The River Course is the front 9 of the Premier 18 at Superior National at Lutsen. The course is challenging but fair with multiple tee boxes for every skill level. As the Poplar River cuts through, it comes into play on a few of the holes, making for a challenging, natural obstacle. This course is also marked by elevation changes – uphill on holes 2–5, downhill on 6-8, and back uphill on 9. I hope you’ll find the following tips helpful as you navigate your way around this beautiful course!
River Hole #2:
This beautiful par 3 is fairly short but the challenge lies in having to get over the Poplar River from your tee shot. The river puts on a nice show in this spot as it makes the final descent toward Lake Superior.
River Hole #4:
Don’t be fooled by the length of this hole. The rise from the tee to the green is more uphill than you think. It is very easy to hit through the fairway and be in trouble on the right. Take at least one if not two clubs going into the green from the fairway. The green also has a ledge on the middle right side past the right bunker. Make sure to be on the correct side of the pin.
River Hole #5:
#5 is a par 5 surrounded by boreal forest with views of the Sawtooth Mountain Range and the ski runs at Lutsen Mountains. The hole features 5 sets of tees, playable rough, wide fairway, large green, and Ohio’s Best white sand.
River Hole #6:
The sixth hole features one of the prettiest views from the tee box on Superior National. But, don’t be fooled by the pretty view – this tee shot and golf hole are tough! It’s close to a 100-foot drop from the tee to the fairway so the ball carries a long way – sometimes into the woods lining both sides. Those bunkers actually help catch any wayward shots to the right from going into the woods. You will then have a descending approach shot into a green protected by swales short and left. A par on this hole is a very good score! Which is why this is the #1 handicap hole at Superior National. It’s a beauty and a beast.
River Hole #7:
This drivable par four comes with a guarded green. Bunkers hold shots to the right and getting out of them can be a little scary with the pond in your view. That pond to the left collects shots from the tee that have a little too much right-to-left direction. You may think it’s an easy birdie. Come play and find out!
River Hole #8:
On the tee, you have to factor in the drop to the green – which is about 70 feet and a club less – and the wind direction. When the wind is coming from Lake Superior, that can sometimes cancel the drop. If it’s behind you and helping, you might need to add another club. Beware of the water and cattails to the right of the green. It’s better to be left and safe.
River Hole #9:
This hole can produce a good, low score… or a big one. You can blast a tee shot and have a small club into the green, setting yourself up for a birdie. BUT, this large green has two tiers. From the lower half it rises at least four feet to the back half. If you hit the wrong half, a two putt is hard to come by. I’ve seen golfers four putt this green!