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Regional golf courses provide a variety of challenges

There is certainly no shortage of courses to choose from for golf enthusiasts in the Willmar area. From a resort setting to the come-as-you-are backdrop, 22 golf courses in the West Central Tribune area offer a myriad of fairways, bunkers and scenic backgrounds.

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Benson golfer Sam Thompson eyes his upcoming putt during the Benson Invitational Golf Tournament at the Benson Golf Club on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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There is certainly no shortage of courses to choose from for golf enthusiasts in the Willmar area.

From a resort setting to the come-as-you-are backdrop, 22 golf courses in the West Central Tribune area offer a myriad of fairways, bunkers and scenic backgrounds.

The season is in full swing, and many courses await a call for tee time reservations.

Following is a listing of area golf courses, some of which are open to the general public and some of which require memberships.

The courses that require memberships may be used by those who live outside the membership area by paying green fees. Most courses are closed for league days at various times each week.

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“Slope rating” is a rating that dictates the difficulty of the course, based primarily on length, number of hazards and number of trees. A rating of 113 is the national average. Ratings lower than 113 are easier to play while those above 113 are more difficult. Ratings may range from the low 60s to 150. The slope rating allows the golfer to figure their handicap according to the course on which they are playing. The slope rating listed is for the men’s white and women’s red tees.

For more information on area golf courses, visit www.mngolf.org

Appleton Golf Course

North edge of town along Pomme de Terre River

The course plays along the river on several holes and has some rolling hills. It has three par 5s and three par 4s. The fairways are average in width and fairly open.

9 holes, par 36, 3,053 yards for men and 2,985 yards for women; slope rating of 118 for men and 119 for women. Cart rentals available. No reservations taken for tee times, 320-289-2513.

Benson Golf Club

West Highway 9 in Benson

A course with lots of trees, it has three holes on the west side of the Chippewa River; golfers must play across the river three times.

18 holes, par 72, 6,313 yards for men; 5,994 for women; slope rating of 125 for men and 124 for women. 320-842-7901.

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Dacotah Ridge Golf Club

13 miles south of Olivia on state Highway 71, ½ mile west on Renville County Road 2

The course, designed by Rees Jones, melds perfectly into the prairie.

18 holes, par 72, 6,217 yards, slope rating of 136 for men and 141 for women. Tee times 24 hours depending on availability, 507-644-7844.

Dawson Golf Course

On northwest edge of town

An older course with some nice trees, slightly rolling. All holes are par 4s except for one par 3.

9 holes, par 35, 2,837 yards; slope rating of 112 for men and 119 for women. Tee time reservations are unnecessary, 320-769-2212.

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Benson senior Alissa Maurer looks on after connecting with a shot on hole No. 8 at Eagle Creek Golf Club during Day 2 of the Section 5A championships Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at Willmar.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Eagle Creek Golf Club

North edge of Willmar, just west of Highway 71

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The front nine includes a full-size driving range. The back nine has steeper grades, mature trees and water hazards.

18 holes, par 72, 6,098 yards for men; par 73, 5,208 yards for women; slope rating of 130 for men and 127 for women. Reservations for tee times are available three days (public) in advance, 320-235-1166.

Granite Run Golf Course

Highway 67, south edge of Granite Falls

The course is hilly with some trees, and newly revamped greens and improved, elevated tee boxes. There are a couple of doglegs, two par 5 holes and three water hazards.

9 holes, par 36, 2,902 for men, 2509 for women; slope rating 128 for men and 126 for women. 320-564-4755.

Hawk Creek Country Club

Northeast edge of Raymond, along Highway 23

This gently rolling course has play crossing Hawk Creek on the fifth, sixth and eighth holes. There are mature trees and some small trees.

9 holes, par 36, 3,126 for men; 2,428 yards for women; slope rating of 123 for men and 120 for women. Reservations are taken for tee times up to 24 hours (public) in advance, 320-967-4295.

Island Pine

Southwest edge of Atwater

The rolling course has natural wetland areas and an island green on the par 3 18th hole. There are seven doglegs, four par 5s and four par 3s with large greens.

18 holes, par 72; 6,336 for men; 5,194 for women, slope rating of 130. Reservations are taken for tee times (320-974-8600) 14 days in advance.

Koronis Hills Golf Club

Highway 23, one mile west of Paynesville

A somewhat hilly course, with several holes carved out of the trees. It has narrow fairways and several difficult par 3 holes.

18 holes, par 71, 6,005 yards for men; 5,070 for women; slope rating of 124 for men and 116 for women. Tee times taken one week in advance, 320-243-4111.

Litchfield Golf Club

Pleasure Drive, on the southwest edge of town

Located near Lake Ripley, the course is challenging with trees and water hazards.

18 holes, par 70, 6,086 yards for men; 4,997 for women; slope rating of 126 for men and 121 for women. Reservations are taken for tee times, 320-693-6059.

Willmar Community Christian's Greg Reid tees off in Friday's New London-Spicer Invitational at Little Crow Country Club. Jake Schultz / Tribune
Willmar Community Christian's Greg Reid tees off in Friday's New London-Spicer Invitational at Little Crow Country Club.
Jake Schultz / West Central Tribune

Little Crow Country Club

Highway 23, midway between Spicer and New London

With seven ponds, 33 sand traps, creeks, intervening water hazards, and lots of trees, this course is challenging. The fairways are average in width.

27 holes, par 72, 6,217 yards for men and 5,393 yards for women on Willows/Pines; 6,400 and 5,442 on Pines/Oaks; 6,337 and 5,373 on Oaks/Willows; slope rating average of 132 for men and 127 for women. Reservations for tee times taken up to seven days in advance, 320-354-2296.

Madison Country Club

South on Highway 75, west on State 40

An old course with many mature trees and some hills. There is one par 3 and the rest are par 4s.

9 holes, par 35, 2,802 yards for men and 2,715 for women; slope rating of 125 for men and 122 for women. No reservations needed except for weekends, 320-598-7587.

Minnewaska Golf Club

West from Glenwood on Highway 28, turn north on Golf Course Road

The rolling, semi-hilly terrain overlooking Lake Minnewaska will challenge the average to the better-than-average golfer and the greens are all moderately bunkered.

18 holes, par 72, 6,212 yards for men; 5,136 yards for women; slope rating of 133 for men and 126 for women. Reservations can be made up to a week in advance and are advised, 320-634-3680.

Oakdale Country Club

Seven miles northeast of Buffalo Lake on Renville County 8

On the north shore of Lake Ellie, the course is somewhat hilly, with 90-foot wide fairways. Four holes have doglegs and No. 6 is played across an extension of the lake.

18 holes, par 72, 5,304 yards for men; 5,138 yards for women; slope rating of 117 for men and 121 for women. Tee times seven days in advance, 320-587-0525.

Olivia Golf Club

Southeast edge of town, three blocks south of courthouse

This course features tree-lined fairways and water hazards, including one par 3 which requires you to play over water.

9 holes, par 36, 3,171 yards for men; 2,609 yards for women; slope rating of 118 for men and 116 for women. 320-523-2313.

Pezhekee National Golf Course

South of Glenwood on state Highway 104, turn right on Pezhekee Road.

One of a few resort golf courses in Minnesota. The fairways cut through a maple, basswood and oak forest, lush greens, varied natural terrain, bridges, overlooking Lake Minnewaska. Several water hazards, evenly balanced with par 3s, par 4s and par 5s, some ravines and fairly deep woods.

18 holes, par 72, 7,263 yards for men; par 75, 6,295 yards for women; slope rating of 119. Reservations are taken for tee times. 320-634-4501.

Pomme de Terre Golf Course

Three miles south of Morris on state Highway 9

A rolling course with narrow fairways and sand situations affecting four holes. Each hole has two or three tree lines. Both the par 3s have water hazards.

18 holes, par 72, 5,995 yards for men; 4,889 yards for women; slope rating of 129 for men and 119 for women. Tee time reservations accepted, 320-392-1009.

Prairie View Golf Course

East edge of Brooten along Highway 55

The wide-open prairie course has three water hazards. A reversible nine-hole course, play one direction one day and other direction the next day.

9 holes, par 36, 3,078 yards for men; 2,627 yards for women; slope rating of 126 for men and 121 for women. Reservations five days in advance, 320-346-2677.

Redwood Falls Golf Club

101 E. Oak Street, Redwood Falls

One of the most scenic courses in the state features an island green on No. 3 and a 90-foot drop overlooking the Redwood River Valley on No. 17.

18 holes, par 70, 5,698 yards for men; 4,958 yards for women; slope rating of 120 for men and 113 for women. Call for tee times, 507-627-8901.

River Crest Golf Course

Highway 212, west of Montevideo

The course runs north-south on top of and below the bluff overlooking the Minnesota River valley. The river comes into play on five holes as a water hazard. Trees come into play on several holes.

18 holes, par 72, 6,190 yards for men; 5,735 yards for women; slope rating of 127 for men and 121 for women. Reservations are taken up to 7 days in advance, 320-231-1281.

Stoney Creek Golf Course

One mile south and two miles west of Renville

This nine-hole course has a very good layout, and is both challenging and scenic.

9 holes, par 36; 3,438 yards for men; 3,266 yards for women; slope rating of 144 for men and 141 for women. Call for tee times, 320-779-4653.

Valley Golf Course

East edge of Willmar, just off Lakeland Drive on Becker Avenue

This course has some hills and creeks to cross. A nine-hole course with a few stands of old trees.

9 holes, par 35, 2,479 yards for men, slope rating of 105; 2,212 yards for women. No reservations taken for tee times.

Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at dmiddleton@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4341.
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