Course history

The golf course now called The Bridges opened in 1920 as a nine hole course named the Winona Country Club designed and built by its first golf professional, Ben Knight. Winona Country Club was one of the original clubs that formed the Minnesota Golf Association and hosted several Minnesota State Championships through the years; the most recent was the 2001 Men’s Amateur Championship.

In the mid 1960’s, several Winona Country Club Members contacted golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, who was in Minnesota designing the Hazeltine National Golf Club. Mr. Jones did an aerial trip over the property and sketched out a rough draft. Meetings were held on land acquisition. William and Lois Christensen donated the land needed for the additional holes. The Winona Country Club became an eighteen hole course. The current eighteenth hole was designed by Joel Goldstrand and put into play in 1994, this new hole allowed for the creation of a practice tee area.

Seven of the original holes still exist

  • Hole 1 – old number 1
  • Hole 9 – old number 2
  • Hole 10 – old number 3
  • Hole 11 – old number 4
  • Hole 12 – old number 5
  • Hole 16 – old number 7
  • Hole 17 – old number 8

The following renovations were completed on the course in 2007.

Hole 1 – Re-grading the tee, adding an intermediate tee and a forward tee, reshaping the bunkers, adding drainage and new sand, moving the fairway bunkers slightly, adding drainage to the fairway and rough.

Hole 2 – Re-grading one tee, adding a forward tee, reshaping the two bunkers into one with drainage and new sand.

Hole 3 – Repairing the intermediate tee and adding a forward tee, re-shaping, draining and adding new sand to existing bunkers, removing the bunker left of the green, adding drainage to the fairway and rough with multiple catch basins.

Hole 4 – Adding an intermediate tee, regarding the forward tee, removing the right side bunker, re-shaping the bunkers left of the green, removing the back left bunker and adding a mound short and right of the green for definition, adding drainage to the fairway and rough.

Hole 5 – Adding two intermediate tees, rebuilding and re-shaping the bunkers, adding drainage and new sand.

Hole 6 – Adding an intermediate tee, re-shaping, adding drainage and new sand to the bunkers.

Hole 7 – Adding an intermediate tee, re-shaping, adding drainage and new sand to the bunkers.

Hole 8 – Adding an intermediate tee.

Hole 9 – Adding a forward tee, re-shaping the intermediate tee, rebuilding and re-shaping the bunkers, adding drainage and new sand. Removing the bunkers left of green.

Hole 10 – Adding a back tee, re-shaping the current tees, re-shaping, adding drainage and new sand to the bunkers and removing the back left bunker.

Hole 11 – Adding an intermediate tee, re-shaping, adding drainage and new sand the bunker.

Hole 12 – Re-shaping one tee, adding a forward tee, removing the front right bunker and the back left bunker, re-shaping, adding drainage and new sand to the remaining two bunkers.

Hole 13 – Adding a forward tee, adding a fairway bunker complex with two small bunkers, building a new green making the hole from the regular tees approximately 300 yards long.

Hole 14 – Adding a new back tee and forward tee, re-shaping, adding drainage and new sand to the bunkers, adding drainage to the hole.

Hole 15 – Adding a new forward tee, re-shaping, adding drainage and new sand to the bunkers.

Hole 16 – Adding a new intermediate tee, re-shaping, adding drainage and new sand to the bunkers.

Hole 17 – Adding a new forward tee, re-shaping, adding drainage and new sand to the bunker, removing the short right bunker and adding drainage to the fairway and rough with multiple catch basins.

Hole 18 – Adding an two intermediate tees.

The results have allowed for the course to be much more playable for a wider variety of players. The four separate tees let players chose a length course that they can enjoy while also enjoying the beautiful surrounding bluffs.