The Takeaway: A classic Langford and Moreau layout with several elevation changes and wonderful green complexes, Minnehaha enjoys having the Big Sioux River meander through the property which is used to irrigate the property and help provide top shelf conditions. Grade B
Designer: William Langford and Theodore Moreau in 1927
Phone Number: (605) 336-1085
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Minnehaha Country Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 3101 W 22nd St, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 – UNITED STATES
Photos: See additional photos of Minnehaha Country Club
What to Expect: Minnehaha is an old school country club with grass stretching across the entire property and featuring very few places where someone could lose a golf ball. When the club was first established they were able to secure water rights from the Big Sioux River that works its way through the property and helps keep the course in as good of shape as any course in the region. In addition to superb conditions, the green complexes stand out as the highlight at Minnehaha with Langford and Moreau offering large putting surfaces defended with steady slopes and beautiful bunkering. The fairways are lined by trees but not in an overbearing way that impedes the layout, rather, they offer direction in the routing and a feature to contend with when tee shots go off line. The course reaches its climax at the 12th hole where players are greeted with an elevated tee shot over the Big Sioux before the fairway bends to the left and requires players to carry it again on the approach shot. There is a nice combination of movement in the terrain yet is a very comfortable walk. Ultimately, it is an “everyday” type of course that you can enjoy round after round without growing tired of it, losing a lot of balls, or being frustrated with various architectural elements; the classic example of a club you want to be a member of.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 12th Hole – 509 Yard Par 5 – Unquestionably the signature hole on the course and one of the best in all of South Dakota, the 12th tees off from the highest point on the course and offers a lengthy view to take in. Water must be carried twice on the way home, first with the tee shot to a fairway that is doglegging left, and secondly on the approach to the green where water fronts the putting surface. Players who get too aggressive trying to cut distance off the hole by hugging the left side may find themselves blocked out by trees on the second shot and be forced into a layup. However, players with a green light to attack the green need to avoid the bunker flanking the left side and are struck well enough to ascend the tier in the green when the flag is in the back third. Players who miss behind the green or too far left can find themselves out of bounds and missing on a scoring opportunity.
Best Par 3: 8th Hole – 159 Yards – The 8th is an attractively designed one-shotter located at the eastern end of the property. The green features a high right side behind a bunker that can be used to bound balls down and left towards the center of the green while on the left side of the green is a deep bunker that runs the full length of the green. The hole is Minnehaha's shortest, but the creativity in the green undulations make it a challenge even once you've found the putting surface. The green narrows in the back third and is the toughest pin location to stick your tee shot close to.
Best Par 4: 18th Hole – 414 Yards – The closing hole at Minnehaha is a quality two-shotter that begins with a drive over Skunk Creek to an elevated fairway that doglegs left towards the green. While the fairway is devoid of bunkers, the green features sand on each side along with a severe tier in the putting surface that effectively divides the green into two distinct targets. The false front paired with the deep bunkers put a premium on accuracy while the sloping green will test your nerves in a tournament or match. This is a hole that requires shotmaking over length.
Best Par 5: 16th Hole – 551 Yards – While the 12th is certainly the toast of the town on par fives at Minnehaha, the 16th runs along the Big Sioux River and provides a scoring opportunity. The fairway bunker up the right side is out of reach for most players from the tips but can become a bigger factor to consider from the more forward tees. The approach plays to a green fronted by a pond with the right side providing safety from the water but a pair of bunkers to contend with. If you play it as a three shot hole, laying up 80 yards short of the green will stay shy of the final fairway bunker and coming in from the right side affords the best angle.
Birdie Time: 7th Hole – 472 Yard Par 5 – Measuring shorter than the par four 3rd, the reachable par five 7th plays even shorter due to the elevated tee box that will help players hit drives long enough to have irons coming in on their second shot. The fairway bunker on the left side should encourage players to play a fade off of it or stay just short of it in order to have a clean look on the approach. The green has four bunkers crossing from midway back on the left side up to the front right corner and sit ready to catch shots that don't have the juice to reach the putting surface which sits 35 feet above the low point in the fairway. Staying below the hole will be rewarded with an opportunity to be aggressive with your birdie, or eagle, putt.
Bogey Beware: 3rd Hole – 474 Yard Par 4 – Big hitters may need to put away the driver in order to stay short of the pond that crosses the fairway 180 yards from the green. Approach shots will be coming in from no less than that distance with many coming from 200+ yards out; a tough formula for picking up a green in regulation. The large, bunkerless green provides a good sized target to hit but the slope in the green yields its fair share of three-putts. Bogey here is quite common, but if you can manage a par it provides an excellent momentum boost.