Mississippi National Golf Links is a 36-hole public golf course, owned by the City of Red Wing and managed by the Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation, a volunteer non-profit group of interested citizens and golfers. The vision of building a publicly owned golf course nestled in the beautiful bluff country of the Mississippi River valley just east of historic Red Wing was the work of numerous forward-thinking citizens in the early 1980’s. On November 6, 1984 a general election approved the use of public funding, and MNGL opened in 1986 as an 18-hole course.
The City leased the course to Wendell Pittenger, a private golf course owner and developer. MNGL gained in popularity very quickly, with golfers far and wide recognizing the excellent layout and special location. A third nine holes was added in 1990, and a 4th nine in 1999; thus creating two full 18-hole golf courses. The “Highlands” offers unparalleled views of the surrounding valley, and has become the favorite of visiting golfers. The “Lowlands” provides a true championship caliber layout, and has hosted numerous amateur and professional tournaments.
The golfing boom of the 1990’s gave way to more difficult economic times in the ensuing decade, and Mississippi National was closed during the 2013 season. For a time it looked as if the dream of a public golf course might die. However, a small group of passionate individuals had other ideas. Thus, the Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation was formed, and funds were raised with numerous private donations. In late 2013 the City Council became convinced of the value of this gem, and approved a 5-year agreement with the RWMGC to manage MNGL with city support and oversight. A public – private partnership was thus formed; unique in the State of Minnesota.
Mississippi National re-opened in 2014, and with the efforts of dozens of people and thousands of man-hours of volunteer work, is entering its 5th season under RWMGC. It is envisioned as a true public space, and hosts winter cross-country skiing and bicycling, the Goodhue Country Horticultural Society, and the Friends of the Bluff Run in the fall, as well as the Gravel Ride bicycle race in the spring. Weddings, anniversaries, reunions, and business events are all welcomed. The current Minnesota State High School individual champions, both boys and girls, call MNGL their home! We are in negotiations with the city for the next 5-year agreement. Our hope is to ensure that the generations to come will always be able to enjoy this course and its beautiful grounds.