Minnesota Golf Courses:Dacotah Ridge
Copyright 2006 Dana Buttenhoff Minnesota golf courses come in many varieties, from 9-hole mom and pop operations to 54-hole resort complexes. We have been discussing golf vacation destinations in Minnesota during this series of articles. Today we will highlight Dacotah Ridge in Morton, Minnesota. Dacotah Ridge is located approximately 110 miles southwest of the Twin Cities. From other regional centers it would be approximately 235 miles from La Crosse, Wisconsin, 310 miles from Des Moines, Iowa or 144 miles from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Dacotah Ridge is an enterprise of The Lower Sioux Indian Community.
Native American run casinos have been in operation in the United States for the better part of twenty years and over the past ten years some of these facilities have been adding golf to the variety of entertainment being offered to the patrons. Being astute business people, the leadership of The Lower Sioux Indian Community recognized an opportunity when it was presented. In July 2000 the Rees Jones designed course opened for play. A Grand Opening celebration followed in August 2000 with the likes of Notah Begay III, Michelle Redman, and Lanny Wadkins along with Rees Jones officially opening this course to the golfing public. Dacotah Ridge is situated on 240 acres of rolling prairie.
Wabasha Creek runs through eight of the holes on the course and five holes wrap around a 14-acre lake. If the water hazards are not enough of a challenge for you there are 42 bunkers scattered around the course. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security because the fairways are not lined with 70-foot elm or pine trees, Rees Jones used what nature provided on this course. The elevation changes as well as the use of Fescues, Blue Stem and Native Prairie grasses, some of which is knee high, in the rough along with the wind sweeping across the prairie bring trouble on poorly struck shots. For the golfer that plays down the middle there are plenty of rewards. The tee boxes, fairways and greens are seeded in bent grass. The primary rough is thick Bluegrass and Fescue. The secondary rough is where the really tall Native Prairie grasses lie. The greens are multi-tiered with sloping and undulation playing an important role in strategy. Make sure you are selecting the proper club to get the ball to the pin as well as to hold the green.
Dacotah Ridge offers four sets of tee markers. The Tournament tees play at 7,109 with a course rating of 75.1 and a slope index of 144. The Regular tees play at 6,217 yards with a course rating of 71.1 and a slope index of 131.There is plenty of variety and challenge for golfers of all abilities in your group. There is a nice virtual tour of the golf course with hole by hole descriptions on their website, which is www.dacotahridge.com There is a dress code at Dacotah Ridge and appropriate golf attire is required. Non-metal spikes are also required at Dacotah Ridge.
The green fees to play at Dacotah Ridge during the summer season are $64.00 and cart fee is $16. Walking is allowed at Dacotah Ridge. There is also play and stay package rates offered through the hotel at the casino that is 4 miles away from the golf course. There are also reduced rates to golf in the spring and fall season. There is a complete restaurant and bar facility along with a completely stocked Pro Shop for you to enjoy at Dacotah Ridge. The Lower Sioux Indian Community has done a great job of putting together a complete entertainment experience featuring the Jackpot Junction Casino with it’s gaming, live on-stage entertainment with many national acts, hotel accommodations as well as numerous restaurant choices. Add to this the golf at Dacotah Ridge or any of the neighboring communities of Redwood Falls, Renville, Springfield, Fairfax or Buffalo Lake all within 30 miles and the combination of activities for your Minnesota rural golf vacation are endless. Call Dacotah Ridge for tee times at 1-507-644-5050 or the reservation desk at 1-800-946-2274 extention: 4700.
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