Named after the native Kansa people that used to inhabit the area, this is one of the larger states and is known for its agriculture. Kansas was not only the home to Dorothy Gale in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ but also the birthplace of the current PGA Tour player Gary Woodland and the home of living legend Tom Watson. Kansas is a state with a great, if relatively unknown, golfing pedigree but what are the courses in The Sunflower State you should know about?
One of the best courses on offer is Prairie Dunes Country Club a course that has hosted many USGA events and a Curtis Cup match. This father and son collaboration- the front nine was designed by Perry Maxwell and the back nine by his son Press Maxwell- is critically acclaimed and a fantastic track. This links-style course blends in with the natural flora beautifully to create a challenging course especially when the prairie breezes blow.
Flint Hills National, in Andover, KS, is a much younger course but one that is very quickly gaining the attention of the golfing world. This course has hosted both the USGA Women’s and Senior Men’s Amateur Championships and will host the Junior equivalent in 2017. This world class course was designed by Tom Fazio who designed courses such as Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, NV and Lake Nona in Orlando, FL.
Just south of Kansas City you will find Nicklaus Golf Club at Lionsgate, a course that hosted the Web.com Tour in 2016. This is a spectacular destination for golf and is a challenging yet fair course that is as pleasing on the eye as it is to play. Around an hour drive west from the state capital, Topeka, you will find one of the best public courses in the state. Colbert Hills Golf Club in Manhattan, KS is a picturesque course but do not be fooled by this. The championship tees are called ‘Black and Blue’ which refers to the punishing length of this course especially in the wind. Thankfully this course has been designed with many tees so that it is accessible to all golfers. There is also a nine-hole par 3 course on the property making this a great place to develop both your long and short game.