Best Golf Courses in North Dakota: Top Picks for 2023

North Dakota may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about golf destinations, but the state boasts an impressive variety of well-maintained courses. From rolling hills to picturesque landscapes, golf enthusiasts will find top-notch facilities offering unique challenges for even the most seasoned players.

Some of the most highly-rated golf courses in North Dakota include Hawktree Golf Club in Bismarck, Links of North Dakota in Ray, and Bully Pulpit Golf Course in Medora. These courses are celebrated not only for their pristine conditions but also for their stunning surroundings, making for a perfect day on the green.

In addition to these well-known favorites, North Dakota has ample hidden gems that cater to players of all skill levels. From private courses to public gems, the Peace Garden State has something for everyone looking to enjoy a round of golf.

Top Golf Courses in North Dakota

Bully Pulpit Golf Course

Bully Pulpit Golf Course, located in Medora, offers a unique and challenging golfing experience. This course features some impressive elevation changes, beautiful scenery, and a fantastic layout that appeals to players of all skill levels. The Bully Pulpit has been consistently ranked among the best golf courses in North Dakota.

The Links of North Dakota

The Links of North Dakota, situated in Ray, is a true links-style course with wide fairways, rolling hills, and challenging greens. Known for its exceptional design, The Links of North Dakota has been rated one of the top golf courses in the state for the 2022-2023 season.

Hawktree Golf Club

Hawktree Golf Club in Bismarck is another standout golf course in North Dakota. Its picturesque design, incorporating natural elements like native grasses, sand bunkers, and water features, makes it both challenging and visually appealing. Hawktree Golf Club has been top-ranked as the number one golf course in North Dakota.

King’s Walk

King’s Walk, located in Grand Forks, is a well-maintained golf course, known for its welcoming atmosphere and challenging layout. Designed by Arnold Palmer, King’s Walk offers an enjoyable golf experience for players of all abilities. Although not mentioned in the top-ranked list, it has received excellent reviews from Tripadvisor for its quality and playability.

Bois de Sioux Golf Course

Bois de Sioux Golf Course, positioned in Wahpeton, boasts an interesting feature: it straddles the border between North Dakota and Minnesota, with nine holes in each state. This unique layout offers golfers a one-of-a-kind experience as they play through both states. While it may not have been ranked top in North Dakota, its distinctiveness makes it a noteworthy golf course to visit.

Course Features and Challenges

Greens and Fairways

The best golf courses in North Dakota offer a variety of challenges and features to test golfers of all skill levels. The greens on these courses, such as Hawktree and Bully Pulpit, are known for their smooth, fast surfaces that require precision and skill. The fairways provide a mix of tight landing areas and more forgiving stretches, allowing golfers to use different strategies to navigate the course.

Here are some notable features of the greens and fairways in North Dakota’s top golf courses:

  • Smooth putting surfaces: The greens on these courses are well-maintained and offer consistent ball roll for accurate putting.
  • Varied fairway widths: Golfers can expect to encounter both narrow and wide fairways, making club selection and shot placement crucial for success.
  • Strategic bunkers: Well-placed bunkers on both fairways and greens can force golfers to think carefully about their shot choices.

Elevation Changes and Bunkers

North Dakota’s top golf courses often incorporate elevation changes to create interesting and visually appealing holes. Courses like The Links of North Dakota and Bully Pulpit are set against a backdrop of rolling hills and dramatic elevation shifts. Golfers will need to adapt their club selection and shot execution when playing holes with significant uphill or downhill slopes.

Bunkering on these courses is both strategic and challenging. Golfers will encounter a variety of bunker styles, ranging from traditional sand traps to deep waste areas and grassy hollows. Navigating these hazards requires skill and finesse, especially in windy conditions.

Water Hazards

In addition to elevation changes and bunkers, many of the best golf courses in North Dakota feature water hazards that can impact play. These hazards are designed to test a golfer’s ability to control their ball flight and maintain accuracy under pressure. Examples of courses with noteworthy water hazards include Oxbow Country Club and The Links of North Dakota.

Water hazards come in various forms, such as:

  • Lakes and ponds: Large bodies of water can force golfers to carry their shots over the hazard or choose a safer route around it.
  • Creeks and streams: Smaller water features can catch errant shots, making accuracy even more critical to ensuring a good score.
  • Wetlands and marshes: Natural wetland areas can create unique course aesthetics and pose challenges for recovery shots after an errant drive or approach.

When playing on North Dakota’s top golf courses, golfers must consider these various features and challenges to strategize effectively and navigate the course successfully.

Popular Golfing Events and Community in North Dakota

North Dakota offers a variety of golfing events and a strong community for golf enthusiasts. Golfers in the state can participate in numerous tournaments and leagues while enjoying top-notch courses such as Hawktree and Oxbow Country Club.

Tournaments and charity events are regularly held throughout the golfing season, catering to different skill levels and age groups. These events encourage camaraderie and friendly competition among golf enthusiasts. Participants often benefit from expert advice and tips, as professional golfers and seasoned players are eager to share their knowledge.

Golf leagues provide an excellent opportunity for golfers to connect and build lasting friendships. These leagues cater to various skill levels, ranging from beginners to advanced players. Members enjoy regular matches and social activities in a fun and supportive environment. Additionally, joining a league is a great way for golfers to improve their skills and enhance their love for the sport.

Several golf clubs in North Dakota also offer junior programs to nurture the next generation of golfers. These programs are designed to introduce young players to the game, focusing on basic skills, etiquette, and sportsmanship. Through regular clinics and camps, children can develop a strong golfing foundation while making new friends and enjoying the sport’s social aspects.

The golf community in North Dakota is welcoming and supportive. Golf clubs and courses across the state often host events, such as mixers and social gatherings, aimed at strengthening the bonds among golfers. These events provide an opportunity for golfers to network, share stories, discuss their experiences and passion for the game, and learn from one another.

In conclusion, North Dakota boasts a vibrant golfing community and offers a variety of events for golfers of all ages and skill levels. Whether participating in tournaments, joining leagues, or attending social events, golf enthusiasts can enjoy a fulfilling and active lifestyle in this beautiful state.

Rankings and Reviews

When it comes to finding the best golf courses in North Dakota, numerous websites and publications offer valuable insights and data. One of the most reputable sources is Golf Digest, which has its own list of top golf courses in the state. Their rankings are based on expert panelists’ evaluations and golfers’ input. According to Golf Digest, the top course in North Dakota is Oxbow Country Club, followed by Hawktree Golf Club in Bismarck.

Another well-known publication in the golfing world, GOLF Magazine, also provides rankings for North Dakota golf courses. In their latest release, Hawktree Golf Club in Bismarck claims the top spot, with Links of North Dakota in Ray coming in as the second best course.

Both ratings take various factors into account, such as course conditioning, difficulty, and aesthetics, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of each course. It’s important to note that these rankings might see slight variations over time as more people review and rate the courses.

In addition to traditional golf publications, websites like GolfPass offer user-driven ratings and reviews for golf courses, providing valuable insights from fellow golfers. Golfers’ Choice rankings from GolfPass include reviews from thousands of golfers, ensuring a well-rounded perspective.

Another useful resource is the Ratings Index found on websites like Top 100 Golf Courses. This index compiles rankings from various sources, giving golfers a comprehensive understanding of how the courses stack up against one another.

In conclusion, selecting the best golf courses in North Dakota can be a subjective process, but consulting various rankings and reviews can help golf enthusiasts make an informed decision. Whether one prefers the expert opinions from Golf Digest or GOLF Magazine, or the user-driven data from GolfPass, there are plenty of resources available to guide golfers to the top courses in the state.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some top-rated golf courses in ND?

Some of the top-rated golf courses in North Dakota include Hawktree Golf Club, The Links of North Dakota, and Bully Pulpit Golf Course. These courses are recognized for their challenging layouts, well-maintained greens, and scenic landscapes.

Which golf courses in Bismarck are the best?

Hawktree Golf Club is considered one of the best golf courses in Bismarck, North Dakota. It is known for its rolling fairways, spacious greens, and beautiful natural scenery, making it an enjoyable golf experience for players of all skill levels.

Where is Hawktree Golf Club located?

Hawktree Golf Club is located in Bismarck, the capital city of North Dakota. The exact address of the club is 3400 Burnt Creek Loop, Bismarck, ND 58503.

What makes Bully Pulpit Golf Course stand out?

Bully Pulpit Golf Course stands out because of its unique and picturesque location in the heart of the beautiful North Dakota Badlands. The course features dramatic elevation changes, challenging holes, and stunning views, making it a one-of-a-kind golf experience.

Is The Links of North Dakota a must-visit course?

Yes, The Links of North Dakota is a must-visit course for any golf enthusiast. It features a distinctive links-style layout, with wide open fairways, rolling hills, and challenging greens that can test even the most skilled golfers.

What golf course in ND is PGA-worthy?

While there isn’t a specific PGA-worthy course in North Dakota, courses like Hawktree Golf Club, The Links of North Dakota, and Bully Pulpit Golf Course have gained recognition for their exceptional layouts, conditions, and overall golf experience – factors that could make them potential candidates for hosting professional events in the future.

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