the level of quality you should see at each golf course. We understand that not everybody will agree with our exact scores and that is OK. We assign an exact number but really, our intent is to show you the approx. level of quality. You should be confident that a 9.0 course will give you a higher-end playing experience than a 7.5 for example. Courses within a tenth or two are not significantly different. Because of all the averaging, it takes several small differences or one large one to change overall score. This helps minimize scores being way off due to one element "scored incorrectly." As a note, we will often comment on "non-course" features such as the clubhouse, staff ability, or quality of food but we do not included items like this in our rating score. The score is only for quality of the golf course.
FULL REVIEW EXPLANATION (for those who like detail)
Total Score = Avg of three sub scores
Sub Score 1 = Course Visual Appeal = Avg of items below ea rated 1-10
Dramatic elevation change: How much elevation change does the course have? Generally more elevation change is more visually appealing.
Interesting trees, water, and other features: How much of these are featured on the course? If no trees or water are present, hopefully other features make up for it. Similar to sand and prairie.
Interesting sand, prairie, and mounding features: How much of these are featured on the course?
Minimal intrusion from housing, roads, and similar features: More housing, roads, etc. generally equals less visual appeal.
Level of finishing touches/polish throughout the course: Interesting course features should be matched with some attention to maintenance. Is it closer to a country club level of "polish" or closer to a overgrown pasture?
Sub Score 2 = Course Condition = Avg of items below ea rated 1-10
Greens: Are they smooth, roll true, and have low level of imperfections?
Fairways: Are they free of abrupt sharp mounding (mild mounding is interesting, potholes are not) and generally in good shape?
Sandtraps, Hazards, Misc: Are they kept in good condition?
Tee Boxes: Are they large, flat, and generally in good condition?
Additional note about conditions: We attempt to publish what normal course conditions will be like through a variety of methods including prior year conditions, current conditions, and other factors that indicate condition. We do not publish conditions at the time of review b/c these can change dramatically over time. Ex. 1: Winter kill can destroy one course and leave the next one almost untouched. One month later, the kill may be completely gone while another course may suffer all summer. Ex. 2: Heavy rains can make some courses unplayable and others are barely impacted. A few hours later the course may be fine. Ex. 3: An afternoon tournament can make greens very rough if people did not fix their marks. Ex. 4: Some courses aerate and temporarily create very rough greens while others do it differently and have milder affect.
Their are many more examples but if you are concerned about conditions, simply call the course and ask for an update; particularly early season winter kill, heavy rains, and late season aeration.
Sub Score 3 = Course Play-ability = Avg of items below ea rated 1-10
Greens - Interesting and challenging undulations w appropriate speed: There will be lots of opinions here but generally a flat green is less fun then one with mounds. Fast greens should not have too much mounding and slow greens can have a little more.
Fairways and hazards - Interesting and good level of challenge.
Good variety of holes in terms of direction and length.
Risk / Reward throughout the course.
Forced and partial forced carries: Not too many and not too few
Blind and partial blind shots: Not too many and not too few.
Hole privacy, space between holes, moderate adjacent housing: How do these impact play?
Tee boxes: Ideally 5+ physical tees with total range of 4,000 - 7,000 yards. This is very hard to do in a meaningful way but the more range from short to long, the better.
We hope this helps you understand how we arrive at the final scores. We plan to show the sub-scores on the review pages but not the score details for now. These will possibly be shown in a future members or subscription section.
HAVE A COMMENT? WANT US TO REVIEW A COURSE? HAVE A BURNING QUESTION?
Awesome! Send us an email and we will respond as soon as we can.
Happy Golfing!! Hit em straight.