From April 30 to May 2, Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence, Minn. will be the latest venue in the state to welcome some of the best golfers in the country when it hosts the 2010 Big Ten Golf Championships.
The Gophers will welcome the conference to the annual golf tournament, which is back on Minnesota soil for the first time since 1999. Designed by former Gopher All-American and PGA Tour Player of the Year Tom Lehman, Windsong was recently ranked by Golf Week as one of the top 100 modern courses in the country and promises to provide a challenging venue for the competition.
"Windsong Farm is a championship golf course. It's going to test every aspect of your game. It's a long course and can be very challenging in the wind," said Minnesota Associate Head Coach Andrew Tank. "Players will find the playing surfaces to be in excellent condition, and given the right weather conditions the course should play firm and fast."
Also joining Windsong in Golf Week's Top Course Ranking were five other courses from the land of 10,000 Lakes. Making the listing of elite courses are Interlachen Country Club (51), White Bear Yacht Club (60), MiniKahda Club (70), Hazeltine National (74) and Northland Country Club in Duluth (87).
Serving as one of the Gophers' home courses throughout the season, Windsong is a course that the team is very familiar with and understands well. With that in mind, Minnesota hopes to capture the Big Ten title for the first time since their National Championship season in 2002.
"Playing at Windsong definitely gives us a "home course advantage". It is a golf course that we play frequently and therefore we're very familiar with the layout and have seen how the course can play under many different weather conditions" said Tank, who is in his eighth season on staff at the U and is a former Gopher team captain.
The Gophers also understand how great of an opportunity playing at home presents, and realize it's a chance that doesn't come around often.
"Regular season events in college golf are invitational's, so we only host one tournament per year, which is The Gopher Invitational in September," said Tank. "Therefore it is a great opportunity to showcase our program and college golf to the community. The Big Ten Golf Championship only comes to Minnesota once every 11 years so it's certainly a special layout." added Tank.