To help pay for the project, St. Paul is taking much the same course Houston did with Memorial Park, selling on-course sponsorships to individual holes and the course’s 10 lakes, along with naming rights to the course clubhouse.

“We’re doing our part to upgrade the image of municipal golf,” says Vince Gillespie, special services manager for St. Paul Parks and Recreation.

And while the local municipal may never replace Augusta National on any Best Courses list, those involved say they’re giving residents a true city service they can enjoy and appreciate for years to come.

“When done right, it shows just what city government can accomplish,” says Buehler.

five top municipal golf courses
fossil trace golf club
golden, colorado
(303) 277-8750
greens fees: $28-$50

memorial park
houston, texas
(713) 862-4033
greens fees: $22-$32

renaissance park golf course
charlotte, north carolina
(704) 357-3373
greens fees: $32-$43

tenison highlands golf course
dallas, texas
(214) 670-1402
greens fees: $17-$42

torrey pines golf course
san diego, california
(800) 985-4653
greens fees: $29-$125