Highway 8 Revisited – Forest Lake, MN

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Played on October 8, 2011, Re-played September 20, 2014

Reviewed by the Pink Putter

We played Highway 8 back in 2011 and put up our review in early 2013. At that time, the course was completely run down and overgrown, but we could still see the charm that it once had. In July of 2013 we got an e-mail from Roxanne Simons, the current owner of Highway 8, explaining to us how the course had fallen into disrepair as her sister Joanne, the previous owner, had breast cancer and sadly passed in 2011. She informed us that she moved back from Seattle to take over the course and had recently put a lot of work into refurbishing it. We were touched that Roxanne reached out to us and invited us to come back and play. It wasn’t until September 2014 when we made our way back to Highway 8, but we we’ve been set on giving it a re-review for quite some time.

Rating:

Par – Highway 8 was built in 1989 by the Schroeder family and was taken over by daughter Joanne in 1993. Since our visit in 2011, the course underwent significant changes. I’ll let the before and after photos do most of the talking, but it’s clear that Roxanne and her brothers put a lot of TLC into remaking the course and giving it a country theme. With new boards, obstacles, moving parts and landscaping, you almost wouldn’t recognize it as the same place (with the exception of a few of the holes which they saved). While the cost has gone up from $2 a game to $4 a game, this is still a modest price for a full 18 holes. The play is varied and fun, with lots of kitsch and many classic tropes. And while this course doesn’t have quite the grandeur of some of our Hole-in-One favorites like Par King and Vitense, it certainly has lots of local character and charm with room to become even better. Highway 8 is a strong Par and I highly recommend that if you are in the area, you stop for a round.

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Pachinko hole, before and after.
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Cactus hole, before and after.
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Windmill, before and after.
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Church hole and surrounding area, before and after.
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Cow butts!
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Tractor, silo and barn obstacles to complete the country theme.
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Two ways.
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This classic loop matched my outfit!
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Classic volcano.
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Jumping pigs!
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We loved this hen house with rotating hens as moving obstacles.
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Where’d she go?
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A great combination of skill and chance.

Highway 8’s Facebook Page

Pros

Sincere, Mom and Pop course
Good bargain
Fun, classic kitsch with regional themes

Cons

Still a work in progress
Some components seemed to lack durability

Nerdy Notes:

  • 18 holes, Par 47
  • $4 for adults. They do take credit cards.
  • Metal putters
  • Tin cups
  • Tee-off mats
  • No flags in holes
  • Driving Range and Pro Shop on premise

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