This post is provided by Joel Harrington, owner, operator and lead writer for 4DeepGolfBlog.com
10) Hillcrest CC- Yankton. A crafty, well-maintained track that is relatively short in overall distance, but hosts tight tree-lined fairways that put a premium on driving accuracy. Its small, dome-shaped greens will set your eyelids on fire if you’re not careful.
9) Willow Run GC- Sioux Falls. Now under new ownership, Willow Run is on a sharp ascension upwards as a high quality public course with a country club-like feel. New tee boxes, some re-constructed greens, coupled with clubhouse and landscaping improvements all on the same memorable piece of land make this a must play East River course.
8) Prairie Green GC- Sioux Falls. A top notch public course now boasting a fabulous new clubhouse, Prairie Green has both a prairie and heathland course feel wrapped up into one, right in our state’s biggest city.
7) Arrowhead CC- Rapid City. A relatively short, fun and challenging course with lots of doglegs, water hazards and blazing fast small greens surrounded by a beautiful backdrop right within Rapid City.
6) Southern Hills GC- Hot Springs. The long-standing gem course of the Black Hills, with dramatic elevation changes, pine trees galore and a fantastically classical routing will have you wanting more the second you hole out on 18.
5) Hart Ranch GC- Rapid City. Nestled in the foothills just outside of Rapid City, Hart Ranch has one of the most beautiful landscapes of any course in the state. Elevation changes, beautiful mountainous backdrops and the ponderosa pines make it a must play West River course.
4) Brookings CC- Brookings. I may be a little biased here since this was my college home course, but slickly awesome greens, its first two holes awesomely wrapped along Lake Campbell and giant, mature trees throughout the course? Yes, please.
3) Westward Ho CC- Sioux Falls. “The Ho” is the epitome of how a country club should be setup and run. Immaculate fairways, perfectly manicured greens, tall mature trees and the overall warm and inviting club atmosphere make it exactly as they say, “a family club for life.”
2) Red Rock GC- Rapid City. The most dramatic elevation changes of any course in the state, abundant native prairie grasses and tall ponderosa pines, give you a taste of the Rockies right within our home state. Blazing fast greens with other-worldly slopes make it the must play public course in SD.
1) Minnehaha CC- Sioux Falls. Its wonderfully classic, traditional design with rolling, tree-lined fairways with every blade of grass manicured to perfection make it glow above every other course in the state.
*Note that I intentionally left both Sutton Bay (recent course re-opening) and Dakota Dunes CC (re-building following flooding) off this list.
Joel Harrington is a Stillwater, MN native and South Dakota State University alum, where he was a member of the Jacks golf team for 4 years. He currently resides in Sioux Falls with his wife Anne and son Davis, and enjoys competing in SDGA events each summer. He is a passionate golf writer and is the owner, operator and lead writer for 4DeepGolfBlog.com, giving thorough analysis and coverage of everything golf, including golf news, the PGA Tour (with a specialty on picks and predictions) and golf equipment. Be sure to follow 4 Deep Golf on Facebook at facebook.com/4deepgolf and on Twitter at @joel4deepgolf.